Friday, January 7, 2011

Technique of the Week, Step 3

I'm slightly out of sync with Technique of the Week, which should happen every Wednesday. Because of snow, holidays, travel, some inner turmoil and transitions, I'm off schedule. But as often happens in life, things works out. A January 2nd Wall Street Journal article discusses the latest cognitive theory for dispelling negative self-talk, doubts, fears. It fits right in with the final suggestion in the December 22 Technique of the Week.

Acknowledge without judgment,  “Yes, I have acquired the negative self-talk habit, like many other women.”  The key is without judgment; just as you might acknowledge that you have brown hair like many other women, you acknowledge NST without criticism, recognizing that you have control of your thinking if you choose to take it.

Here's the link .http://tinyurl.com/37ccg67 

I'm quoting a paragraph from the WSJ article to tweak your curiosity and excite your neurons.

"Cognitive-behavioral therapy aims to help patients conquer their self doubts in two ways: Either by changing the behaviors that go along with it (I'm so fat—I need to get to the gym!) or by challenging the underlying thoughts, which are often distorted. (I'm 45-years old and I'm comparing myself to anorexic models. Get serious!)

Now, a third-wave of cognitive-behavioral therapy is catching on in psychology and self-help circles. It holds that simply observing your critical thoughts without judging them is a more effective way to tame them than pressuring yourself to change or denying their validity.
" 'Tame' is an interesting word," says Dr. Hayes, who pioneered one approach, called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. "How would you go about taming a wild horse? You wouldn't whip it back into a corner. You'd pat it on the nose and give it some carrots and eventually try to ride it."

H-m-m-m. Sounds interesting and familiar. Strategic allocation of attention? Mindfulness? Meditative? You can use these techniques in a self-help way — not just as therapy tools! More next Wednesday.

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