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They just seem completely bogged down by their environmental situations sometimes. Mr J: Miss E, it seems that in all our discussions you seem to feel pressed to manipulate the counseling situation. You really resist the point of view that so many of us have that the client really has the capacity to work out his own problems, and that he is entitled to respect for that ability. Evidently real learning, comparable to that which goes on in therapy, has occurred here. BRINGING IT HOME There are smart reasons you do the things you do and smart reasons your body has developed a disorder or disease. It's all about a self-protection system that's gone awry. Substance abuse helped me cope with a difficult world when I didn't have other skills. When I was a thirteen-year-old trans kid with no role models and no explanations for how to manage a changing body that I couldn't relate to, dieting and exercising to lose the hips that betrayed me helped me feel I had a sense of control and the possibility for a body that felt more like me. My focus on body manipulation didn't solve my problem, but it temporarily distracted me from it and gave me a sense of hope. I've reframed my thinking over the years. When I learned to see my substance abuse and eating disorder as gifts, strategies that helped me survive difficult times when I didn't have better skills, I could be appreciative of how they served me as I searched for other ways to take care of myself that didn't bring along painful side effects. When I read my anxiety as an alert that I'm dealing with a challenging situation, rather than spinning off into hopelessness and helplessness, I can pay attention to and honor my fear, perhaps amp up my self-compassion. Understanding this helps us lighten up on the self-blame and transfer the blame to where it belongs, which is on an unjust world that doesn't always treat us well. So, the first step I will take is to tell my friend's girlfriend to go ahead and set me up with some of her friends like she's been asking me to let her do! Now it's your turn. What's your plan? My Plan to Live My Goals Here is what I want my life to look like in twenty years: Here is one thing I want to bring into my life that is aligned with one of those goals, starting today:

Here is one thing I will do to move that forward: I will do that on this day, at this time: After I completed that step, I felt: I will follow up that step with this next one: While Mr B does not seem to have verbalized fully the insight he has achieved, it appears clear that the experience has been a meaningful one for him. Before commenting on Miss E's contribution, it may be mentioned in passing that a silence of sixty seconds or more is somewhat difficult for the leader or the group to endure at first. The conventional instructor is so used to seeing to it that every moment of the hour is filled with some type of verbalization, that it is difficult for him to recognize that constructive thought may be going on in the group during a silence. Here Miss E has evidently been using the time to formulate an issue which has real significance for her, and which grows out of personal experience. The expression of real feeling which is encouraged by a permissive situation, leads not infrequently to expression of feeling toward other members of the group. This has constructive potentialities, provided the leader recognizes that his role of acceptance of all attitudes becomes of even greater importance at these points, and that the voicing of such acceptance is rather necessary. Miss E: No, I don't! It's just that I feel like I'm not helping a client unless I can do something to make it easier for him. I'm terribly in sympathy with people who are in trouble. Inst: It's awfully difficult for you not to become emotionally involved with people who are in distress. It also helps us appreciate the wisdom of our bodies, hidden in our maladaptive behaviors and diseases. This reality check also helps us refocus our attention on a turnaround of healing and transformation. I'm not dissing 12-step programs outright. Many people receive value from them, sometimes life-saving. That said, I do have concerns about certain aspects of these programs. Some people need to avoid alcohol entirely.

Please take care of yourself. It is helpful to use a generalization as a starting point, with the awareness that it may not apply to individuals. In this case, the generalization about high levels of addiction in Indigenous peoples helps us understand the impact of colonization, even if it may not describe any one individual's experience. It brings together those involved in conflicts to let them address harms, take responsibility, work through blame and guilt, and make peace with the situation. Day Thirteen Energize Your Work The Payoff: Deeper satisfaction with your job When most people think about stress at work, they think of a schedule crammed with tight deadlines, demanding projects, or a highly political environment. But those aren't the only sources of work stress. Your work can also be stressful if, well, you don't like it. If you're not connected to your work, it's not a source of fulfillment and meaning, and that can make going to work every day a real drag. If, like many people, you spend eight hours or more a day working, this stress can also build up and spill into the rest of your life. If you aren't happy in your work life, it casts a real pall over everything else. The good news is that you can turn this around--without having to quit your day job. Miss E: That's quite true. And in view of the fact that I've had a lot of personal difficulty I can readily understand why I'm that way. Miss T: It seems to me that your situation is quite similar to one that was brought up before, with the exception that you recognize an attitude that you're bringing to the counseling situation and yet you are inflicting that attitude upon the client. That would tend to prevent you from really understanding him from his own point of view. It would be a sort of rejecting thing to do. Miss W: I think you may be a bit hard on Miss E because she may not be fully aware of the implications of her sympathy for her clients.

Perhaps she conceives of the counseling relationship in different terms than we do. Mr J's challenge brings an immediate and defensive response. Miss E relates her point of view to her feelings. In her last sentence there may also be the implication, but you are not in sympathy with people. Those who did not have the ability to become insulin resistant and conserve calories died of starvation and did not reproduce. Those who were insulin resistant were able to use calories more efficiently, as the insulin resistance increased their ability to survive the starvation and reproduce. Over generations, a higher percentage of the population became insulin resistant. Though adopted by the World Health Organization for assessing health, BMI has long been recognized as a flawed tool for measuring health outcomes. Critics (including me! Current use of BMI not only doesn't serve its intended purpose, but it results in a health-damaging stigma. FEAR IS BIOLOGICAL Fear was a frequent companion as I wrote this article. My head told me that I suck at writing and would never get my point across in a compelling way. That no publisher would want the article. We can show you the secret to finding contentment and fulfillment, no matter what kind of work you do. Work and Connection In 2006, Andrew was tasked by the Brookings Institution (a Washington, DC, think tank) to unravel one of their most perplexing psychology puzzles. They were researching job satisfaction and happiness in government employees, and a strange inconsistency kept popping up. Thirty years of research clearly showed that when it comes to job satisfaction, the same ten factors crop up again and again--things like good pay, good benefits, having autonomy, being able to rely on a stable budget, and so on. Any way they reviewed the data, though, they found that federal government employees were light on those common factors.

Yet time and again, they also saw that these employees were significantly more satisfied with their jobs than their peers. How could this be? Andrew set out to crack this nut and quickly discovered that not only were these people more satisfied in their jobs but overall they scored quite high on resilience. Did their satisfaction boost their resilience, or did their resilience make them more satisfied with their work? Is this response slightly interpretative? It would seem so. Would another response have been more helpful? It is difficult to say. An alternative might have been along these lines. You are emotionally involved when people are in distress, and feel you must make things easier for them. Here again, as in numbers 14 and 16, we find the student relating her intellectual beliefs to her more basic emotional feelings. Certainly her future behavior is likely to be more soundly realistic if she recognizes that her views are not only intellectualizations containing possible truth, but that they grow out of personal need as well. Here again Miss E is challenged by an interpretation of her behavior. Yet this does not appear to be so much of a personal attack as an attempt by Miss T to think with Miss E about herself. That, if published, no one would find the article. That it would get no respect. Why should you trust that I can help you through fear, knowing that I, too, am a victim of it? Precisely because I own my fear and normalize it. Fear is human. Wanting to give up in the face of fear is human.