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Do you have a critic in your head?

Most people recognize a voice in the mind that says you aren’t doing enough, successful enough, smart enough, skinny enough, etc. We recognize it in our own minds but we are often surprised to hear that other people have it as well. They appear so put together on the outside! And certainly we would not say any of these things to them – look how much they are doing, how successful they are, etc!

The trick ultimately is to acknowledge the critic, but not to let the...

It is not at all uncommon to have days/moments when you feel more connected to your healthy self and to have other days/moments when you feel more connected to intrusive thoughts (anxiety, OCD, depression, Eating Disorder, addictive, perfectionistic/self-critical etc).

In the healthy moments it can be difficult to remember what unhealth feels like and to minimize it and in the moments of battling intrusive thoughts, it can be difficult to recall what health and authenticity felt like.

This is wher...

To begin your process of self-reflection through journaling this month, we will start with a review of your last thirty days. The amount of days is actually pretty arbiturary, simply pick a portion of time - generally last 30, 60, or 90 days. Then, make the following lists based on those days: 

1. List the things in the last 30 days that have brought me the most joy. 

2. List the lessons learned in the last 30 days. 

3. List the things that have shown up most in my prayers over the last 30 day...

A recent study conducted by Research Now found that 37 percent of the study’s respondents reported feeling “not very” or “not at all” financially secure, while 54 percent called themselves “somewhat secure.” Nearly half of respondents reported worrying about money at least once a week, and one third worry about finances daily. The study respondents said they worried about money more than they worried about their health, their careers, or their love lives. One third of those who participated in t...

Values have been covered pretty extensively in older blog posts - so for more information travel back through those posts. However, for the sake up wrapping up our Acceptance and Commitment Therapy August series, I can't resist taking some time to review one of my favorite therapeutic principles. Values are similar to the ideas of legacy and purpose. They answer the big questions, such as: What do I want my life to be about? What do I want to remembered for? How do I know if I'm living well? How...

The fourth principle of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is the “observing self.” The observing-self practices the art of noticing. This practice identifies two parts of the mind: “the thinking self” and the “observing self.”

The thinking self is automatic: “I’m a teacher,” “I’m depressed,” “I’m overweight”

The observing self observes these thoughts (practicing cognitive defusion, see previous post): “I’m noticing that I’m having the thought that I’m depressed.”

A metaphor helpful to understanding...

When two things are fused together – for instance two metal pipes – there is no longer any separation, they are one. This is the often the default structure of us to our thoughts and feelings. Often we are fused so fully with our thoughts and feelings that we are unable to recognize any separation between us and them. This is seen even in language. We say “I am anxious” the same way we would introduce ourselves to a new person: “I am Brittany.” This language is reflective of the fusion often exp...

The 2nd principle of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is acceptance. It is a principle that is foundational to many therapeutic modalities. This was explored last month in the Dialectical Behavioral Therapy series, as radical acceptance is also foundational to that evidence-based modality.

See post:

Therefore, for the context of the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy series, I will just touch on it briefly an...

The first principle of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is contact with the present moment, also known as mindfulness. Building the skill of the mindfulness, being in the here and now, is the first stepping stone of the Acceptance and Commitment therapeutic practice. There are several previous blog posts that cover mindfulness:

“Increasing Peace Through Mindfulness Practice”

“Mindfulness Mondays, 1: A Season for Presence” 

Mindfulness is the act of gently (without judgement) guiding the mind...

The aim of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is a to create a rich, full, and meaningful life and to apply acceptance to the pain that inevitably comes with it.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is an evidence-based, mindfulness-based therapeutic modality that is garnering a lot of attention lately. It is being called the “third wave” in behavioral and cognitive therapy (Hayes, 2004). One of the main therapeutic concepts of this modality is that pain and suffering are different and that pain is i...

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