Pleasant Imagery Recall

This activity is extremely pleasant in its own right. It is also a very nice way to end a journaling session. Angry people typically recall memories with irritation, seeming to forget pleasant aspects of their lives or taking limited pleasure from their memories. This activity will challenge you to reexperience pleasant memories from your past, vividly and in great detail, without letting anger or other negative feelings ruin the pleasure of the activity. An advantage of this exercise is that...

Progressive Muscle Relaxation PMR

Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) is the first form of structured relaxation developed in the West. Its originator, Dr. Edmund Jacob-son, demonstrated that when people consciously relaxed their muscles, they became mentally calmer at the same time. Jacobson found, however, that simply trying to relax is only partially effective. One must paradoxically increase muscle tension for a while in order to help the brain to deeply relax the muscles. Thus, Jacobson developed a procedure to...

Core Beliefs

My worth is determined by winning, by coming out on top. If I lose or give in, my worth is diminished. All people that I consider significant must love me. It shows weakness to apologize or admit I'm wrong. My worth is a function of how others treat me, or what they think of me. Only she can meet my needs if she doesn't, she deserves my anger. If I don't get angry, I'll be hurt again. If I can't control someone, I'll be out of control. Hitting her is the only way to get her off my back. If you...

Humor as a Social Lubricant

The story is told that Edwin Stanton had publicly called Abraham Lincoln a low cunning clown . . . the original gorilla. Lincoln appointed him to be Secretary of War anyway because he felt Stanton was the most qualified person. When friends reported that Stanton had called Lincoln a fool, even after Stanton was a cabinet member, Lincoln responded, Did he call me that Well, I reckon it must be true then, for Stanton is generally right. To chuckle at our own imperfections is not only an act of...

Pleasant Activities Scheduling

Peter Lewinsohn and his colleagues for developing the Pleasant Events Schedule.2 Although we tend to feel balanced when we're doing both needed and pleasant activities, sometimes we fall into the habit of omitting pleasant activities from our lives. Perhaps they are given up during periods of great stress and pressure, or during very busy times when it seems like there is no time for pleasure. If we only do what is needed long enough, we might eventually forget what used...

Progressive Muscle Relaxation Instructions

You can read this script through and then follow the summary. Alternatively, you might put the instructions on an audiotape and listen to them as you practice. You might also have someone read the instructions to you, or you might read them to another person (which is a good way to reinforce your own learning). Prepare for this strategy by taking off glasses, contact lenses, and or shoes, and loosening any tight clothing. Lie down in a comfortable place, with your arms at your sides. For...

Model Components

Stressor Hooks(s) Internal and or external events that can be acute, episodic, or chronic in nature. Thoughts Beliefs and perceptions regarding those events. Distortions, or hot thoughts, have the potential to Self-Esteem A realistic, appreciative opinion of oneself, resulting from unconditional love, worth, and growth. Research and or clinical experience support a relationship between low self-esteem and manifestations of physical and mental illness, such as physical and emotional abuse, drug...