Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Why we might want to call “therapy” emotional literacy

I’ve seen an ad on YouTube today advertising the usefulness of “therapy”.

At times, I wonder if it’s more helpful to call therapy “emotional literacy” because emotional literacy is beneficial for all, and not just for those with a mental illness.

It may reduce stigma and make “therapy” more psychologically accessible for all. It may even make its way into schools in more significant ways perhaps.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

What is the difference between tolerance vs acceptance

With emotional literacy, it’s important to help our patients differentiate tolerance vs acceptance.

So what is the key difference?

At the behaviour level, tolerance and acceptance can look very much the same.

The key difference is in the feeling/emotion behind those behaviours.

One has more frustration and resentment. It’s more tiring. The other one is much more defused and more “at peace” with whatever is IS. It’s much less tiring.

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Why do always want more? A perspective on “life balance”

Why do we always tend to want more and the grass seems a bit greener on the other side?

A bigger house? A better car? A better job? A better life? More travel? More freedom? More power? More status? More of something?

Part of human’s fundamental values is growth/newness in order to adapt and survive so it’s “never really seem enough”. We will always seek growth and newness at some level. The “feeling mind” doesn’t usually like to go backwards or being stagnant.  

So it’s normal. Simply hold space and defuse from that is the first step perhaps.

Balance our 3 core values of stability, connection, and growth is usually key.

Too much focus on one will come at the cost of the others.

In counseling and coaching work, this is in essence …. “life balance”.

Saturday, November 4, 2023

Reframe “feelings of anxiety” to “feelings of uncertainty”

In counseling work, I often get people to reframe their anxiety from “feelings of anxiety” to “feelings of uncertainty” because that “feeling of uncertainty” is more fundamental I think.

It can help them to defuse from it at some level.

From “feelings of uncertainty”, we can pivot that to feelings of hope, openness, curiosity, possibility and creativity rather than just panic and anxiety.

So “uncertainty” is not bad. Life is a balance of certainty and uncertainty isn’t it?

Treat it like homeostasis like maintaining body temperature, glucose, sodium, calcium etc.

Too much is a problem. Too little is also a problem.

But if we simply view it as “anxiety” and that “anxiety” is a bad thing, then we may run into more problems.

So once we can pivot from “uncertainty” into possibility and hope, we can move forward with a different experience and possibly, a different outcome.

I wonder if you can relate.