Archive for November 26th, 2010

November 26, 2010

Follow your heart? No! Follow your head……

by Rod Smith

I get a little peeved when cartoons portray a passive therapist repeating how do you feel? as if feelings are the cornerstone of effective therapy. In decades of therapeutic encounters how do you feel?may be the question I have asked least.

Feelings are deceptive. Fleeting. Feelings offer a poor guide to healthy action and often trap clients in inaction.

Thinking is what makes the difference. I am far more interested in what my clients THINK than I am in what clients FEEL. Of course I acknowledge the importance of feelings, but I am careful to avoid elevating feelings so they trump thinking.

I believe people think their way into a new and helpful ways of behaving.

The head (thinking) is a far more-trustworthy leader than the heart.

I have seen many a client think (read, plan, plot, negotiate, strategize) his or her way out of an overwhelming personal dilemma while he or she was, at the same time, FEELING overwhelmed, debilitated, incapable of doing anything.

Getting your head into gear can pull your entire life into a whole new realm of helpful, good feelings, which of course, as I said, are not to be overly trusted.

November 26, 2010

My sons in London and hardly ever make contact…

by Rod Smith

“My sons (22, 24) live in London and hardly ever make contact with us. This is very painful as we have always been a close family. What happens to young people when they go overseas? My friends tell me it is because sons and they are made to fly away. I am not sure who takes it worse, their father or me. If they do phone we feel we can’t say anything as it might stop the phone calls completely. Please help.” (Edited)

Attraction is only enduringly possible.....

Some routine might help.....

Suggest a routine – perhaps a phone call every two weeks on a Sunday evening, their time. If you know when to expect a call it is less likely that your anxiety will spike daily in the hopes that they will call.

Also, suggest each son establishes his own phoning routine.

The “made to fly” theory I do not think holds much water. When I have met young South Africans overseas I’ve met very busy men and women who are often working more than one job, sharing sparse accommodations, and who are busy trying to establish themselves while often longing to be at home in South Africa.