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CBT

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POPULAR ARTICLES

Crazy-Makers: Dealing with Passive-Aggressive People

Why Are People Mean? Don't Take It Personally!

When You Have Been Betrayed

Struggling to Forgive: An Inability to Grieve

Happy Habits: 50 Suggestions

The Secret of Happiness: Let It Find You (But Make the Effort)

Excellence vs. Perfection

Depression is Not Sadness

Conflict in the Workplace

Motivation: Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic

20 Steps to Better Self-Esteem

7 Rules and 8 Methods for Responding to Passive-aggressive People

Promoting Healthy Behavior Change

10 Common Errors in CBT

What to Do When Your Jealousy Threatens to Destroy Your Marriage

Rejection Sensitivity, Irrational Jealousy and Impact on Relationships

For Women Only: How to Have the Relationship of Your Dreams

What to Do When Your Partner's Jealousy Threatens to Destroy Your Relationship

Making Attributions for a Healthier Attitude

Happiness is An Attitude

Thinking Your Way to a Healthy Weight

Guide to How to Set Achieveable Goals

The Effectiveness of Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment for Anxiety Disorders

Co-Dependency: An Issue of Control

The Pillars of the Self-Concept: Self-Esteem and Self-Efficacy

Catastrophe? Or Inconvenience?

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Panic Assistance

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Change Yourself--Don't Wait for the World to Change

Loving Kindness Meditation

Self-Esteem Exercise

Meadow Relaxation

Rainy Autumn Morning

Energizing Audios

Quick Stress Relief

Thinking Your Way to a Healthy Weight

Lies You Were Told

Choosing Happiness

Lotus Flower Relaxation

Audio Version of Article: Crazy-Makers: Passive-Aggressive People

Audio Version of Article: Why Are People Mean? Don't Take It Personally!

Audio Version of Article: Happiness Is An Attitude

All Audio Articles





Kindle Books by Dr. Monica Frank





RECENT ARTICLES

Why You Get Anxious When You Don't Want To

Why People Feel Grief at the Loss of an Abusive Spouse or Parent

“Are You Depressed?”: Understanding Diagnosis and Treatment

15 Coping Statements for Panic and Anxiety

Beyond Tolerating Emotions: Becoming Comfortable with Discomfort

Emotion Training: What is it and How Does it Work?

How You Can Be More Resistant to Workplace Bullying

Are You Passive Aggressive and Want to Change?

When Your Loved One Refuses Help

The Porcupine Effect: Pushing Others Away When You Want to Connect

What if You Considered Other Peoples' Views?

5 Common Microaggressions Against Those With Mental Illness

What to Expect from Mindfulness-based Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (MCBT) When You Have Depression and Anxiety

Does Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Lack Compassion? It Depends Upon the Therapist

When Needs Come Into Conflict

What to Do When Anger Hurts Those You Love

A Brief Primer On the Biology of Stress and How CBT Can Help

50 Tools for Panic and Anxiety

Coping With Change: Psychological Flexibility

Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Ending a Bad Relationship

I'm Depressed. I'm Overwhelmed. Where Do I Start?



NEW AUDIOS

Building Blocks Emotion Training

Hot Springs Relaxation

5 Methods to Managing Anger

Panic Assistance While Driving

Autogenic Relaxation Training

Rainbow Sandbox Mindfulness

Mindfulness Training

Riding a Horse Across the Plains

Cityscape Mindfulness

Change Yourself--Don't Wait for the World to Change

The Great Desert Mindfulness

Tropical Garden Mindfulness

Thinking Your Way to a Healthy Weight

Lies You Were Told

Probability and OCD

Choosing Happiness

Magic Bubbles for Children

Lotus Flower Relaxation

Cloud Castles for Children

Hot Air Balloon Motivation

All Audio Articles

PsychNotes June 2014

by Monica A. Frank, Ph.D.

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June 21, 2014
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (MCBT) combines the practice of mindfulness with the cognitive-behavioral methods for the treatment of anxiety, depression, and stress-related problems. This audio explains how these methods work together and how to implement them.

This audio download is the fourth of a series of audios to explain mindfulness in greater detail. For your convenience, the transcript of the audio is included. It is best to use the Understanding Mindfulness audios in order and practice the methods before proceeding to the next step.



June 19, 2014

PsychNote: FOR FUN—TRY BEING MINDFUL ABOUT THE WEATHER


Seemingly, unless it is a 70 degree sunny day with a light breeze and no humidity, people complain about the weather. It is either too hot, too cold, too much rain, too much snow, too humid, too windy, too cloudy, or just plain “too.” Once, I was in Wyoming in the winter time and they were complaining that there was only a foot of snow on the ground and it wasn't cold enough!

I don't know about other parts of the world, but here in the Midwest and in the Eastern U.S. the weather changes a lot (read the Mark Twain speech below for a laugh). Although Mark Twain was speaking about the weather, “If you don't like the weather, just wait a few minutes” I think the quote more accurately describes the tendency to complain about the weather.

cloudy sunset What does all this complaining do for us? What if, instead, people were mindful about the weather? I challenge you to practice being mindfully aware of the weather without any demands or expectations. In other words, just experience it. And when people bring up the weather: “Hot enough for you, today?” share your experience. It might even make the conversation about weather more interesting.

Mark Twain's Speech delivered at the New England Society's Seventy-First Annual Dinner, New York City, 1876:

I reverently believe that the Maker who made us all makes everything in New England but the weather. I don't know who makes that, but I think it must be raw apprentices in the weather-clerk's factory who experiment and learn how, in New England, for board and clothes, and then are promoted to make weather for countries that require a good article, and will take their custom elsewhere if they don't get it.

There is a sumptuous variety about the New England weather that compels the stranger's admiration -- and regret. The weather is always doing something there; always attending strictly to business; always getting up new designs and trying them on the people to see how they will go. But it gets through more business in spring than in any other season.

In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four-and-twenty hours. It was I that made the fame and fortune of that man that had that marvelous collection of weather on exhibition at the Centennial, that so astounded the foreigners. He was going to travel all over the world and get specimens from all the climes. I said, "Don't you do it; you come to New England on a favorable spring day." I told him what we could do in the way of style, variety, and quantity. Well, he came and he made his collection in four days. As to variety, why, he confessed that he got hundreds of kinds of weather that he had never heard of before. And as to quantity -- well, after he had picked out and discarded all that was blemished in any way, he not only had weather enough, but weather to spare; weather to hire out; weather to sell; to deposit; weather to invest; weather to give to the poor.

The people of New England are by nature patient and forbearing, but there are some things which they will not stand. Every year they kill a lot of poets for writing about "Beautiful Spring." These are generally casual visitors, who bring their notions of spring from somewhere else, and cannot, of course, know how the natives feel about spring. And so the first thing they know the opportunity to inquire how they feel has permanently gone by.

Old Probabilities has a mighty reputation for accurate prophecy, and thoroughly well deserves it. You take up the paper and observe how crisply and confidently he checks off what today's weather is going to be on the Pacific, down South, in the Middle States, in the Wisconsin region. See him sail along in the joy and pride of his power till he gets to New England, and then see his tail drop. He doesn't know what the weather is going to be in New England. Well, he mulls over it, and by-and-by he gets out something about like this: Probably northeast to southwest winds, varying to the southward and westward and eastward and points between, high and low barometer swapping around from place to place; probable areas of rain, snow, hail, and drought, succeeded or preceded by earthquakes, with thunder and lightning. Then he jots down his postscript from his wandering mind, to cover accidents. "But it is possible that the programme may be wholly changed in the mean time." Yes, one of the brightest gems in the New England weather is the dazzling uncertainty of it. There is only one thing certain about it: you are certain there is going to be plenty of it -- a perfect grand review; but you never can tell which end of the procession is going to move first. You fix up for the drought; you leave your umbrella in the house and sally out, and two to one you get drowned. You make up your mind that the earthquake is due; you stand from under, and take hold of something to steady yourself, and the first thing you know you get struck by lightning. These are great disappointments; but they can't be helped. The lightning there is peculiar; it is so convincing, that when it strikes a thing it doesn't leave enough of that thing behind for you to tell whether-- Well, you'd think it was something valuable, and a Congressman had been there.

And the thunder. When the thunder begins to merely tune up and scrape and saw, and key up the instruments for the performance, strangers say, "Why, what awful thunder you have here!" But when the baton is raised and the real concert begins, you'll find that stranger down in the cellar with his head in the ash-barrel. Now as to the size of the weather in New England -- lengthways, I mean. It is utterly disproportioned to the size of that little country. Half the time, when it is packed as full as it can stick, you will see that New England weather sticking out beyond the edges and projecting around hundreds and hundreds of miles over the neighboring States. She can't hold a tenth part of her weather. You can see cracks all about where she has strained herself trying to do it.

I could speak volumes about the inhuman perversity of the New England weather, but I will give but a single specimen. I like to hear rain on a tin roof. So I covered part of my roof with tin, with an eye to that luxury. Well, sir, do you think it ever rains on that tin? No, sir, skips it every time.

Mind, in this speech I have been trying merely to do honor to the New England weather -- no language could do it justice. But, after all, there is at least one or two things about that weather (or, if you please, effects produced by it) which we residents would not like to part with. If we hadn't our bewitching autumn foliage, we should still have to credit the weather with one feature which compensates for all its bullying vagaries -- the ice-storm: when a leafless tree is clothed with ice from the bottom to the top -- ice that is as bright and clear as crystal; when every bough and twig is strung with ice-beads, frozen dew-drops, and the whole tree sparkles cold and white, like the Shah of Persia's diamond plume. Then the wind waves the branches and the sun comes out and turns all those myriads of beads and drops to prisms that glow and burn and flash with all manner of colored fires, which change and change again with inconceivable rapidity from blue to red, from red to green, and green to gold -- the tree becomes a spraying fountain, a very explosion of dazzling jewels; and it stands there the acme, the climax, the supremest possibility in art or nature, of bewildering, intoxicating, intolerable magnificence. One cannot make the words too strong.



June 17, 2014 The purpose of this audio is to help cope with certain emotional states.  The imagery describes building a special place with rooms designed for different emotions: a room that helps you feel peaceful when you are anxious or tense, a room that helps you feel strong and in control when you are fearful, a room that feels comforting when you are sad, a room where you can release anger, a room that helps with concentration and focus, a room that energizes you, a room where you can access your creative energy, hopes, and dreams, and a room designed for restful sleep.

This imagery is particularly useful to learn how to access or manage certain emotions when you are not listening to the audio. By practicing repeatedly, you will begin to pair certain emotions with the imagery of the rooms that you have built. Then you can draw on that pairing by imagining the room which will help you manage the emotion or the state of being that you choose. For instance, if you are taking a test and need to concentrate, you can visually the room you have created for concentration to access that state.



June 16, 2014

New Passive-Aggressive Example: IS IT PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE OR IS IT AGGRESSIVE?

Question: My angry adult daughter (who has to live at home right now) didn't acknowledge Mother's Day. I didn't say a word. When she didn't acknowledge Father's Day yesterday, I texted her asking if she was aware it was Father's Day and if this was a PA issue. Her response was, "Yes and it isn't passive."

View Response



June 14, 2014
This audio provides assistance when you are overwhelmed with anxiety and can't focus on relaxation especially if you are experiencing depersonalization or derealization (you or your surroundings don't feel real). The grounding technique can be particularly helpful when someone has anxiety due to trauma which is causing flashbacks to the memory of the trauma. It has you focus on your immediate surroundings to help focus away from the traumatic memory.

This type of audio is not for the purpose of relaxation but to help you feel more focused so that you can use other techniques. Once you have used the mindful grounding technique and can focus a bit more, it is a good idea to use the relaxation audios to help calm yourself further.

It is best to listen to this audio for the first time when you don't need it so that you will have an idea of what to expect. In addition, developing an understanding of mindfulness can help with this practice: Understanding Mindfulness



June 12, 2014

PsychNote: THE “KLEPTOPARASITE” BIRD STEALS FOOD THROUGH INTERMITTENT REINFORCEMENT

The African drongo bird steals food by mimicking alarm calls and convincing other birds (and animals) a predator is nearby. Then the drongo swoops in for a free meal. However, this ruse wouldn't work if the drongo didn't use the psychological technique called “intermittent reinforcement.”

Most people are aware that if you want a behavior to increase, you reinforce the behavior. For instance, let's say you want a child to pick up her toys after playing with them. Whenever you see her pick up her toys you reinforce the behavior by giving her a coin for her piggy bank (I'm not saying this is the best reinforcement—I'm just giving a concrete example). This is called “continuous reinforcement” because it occurs every time. The problem with continuous reinforcement is that when you stop the reinforcement, the behavior is likely to stop because the child realizes she is no longer getting a coin.

African drongo bird

However, intermittent reinforcement is more likely to keep a behavior occurring. If the drongo only issued alarm calls when there were no predators around, then the other birds would realize the drongo's alarm calls are meaningless and wouldn't fly off leaving their food for the drongo to steal. Instead, the drongo issues real alarm calls some of the time and then at other times issues a false one. This insures that the other birds don't ignore the alarm and will fly off.

Intermittent reinforcement is more powerful than continuous reinforcement and is more likely to create an ongoing behavior even when reinforcement is discontinued. So, if the parent rewards the child for picking up her toys every other time on average and then gradually decreased the reward until it was discontinued, the child is more likely to keep picking up her toys even when she is no longer rewarded.

Read more about the drongo.



June 10, 2014

New Audio: DAILY MINDFULNESS PRACTICE--Feeling Apprehension


Practice mindfulness many times throughout the day with your different activities. If your mind wanders, gently bring your focus back to your immediate experience.

Be sure to listen to or read Understanding Mindfulness: Step 3--Mindfulness and Unpleasant Emotions prior to practicing this audio exercise. This exercise is to help you develop tolerance of emotions and is particularly useful for anxiety. The audio provides guidance for being mindfully present with apprehension. However, the actual practice of mindfulness is to allow yourself to be fully aware of your experience when feeling apprehensive. Although trying to create the emotion of apprehension would not be mindful, it may be possible to create the conditions that might cause you to feel apprehensive.



June 9, 2014

New Audio: DAILY MINDFULNESS PRACTICE--Feeling Remorse


Practice mindfulness many times throughout the day with your different activities. If your mind wanders, gently bring your focus back to your immediate experience.

Be sure to listen to or read Understanding Mindfulness: Step 3--Mindfulness and Unpleasant Emotions prior to practicing this audio exercise. This exercise is to help you develop tolerance of emotions. The audio provides guidance for being mindfully present with remorse. Feeling guilty is an uncomfortable feeling that may be necessary if you have done something wrong. In which case, feeling guilty helps you to correct behavior. However, many people feel guilt or remorse when they haven't truly done something wrong. In such a situation, it is important to learn to tolerate the discomfort rather than continuing to recreate it with irrational thoughts. The actual practice of mindfulness is to allow yourself to be fully aware of your experience when feeling remorse. It is not reasonable to create the conditions for remorse to occur. Instead, you need to be aware of when you might feel remorse so as to practice mindfully experiencing it.



June 8, 2014

50 RULES FOR LIFE

Rule 9: Persist, No Matter the Odds
(read more...)


Persist. No Matter the Odds.



June 7, 2014

New Audio: DAILY MINDFULNESS PRACTICE--Feeling Helpless


Practice mindfulness many times throughout the day with your different activities. If your mind wanders, gently bring your focus back to your immediate experience.

Be sure to listen to or read Understanding Mindfulness: Step 3--Mindfulness and Unpleasant Emotions prior to practicing this audio exercise. This exercise is to help you develop tolerance of emotions. The audio provides guidance for being mindfully present with helplessness. However, the actual practice of mindfulness is to allow yourself to be fully aware of your experience when feeling helpless. Although trying to create the emotion of helplessness would not be mindful, it may be possible to create the conditions that might cause you to feel helpless. If it is not reasonable to create the conditions for helplessness to occur, you need to be aware of when you might feel helpless so as to practice mindfully experiencing it.



June 5, 2014

New Audio: DAILY MINDFULNESS PRACTICE--Feeling Sadness

Practice mindfulness many times throughout the day with your different activities. If your mind wanders, gently bring your focus back to your immediate experience.

Be sure to listen to or read Understanding Mindfulness: Step 3--Mindfulness and Unpleasant Emotions prior to practicing this audio exercise. This exercise is to help you develop tolerance of emotions. The audio provides guidance for being mindfully present with sadness. However, the actual practice of mindfulness is to allow yourself to be fully aware of your experience when feeling sad. It is not reasonable to create the conditions for sadness to occur. Instead, you need to be aware of when you might feel sadness so as to practice mindfully experiencing it.



June 4, 2014

PsychNote: PRAISING CHILDREN CAN REDUCE PERFORMANCE

For awhile it has been known that “person praise” of children can lead to avoidance of challenge and poorer performance. “Person praise” is generic, one-size-fits-all, praise such as “You are so smart” or “You are such a good kid.” This type of praise leads to the child believing that he or she doesn't really have to try to succeed because they are already good enough. Yet, improved performance is based on effort, so with this type of praise we often see poorer performance likely due to the lack of effort.

The other type of praise is “process praise” which has been shown in laboratory experiments to lead to improved performance. “Process praise” focuses more on the effort or enjoyment of the task such as “You really tried hard” or “It looked like you enjoyed that.” However, in a study of actual interactions between parents and children, researchers (Pomerantz and Kempner, 2013) found that process praise did not improve performance, although it did not have a detrimental effect as person praise did.

What is the Best Way to Praise Children?

Certainly, the research is clear not to use person praise. Perhaps it is best not to think of praise as a way of attempting to manipulate children to improve or to try harder or to like something. Instead, use praise genuinely to express what you think of a child's performance. And when you do, frame it in a process praise manner: “I was really impressed by how hard you tried” or “You improved in attention to detail when doing your homework.” Children may be aware of when you are manipulating them with praise and are likely to dismiss your comments. However, genuine praise, even if not as frequent, may have more meaning for them.

Pomerantz, E.M. And Kempner, S.G. (2013). Mothers’ Daily Person and Process Praise: Implications for Children’s Theory of Intelligence and Motivation. Developmental Psychology, 49, 2040-2046. DOI: 10.1037/a003184.



June 1, 2014

New Audio: DAILY MINDFULNESS PRACTICE--Feeling Frustrated

Practice mindfulness many times throughout the day with your different activities. If your mind wanders, gently bring your focus back to your immediate experience.

Be sure to listen to or read Understanding Mindfulness: Step 3--Mindfulness and Unpleasant Emotions prior to practicing this audio exercise. This exercise is to help you develop tolerance of emotions. The audio provides guidance for being mindfully present with frustration. However, the actual practice of mindfulness is to allow yourself to be fully aware of your experience when feeling frustrated. Although trying to create the emotion of frustration would not be mindful, it may be possible to create the conditions that might cause you to feel frustrated.



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