People observe their behavior, and evaluate it in terms of how well they like it. If we did not do this, we would have no way of improving how we act. When people seek help in therapy, in self-help groups, or by reading self-help books, they are not merely observing and thinking of their behaviors and deciding how to make adjustments. Typically, their thinking interferes with their ability to adjust and often they’re mainly aware of their misery.
REBT attempts to show you that (1) events do not automatically create your thoughts, (2) events do not cause your emotions, and (3) by changing your thinking, you will see things differently, and then your thoughts and emotions will aid you instead of interfering with your actions.
Let’s say you failed at something important to you. Compare the following two sets of thoughts regarding how they make you feel, how truthful they are, and how well they help you adjust.
1. I failed and that’s bad. Maybe I didn’t pay close enough attention to what was going on to prevent my failure. I regret that.
2. I should not have failed. It’s awful to fail as I did. Because I did fail, I’m a loser; I can’t stand myself.
The Importance of Unconditional Acceptance of Self, Others and Life by Eric Sudler, M.S.
Independent of what therapeutic orientation you may follow, you will usually find acceptance or some form of acceptance at the center. Acceptance is a major part of life.
Obviously, acceptance is not always an easy pill to swallow. In fact, some may observe that it acts counter to our instinctual behaviors. As humans, we generally strive for control and autonomy. Autonomy entails having a satisfactory degree of control in regards to one’s environment, life, and choices. It’s having perceived control over the decisions that ultimately lead you to reaching, maintaining, and upholding your values and sense of self.
Unfortunately, in a cruel twist of irony, we occupy an existence rife with moments of grief, helplessness, loss, and discomfort. It feels as though we are unable to obtain the very thing we are programmed to seek. How is it possible to live comfortably in a world that seems to go against our natural instincts? Continue reading →
An important aspect of accepting yourself is to accept that you are fallible. An outcome of your fallible nature is that you may want something, you may try to get it, and you may come up short. More specifically, you want happiness and you try to gain it by drinking. In the long run, you gain some things you didn’t intend, such as depression, getting arrested, having your marriage(s) break up, or some other unwanted consequence. Another example is that you may believe you have the knowledge and the power to quit. Then you try, and you fail.
Part of our fallible nature is emotional. As an example, you may feel very good about drinking when thinking this is wonderful, self-enhancing, and a great way to escape your problems. On the negative side, you may be unable to feel pleasure when you think of a positive event such as a gain from quitting. This may include keeping your marriage or job or living longer. You may think of these and gain little pleasure at the thought. Depression can be one cause of this.
An Anatomy of Emotions Workshop Presenter: Ed Garcia, CSW
SMART Recovery® is very pleased to announce that Mr. Edward Garcia, MA, CSW, will continue his series of workshops on The Anatomy of Emotions with the second in the series, Understanding Fear & Anger, which will take place on Thursday, May 26, 2011 in the SMART Recovery SMART Room from 8:30-9:30 p.m., EDT. From his premise, “We feel the way we think,” presented in his introductory presentation, Mr. Garcia will expand on the question “What ARE the thoughts that underlie fear and anger?” He will look at the specific thoughts we have, the processes we go through, from thought to feeling, and how these two emotions, anger and fear, are inextricably tied. The previous session (Anatomy of Emotions) is available as a podcast on SMART Recovery’s new podcast site.
Among many achievements, Mr. Garcia has an [extensive and diverse background in the field of human behavior. He holds both an undergraduate and graduate degree from New York University. His post graduate work was conducted at the Institute for Advanced Study in Rational Emotive Therapy, where Mr. Garcia worked extensively with Dr. Albert Ellis, founder of REBT, and on whose work SMART is founded. Continue reading →
SMART Recovery® is pleased to announce that podcasts of special events are now available for listening online.
Robert J. Meyers, Ph.D., “Support For A Loved One With Addiction”Dr. Meyers speaks to the SMART community about an effective approach for influencing a loved one with addiction to seek treatment. Dr. Meyers is co-author of the book “Get Your Loved One Sober: Alternatives To Nagging, Pleading and Threatening” and the creator of the CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training) approach to family treatment.
About CRAFT: CRAFT has been clinically tested and shown to be a highly effective alternative to Johnson Interventions.
Ed Garcia describes how we can manage emotions by focusing on and analyzing our thoughts and self-talk. We have the power to change self-defeating thoughts and self-talk, and Ed Garcia tells us how to do it.
About Ed Garcia: Licensed social worker and Former Director of Training of the Albert Ellis Institute