Cognitive Pearl #041 Shevat 14, 5775 February 3, 15

Experience has taught me that suggesting self soothing techniques to many clients invites a great deal of resistance. Our various cultures have indoctrinated us with the wish for ‘magic bullets’. We ascribe our inner states to factors outside of us, laying beyond the reach of our own inner resourcefulness. Should we need to relax (and who doesn’t?) we need a pill or a TV show or a vacation or some other external process to get us ‘there’. I am of course not dismissing pills, television shows, or vacations; what I am saying is that we lose mastery of our lives when we overlook the inner resources that we have already and which can be further developed. Tachlis, self soothing requires a new kind of mentality, one that firmly states that, ‘I am responsible for my inner world. I am the one who soothes myself. I care for myself. I may need props and the assistance of others but I am in charge. I know that I’m not alone in this endeavor; others have also emerged from their private hells with the wisdom already in their possession.’

As a close this post, I hope to post a list of self soothing skills on my website. Tomorrow, I will begin a new topic, God willing. 

Happy Tu Bishvat to all!