Wednesday, May 1, 2024

The thinking mind, feeling mind and the observing mind

In a nutshell, counseling/coaching work can be framed as helping folks to integrate their “feeling mind” with their “thinking mind” by centering in the “observing mind” space.

Some folks are great with the “feeling mind”, okay with the “thinking mind” but terrible with the observing mind.

Some are great with the “thinking mind”, okay with the “feeling mind”, but terrible with the “observing mind”.

Some are great with the “observing mind” but not so great with the “feeling mind” or “thinking mind”.

There is usually a “blindspot” or “Achilles’ heel” in all of us isn’t there? It would be helpful to reflect on those.

Once we have clarity around those, we can have high expectation for our strengths but have more realistic expectation for our blindspots.

Be careful to not judge ourselves too harshly on our “blindspots” as these may lead to unhealthy self worth or shame.

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Counseling can be simple but simple may not be easy

Counseling can be quite simple although simple may not be easy.

There are 2 key parts.

1. Helping our patients to defuse/zoom out and be mindful of their thoughts, feelings, and narratives in order to get more perspectives and more clarity.

2. Helping our patients to “zoom in” to what really matters to them with workability in mind and what they are truly in control of. Take action.

It’s a dance between 1 and 2 with 1 often the rate limiting step.

I wonder if you can relate….

Friday, April 26, 2024

Helping our patients with psychological flexibility

I often see folks whose experiences of crises and traumas are of the “damaging ways” including PTSD.  Helping them to defuse and come to an awareness of post-traumatic stress growth can give them more hope and motivation to move forward with a life they want to create despite the challenges.

So how can we help…

We can focus on the 6 skills of psychological flexibility as defined by ACT.

1. Defusion from thoughts and feelings. 

2. Being more mindful and present. 

3. More acceptance rather than experiential avoidance. 

4. Self as context rather than a rigid sense of self. 

5. Knowing oneself and one’s values with more clarity to balance the outer world’s values. 

6. Take value based actions authentically and with workability in mind.

It’s not easy of course but psychological flexibility can be a useful framework from which to pivot in these case scenarios.

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Self reflection versus self criticism

In counseling or mental health work, it’s important to help our patients differentiate self reflection from self criticism.

Self-criticism is often harsh and judgmental, focusing on flaws and mistakes without room for growth.

On the other hand, self-reflection is more objective, defused and constructive, allowing for learning and improvement by examining actions and outcomes with openness and curiosity.

So try to embrace self-reflection more for personal development, but be careful of too much self-criticism.