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Thursday, July 12, 2007

12 Irrational Beliefs That Cause and Sustain Neurosis

1. The idea that it is a dire necessity for adults to be loved by significant others for almost everything they do -- instead of their concentrating on their own self-respect, on winning approval for practical purposes, and on loving rather than on being loved.

2. The idea that certain acts are awful or wicked, and that people who perform such acts should be severely damned -- instead of the idea that certain acts are self-defeating or antisocial, and that people who perform such acts are behaving stupidly, ignorantly, or neurotically, and would be better helped to change. People's poor behaviors do not make them rotten individuals.

3. The idea that it is horrible when things are not the way we like them to be -- instead of the idea that it is too bad, that we would better try to change or control bad conditions so that they become more satisfactory, and, if that is not possible, we had better temporarily accept and gracefully lump their exis tence.

4. The idea that human misery is invariably externally caused and is forced on us by outside people and events -- instead of the idea that neurosis is largely caused by the view that we take of unfortunate conditions.

5. The idea that if something is or may be dangerous or fearsome we should be terribly upset and endlessly obsess about it -- instead of the idea that one would better frankly face it and render it non-dangerous and, when that is not possible, accept the inevitable.

6. The idea that it is easier to avoid than to face life difficulties and self-responsibilities -- instead of the idea that the so-called easy way is usually much harder in the long run.

7. The idea that we absolutely need something other or stronger or greater than ourself on which to rely -- instead of the idea that it is better to take the risks of thinking and acting less dependently.

8. The idea that we should be thoroughly competent, intelligent, and achieving in all possible respects -- instead of the idea that we would better do rather than always need to do well and accept ourself as a quite imperfect creature, who has general human limitations and specific fallibilities.

9. The idea that because something once strongly affected our life, it should indefinitely affect it -- instead of the idea that we can learn from our past experiences but not be overly-attached to or prejudiced by them.

10. The idea that we must have certain and perfect control over things -- instead of the idea that the world is full of probability and chance and that we can still enjoy life despite this.

11. The idea that human happiness can be achieved by inertia and inaction -- instead of the idea that we tend to be happiest when we are vitally absorbed in creative pursuits, or when we are devoting ourselves to people or projects outside ourselves.

12. The idea that we have virtually no control over our emotions and that we cannot help feeling disturbed about things -- instead of the idea that we have real control over our destructive emotions if we choose to work at changing the musturbatory hypotheses which we often employ to create them.

(From The Essence of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, by Albert Ellis, Ph.D. Revised, May 1994.)

Quotes by William Glasser - Founder of Reality Therapy

Caring for but never trying to own may be a further way to define friendship.

Don't marry someone you would not be friends with if there was no sex between you.

Everybody needs one essential friend.

Good or bad, everything we do is our best choice at that moment.

If everyone could learn that what is right for me does not make it right for anyone else, the world would be a much happier place.

If you want to change attitudes, start with a change in behavior.

In a Glasser Quality School there is no such thing as a closed book test. Students are told to get out their notes and open their books. There is no such thing as being forbidden to ask the teacher or another student for help.

It is almost impossible for anyone, even the most ineffective among us, to continue to choose misery after becoming aware that it is a choice.

Sex is on the minds of most people, especially those who shouldn't be having it.

Too many of us fail to fulfill our needs because we say no rather than yes, or perhaps later in life, yes when we should say no.

We almost always have choices, and the better the choice, the more we will be in control of our lives.

We are driven by five genetic needs: survival, love and belonging, power, freedom, and fun.

When we label anyone 'bad', we will have more trouble dealing with him than if we could have settled for a lesser label.

Without pay, no human being will work up to their ability if he or she is not cared for and respected.

Quotes by Albert Ellis - Founder of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

Acceptance is not love. You love a person because he or she has lovable traits, but you accept everybody just because they're alive and human.

I get people to truly accept themselves unconditionally, whether or not their therapist or anyone loves them.

If something is irrational, that means it won't work. It's usually unrealistic.

Let's suppose somebody abused you sexually. You still had a choice, though not a good one, about what to tell yourself about the abuse.

People could rationally decide that prolonged relationships take up too much time and effort and that they'd much rather do other kinds of things. But most people are afraid of rejection.

People don't just get upset. They contribute to their upsetness.

People got insights into what was bothering them, but they hardly did a damn thing to change.

Rational beliefs bring us closer to getting good results in the real world.

The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.

There are three musts that hold us back: I must do well. You must treat me well. And the world must be easy.

There's no evidence whatsoever that men are more rational than women. Both sexes seem to be equally irrational.

We teach people that they upset themselves. We can't change the past, so we change how people are thinking, feeling and behaving today.

We teach people to be flexible, scientific and logical in their thinking and therefore to be less prone to brainwashing by the therapist.