Category Archives: Random acts of kindness

The Therapeutic Alliance: The Essential Ingredient for Psychotherapy

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 I am currently writing on the ‘therapeutic alliance’ – its relation to mindfulness, psychotherapy, understanding, and ‘being listened to…’   What follows is an interesting article that I came across that may interest some of you…

Excerpt:

Have you ever tried to change the way you do something? It could be anything — the way you hold your tennis racket, blow into a flute, meditate — you name it. If so, think about that experience. No matter how motivated you were to change, and no matter how much you knew that it would help your serve, musicality, or sense of inner peace, it can be difficult and scary to change even the smallest thing. In order to change, you have to give up your old way of doing something first and then try the new way. That means that for a while you’re in a free fall — you no longer have your old habit to rely on and you don’t yet have the new one.

The anxiety of trying to change something as complex and entrenched as how you relate to people close to you or manage stress takes the feeling to a whole new level. Yet, that’s just what you do when you enter psychotherapy. Just as you had to put yourself into the hand of your teachers and coaches, in therapy you need to gradually do just that with your therapist to help you through what can be a harrowing adventure. The foundation for therapy is called the therapeutic alliance (1, 2). When it’s there, you know that your therapist is there to help you, no matter how hard the going gets.

The therapeutic alliance might be the most important part of beginning a psychotherapy. In fact, many studies indicate that the therapeutic alliance is the best predictor of treatment outcome (3-5).

See entire article:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deborah-l-cabaniss-md/therapeutic-alliance_b_1554007.html

 

A mad world A diagnosis of mental illness is more common than ever – did psychiatrists create the problem, or just recognise it?

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Unfortunate Events

When a psychiatrist meets people at a party and reveals what he or she does for a living, two responses are typical. People either say, ‘I’d better be careful what I say around you,’ and then clam up, or they say, ‘I could talk to you for hours,’ and then launch into a litany of complaints and diagnostic questions, usually about one or another family member, in-law, co-worker, or other acquaintance. It seems that people are quick to acknowledge the ubiquity of those who might benefit from a psychiatrist’s attention, while expressing a deep reluctance ever to seek it out themselves…

…While a continuous view of mental illness probably reflects underlying reality, it inevitably results in grey areas where ‘caseness’ (whether someone does or does not have a mental disorder) must be decided based on judgment calls made by experienced clinicians. In psychiatry, those calls usually depend on whether a patient’s complaints are associated with significant distress or impaired functioning. Unlike medical disorders where morbidity is often determined by physical limitations or the threat of impending death, the distress and disruption of social functioning associated with mental illness can be fairly subjective. Even those on the softer, less severe end of the mental illness spectrum can experience considerable suffering and impairment. For example, someone with mild depression might not be on the verge of suicide, but could really be struggling with work due to anxiety and poor concentration. Many people might experience sub-clinical conditions that fall short of the threshold for a mental disorder, but still might benefit from intervention.

See link for interesting article on psychiatry…and bits about the importance of psychotherapeutic intervention…

http://aeon.co/magazine/being-human/have-psychiatrists-lost-perspective-on-mental-illness/

Kindness to a stranger

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How do you approach a conflict? We all know how hard it can be to keep our heads cold in a situation where the best approach would be to not retaliate when slighted. Our emotions often run wild, and in these situations we often attack rather than draw back. We see this tendency everywhere, even in politics

This doesn`t mean that we always act in destructive ways: Sometimes kindness replaces hate and fear.
I am a clinical psychologist with an idea I will work the rest of my life for
I have , through a life with both good and bad, learnt to dream, and have started my own utopia: Kindness to a stranger. The idea is simple: I`ll ask if people will be willing to do just one kind act towards a stranger every week, and interview all kinds of people.


My hero Ellert Nijenhuis has already agreed to the interview next week.


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Want to help yourself? Feel free to share this post, and if you really want to do something that might help, feel free to do a one-minute interview on your computer where you say what you think about kindness. You can include stories of kind acts, or even talk about the drawbacks with an idea like this. There will be a competition too, with 500 euros in the pot for those joining the kindness group and following the event
Why be kind

Let`s change the world: Background

My plan is to interview people about kindness. I have already contacted people willing to be interviewed, and some have already been interviewed. For people who`d like to say something about kindness, they are welcome to send their contributions to forfreepsychology@gmail.com. 


Random Acts of Kindness

Vicky L.

Random Acts of Kindness / by Vicky L.
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The plan is to contact media and to write a book about it all, the following months. 

 
 

The book will include kindness stories, and focus on psychological knowledge related to why kindness works. I have already contacted some famous people enthusiastic about the idea, and will continue to do so whenever I get the change. According to Steven Pinker, this is the time to act. We need to change our habits, and we can all do it by finding a slot in our calendar (five minutes is enough) that we dedicate to kindness.Maybe your kind act will inspire others?

Follow us:

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Want to join our new project: Kindness every weekThe task is easy: Try to do one random act of kindness, every week. If you have five minutes to spare, you can do something nice and contribute to a better world.

So, Are you ready for a challenge?

Would you be able to do one kind act to a stranger, every week?

In June 2014 I will randomly choose the winner of a gift card of 100 Euros and other small gifts. I will post what these gifts will be, and people can vote for their favorites.

The rules for participation are simple:

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1. It can be every type of kind act, like smiling, giving a gift to someone, writing a nice note or giving a compliment. Only your imagination stops you
2. Write a list of your kind acts (you can post them here, also)
3. The person with most “acts” will have a higher chance of winning. Creativity matters, too.
4. Have fun 🙂 
Tag yourself and write what you have done to help others. More kind acts mean more points and chances to win. You can also email your kind acts to forfreepsychology@gmail.com or write a
I will use my own free time to get the money and small surprise gifts, just because I have the money and time. Why not?
Participants so far:
participating.

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