Thursday, May 6, 2021

Helping our patients use the “my mind” strategy to defuse from thoughts and feelings

In counseling, we see a lot of folks who are “stuck in their minds with unhelpful thoughts or feelings”. So one important strategy is to help them “unhook” from their minds, or “create some distance” from their minds.

There are many ways to get there.

In Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), one of the most simple ways to create a bit of distance from the mind, is to cognitively add in “my mind” before an unhelpful statement or feeling.

For example:

My mind is saying idiot a lot instead of .... I am such an idiot.

My mind is focusing on failure at the moment instead of .... I am such a failure.

My mind is saying that this life is terrible instead of .... I hate my life.

My mind is focusing on the not good enough story again instead of .... I am so useless. 

My mind is showing up frustration. I wonder what it’s trying to tell me instead of .... I am so frustrated. 

The key is to notice the mind with curiosity rather than judgement. 

I am sure you can think of many more examples.

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