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Self-consciousness versus self-awareness

As the title would suggest, the purpose of this particular article is to look at the difference between self-consciousness and self-awareness. The two terms sound pretty similar, and they must have something in common, which they do: they both have to do with the self, obviously. The words “consciousness” and “awareness” also are closely related. more…

Unhealthy relationships

Some years ago, while I was working at an inpatient psychiatric facility here in Dallas, Texas, my boss asked me if I would lead the afternoon group therapy session, “Healthy Relationships.” I said sure, I’d do the group, but then asked if I could re-name the group, “Unhealthy Relationships,” because at the time, I was more…

The problem of confirmation bias

Here is a strange fact about human beings: we tend to look for evidence to support the things we already believe, and we tend to screen out or discredit evidence that contradicts our beliefs. The scientific term for this phenomenon is confirmation bias. It’s not hard to find examples of this, especially as of this more…

Your two minds

Several years ago, while I was working as a staff therapist at a psychiatric hospital here in Dallas, Texas, I happened to see a diagram on a dry-erase board that both puzzled and intrigued me. I was walking through the main group therapy room of one of the adult psych units, where another therapist was more…

What not to teach your kids

In my last post, I addressed the problem of grief, and the only known cure for it, which is to grieve. Today I want to look more closely at the reasons this is so difficult. As mentioned before, there are two main reasons why grief doesn’t always come easily to us humans. Those reasons are, more…

The problem of grief

There are many problems that can cause unhappiness, and that might compel one to seek the help of a therapist. Such problems include loneliness, relationship issues, low self-esteem, anxiety, and so on. I’ve discussed some of these in previous posts, but today I want to talk about one of the most pervasive problems that I more…

The difference between planning and worrying

Way back in the fall of 1988, the singer Bobby McFerrin released a little ditty called, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” which became the first a capella song to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, according to Wikipedia. I was 23 years old at the time, and I remember finding the song particularly more…

How to be unhappy

Here’s a little short story for your consideration: Once upon a time, a client whom I’ll call Tom came to see me in my Dallas, TX office. Tom plopped down on the couch and said, “I’m tired of being happy. Tell me how to be unhappy.” “Boy, are you in luck,” I said. “My experience more…

Paying attention to warning signs

Have you ever met someone who gave you a bad feeling, even though there wasn’t anything overtly suspicious or wrong about them? They might have looked good “on paper,” as the saying goes, but your gut told you that something was amiss. Most of us have had that experience. “I don’t know, there’s something about more…

Self-sabotage

There are two kinds of bad luck that we deal with during the course of our lives. The first kind is genuine bad luck – things that happen out of the blue, and that we cannot control. Bad weather, natural disasters, other people’s poor driving skills, and so on, are examples of bad luck. Another more…