Goals we WISH our clients would consider, but would never demand the do!

By | MyBlog, News

Many people have heard of Maslow’s hierarchy and to “self-actualize” would mean you were at the top of what one can reach as a “whole” person. What is missing is the fact that we are social creatures. Often, when people come to therapy, the problems more often than not are discussed in the context of their relationships with others. Unless we have goals involving striving to be alive, healthy, happy as well as healthy relationships with others, we are likely to develop problems to our problems.

The following are potential goals you can choose to take on in your personal growth that can certainly enhance your mental health and happiness, but of course we know your journey is an individual choice and that you must do what is right for you:

Living cooperatively with yourself and others – You can strive to be “your own person” and work toward your own life goals, while also trying to live cooperative with others remembering you are a member of a social system. Shifting from an “either/or” to an “and/also” mindset that includes interests that are individual as well as social. Though you work to become a good role-model, you do not insist that your way is the “right” way, but encourage others to find their “right” way.

Look to increase your self-awareness of your positive and negative emotions (and refuse to be ashamed for them, or to “act” on the negative ones). You can strive to change yourself, keeping any rage or panic to yourself as you work on making self and environmental changes to improve them. Accept that you know yourself and that you probably do not know yourself as much as you think you do and keeping learning. Continually seek to discover what you want and take steps toward it, not fretting about looking down different paths.

Accept you will never have 100% certainty in anything and there will be times of ambiguity in your life. Look to life as an adventure and an experience where you can learn and where mistakes are tolerable.

Build tolerance. Look to open your mind to things being neither all black or all white/all good or all bad. People who are emotionally sophisticated have a cognitive flexibility, and take an unbigoted view of the people are world around them.

Commit yourself to not just short-term fun, but to longer-term pursuits where you can deepen your interests, skills and connections. Engage in projects or tasks. Take healthy risks and look to double your failures so you may increase your successes.

Build creativity by wanting the approval but never having to have the approval of others. You can strengthen your creativity and innovation to solve problems in your own way instead of what you feel you need-to go along with for others approval. You can share your ideas with others but not be dependent on their approval of your ultimate solution or execution of it.

Build a scientific mindset. Look at events through an empirical lens. Look at the evidence, logicalness, and helpfulness of the beliefs and assumptions that you hold. Be willing to put them on trial and test them out when possible.

Refuse to globally rate yourself or anyone else for that matter – Judge your and other’s specific behaviors as good or bad not yourself or others in a global manner.

Engage in “hedonic calculus.” Many pursue happiness today because they are afraid they may not be here tomorrow so they over drink, spend, or game, etc. – though, tomorrow they may very well wake with a hangover, broke, and falling far behind in their work. Strive to balance the pleasure in the short-term with more long-term pleasures. Spend time enjoying the now, but invest time that will make tomorrow better and that will not have long-term consequences.

These goals are likely held in the back of many cognitive behavioral therapy practitioners minds. Of course we would want to hear about what is most important to you and collaborate with you on how to get there.


Dr. Paul DePompo

Let us know your thoughts at info@CBTIofSoCal.com

Could You Have Student Imposter Syndrome?

By | News

Just like that summer is coming to an end. The fun care free attitude is now being replaced by the anxieties and what if’s of the fast approaching school year. If you were like me as a high schooler, the excitement of the new school year was often over shadowed by self-doubt and worry as to what the school year will bring. Will I get good grades? Who will I hang out with at lunch? Will my friends be in my class? Will I make varsity? Behind these what if’s is often an underlying feeling of self-doubt and questions about your own ability to cope and manage the demands of the upcoming year.

Having gone to University High School, a high school in the shadow of a 4 year University the demands of school work coupled with navigating the ever so sticky high school social landscape was a recipe for high levels of self-doubt and anxiety. This self-doubt often expressed itself in what could be called the “student imposter syndrome.” The “imposter syndrome” is nothing new, it’s the idea that one can look good on “paper” or in this day and age “Instagram” but still suffer from high degrees of self-doubt and anxiety. The inability of one to internalize previous success and pull on your inherent strengths to boost confidence is a culprit behind the student imposter syndrome. Hence, as images and thoughts of the upcoming school year swarm they are often tainted by the failures of times past or imagined failures of what’s to come. This in turn leads to a feeling of “faking” it and high degrees of self-doubt, self-criticism and anxiety. Luckily this school year doesn’t have to be full of self-doubt and worry; instead this chronic questioning of yourself and the future can cease to control you if you change a couple of thinking habits that keep you stuck. Read More

Surfing The Sunday Scaries

By | MyBlog, News
The Sunday Scaries often means you work, work work and when Sunday rolls around you get yourself axious about life and the week ahead! You feel out of balance in your life like you may be heading into a crisis. During the week and weekend, there is likely not enough pleasure or sense of connection to yourself or others and yu may not feel to are firm enough on-track with your goals.
The “Scary” is often enhanced by the attitude that it will be too difficult to cope with the demands of the week again without getting, sad, depression, or in a constant state of frustration. This can be avoided by experimenting during the week even id in 5 minute increments looking for ways to increase the little joys and making at least a few minutes to push through things you know you should do but are likely avoiding. Schedule what you need to do for the week but also for the pleasure of the weekend as well. Plan and execute doing good things for yourself without waiting for that ‘feeling’ to be there.
How to deal with
If you are in the Sunday Scaries (because you didn’t listen to me and plan) ask yourself – What would make the best rest of the day today — and Don’t allow excuses (the heart of the Sunday Scaries) and engage in these tasks even for 5 minutes. It takes that long to get into the task and the Scaries will start to subside. Learn from what works, track 3 days in the weekday when you plan and 3 when you don’t see what leads to a better Sunday experience! You can hack the Sunday Ccaries when you learn to balance setting yourself up for the week getting organized but making sure you have a weekend.
For more information email us at info@CBTIofSoCal.com