So I was sat in one of my last lectures of this 2nd year of my degree, the lectures particular flavour was CBT – Cognitive Behaviour Therapy to the uninitiated and it works a bit like Kryptonite to me
Its a long winded story that I wont bore you with but I hate it, yes it works, yes its proven, yes I can acknowledge that a thousand times but it just doesn’t fit with me and what I want to do from a counselling perspective – I can see lots of others love it and that’s OK - they might hate what I love and that’s fine too – diversity is what makes the world go around but there were a couple of points in the lecture where I just wanted to ask more and get a different kind of response so I’m asking it here and hoping you can help me with a bit of “research” – those on my course can either start laughing now or stop reading – its about to be very dull as you all heard this during the lecture.
The overriding subject matter was about the effects and consequences of “worry & rumination” which are so prevalent in so many mental health disorders.
The lecturer’s persistent point was that worry/rumination isn’t generally helpful – and this is something that I absolutely would subscribe to – no issue there
He came round to the subject of “is thinking fact” well no its not and ok – yep – happy with that
Then asked if thinking something could make it come true.. he asked about the lottery.. imagining winning doesn’t make it so does it.. no it doesn’t
He then told of a time he was in a training session and on a blank piece of A4 he was asked to write the name of a loved one and then write “died in a car crash” and it was this I balked at.
Fair enough we had gone through a path of understanding with him that “just because we think it doesn’t make it so” – but I do think there are sizeable parts of me that believe in the power of positive thought and consequently the power of negative thought.
He asked if we would have done it and I didn’t hesitate in saying “no chance” and then entered into a discussion with him about why and at the back of my head I was having an internal debate on where I stand with this stuff.
My reasoning was that there are countless stories of people with cancer who survive longer, achieve what might have been unthinkable or are recovered which they put it firmly in the hands of positive thought, mind over body, using visualisation and mental kick assing when all else appears lost. Also of elderly couples who spent their entire lives together, and one of the dies and the other dies almost immediately after.
Is this all just consequence?
I should caveat this immediately by saying I’m not suggesting that all those who died or suffered from cancer or other awful illnesses ‘gave up’ and that’s why they passed away, cancer, for one, is a relentless beast of a shit but I suppose I’m looking at examples of where people lived longer than they should have done, overcame adversity that shouldn’t have been possible, experienced events through sheer will etc
I have personal experience of:
a) mother who was too stubborn to die though all the odds were against her, and even someone half her age and in the peak of physical condition could not have survived – and why? she hadn’t met her new grandchild, I was 8 months pregnant and Funny Miss was born while she was in intensive care on a ventilator
b) another grandparent in a hospice – unconscious – rousing to hear news of her first born great grandchild before quickly slipping away the following day
So do I think that thought is so powerful, or should I just sign up and write the name of a loved one on that sheet?
Well here is the thing – I do believe that thought is a powerful life enhancing and even life saving thing
Yes I can see that medication and timing might all play a part but I bet we all know of something or a similar situation to the ones I describe above – or someone who is beating the odds even as we speak by attitude and powerful positive thinking.
Yes I can also see that I cant make myself win the lottery – but can I think myself into a better position – I think I can – there you go call me naive but I think I can.
I do believe that what I put out there is what I will get back – call it Karma
I couldn’t write my loved ones name on that sheet, as I wouldn’t want to put that out into the universe – I just wouldn’t want it out there – so pass me a kaftan
So my question to you is this – would you write a loved ones name on that sheet?*I should also caveat this by saying he didn’t actually ask us to do that – just asked if we would have done*