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Metaphors for Life
8 minutes | Nov 27, 2018
#14 Dropping anchor with Russ Harris
Thanks to Russ Harris for his willingness to share this exercise, called "Dropping Anchor", in this guest post on the 'Metaphors for Life' podcast. In his most recent book, this exercise was described as "the single most useful and versatile technique in the whole of ACT" (that is, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy). Dr Russ Harris is a peer-reviewed ACT trainer, international speaker and author of self-help books including 'The Happiness Trap' and 'The Reality Slap', among others. Find out more about Russ Harris and his work, including online courses, here: www.actmindfully.com.au www.thehappinesstrap.com www.imlearningact.com
3 minutes | Oct 16, 2018
#13 Illustrating your mind with Louise Gardner
In this guest post from professional Illustrator, Louise Gardner AKA @ACTAuntie on Twitter, and "Your ACT Auntie" on Youtube, we learn about her drawing of a human mind as a 'Safety Observing Sponge'. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLi8-Mi6eqA If you'd like to see more of Louise's work, check out www.louisegardner.com
10 minutes | Aug 29, 2018
#12 Mental Traffic
In episode #12 of the 'Metaphors for Life' podcast, we're reflecting on the idea that "thoughts in your mind are like vehicles on a road". To bring this to life I recorded this on location, near to where I live. I have posted a video to accompany this episode on YouTube - check it out! https://youtu.be/MKXG-2gck1Y It can be noisy and distracting to have cars and buses pass within earshot of where you live. Especially if you're trying to get on with the stuff in life that is important to you. I've had doubts about whether I could put up with it. My experience tells me that I do not have control over it - much as I might like to, I do not get to direct or control this traffic! I have also found it interesting to watch the traffic, taking a step back and noticing the various vehicles as they make their way past, for whatever reason. See how you get on!
5 minutes | Jun 9, 2018
#11 Bottling Emotions
Opening up after having been shaken up can be painful and messy. If you did choose to lift the lid, for some reason, what's your mind telling you about what could happen? From my perspective, I can see that problems arise, both within ourselves, and, in my view, within society, if we keep ignoring and "bottling up" our emotions rather than acknowledge the challenge of the human condition. Whether its a screw top or a cork, one can only contain so much, so perhaps its worth sharing?
3 minutes | Apr 25, 2018
#10 Introducing Yourself
Have you ever thought about the kind of relationship that you have with your own self? Relationships need work and attention, kindness, respect, compassion and tolerance, whether it’s with a partner, a child or a friend. Becoming frustrated, having unrealistic expectations and speaking down to a person who you spend a lot of time with risks them thinking that you don’t care and makes it difficult to get on. Why not have a go at being your own cheerleader?
5 minutes | Mar 26, 2018
#9 Digging holes
Your supposed to avoid and escape from uncomfortable feelings and circumstances, right? In my experience, this is not always possible. When you're trying to cope with a difficult situation it's worth checking in with your sense of how well a strategy is working for you. You might find that while feeling stuck you're making things more difficult for yourself in your efforts to dig yourself out, control the situation and problem solve! This episode is based on the "person in the hole" metaphor, from the 1999 ACT book by Steven Hayes, Kirk Strosahl and Kelly Wilson - Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: An Experiential Approach to Behaviour Change. I interviewed Steve Hayes about the use of metaphors in ACT, in episode 6 of this podcast, and David Gillanders made reference to this metaphor in episode 8!
27 minutes | Jan 31, 2018
#8 Sailing boats with David Gillanders
For this episode of 'Metaphors for Life', I met up with David Gillanders from Edinburgh University to talk about the use of metaphors in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and in particular his invention of the sailing boat metaphor. Whilst often helpful in the delivery of psychological therapy with clients, metaphors can also show up in the context of clinical supervision; both for case conceptualisation as well as usefully exploring the struggles that therapists have themselves! "Talking about something else, other than the problem, although you're still talking about the problem (because it's linked to the problem), can lead to fresh perspectives, and a loosening up around how to deal with the problem, and trying out different kinds of strategies." David Gillanders is a Chartered Clinical Psychologist and Academic Director of the Doctoral training programme in Clinical Psychology at the University of Edinburgh. He is also an ACBS peer-reviewed ACT trainer, and delivers training throughout the UK and internationally. Find out more on his university webpage: www.ed.ac.uk/profile/david-gillanders
3 minutes | Dec 1, 2017
#7 Snow globe
What is the purpose of a snow globe? If you were to make your self one, what would it contain? Something meaningful or important to you perhaps; a collection of figures or a landmark of sorts. Most so called 'snow globes' contain snow, settled or suspended within it, depending on how 'shaken up' it is. The snow is an integral part of the experience, even though it gets in the way sometimes and obscures the central focus that you've chosen your snow globe to have.
18 minutes | Aug 8, 2017
#6 Steve Hayes on using metaphors in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
In this episode of 'Metaphors for Life', I had the opportunity to interview Professor Steve Hayes, and ask him about the use of metaphors in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Along with an explanation of how and why metaphors can work in the context of psychological therapy, he unpacks some examples, including 'anxiety is like quicksand', 'climbing anxiety mountain', and 'embodying your relationship towards life' - can you guess which is his favourite? Steve is best known for his work on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), but also Relational Frame Theory (RFT), and Contextual Behavioural Science (CBS). This work is exploring the nature of human language and cognition, and its application to the understanding and alleviation of human suffering. I would encourage you to watch Steve Hayes' TEDx Talk, "Dealing with difficult thoughts: Mental Brakes to Avoid Mental Breaks" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnSHpBRLJrQ Find out more on his website: www.stevenchayes.com
4 minutes | Jul 31, 2017
#5 Metaphors for life
It's often difficult to 'put into words' the experiences that we have in life. We resort to describing abstract or unfamiliar concepts in terms of things that are concrete or we think will be familiar to the listener. Analogies and metaphors help us to develop and expand our understanding of a subject or situation, for example, the challenges that we face in life. They may offer an alternative perspective that we might not otherwise have considered. Each episode of the 'Metaphors for Life' podcast is a 'thought bubble' - a format designed to work as a 'Thought for the Day' or 'Pause for Thought'. It's aim is to encourage psychological flexibility, promote good mental health, and introduce ideas inspired by evidence based psychological therapies, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
4 minutes | Jun 13, 2017
#4 Measuring up
"How long is a piece of string?" Whilst we may need to agree upon standard criteria in order to make and communicate measurements, in some cases it may not make sense to measure, compare or judge things at all. Considering the ways in which our minds are prone to jumping to the conclusion "I'm not good enough", isn't it worth questioning whether this is an attainable goal, or one that eludes definition?
4 minutes | May 24, 2017
#3 Coping tool box
Imagine if you only had one tool or strategy to deal with problems that you came across in life. You might be tempted to use it for everything! It may be useful to experiment with other ways of approaching things, and some situations just can't be controlled or fixed. You wouldn't keep trying to use the same old tool that just wasn't working to fix a problem, would you?
4 minutes | Apr 24, 2017
#2 Navigating life
There is a a difference between having a goal, and knowing what your values are. Where you are just now and where you would like to be may be two quite different places. Expectations of an ideal target destination and contrast with present circumstances can be frustrating and unhelpfully distract from the experience of the journey itself. Rather than selecting a destination on a map, why not try using a compass and choose a direction of travel in your life?
3 minutes | Mar 31, 2017
#1 Reaching out
When we reach out, we take a risk; it costs us something. There are obstacles that can get in the way when we engage with those things that are most important to us. In accepting this discomfort perhaps we have an opportunity to be present, open up and do what matters?
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