More threads by Daniel E.

Daniel E.
Empowering Clients to Thrive Despite Their Desire for Death - A Workshop on ACT for Suicide Prevention :acrobat:

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We are taught that we should get rid of things that are bad and unwanted. We are good at this when it has to do with external things (spoiled milk, used tissues, etc.). Then we are told that we should be able to similarly get rid of emotions and thoughts that are viewed as “bad” or unwanted. This isn’t as easy and when the emotions are very intense it can be downright impossible. Often when people are unsuccessful getting rid of unwanted emotions they turn to increasingly extreme measures to find escape from them (e.g., isolation, substance abuse). These attempts also usually undermine valued behavior and erode reasons for living.

For some people, it can start to feel like maybe they are the thing that is bad or broken and/or that the world is bad or broken. When nothing else is working and our minds are rigidly applying this rule we have been taught to get rid of unwanted internal experiences, of course minds often consider suicide. Suicide is typically a logical solution to the problem of needing to control uncontrollable experiences. But what if you haven’t been doing the control thing wrong? What if it just doesn’t work and that we don’t actually have to get rid of unwanted thoughts and emotions to start living a vital meaningful life.
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