Sunday, 9 November 2014

Getting on with 'it'

When 'it' is causing you to feel sad, inert, sluggish, aimless and generally down sometimes the best thing to do is just keep going. There could be a plethora of 'its' that ails us - past traumas, anxieties about the future, fears of today. Which 'it' is it? Or are they many and varied? We can become bogged down in rumination and contemplation which can ultimately overwhelm us until we stop altogether and resign from the world i.e. the big 'it' that is 'making' us so sad - 'stop the world. I want to get off!' As has been observed over the millenia it isn't 'it' that makes us feel as we feel and do what we do.Oh no! Its our estimation of 'it' that does us in! The world is as it is and is neither good or bad but our thinking about 'it' determines whether 'it' is indeed good or bad. As the great Albert Ellis once said:

The world ain't for you or against you. It just doesn't give a shit!

In a blog post writer and comedian Catherine Deveny talks about everyday heroes. These are the people who get on with 'it' (the pressures and strains, trauma and challenge of daily living). Unheralded and anonymous they plough on, survive and hopefully thrive despite their personal trials and tribulations. Some will sadly give in to the pain that ultimately overwhelms them. 

Catherine offers the following advice from her own experiences through her writing in this blog post written in 2008.

Catherine says:

1. Every day the sun will rise. It is a different day with endless possibilities.
2. "This too will pass." These words, engraved on an ancient Sultan’s ring, made him solemn in happy times and happy during sad times. Remember these always.
3.You are amazing. You’re doing a great job. Just. Keep. Going.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Rational Emotive Behaviour Education Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is REBT (Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy)?
A. It’s a psychotherapy tool used to help people sort out their behavioural and emotional issues. It is based on constructivist theory.

Q. Where does it come from?
A. Dr Albert Ellis created it in the 1950’s. It is acknowledged as the original of the cognitive therapies. Some others are Aaron Becks CBT and William Glassers Choice Theory amongst others. It is a philosophy based approach, Albert Ellis drawing on the work of Epictetus and others of the Stoic tradition.

Q. What’s the ABC Theory of Emotional Disturbance?
A. It demonstrates that A (the event) is not solely responsible for how someone feels and acts (C) but what we believe (B) has a lot to with it! I.e. A+B=C

Q. I’m not a psychologist. How do I teach this stuff?
A. There are some basic strategies that can be used in daily teaching practise that will value add to the teaching/learning process. You don’t have to be a psychologist!

Q. What is REBE (Rational Emotive Behaviour Education)?
A. It’s the application of REBT theory and practises in daily teaching/learning.

Q. Why is REBE important?
A. It teaches students in a systematic way how their feelings and actions are driven by their constructed beliefs (Rational/irrational). If students are aware of this they can begin to make better choices by deconstructing unhelpful beliefs and replacing them with helpful ones.

Q. How does this support mental health and suicide prevention?

A. REBE is based on the very counselling model, REBT/CBT that is promoted by DECDS, (South Australian Education Department) Beyond Blue and Headspace to name a few. It teaches students that anxiety; depression, anger and shame/guilt are driven by irrational core beliefs. Through REBE we help students to examine their core philosophical beliefs and develop healthier ones. As depression is known to be a precursor to suicide and self-harm the benefit of REBE is inestimable.

Q. What other benefits are there for students?
A. REBE addresses victim and bully behaviour. It is a system based on educative, restorative principles and is a preventative mental health program, which can be delivered via pastoral care and across all curriculum areas.

Q. I feel overwhelmed by the number of approaches, strategies, and programs available.

A. The REBE approach is user friendly. It doesn’t rely on any program per se but on a counselling philosophy that embraces most of what we teach about behaviour/mental health via a plethora of other programs that are presented to us.
Hello there!

Q. I’ve heard a lot about Positive Psychology. Is this the new frontier of preventative/educative personal development teaching/learning in schools?

A. Bertrand Russell, eminent mathematician and philosopher of the last century talked about positive psychology. Albert Ellis and others likewise in many and varied ways promote the ideas of PS. Martin Seligman of PS fame draws on many of the ideas and principles of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy/Education.