Tuesday, April 27, 2010


When suffering knocks at your door and you say there is no seat for him, he tells you not to worry because he has brought his own stool. -- Chinua Achebe

I'm starting to learn about an approach to therapy called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. I've known about it for years and have had a book about it sitting on my shelf forever. In the move, I found it again and my interested was piqued. 
I tend to buy books a lot and assume that just having purchased them, the contents will somehow magically travel from the book into my head without any effort on my part!  No matter how long I let them sit on the shelf or how much I enjoy reading the spines, that never seems to happen.

I don't know a lot about this approach so far but the gist of it is that it's more therapeutic to move into pain and suffering than to avoid it. I think the idea is very Buddhist in the sense that the more we try to control or eliminate suffering, the more it makes us suffer.  We also don't want to "wallow," though. There seems to be some emphasis on how language traps us into becoming attached to certain ways of thinking about ourselves and our suffering. I don't understand this part at all yet. I guess I'd better go read the spine again.

I think this is a timely topic for me to explore personally as well as professionally. We'll see what I learn!! 


  1. That does sound interesting. And I like the Buddhist comparison. That thinking has helped me a lot. I always tried to ignore pain, in whatever form, and not accept it. You know, gotta be happy all the time! No whining or complaining or crying, etc. But now I try to sink into it, walk through it, and get to the other side. Not that things are any less painful, but it somehow seems more bearable. Is this book meant for professionals, or could a layperson understand it? Let me know how it goes.

    And by the way, uh, yes, just buying the book imparts some wisdom. It means you have interests, desire to learn, and plans for the future!

  2. You should be a motivational speaker my dear sister!!

  3. Hahaha! I have a personal interest in you, though. I couldn't really care less about the rest of humanity, although I do like telling people what they should do. Motivational speaking could be a legitimate way of doing that...hmmm...