I will do that in these specific ways: Keep It Going Life, in Balance You now have the basic training for getting your life under control. The student reacts with some emotion to the experience of being put on his own. A brief statement of this reaction, which would be typical of many, may be taken from a student self-evaluation. At first I had a feeling that we were not going anywhere. Then gradually I began to feel that we were going somewhere, but couldn't determine just where. Finally, I came to the conclusion that where we were going depended upon each individual. Another general trend is that most students tend to work harder, and at a deeper level, than in the conventional course. That this may be true in spite of a considerable feeling of frustration is indicated in the following excerpt from a statement turned in by a graduate student at the conclusion of a course. I might say that I have not been entirely satisfied with this course in Adjustment Counseling. I have the feeling that some direction is not only necessary but even desirable and expected in the learning situation. However, it may be that what I objected to was not the nondirective factor as such but rather what I defined as the lack of organization or direction of the class. Our feelings of inadequacy are easily triggered by these types of situations. When rejected, most of us will start thinking bad thoughts about ourselves, what we wish we were, what we wish we weren't. Please, don't do this to yourself. I want you to be kinder to yourself. For now, a simple approach to consider: Think about what you might say to a friend in a similar situation and direct that loving energy towards yourself. I know it's in your wiring to go to that I suck and I'm ugly place to varying degrees;

But you can change that--not just the short-term response, but the biological wiring that sends you on that path of self-denigration in the first place. Judging others or ourselves can be a way of shifting attention from the pain. Consider this the next time you are critical of someone's actions--or your own. Being overly judgmental of ourselves and others is often a sign that shame is lurking nearby. You've learned how to calm your emotions, unlock your problem-solving power, and root out faulty thinking and hidden beliefs that trip you up. You're armed with the essential tools to keep your work, home, and personal life in balance, to take care of yourself physically, and to boost your stress-busting resilience by loading up on the positive. But it doesn't end there. The best part of this program is that these skills can be applied to any and every area of your life going forward. From clearing your clutter to repairing a relationship rut, you can apply what you know to make fast and lasting changes. For instance: If You Are Stuck on a Problem . You now have two potent skills at your disposal to get unstuck from even the knottiest problem. First, ask yourself: Who is to blame for the problem? To what are you attributing the cause? Or was it that the class did not do what I wanted to do? However, I'm not so sure that things didn't turn out for the best (certainly satisfactorily) notwithstanding my dissatisfaction with the group. I soon decided that if I were going to get anything out of the course I would have to do it for myself, and this was good, though I'm still convinced that there is another and more enjoyable method of accomplishing the same thing. Not only did I liberally sample the client-centered literature but I felt I should know more about the other schools of therapy and thus I was forced to study more about them. I also appreciated for the first time how inadequate was my understanding and comprehension of many of the psychological methods and techniques, so I was forced to investigate them more thoroughly and as a result I am going to sit in on a few extra courses in the coming quarters. Therefore I took a couple of the play therapy sessions and quite a few of the recorded interviews which I found to be most helpful.

In addition, I got together with another student on Saturday afternoons and we would counsel one another with the aid of a wire recorder and would then analyze, discuss, and criticize our efforts. As a result, I got a better understanding of the nature of the therapeutic process and gained a better insight into my own activities as well! Another trend to which we have become accustomed is the pervasiveness of the learning which takes place in a student-centered class. It makes a difference in the life of the individual, not simply in the intellectual symbols which he manipulates. This was my self-talk recently: I'm so stupid. I should have known that when he said he grew up in Georgia, he was referring to the country, not the state. Then I got down on myself for how unaware I am in general. It was no longer a simple mistake but a judgment about my character. It went deep, sparking memories of previous shameful experiences, serving as further confirmation that bolstered my insecurity about my cultural illiteracy. We'll come back to this in the next article, but for now remember that when you are harshly judging yourself or others, it's helpful to stop long enough to consider whether you are blaming and shaming yourself for beliefs you have absorbed from our culture, or if you truly agree with them and choose to own them. With so much important stuff to fill our brains, is it reasonable to expect that everyone needs to know that Georgia is both a country and a state? I'm not dissing the importance of cultural literacy, but what I am suggesting is that we give ourselves a break. You can turn it around: I'm so stupid. How could I have said that? Feeling stuck is a sign that your explanatory style may be limiting your view. You may only be seeing a subset of causes and, hence, a subset of possible solutions. Use the skills you learned on Day 11 to identify your explanatory style and get flexible with it to smoothly untangle the problem. If the problem that's confounding you is one that feels familiar to you--if you've been here before--it's a clue that you may have fallen into a thinking trap. Remember, we can make our problems seem more insurmountable than they really are through habitual faulty thinking. Use the skills you learned on Day 3 to identify and escape the trap that's got you in its grip.

If You Have Difficulty Focusing . Are you sleeping well? The physical is the first place to look if you're having focus issues; Be honest with yourself. This is very evident in the reactions of our students, and in the student reports given by Cantor (39). An example may be taken from a self-evaluation turned in by another student. One may say that the concepts in the course, as well as the manner of teaching, accounted for the results. However, a lecture course in client-centered therapy is quite unlikely to have the type of result described. After discussing something of the reading he did for the course, and his reaction to the class sessions, this student turns to some of the broader implications the course has had for him in terms of his professional preparation, his interpersonal relationships, and his basic philosophy. Only recently have I been aware of how necessary and desirable it is for me to actively participate in the evaluation of my efforts in courses taken at the university, and how strongly I feel called upon to discuss this point with the several instructors involved. These endeavors, in both classroom and private consultation, have not met with unalloyed success (due, in part, no doubt, to my inept handling of the situation), but they have resulted in the conviction that I am correct in taking this stand. I have come to realize that my being graduated from the university is not to be viewed as a competition in which a degree may be won by concealing my felt inadequacies while presenting a facade of competence which I dread will be exposed. I can now think more constructively about these deficiencies and formulate plans for eliminating them, and furthermore, I feel more freedom to discuss these problems with faculty members whom I feared would find me out. Of late, more soul-searching has taken place as I examine how I became interested in clinical psychology and how my personality will affect the persons with whom I have professional contact. It's okay to make mistakes or to not know everything--it's part of being human. Not knowing something doesn't mean I'm stupid. Making a mistake does not mean I'm a jerk. Often our judgment about others tells us much more about ourselves than about the person we're judging. It helps to get curious about what's really going on and see what, if any, shame is being displaced in ourselves by judging others. Say you walk into an ice cream shop and see a fat man eating a large sundae.

What's your immediate thought? At the risk of triggering some readers, I'm going to name a common judgment in order to debunk it and arm you with a reframe: Ugh, he's so fat. Why doesn't he just lay off the ice cream? For the fat people, I'm sorry people are so ignorant, mean, and uncompassionate. Are you getting your optimal amount of sleep every night? Are your evening habits helping or hindering your efforts? Remember, without good sleep, it's almost impossible to employ any of the other basic skills you've learned here. Apply your Sleep Smart skills to get the rest you need to feel refreshed and sharp. If lack of sleep isn't the culprit, check your emotion radar. Remember, negative emotions make it difficult to concentrate on anything but how bad you feel. Check in with your physical signals to determine what you're feeling. Are you getting bogged down by anger, anxiety, frustration, guilt, embarrassment, or shame? Use your TMZ skill to root out the thoughts generating the negative emotion and zap it if it isn't warranted. Lastly, for a quick fix, try one of your skills from Day 4 to access instant calm: deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or positive imagery. This is being reflected in my work as a psychologist at -- Prison, and though I feel that I have made a good beginning in this area, I am equally certain that I must continue to take such steps in self-examination for quite some time to come -- in fact, why not throughout the rest of my life? A most noticeable change, so far as I can determine, has been in the manner in which I have been trying to form and conduct relationships with other persons -- friends, relatives, business associates, strangers. For example, I no longer seek to persuade my wife, as much as I used to at any rate, to do things my way, regardless of their inconsequential nature. True, I still become a little concerned when she fouls up the budget accounts or crosses the busiest of streets in the middle of the block, but I no longer attempt to convert her to my way of thinking on the spot, with no if, and, or but about it. I am getting more accustomed to the idea of letting her be a person in her own way, making decisions and taking responsibility for them, and expressing herself spontaneously in her own inimitable way. I am likewise making progress in letting my friends lead their own lives, trying to think with them about their problems rather than thinking for them and handing out solutions for the problems which always seem to come up when we talk together.