I am suppose to be studying for my exams in a couple of weeks, or getting to bed early so I am fresh to brave the RMIT Uni striking staff picket lines tomorrow morning, to get my final, last, psychology lab report into the submission box on time… but instead I am thinking of all the things in my life that are causing my internal dialogue to fire and chatter away quickly.
So rather than try to push it all away and ‘get on with what needs doing’, I thought I would just share it all with you.
I am reading an article at the moment on ‘Acceptance and Commitment Therapy‘ (ACT), which is a ‘third wave’ behavioural therapy that, unlike any other psychotherapy, does not have the goal of getting rid of ‘symptoms’, but to “create a rich and meaningful life, while accepting the pain that inevitably goes with it” (Harris, 2006). This may confuse people a little, in that ‘why would I want to accept pain and discomfort?’ sort of way. But it makes so much sense to me, and the theory/therapy fits in nicely with my ’empathy cultivating, creative narrative, uncomfortable dialogues’ theme… The article talks about the root of psychological suffering stemming from human language its self. It looks at the idea of a public and private language. How our private language (the language that we use to talk to ourselves, plan, visualise, analyse, etc) is our cognition and that this internal dialogue or narrative (see!!) is a double edged sword. On the nice side of the sword, it provides us with all this really awesome stuff, like learning, and creating, and planning, and making models of the world. While on the dark and dangerous side, it has us lie, manipulate, be ignorant, we use it to scare ourselves… and even worse… we use it to destroy ourselves.
So sure, its all pretty heavy duty, but not really. Basically what ACT does is look at how we can develop skills to either problem solve our ‘issues’ or the dark side of the sword, or develop acceptance that this shit happens and that some times it is out of our control. And then it helps us to commit and ACT toward living a valued life…
Maybe I have lost you… and maybe I am too tired and should just get my beauty sleep… BUT I want to say this… maybe if we can begin to feel safely uncomfortable of our own ‘symptoms’, then we will be more readily able to feel safely uncomfortable by other peoples ‘symptoms’ and gain strength and resilience and understanding and empathetically grow!!
Just a thought, at 12:44AM.
(There are more things chiming in my brain that I wish to share… but maybe I will post it all separately, so if you have become bored of this post, you won’t miss out on the other exciting stuff – trust me, it is exciting!!)