Archive for September, 2010

Nobody can hurt me…

Nobody can hurt me without my permission.

Mohandas K. Ghandi

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Carl Rogers – an agent for change

Carl Rogers – An Agent of Change

Carl Roger’s was the first therapist/counsellor who proposed the idea of ‘client-centred’ counselling which meant that the therapist is able to enter into an intensely personal and subjective relationship with the client – relating not as a scientist to an object of study, not as a physician expecting to diagnose and cure but as a person to a person.

Rogers treated his clients as a person of unconditional worth; of value no matter what their condition, behaviour or their feelings.  It means the therapist is genuine, hiding behind no defensive façade, but meeting the client with the feelings which organically he is experiencing…that he can convey something of his empathic understanding to the client.  It means the therapist is comfortable in entering this relationship fully, without knowing cognitively where it will lead, satisfied with providing a climate which will permit the client the utmost freedom to become himself.

Rogers believed that as the client feels free to experience their true feelings, being honest with themselves, they come to actually know themselves and can change their behaviour in accordance with their newly experiences self.

Rogers believed that living the good life is a process, not a state of being.  It is a direction, not a destination and the direction which constitutes the good life is that which is selected by the total organism, when there is the psychological freedom to move in any direction.

The first characteristic of the process, according to Rogers, involves an increasing openness to experience – the polar opposite of defensiveness.  In order to do this the client needs to learn to listen to themselves, to experience what is going on within themselves and acceptance of self.

The second characteristic is for the client to learn live fully in each moment.  By this Rogers meant an absence of rigidity, of tight organisation, of the imposition of structure on experience. It means instead a maximum of adaptability. He said that this is probably the most evident characteristic in people who are involved in the process of the good life.. One might almost say that it is the most essential quality of it.’

A third characteristic appears to be the client learning to trust themselves, doing what ‘feels right’ for them.  Rogers said this proves to be a competent and trustworthy guide to behaviour which is truly satisfying.  He said the clients are surprised at their own intuitive skill in finding behavioural solutions to complex and troubling human relationships.

According to his experience with clients Rogers said that the person who is psychologically free moves in the direction of becoming a more fully functioning person.  They are more able to experience all of their feelings and are less afraid of them and live more completely in the moment and learns that this is the soundest living for all time.

Rogers talked about the dilemma of the Freedom/Determinism argument. He claims that the more the person is living the good life, that they will experience a freedom of choice and the more their choices will be effectively implemented in their behaviour.

According to Rogers, the person who is involved in the directional process, which he terms the good life, is a creative person.  They would not, necessarily, be adjusted to their culture and they would almost certainly not be a conformist.  But at any time and in any culture, they would live constructively, in as much harmony with their culture as a balanced satisfaction of needs demanded.  In some cultural situations they might in some ways be very unhappy but they would continue to move towards becoming themselves and to behave in such a way as to provide the maximum satisfaction of their deepest needs.

Along with William Glasser then, Carl Rogers emphasises the need of people to make choices. Glasser, who trained as a psychiatrist but became disillusioned with the profession’s regular use of what he termed ‘brain drugs’, believed, as did Rogers, that good counselling skills, genuine empathy for the person before him, along with helping people to recognise that everything they do is a choice ; achieved much success in his career without the use of ‘brain drugs’.

M. McKenna 2010

Carl Rogers On Becoming a Person Houghton Mifflin Co. Boston 1961

W. Glasser M.D. Warning: Psychiatry Can Be Hazardous To Your Mental Health Harper Collins 2003

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Live in the ‘Now’

I believe that learning to live in the present moment is the secret to mental health.  We can spend a lot of our time – looking back and regretting or wishing and looking ahead waiting for things to change – usually for the better. 

When we do this, we miss now!  

We can be among family or friends and not really be present to them, mentally and/or emotionally.  We might as well not be with them at all if our mind is somewhere else.

LIVE IN THE PRESENT MOMENT!  If you’re peeling potatoes then concentrate on doing that. 

Whatever you’re doing, concentrate on that one thing. 

Stop looking back regretting and looking ahead hoping things will get better.

 Maureen McKenna 2010

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The Greatest Gift…

The greatest gift I can give another person is my  Time, my Presence!

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Is Depression An Illness?

It seems that there are three main points of view about the causes of depression.  Most commonly held is the view that it is generally some combination of these three.  (The Australian Editorial 18 Feb. 2006 Health Section.)

 1.  Depression is a medical disease caused by a neurochemical or hormonal   imbalance

2.  Depression is caused by certain styles of thinking

3.  Depression is a result of unfortunate experiences

The article goes on to say that although depression causes physical symptoms and on rare occasions, has physical causes, it is not a disease.

A core aspect of depression is thinking styles but does being a pessimist inevitably cause depression?

Trauma, upheaval or sad experiences seem to trigger depression but why in people whose circumstances are similar, do some suffer from depression and others don’t?

It is only when we consider all the aspects surrounding depression that we can truly see how the pieces fit together, giving a real understanding of the causes of depression and, therefore, the best way to beat it.  According to this article – much of depression is about how we interpret reality.

 In the ABC radio’s Health Report of 30 Jun 1997, called Recognising Mental Illness a psychiatrist from the ANU Canberra had carried out a study and said they looked at how people’s beliefs clustered together.  They found that people tend to have general belief systems.  Some tended to go for medical interventions of all sorts and they would go for ones that were supported by evidence, like antidepressants for depression but they’d also go for silly ones like antibiotics for depression.

We found that there were three clusters of beliefs systems.  One Medical, one Psychological and the other was Lifestyle.  The psychiatrist suspected that where people don’t have specific knowledge about what works, then they fall back on their general belief systems about health. 

So people went for help from counsellors, psychologists, psychiatrists, hypnotists and so on.  He went on to say that health practitioners need to be aware that the belief systems of their patients might be quite different from their own.  He thought that there needs to be some sort of improvement in mental health literacy in the public because they seem to either believe that all drugs are good or that all drugs are bad.

Another psychiatrist, Dorothy Rowe from Britain says that depression is an intolerable prison we build for ourselves but we can escape by choosing to change the way we interpret our lives. (ABC Radio All in the Mind 11 Feb. 2006)  She is sceptical about the idea that drugs are the only answer.  There was depression in her family and she says that what happens in families is that we learn our parents’ ideas and then we go along with some of them and do the opposite in others.   Her work has been about ‘Why do we all behave as we do?’

Rowe said that what she saw was, that with the pills, the anti-depressants, people would get a bit better and then they’d be back again six months or even six weeks later.  What she saw was, the psychiatrists were not interested in these people as people and weren’t interested in the person’s life.  Time and time again she’d hear the patient say something which she knew was significant and the psychiatrist ignored it.  She kept meeting people who had been treated for depression with, apparently, no external reason – for 20 or 30 years – and they must have been interviewed by hundreds of doctors and nurses and yet not one of them had ever just told their story.  When, of course, they told their story, there were so many things in the life of that person that were tragic, often not huge things, but the private disasters we all suffer when we know that we’re not loved or our hopes can never be fulfilled.

Rowe said that we as human being are meaning, creating creatures.  It’s not what happens to us that determines our behaviour but how we interpret what happens to us.   One person can win the lottery and interpret it as ‘great’, I’m going to spend, spend, spend.  Another person interprets it as ‘oh, I don’t deserve this, this is terrible, I feel guilty’.    She goes on to say that emotions are meanings.   Fear is the meaning ‘something terrible is happening that is a threat to me’.  Anxiety is the meaning ‘something terrible is about to happen’.  Anger is a wonderful emotion because it brings out our personal pride, anger is ‘how dare this happen to me’ and we fight back.  Or we should, but nicely though.

We turn these emotions into depression by blaming ourself for what’s happening, or hating ourself.  She says we must get away from the idea of good/bad and thinking along the lines of behaving responsibly.  The other idea we need to change is the idea of a just world.  No amount of goodness prevents disaster and she’s seen so many people who are shocked when something terrible happens to them and they say ‘but I’ve been good, why has this happened to me’.  Well, what made you think you were an exception?  Anything can happen to anybody and it takes a lot of courage to recognise that.

Like much of the medical profession she sees a place for both medication and talking therapy.

Dorothy Rowe states that, a lot of therapists in private practice know quite well that their client isn’t going to change because the client just loves having an hour a week of someone listening to them.  ‘It’s a lifesaving thing to have somebody take an interest in you and I wouldn’t decry that at all.’  In her book Depression – the way out of your prison she gives practical guidance to people and their families.  The first thing you have to do is to decide that you want to get out.  A lot of people in the depths of depression find being depressed is safe.  It’s horrible, but while they’re depressed they don’t have to deal with the chaos outside their prison.  All they need to do is just start to do little things for themselves, it might only be deciding to go for a walk every day or whatever.  Then, because you’ve changed your behaviour your ideas change.

She says that often it is difficult for those supporting a depressed person because when they emerge from the prison of depression never to be depressed again, they’ve changed.  And that means you have to change too and you might not want that.  So be prepared!

In his book Depression – The Common Sense Approach Tony Bates says that one of the advantages of struggling with depression is that you take up a quest to get to know and express your true self.  He says that recovery from depression is a journey rather than a destination.  According to him expression is the great enemy of depression.  The more open we are with ourselves and others about how we feel, the greater the chance we can change how we feel.  He talks about the AAA relapse prevention plan. 

Aware        Know where your vulnerabilities lie and learn to notice how easily they can be sparked into life.

Accept      Accept how you feel without being dismayed or disappointed by your reaction.

 Action     Think about what you’ve learned in your recovery and consider what   you need to do in this crisis to take care of yourself.  Then do it!

In his summary, Bates says that Strength is about being able to accept how you are feeling at any point in time, including all those times you feel down, and deal with it in a way that is accepting, compassionate and encouraging.  Recovery is about allowing ourselves to be human and not expecting something superhuman of ourselves.

Carl Rogers who first introduced the client centred approach to counselling describes what he considers to be the good life.  It is not a state of virtue, or contentment, or nirvana or happiness.  It is not a condition in which the individual is adjusted, or fulfilled or actualised.  To use psychological terms, it is not a state of drive-reduction, or tension-reduction.  He seems to believe that many therapists aim towards these goals and even though, for some people, reaching these goals may be the answer, his experience supports none of these definitions.  Rogers believes that the good life is a process, not a state of being.  It is a direction, not a destination.  Like Tony Bates, he believes the process seems to involve an increasing openness to experience.  It is the polar opposite of defensiveness.  He says that the client needs to ‘own’ their feelings, thoughts and attitudes.  The client needs to learn to listen to themselves, to experience what is going on within themselves and accept themselves.

A second characteristic is for the client to learn to live fully in each moment.  This means an absence of rigidity, of tight organisation, of the imposition of structure on experience.  It means instead a maximum of adaptability, a discovery of structure in experience, a flowing, changing of self and personality.

A third characteristic of the person who is living the process of the good life appears to be an increasing trust in his organism as a means of arriving at the most satisfying behaviour in each existential situation.   It’s doing what feels right for them.  Rogers says that the person who is living what he terms the good life, is a creative person.  They would not necessarily be ‘adjusted’ to their culture and they would almost certainly not be a conformist!  They would live constructively, in as much harmony with their culture as a balanced satisfaction of needs demanded. 

From a spiritual point of view it is absolutely necessary for psychological ‘health’ that a person be aware of their ‘spiritual’ dimension.  Thomas Moore in his book Care of the Soul states that the ‘great malady of the 20th century, implicated in all of our troubles and affecting us individually and socially, is ‘loss of soul.  He says that when the soul is neglected, it doesn’t just go away, it appears symptomatically in obsessions, addictions, violence and loss of meaning.   Our temptation is to isolate these symptoms or try to eradicate them one by one but the root problem is that we have lost our wisdom about the soul, even interest in it.  We have today, few specialists of the soul to advise us when we succumb to moods and emotional pain, or when as a nation we find ourselves confronting a host of threatening evils…He says that we can look to the past for guidance in restoring this wisdom.  He says that modern psychologies tell us that if we could only learn to be assertive, loving, angry, expressive, contemplative or thin, they imply, your troubles would be over.    He has taken the Renaissance approach of not separating psychology from religion.  He claims that a spiritual life of some kind is absolutely necessary for psychological ‘health’.   At the same time, he says that excessive, or ungrounded spirituality can also be dangerous, leading to all kinds of compulsive and even violent behaviour.  He seems to be saying that it is balance that is necessary. 

 Moore says that the emotional complaints of our time, that therapists hear every day in their practice, include:

  •  Emptiness                               
  • Meaninglessness                         
  • Vague depression                            
  •  Disillusionment about marriage, family and   relationships                                                 
  •   Loss of values                        
  •  Yearning for personal fulfillment                                            
  •  Hunger for spirituality


 All of these symptoms reflect a loss of soul and let us know what the soul craves.  We yearn excessively for entertainment, power, intimacy, sexual fulfillment and material things and think we can find these things if we discover the right relationship or job, the right church or therapy.  But without soul, whatever we find will be unsatisfying, for what we truly long for is the soul in each of these areas.

Moore goes on to say that care of the soul doesn’t concern itself so much with ‘fixing’ a central flaw as with attending to the small details of everyday life, as well as to major decisions and changes.   Tending the things around us and becoming sensitive to the importance of home, daily schedule and maybe even the clothes we wear.

He says that the ultimate cure comes from love not logic.  He goes on to talk about the importance of being our true self – self acceptance, because a façade of normality can hide a wealth of deviance.

 John Powell is a Catholic priest and in his book The Secret of Staying in Love says that human beings are not simple.  We are a composite of body, mind and spirit and have needs on all three levels.  We have needs and appetites that are physical, psychological and spiritual.  Frustration at any one of these levels can produce agony in the whole organism.  According to Powell there is one need so fundamental and so essential that if it is met, everything else will almost certainly harmonise in a general sense of well-being.  This need is a true and deep love of self, a genuine and joyful self-acceptance, an authentic self-esteem, which result in an interior sense of celebration ‘It’s good to be me…I am very happy to be me!’

 Powell talks about depression, anger, addiction, insanity and physical sickness.  He claims that Depression spares the person from the agony of his deeper pain, it protects him or her from the full impact of his or her unbearable situation.  In his conclusion of this part of his book he says that pain in itself is not an evil to be avoided at all costs.  It is rather a teacher from whom we can learn much.  Pain is instructing us, telling us to change, to stop doing one thing or to begin doing another, to stop thinking one way and begin thinking differently.  He believes there is one really meaningful distinction and that is between those who are open to growth and those who are closed.  Open and growing people are willing to try change.  They will initiate appropriate responses and adjustments.  Others, for reasons we do not know, simply will not address themselves to the lessons of pain.  They rather seek a narcotised and tranquillised existence, a peace without profit.  They are willing to settle for 10% of their potential.  They are willing to die without have really lived.

 Finally, a brief look at my favourite form of help for depressed people, which is GROW, a world community mental health movement, originating in Sydney in 1957 when a number of former mental patients, who had reaped great benefit of organised mutual help while attending AA meetings began to meet together and work more directly on their problems of rehabilitation after mental breakdown.  They were first known as Recovery Groups.

 They follow the 12 Steps of Personal Growth.  The third step says ‘We surrendered to the healing power of a wise and loving God.’   GROW is not a religious organisation in any way – and yet – it has only been when the depressed or mentally sick have admitted their need for a power outside of themselves, that they have been able to complete most, if not all, of the twelve steps to personal maturity.   On page 104 of the GROW handbook they talk about breaking free from addictions and compulsions.  It says the spiritual convictions and motivation of the GROW programme may enable you to do this all at once; and for the first time in years you will realise what it is to be free.  But you still have to show you can stay free.  The reason is you are dealing with long-standing and therefore, deep-rooted habits.  There is an old saying; Sow an act and reap a habit; sow a habit and reap a character; sow a character and reap a destiny. That is the ordinary process of development.  Mental illness is an advanced stage of that same process gone wrong!

To answer the question then, ‘Is Depression an Illness?’ seems to have a lot to do with our belief system.  For those who believe it is, the medical profession with their prescriptions is more than likely the answer.  For those who believe it is tied up with ‘maladjusted’ thinking, to use one of GROW’s terms, or that it is because of unfortunate experiences, then psychiatry or counselling is likely to be the answer.  I am no expert in this field and it is certainly a complex area to look at but I believe there are times when a course of anti-depressants can help us through a really bad patch but if we believe that we need them forever, without looking outside of the medical profession, then, as Dorothy Rowe says ‘we will stay in our prison forever.’

Maureen McKenna   © 2006



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What is G.R.O.W.?

Group Recovery of the World    A Mental Health Movement

GROW is concerned about a person’s mental health and emotional maturity.  It is an international community mental health movement which began in Sydney, Australia in April, 1957 when a number of former mental patients, who had discovered the enormous benefit of organised mutual help while attending meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous, began to meet on their own to work more directly on their problems of rehabilitation after mental breakdown. The keynote of their growth was the maximum use of each one’s personal resources; the animating principle of the groups was friendship and friendly help; and the foremost common aim was realistic understanding – understanding of what mental health is, how to get it (or regain it after losing it) and how to keep it. They followed the 12 Steps of Personal Growth and the first step is:  We admitted that we were inadequate or maladjusted to life.

Growers use the word maladjusted, not in a superficial sense of ‘maladjusted to society’, for they believe that it is far too obvious that society itself is seriously maladjusted and they have learned the painful consequences for mental health of mere conformity to the will of others. They acknowledge maladjustment in a deeper sense, meaning ‘maladjusted to life’.  This can be understood to mean mentally and/or socially and/or spiritually out of tune with reality.  The admission of personal maladjustment does not settle whether I have brought my trouble on myself or other causes have inflicted it on me.  I could be either in the wrong or sick or both at once.  But in any case, it does indicate some established and serious disorder.

Growers claim that inadequate expresses their inability to establish right order of healthy living.  Moreover, since life is a dynamic process and everybody is either growing or declining, inadequacy which has not been promptly remedied is already the beginning of disorder and the seed of eventually serious maladjustment. GROW deals with prevention as well as rehabilitation.

To be effective in prevention it is necessary to help people before they reach the point of grave disorder in their minds and lives.  There are many stages of decline before a serious disorder becomes manifest.

GROW believes that no one is a ‘no-hoper’. By a word you can torment someone with the worst side of themselves and because of their past you can rob them of their future.  Your rejection of them stirs up something in them to make them reject you also, by sheer rejection.  Because you down-grade them and give them nothing to live up to, they will probably set about living down to where you put them.  If a person has lost all true self-esteem and has only injured pride left, s/he will lash back with that.  GROW believes that when all else is gone, the instinct for self preservation is still a good instinct to build on.  For there is something vital, something good, something capable of responding to friendship and to grace, at the heart of even the most disordered and depraved person.  Friendly optimism is more contagious in the long run than despair and disparagement.

A person stops trying when they stop hoping.


In order to get well we must have the will to get well. Most maladjusted people would like very much to get well again.  Many are also fully aware that they have to change in order to grow to fully responsible living and mental health; but unless we are willing to change, then we will remain unhappy forever.

Find a GROW group you feel comfortable in and you will find people who accept you as you are, who are supportive and encouraging and most of all, it doesn’t cost anything!

M.McKenna 2010

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Glasser’s Choice Theory

Choice theory is a noncontrolling psychology that gives us the freedom to sustain the relationships that lead to healthy, productive lives.

Glasser states that if we are not sick, poverty stricken or suffering the ravages of old age, the major human problems we struggle with – violence, crime, child abuse, spousal abuse, alcohol and drug addiction, the proliferation of premature and unloving sex and emotional distress – are caused by unsatisfying relationships.

These are husband-wife, parent-child, teacher-student and manager-worker. He claims that if we do not improve these relationships, we will have little success in reducing any of the problems in the previous paragraph.

We all choose all our actions and thoughts and, indirectly, almost all our feelings and much of our physiology…The seeds of almost all our unhappiness are planted early in our lives when we begin to encounter people who have discovered not only what is right for them – but also, unfortunately, what is right for us.  Armed with this discovery and following a destructive tradition that has dominated our thinking for thousands of years, THESE PEOPLE FEEL OBLIGATED TO TRY TO FORCE US TO DO WHAT THEY KNOW IS RIGHT.  Our choice of how we resist that force is, by far, the greatest source of human misery.  CHOICE THEORY CHALLENGES THIS ANCIENT  ‘I-KNOW-WHAT’S-RIGHT-FOR-YOU’ TRADITION.

From the perspective of forty years of psychiatric practice, it has become apparent to me that ALL UNHAPPY PEOPLE HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM: THEY ARE UNABLE TO GET ALONG WELL WITH THE PEOPLE THEY WANT TO GET ALONG WELL WITH…Our present psychology has failed claims Glasser.

Glasser calls this universal psychology that destroys relationships because it destroys personal freedom, external control psychology. The control can be as slight as a disapproving glance or as forceful as a threat to our lives. …it is an attempt to force us to do what we may not want to do.  We end up believing that other people can actually make us feel the way we feel or do the things we do.  THIS BELIEF TAKES AWAY THE PERSONAL FREEDOM WE ALL NEED AND WANT.

The simple operational premise of the external control psychology the world uses is: PUNISH THE PEOPLE WHO ARE DOING WRONG, SO THEY WILL DO WHAT WE SAY IS RIGHT; THEN REWARD THEM, SO THEY KEEP DOING WHAT WE WANT THEM TO DO.

What makes this psychology so prevalent is that THOSE WHO HAVE THE POWER – AGENTS OF GOVERNMENT, PARENTS, TEACHERS, BUSINESS MANAGERS AND RELIGIOUS LEADERS, WHO ALSO DEFINE WHAT’S RIGHT AND WRONG – TOTALLY SUPPORT IT.  And the people they control, having so little control over their own lives, find some security in accepting the control of these powerful people.

…it continues because when people do not do what we want them to do, coercion and control are all we think of using...the powerless accept it because as miserable as they may be, they believe that they are not free to choose otherwise.  They further believe, usually correctly, that to resist would be worse.

The heart and soul of this book is ‘Will what I am about to do bring me closer to these people or move us further apart?

One of the most puzzling exceptions to this widespread use of external control psychology is that we rarely use it with our best friends, …with them, even though few of us are aware of it, we use choice theory. …We recognise that good friends are our most reliable source of long-term happiness.

If we practiced choice theory with everyone, we would make – and keep – many more friends, and our happiness would be substantially increased. What may also be involved here is OWNERSHIP.  Most of us believe that we should or do own our husbands, wives, children, students and employees…As long as we believber that we own people, we don’t hesitate to force them when they don’t do what we want them to do.  We feel differently with our friends; we accept that we don’t own them and they don’t own us.

Glasser states three beliefs of external control psychology…

First belief:  I answer a ringing phone, open the door to a doorbell, stop at a red light, or do countless other things because I am responding to a simple external signal.

Second belief: I can make other people do what I want them to do even if they do not want to do it.  And other people can control how I think, act and feel.

Third belief: It is right, it is even my moral obligation, to ridicule, threaten, or punish those who don’t do what I tell them to do or even reward them if it will get them to do what I want.

These three commonsense beliefs are the foundation of the external control psychology that essentially rules the world.…The foundation of these beliefs, that we are externally motivated, is WRONG.

…we do not answer a phone because it rings; we answer it because we want to…the ring does have a purpose, but it is not to make you answer.  …Choice theory explains that stimuli, in the sense that they can consistently control a human being to make a specific choice, do not exist…When we do as we are told, it is because we choose to do it on the basis of the information we have. …Choice theory explains that we are, as all living creatures, internally motivated.

Glasser states what seems the obvious, that a relationship with your child is more important than their schoolwork.  What a difference it would make if all parents could believe this.

To achieve and maintain the relationship we need, we must stop choosing to coerce, force, compel, punish, reward manipulate, boss, motivate, criticise, blame, complain, nag, badger, rank, rate and withdraw. We must replace these destructive behaviours with choosing to care, listen, support, negotiate, encourage, love, befriend, trust, accept, welcome and esteem. …Since our language is a mirror of our culture, this is strong evidence that we live in a world that is attuned more to destroying relationships than to preserve them.

Glasser says, in just one area, public education, billions of dollars continue to be spent to improve school success, with no improvement no matter how success is measured. …Students who get along well with their teachers and with each other are almost always successful.

To be happy, Glasser believes we need to be close to other happy people.  Therefore, the fewer happy people there are, the less chance any of us have for happiness.

…Two groups of unhappy people – first unhappy group tries to find the way back to happiness, which I define as pleasurable relationships with happy people.  The second unhappy group has given up on finding happiness with happy people; they no longer even try to have pleasurable relationships. …Almost all these unhappy people have abandoned good relationships for nonhuman pleasure.

…If there is a defining characteristic of AA, it is that the organisation uses much more choice theory than external control.

Failure at love may top the list of human misery. …There are probably more unhappily married people who never divorce than those who do.

It is hard, if not impossible, to love someone who wants to control and change you or someone you want to control and change.   …To get sex, which can provide pleasure without love, many people are willing to act as if they are in love when they are not.

Depending on your mate for everything is asking more than what most relationships can provide.  Glasser says that at a minimum, we want someone to listen to what we have to say. If no-one listens to us, we feel the pain of the powerless, the kind of pain you feel in a foreign country when you are trying to get information and no-one speaks your language.  In a choice theory world, many more people would enjoy the benefits of listening to each other without trying to get the last word.

The Golden rule according to Dr. Glasser is: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. External control, the child of power, is the enemy of freedom.  Its bloody rule, use the power you have to kill the people who don’t agree with you, is the leading cause of suffering around the world. …Creative people who feel free to create are rarely selfish; they get a lot of pleasure from sharing their gift.

…If you will do what I say, I will protect you against the forces of evil, is the working maxim of every tyrant who has ever lived.

Excerpts of Choice Theory: A New Psychology of Personal Freedom W.Glasser M.D.  Harper Collins 1998

Edited by M.McKenna Sept. 2010


If you have a problem!

If you have a problem, there must be a solution.

If there is no solution, then it’s not a problem

It’s a fact – and you must learn to live with it!

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The longer I live, the more I realise the impact of attitude on my life.   

Attitude, to me, is more important than facts.   

It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failure,  than successes, than what other people say or do.   

It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill.   

It will make or break a company…a church…a home.   

The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding  the attitude we will embrace for that day.   

We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way.   

We cannot change the inevitable.   

The only thing we can do is play on the string we have and that is our attitude.   

I am convinced that life is ten percent what happens to me and ninety percent how I react to it.   

And so it is with you…we are in charge of our attitudes.   

Chuck Swindoll   








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