Anger rather than Sad

from the Book of Life

Common tenants of Depression or Major Depressive Episodes

  • Persistent sad, anxious or “empty” mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities, including sex
  • Decreased energy, fatigue, feeling “slowed down”
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
  • Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
  • Low appetite and weight loss or overeating and weight gain
  • Thoughts of death or suicide, suicide attempts
  • Restlessness, irritability
  • Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment

Common tenants of Anxiety―Depression (disorder group GAD)PDF

What is Disorder?

  • Disorders such as Bipolar disorder, Personality Disorders. or Anxiety Disorders can only be “Diagnosed” by healthcare―professionals or psychologists.
  • One maybe diagnosed with 6 disorders or 1 disorder – this does not mean one is anymore “screwed up” than the other.
  • Disorder is categorized for the purposes of treatment & management between a client, therapist & healthcare―providers.
  • There are legal and professional standards that healthcare―providers in mental-physical health must abide by – that’s what the literature is about: DSM4 DSM5

Gestalt therapy perspective

  • Self awareness not why but:
  • how and when? do ” I feel angry and sad “.
  • Moral- am I judging myself for feeling angry? sad? or tired?
  • How and When do I judge myself.. others environment.
  • Ambivalence: do i feel “conflicting” sensations? ↓Examples:↓
  • thrilled but angry and anxious
  • sad but tuned_in
  • relaxed.. but tight in the legs or chest

contact―boundary memoirs

At a good time (when sad happy or angry etc.)
can I observe between “me” and “not―me” :

  • projection — eg. expressing feeling in drawing or painting ; blaming someone or somthing)
  • Deflection — avoiding both good or bad feeling for another time)
  • confluence — losing sense of self to the outside world, or defending in reaction
  • retroflection — turning ones desires for others (especially with anger) back and substituding ones self) i.e. self blame and self harm
  • Introjection — absorbents in the interactions between “me” and “not―me” without processing (metabolizing)
Anger is part of depression. Anger is part of all of us in daily life.
the good choices we make are in
how to manage are emotions, sensations and Affects so they are not regular intrusions or regularly destructive.
This Management.
This is Anger. This is Depression.

Metabolizing ~ k.i.s.s.

Keeping Me Healthy

The process involving a set of chemical reactions that modifies a molecule into another for storage, or for immediate use in another reaction or as a by product.

metabolism is used as a metaphor for psychological functioning. People grow through biting off an appropriate-sized piece (be this food or ideas or relationships), chewing it (considering), and discovering whether it is nourishing or toxic

As one discovers each moment that he experiences…
conscious gestalts(stimuli, senses far & close, emotional response  that together form temporal “phenomena”)  form out of the unconscious  background.
Assessing  these moments, is a matter of deciding what bits and pieces are “swallowed” (and nourishing) and what rejected
This happens at a metaphorical boundary between differences known as Contact“.  In this case Contact is between the subject -and- what-he-is-not,  at that moment.

Metabolism at contact boundary is holistic  body/mind/environment experiential adventure.

Keeping Me Healthy.








Broken Continuum

On Obsession and the Rat Man Case – Jacques Lacan

Broken Continuum

From reading Perls and practising self therapy, I infer:
that the Ratman  is the underdog of a broken self  gestalt continuum [a natural top dog/ underdog integration]; the obsession on serving imaginary Hero or Authority ,is that sense authority has lost of his “whole-self”.
His severe lack of self esteem is projected or transposed, by ritual to esteeming an imaginary other.

As I interpret and infer, this routine, if intruding to his life: is an impeding disturbance at contact boundary
What the Ratman is projecting is of a wounded and buried Esteem, that serves in place of  Top dog or Authority over his day to day polarity and choices. this ritual may manifest its self at times as obsessive.

Apex and Servant

An alarming personal Dynamic is being promoted around the world, beyond the world of consensual relationships..
I call it  – Aphex and servant-, and it can shatter a person wholeness…
For those who find themselves in this predicament, I encourage them abandon their projection, and seek wholeness..
re-establish a healthy esteem to experience healthy daily top-dog /underdog polarities in their Being.

Beisser: Flying Without Wings

Arnold Biesser is the Author “Paradoxical Theory of change”
one of my favourite essays.

Briefly stated, it is this: that change occurs when one becomes what he is, not when he tries to become what he is not

Paradoxical Theory of Change on PDF

Earlier post on Paradoxical Theory of change.



Now I am Aware of – Fritz Perls in workshop


Today’s Gestalt Therapy, A humanistic approach to psychotherapy, evolved and matured out of the experimental workshops of cofounder’s Fritz Perls and Laura Perls. In session, the gestalt client’s aim is to “Get out of their heads”, or the computer thought process as Perls has stated many times. Its method is to experience the awareness continuum , that is happening right now — body into the sensory field. This method of experiencing awareness includes experiencing the awareness of how one avoids awareness and sensing in his world.

The exercise in the video (posted on youtube by Marin Tataru) demonstrates “becoming acquainted with the on-going process of awareness.” in another words, mostly talk about process in the video, for the purposes of explanation and instruction.
Give it a shot:

Now, I am aware of…


Grief , the Empty Chair and Journaling

As I see it, the people in our lives, both present or past, become part of us. More, concretely… our experiences with others and the memories gathered, affect our Being or perhaps, become part of our Being. So what’s really going on when we grieving when we lose someone we care about?

I have been intrigued by the gestalt therapies “empty chair” or open chair, since I participated in the exercise. The technique, best learned with a trained Gestalt therapist as coach, allows one to explorer “parts” of one self . one can adapt empty chair to other methods of therapy such as therapeutic journaling.

Journaling-Empty-Chair ExampleHere is how I have done it   in the past:

  • First I need a pen and paper for journaling, (A tape or video recorder can be used, alternately).
  • I also need some sort of alarm clock or timer.
  • This exercise works best when I thinking of the person. For this example, I use my Grandmother who passed away over 5 years ago…
  • I set a timer for 5-10 minutes and write what I  want to say to  her, at this moment.  I write what I want to say and what I would have  liked her to have heard from me.
    If I’m stuck.. and I don’t know  what to write… then I write “I don’t know what to write”.  Keeping in the moment.
  • When the timer stops me at 5-10 minutes I stop and take a breath.
    then set the timer for five minutes..
  • I write again, but this time its different. I write what I would like to hear my grandmother say back to me.
  • again if I don’t know what to write.. pen to paper ” I don’t know what write” -(this is just to get me started writing if I’m stuck)
  •  After the timer stops… I am done.

You see, If my grandmother and  these people who I’ve  known have affected  my Being and are now part of me, then I must also give “them” a voice too. in this exercise. To grieve as a whole person, I am giving that part of me a voice, that might be otherwise silent ,or alienated and denied in  grieving.

journalingThis Empty chair journaling session can  end at this point.   If I want, I can continue this exercise further, writing:
Me giving -a -voice- to-what I-want-to say-my-grandmother and then what-I-would-have-like-to- have-heard-her-say-to-me. alternating sides of the correspondence  every 5 minutes or so. In the Gestalt jargon, I am creating a dialogue between to parts of me that maybe polarized. This polarization is common with grief.
I usually destroy my journaling after I am done… this act is some what of a cathartic ritual in its self (no attachments), But one could save it to review with a therapist or for themselves later if they wished.

Happy Holidays to you, your loved ones and the rest of you.

Cognitive Distortions and Thinking Errors of CBT (revisited)

Cognitive Distortions  is just another term  for “Thought Errors” or “Thinking Errors”.   A common strategy  for a client of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, for mood disorder (including depression), anxiety disorder and emotional management,  is  to:   “Catch”, and then “Correct”   Cognitive Distortions, aka  “Thinking Errors” or  ” Thought errors”,  before they trigger more intrusive thoughts, moods or actions.

Thought Errors are usually described as   thought in  symbols and verbal language, that are  irrational and self-defeating, and that lead to intrusions in ones life.  Because clients seeking Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (C.B.T.)  are often hypersensitive to judgment and self-judgement , cognitive distortion maybe the preferred wordage to Errors.  The jargon  is   descriptive rather than definitive of processes,  with the purpose of overall treatment.

An common Example of   Cognitive  Distortion is:

“I’m going to the a meeting today.  I’m sure that its going to be a disaster.  What If I lose my job?  How will I pay the bills?”

This is catastrophizing.  Thinking  of the worst possible outcome of an event, (while all the time denying, ignoring or minimizing other potential  outcomes.)  Very common.. everybody catastrophizes sometimes.  However if this  thought becomes chronic , repetitive , intrusive, or if it triggers other intrusive cognitions and actions, or complicates illnesses then considering therapies is not a bad idea.

“Catching”  Cognitive Errors can be tricky:   One learns to be mindful of them  when they happen. this takes time.
From   the phenomenological perspective of Gestalt Therapy,  these strands  of  symbols and verbal language, spoken or subvocalized (thought)  are experienced with intense emotions (excitement) as they form as figures out of the   consciousness  ground  of the present moment.  A client can learn to further explore and understand hidden tenants and semantics, such as thoughts, attitudes or physiological  reactions  in the “field” when  cognitive distortions  form.  — this is generally more of a Gestalt Therapy approach, but could be applied in other Therapies.

Good Strategies for preparing for “Catch and Correct” use repetition.
working through CBT Workbooks,  Journaling , and writing / memorizing plans can be  useful.
Good plans are short, privately practiced often, and can include “walking away”, self-talk, and Breathing-Exercise.  Therapists and clients, or even other family members can create plans together,

…  previously posted:

Common Thought or Thinking Errors:

Emotional reasoning – rationalizing a fact out of feeling.

. “I feel bad, therefore I am a bad person.

  • I feel bad right now, but everyone feels bad, sad , ugly, or angry sometimes. “Feeling bad Is not a reason to judge myself as a bad person.”

Catastrophizing – concluding the worst possible outcome of a potential situation, no matter how likey the possibility.

My son is out with the car and is late. He’s been in an accident!

  • There are many possibilities why my son is late. He could be held up in traffic, which is more likely”.

Personalizing. self – judgment : Blaming one self for something that isn’t their fault.

My Son failed his exam at school. This is my fault.

  • I am responsible for myself, and can only control so many things.

Black / White Rigid Thinking – One divides everything into good and bad, right or wrong, all or nothing.

I wish I could work at that place, its the perfect dream job

  • Everyone and Every situation(including jobs) has qualities and difficulties. Thinking A place or person job or situation, will be entirely perfect or entirely dismal will lead to disappointment.

Should statements: self -judgment and top dogging oneself.

I should be doing more with my life, right now.”

  • Although its important to wish, and to hope: Saying what I should be doing is self judging, and takes me away from who I am and can lead to resentments.

Over-Labeling: Applying an adjective or a descriptive trait of someone or something and assuming it is the whole of it.

he is a conservative…. he is a Liberal…. she is an academic

  • Someone may be conservative or liberal, etc, or have some values as such. But believing that some traits make the whole of something may lead me to the wrong overall conclusions or prejudgments.

Magnifying– 1.blowing out of proportion your error, or another persons success       2 overstating a the  importance of a situation.

” I just had a fender-bender,  I’m a horrible driver and I’ll never drive again…
” i didn’t get hired job after my bad interview.  this is a sign I will NEVER get a job.

  •   Accidents happen,  bad performances happen in Interviews.  That doesn’t reflect on  All my driving or actions.

Some other Thought or “Thinking Errors”
Leaping (to conclusions) – assuming the outcomes of events without evidence or information.

Mind reading – assuming what another person is thinking or feeling, without asking.

Minimizing – 1. denying ones own success and qualities. 2 denying the consequences of an action.

Read More on Thinking errors here.

Happy cognitions ;)