top of page
  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

Depriving Freedom


 

Years ago, when visiting Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, I was reminded of the two times that I was detained in the Naval Consolidated Brig, Miramar. Although conditions were far better in the brig than in Alcatraz, I recalled how unpleasant it was not to enjoy freedom.

 

Brig staff told inmates when to sleep, wake, eat, or shower. It was as though I was reverted to the time of being a resident in a children’s home while placed in a cottage (house) of boys who had justice-related problems – which didn’t apply to my reason for placement.

 

Despite not knowing about Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) when I was a resident in the children’s home or detainee in the brig, I retained the ability not to disturb myself too much about the restraining conditions to which I was subject. Now, all these years later, I understand how I was able to do so.

 

REBT illustrates four major irrational beliefs: demandingness, awfulizing, low frustration tolerance, and global evaluations. While deprived of freedom, I didn’t frequently use rigid forms of these unproductive assumptions. Rather, I practiced a form of unconditional acceptance.

 

I encourage you not to misunderstand me. Simply because I was able to retain my sanity when unable to come and go as I wished isn’t meant to imply that I enjoyed the fact that I was a resident of the children’s home or the brig.

 

Rather, I found a way not to make matters worse than they already were. Reflecting upon those unpleasant periods in my life, I now consider the inflexibility of demandingness.

 

In particular, I consider should, must, and ought-type statements and how these narratives deprive the person who uses them – as well as other people – the freedom of choice. This matter is addressed on page 129 of The REBT Therapist’s Pocket Companion.

 

For instance, suppose you irrationally believe, “People must not incontinence me, or else I’ll give them a lesson they won’t forget!” Then, someone inevitably violates your inflexible demand and you wind up pushing the individual with such force that the person falls backwards and strikes his head on the concrete.

 

You’ve just killed a man. Now, you’ve deprived yourself of freedom of choice concerning all the plans you had for life when you awoke that morning. Likewise, you’ve deprived the decedent freedom of choice in regards to a rigid rule he may never have known existed in the first place.

 

While I realize that I may be criticized for use of hyperbole, I began my career in the field of care for mental, emotional, and behavior health when working in a criminal justice diversion program. Scenarios like the one I’ve described herein are more common that one may think.

 

I’ve seen the inside of a cottage’s living quarters. I’ve twice seen the inside of a brig detention unit. I was fortunate enough to observe the inside of an Alcatraz cell while merely visiting the facility. Unfortunately, I’ve also seen the inside of a detention cell at the Travis County Jail.

 

These are places in which the average person may not desire to live. Therefore, I invite you to consider that when you believe in absolutistic must statements you deprive yourself and others of the freedom of choice.

 

Depriving freedom has consequences. Sometimes, we merely disturb ourselves to anger. Other times, we disturb ourselves into rageful, hostile, aggressive, and violent behavior. You can choose healthier options. The choice is yours to make. What will you do?

 

If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life—helping you to sharpen your critical thinking skills, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.

 

As a psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues ranging from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.

 

At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!

 

 

Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW

 

References:

 

Dryden, W. and Neenan, M. (2003). The REBT Therapist’s Pocket Companion. Albert Ellis Institute. ISBN 0-917476-26-3. Library of Congress Control Number: 20031044378

Hollings, D. (2022, October 31). Demandingness. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/demandingness

Hollings, D. (2022, March 15). Disclaimer. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/disclaimer

Hollings, D. (2024, April 2). Four major irrational beliefs. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/four-major-irrational-beliefs

Hollings, D. (2023, October 12). Get better. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/get-better

Hollings, D. (2023, September 13). Global evaluations. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/global-evaluations

Hollings, D. (n.d.). Hollings Therapy, LLC [Official website]. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/

Hollings, D. (2023, May 18). Irrational beliefs. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/irrational-beliefs

Hollings, D. (2023, September 19). Life coaching. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/life-coaching

Hollings, D. (2022, December 2). Low frustration tolerance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/low-frustration-tolerance

Hollings, D. (2022, March 24). Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/rational-emotive-behavior-therapy-rebt

Hollings, D. (2024, January 4). Rigid vs. rigorous. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/rigid-vs-rigorous

Hollings, D. (2022, November 1). Self-disturbance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/self-disturbance

Hollings, D. (2022, October 7). Should, must, and ought. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/should-must-and-ought

Hollings, D. (2024, April 9). Shoulding at the supermarket. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/shoulding-at-the-supermarket

Hollings, D. (2022, November 15). To don a hat. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/to-don-a-hat

Hollings, D. (2022, July 11). Unconditional acceptance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/unconditional-acceptance

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcatraz_Federal_Penitentiary

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Naval Consolidated Brig, Miramar. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naval_Consolidated_Brig,_Miramar

0 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

תגובות


bottom of page