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thoughts

By Judith Belmont, MS, LPC

One of the cornerstones of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is to help clients distance themselves from their disturbing thoughts through the process of cognitive defusion.

An example of cognitive defusion is replacing a thought, such as “I am an idiot,” with the thought of “There I go again—having the thought that I am an idiot.”

By Sharon Martin, MSW, LCSW

Self-criticism, or being overly hard on yourself, is usually based on cognitive distortions—rigid, all-or-nothing, perfectionist thinking. And it isn’t helpful or healthy.

By Barbara Neiman, author of The Adopted Teen Workbook

How many times a day do you experience disappointment? It can be as simple as discovering Dunkin’ Donuts no longer carries your favorite toasted coconut donut to not getting a promotion. Maybe your child or spouse’s behavior has really let you down, or a serious health issue has been revealed in a friend or yourself. How long do you stay disappointed?

By Lisa Schab, LCSW

Even the well-seasoned therapist can feel “stuck” with a client who’s overwhelmed, blocked, or shut down. Suggesting expressive writing or drawing (“journaling”), either during or between sessions, can help get the process back on track. Both freewriting (writing whatever comes to mind) and guided journaling (starting with a specific prompt) are beneficial.

By Kate Gustin, author of The No-Self Help Book

Seeking self-esteem is like trekking through the Himalayas hoping to find a Yeti. We tell ourselves: “Just keep scaling the slopes—looking, achieving, producing, accumulating—and eventually I will get there. I will feel good about myself.” But when have we ever found the mythical creature? When have we ever found a self that is good enough?

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