Friday, February 26, 2021

Helping our patients with emotional literacy early so that we can prevent mental health issues


I often think.....

If we don’t wait until people are illiterate before we teach them literacy, AND

If we don’t wait until people are broke before we teach them financial literacy, THEN

Why do we wait until people have a mental breakdown before we teach them emotional literacy?

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Helping our patients differentiate the old news, fake news, and useful news in their minds


If we represent our thoughts and feelings on a piece of paper or iPad, and really “zoom in” and focus on that with a level “obsession” or “passion”, then that can be a double edge sword.

A good outcome or not, will depend on the quality of those thoughts and feelings.

So it’s really important to “zoom out” to observe those thoughts and feelings, and ask .....

Is this old news, fake news, or useful news, and let that guide us. If it’s old, fake, or unhelpful news, we may choose to ignore it. If it’s useful news, “zoom in” and take assertive actions.

Your “piece of paper” or “iPad” with your thoughts and feelings, is like the internet. It’s undeniable that it’s a wonderful tool, but one needs the space to differentiate the good quality information from the bad ones.

Helping our patients to “zoom in” on the things that matter, and “zoom out” on the things that don’t


I’ve seen a couple of patients recently that made me think about the “zoom in” and “zoom out” function of our human mind.

If we represent thoughts and feelings on a piece of paper and really “zoom in” on it, AND this is all we can focus on, this may represent obsessiveness or passion, dependent on the content of those thoughts and feelings. It may even represent OCD if it becomes very dysfunctional.

If we “zoom out” a little bit more, it becomes more like “I want to act on this, but I am not too obsessed with it.”

Out a little more, and it’s more like “I just want to observe this.”

Out a little bit more, and it’s “Meh. I don’t really care too much”.

Out a little bit more, and it’s a bit “dissociative”.

Some folks are stuck in the “zoom in” mode, and suffer with stress, drama, and OCD features.

Some folks are stuck in the “zoom out” mode, and suffer from a bit of detachment, dissociation, lack of empathy or passion.

Some folks can do both well but just in the wrong way. They “zoom out” too much on the things that matter, and “zoom in” too much on the things that don’t quite matter.

Can you or your patients relate to any of these?

Learning how to “zoom out” and “zoom in” like an experienced cameraman is a critical life skill.

It’s simple. “Zoom in” on the things that matter. “Zoom out” on the things that don’t. Simple is not easy though, but we can certainly try. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Helping our patients to change things at the root level to have deeper impact on their emotional health


In counseling, when we try to change our “unhelpful” thoughts and behaviors, we are trying to change it at the “leaves” level to get to the roots.

When we try to change our feelings, we are trying to change it at a “trunk” level to get to the roots.

When we try to change our values and beliefs, we are trying to change things at the “root” level itself.

Changing things that are above the surface is easier and more practical, but may have less “deeper impact”.

Changing things below the surface is much harder because often we can’t see it, but much stronger in impact if we can achieve that. It’s leveraging.

Imagine if we can change the belief of ourselves and the people we look after from, “I am not good enough” to “I am not perfect, but I accept me for me”, then what would the world look like.....