Posts in Avoidance
The Wisdom of Vulnerability - Blog#23 - 23 August 2019

It is natural to try to eliminate emotional pain from the mind in order to feel happy and pain free. None of us enjoy feeling sad, guilty, ashamed, anxious, fearful, etc. Who wants to feel vulnerable? If the mind were simply a bottomless pit, we could discard negative feelings like garbage, dropping them far enough below consciousness that their stinking fumes never touched us again. Unfortunately, the mind is not a bottomless pit, feelings do not disappear forever, and the problems that generate such feelings are not resolved by suppressing them from consciousness. More permanent pain relief requires an understanding of the problem that creates the pain, and a strategy for resolving that problem, both of which require us to approach, experience and explore our painful feelings. Temporary pain must often be tolerated in order to reduce and prevent more lasting pain. Likewise, there is wisdom to be found in vulnerability within relationships as well. One cannot be emotionally intimate without being vulnerable. Allowing oneself to love requires allowing oneself to risk being hurt. We all want safe love, but we must risk safety in order to obtain love, or risk lack of love and loneliness if we demand too much safety. How do we find the balance?

Read More
Managing Sadness and Depression - Blog#20 - 7 July 2019

Clinical depression goes well beyond sadness and related feelings. It is best viewed as a syndrome with cognitive, behavioral, and physical, as well as emotional symptoms. To reduce depression, we often need to grieve, and replace or accept significant losses that led to our depression. But we also need to address behaviors and thought patterns that contribute to or maintain depression. Specifically, we need to counteract depressive withdrawal, and change negative thoughts about our self, the world (and people), and our future. And sometimes we need to muster the courage to address childhood issues that continue to dog us well into our adult years. If you get stuck in the blues, or experience more pronounced clinical depression, join us for this foray into perspectives on the alleviation of depression.

Read More
Anxiety and Avoidance - Blog#11 - 29 March 2019

“What if…?” is a sure fire cognitive manufacturer of anxiety. Avoidance behavior temporarily reduces anxiety, but maintains or increases it in the long run. The Serenity Prayer is an excellent resource for management of the worry that creates anxiety, and the expectations that create frustration. Approach behavior may temporarily increase anxiety, but it puts you in a position to practice and improve the skills needed to minimize anxiety. Join us for a discussion of anxiety management, focusing on generalized and social anxiety.

Read More