Psychoanalysis • Psychotherapy • Counseling

David I. Brandt, LCSW, LLC

Montclair, NJ Area

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Helpful Quotes to Keep in Your Back Pocket

Posted on November 24, 2013 at 8:23 PM Comments comments (0)
Helpful Quotes to Keep in Your Back Pocket

Trigger Bill:  The trouble with life is you're half way through it by the time you realize it's one of those 'do it yourself' deals.

Lao Tzu:  If you don't change the direction of where you're going, you'll get there.

Alcoholics Anonymous:  You cannot think your way into right acting, you have to act your way into right thinking.

Plus:

Winston Churchill:  If you're going through hell, keep going.

Starting and Never Finishing: Patterns of Giving Up™

Posted on November 17, 2013 at 2:09 PM Comments comments (0)
Starting and Never Finishing: Patterns of Giving Up™
 
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If one finds that one has little patience for “process” and thus tends to give up prematurely on efforts and ideas, then one might need to look deeper into the causes of one's seeming impatience and flightiness.  Impatient and flighty patterns, over time, can easily accrue to depression, anxiety, stuckness and low self-esteem. One starts to feel that one is in some way “different” from others, defective in learning, and/or impulsive in deciding on ideas and direction.  One may begin to wonder if one has chronic ADD or ADHD or if one is depressed, perfectionistic or simply too proud. These and other possible root causes are not only possible, but can, unfortunately, serve to further boggle and confound, adding to one’s depression, anxiety, stuckness and already lowered self-esteem.
 
Often these patterns of giving up are based upon underlying negative assumptions.  These habituated assumptions take the form of "automatic negative tapes” (e.g., “I’m not good at stuff," "I can’t learn," "something’s wrong with me,” etc.) playing in the background,  pervasively undermining all that one attempts!  A good coach, counselor, therapist, group or other support might well be of help in, firstly, determining if underlying diagnoses are actually present and need to be concurrently addressed.  With respect to the habituated underlying negative assumptions, a therapist or other helper may also aid in uncovering/identifying the “automatic” (and often unconscious) messages one regularly sends to one’s self, and, in helping one connect to where those messages came from, ultimately help one begin to  catch  those automatic messages/assumptions so that they become conscious and, therefore, can be worked on and counteracted!
 
Bear in mind that NOT continuing in a particular direction or activity may actually, at times, be a  healthy decision  representing being genuinely in tune with one’s self.  It is repeated patterns of flitting about, impulsively changing and/or giving up on chosen paths or activities that may be cause for further investigation or exploration.
 

Showing Up™

Posted on October 1, 2013 at 9:23 AM Comments comments (5)
Showing Up

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I have heard it said that "showing up is half the battle".  One can hold onto this thought in one's back pocket to help them move in the face of anticipatory fears and negative assumptions that might otherwise impede movement and stir up avoidance.  Examples of these impeding thoughts might be: I'll be bored, or, no one will like me, or, they'll think I'm trying to prove something, I'll be all alone, I won't know what to say, I'm too fat, etc.

Many I know often end up feeling fairly pleased that they went to a pre-scheduled (or unscheduled) event, despite not feeling much like going at all just ahead of the event, as their anticipations started to really ramp up.  It turned out not to be as bad as they thought,  nor anything like  what they had built up in their heads!  Indeed  it was even good  that they bumped into this or that person, or dispelled a myth that they had been holding onto about another or even about themselves.  Perhaps they had an excellent laugh or made a valued connection.  Maybe they simply got themselves out and felt good just for that!

Of course, sometimes canceling out or trusting a foreboding feeling about some plan can pay off as well. We get some emotional refueling, alone time, or avoid some real (and perhaps not so imagined) problem encounter, etc.

There is another essential aspect of this 'showing up' business: and that is the 'leap of faith' that on some level is always involved!  In other words, it takes a certain amount of trust and openness, along with a certain level of motivation, to believe in and actually make use of the adage 'showing up is half the battle'.  It may take unwinding some old traumas or having an evolution of small successes or other factors to begin to become more accustomed to trusting these words as a motivator of movement.  This may require some found support along the way.

Getting Moving and Just Doing™

Posted on September 14, 2013 at 12:20 PM Comments comments (2)
Getting Moving and Just Doing™

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This is about the idea of  "just doing".  If we  "just do"  something (some small anything) in the direction of what we want to do when we're feeling stuck, and it doesn't much matter what, we are then already in motion which is a powerful tool/force! 

For example, if one has writer's block, then it often really helps to just 'spit out' whatever one can onto the paper without too much thought, pre-judgment or perfectionism - trusting that there is an editing/draft process later.  Just glop it out in one bulk writing movement.  Things happen once you do that!!  It takes on a life of its own. 

This applies in so many arenas!  Dating, procrastinating, etc.  My wife often suggests that I sit down and just do 5 minutes of what I have been avoiding before dinner, so that when I get back to the task after dinner, it has already been started and I'll already feel that I'm in it.  The truth is that often I can't wait to get back to it, as I have gotten over the hump!!

Importantly, whatever the "thing" is that we start doing toward some goal may actually not be "right" at all.  No matter!  It is simply the fact that we are MOVING that can start to open up doors and give us OUR next ideas!  Especially if we can get to a place where we can be open to this process. So, in essence, just move*!

*Now it often takes a certain set of alignments to get to the point of just moving - if one finds that they cannot "just move", then perhaps seeking some outside support or help toward that, after awhile, is in order.