ANTI-STORY

Review of Anatomy Of An Epidemic: This is your brain on psychiatric drugs

Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America by Robert Whitaker Crown, 404 pp., $26.00 About three-quarters of the way through Robert Whitaker’s expose of the psychiatric drug industry, Anatomy Of An Epidemic, I found myself beginning to worry. Whitaker’s claim is that contrary to what [...]

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Wayne Dyer vs. The Best American Spiritual Writing 2007

I have never been religious, but like so many other people I wish often that I had faith. By faith I mean a sense of transcendence, of connection, of the world being more than a junkyard filled with quarreling humans or a machine to be explained by scientists. A world bigger than our definitions of [...]

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No plum blossoms for us

Something I’ve been musing about for awhile is the strange way we in the West, including many of us interested in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, choose to convert spiritual work into psychological work.

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Invalidation versus presence

Invalidation is what happens to us as kids when we’re told to control our emotions, especially negative ones—anxiety, fear, anger, and the like. This happens more in some families than in others. If it happens to you a lot, and if you’re emotionally vulnerable, you may well grow up and become self-invalidating, prone to constantly [...]

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ACT Observer Exercise

About a year or so ago, I came across a particularly neat-sounding exercise for Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, or ACT. It’s called “The Observer Exercise,” and it consists of a script for a therapist to read out loud to a client. The bare bones are pretty simple: the client sits in a relaxed, meditative pose [...]

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Marsha Linehan’s wonderful metaphor for “radical acceptance”

I first came across this quote on the ACT public mailing list on Yahoo Groups—it had been posted there by Philippe Vuille, an ACT therapist working out of Switzerland. It’s from an article by Marsha Linehan titled “Mindful Acceptance and Change: The Central Dialectic in Psychotherapy.” Linehan is the founder of Dialectical Behavior Therapy, or [...]

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