Wednesday, 28 March 2012

#88 Avoidance-Approach Dichotomy

     “We are a creative process in action; change is inevitable, as is our responsibility for our growth. The opposite of responsibility is avoidance, which apathy and fear often engender. Perhaps more than any single attitude, our unwillingness to notice the inner significances of our lives and to understand and care about another serves as the portent of stagnation of person and society.”
     Hart T. From information to transformation. Education for the evolution of consciousness. Peter Lang Publishing, NY, 2009.

     “Experiential avoidance occurs when an individual engages in strategies to blunt, alter, or control distressing private experiences, such as thoughts, emotions, and physiological sensations.”
     Hayes SC et al. “Experiential avoidance and behavioral disorders: A functional dimensional approach to diagnosis and treatment.” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 1996; 64(6): 1152-1168.

     “… we compound our suffering by trying to avoid it. The anxious person is particularly determined to avoid the discomfort of fear. A feared stimulus can be external, such as snakes (simple phobia), a mall (agoraphobia), or office parties (social phobia); or it can be internal, such as a racing heart (panic disorder) or blasphemous thinking (obsessive-compulsive disorder). Most anxious patients recognize that their fear is irrational, but recognition is not sufficient to alter avoidant or escape behavior during periods of heightened arousal.
     Mindfulness is a technology for gradually turning the patient’s attention toward the fear as it is happening, exploring it in detail with increasing degrees of friendly acceptance.” 
     Germer CK, Siegel RD, Fulton PR eds. “Mindfulness and Psychotherapy.” The Guilford Press, NY, 2005.

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