Part of the Whole
I once took apart an iPhone in order to replace a faulty battery. Because I wasn’t skilled at the task, it was an onerous affair. All the same, I was successful at prolonging use of the device for a couple more years before it ultimately needed to be replaced.
Thinking of the undertaking, I’m reminded of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). “How?” you may ask. Allow me to clarify.
There are large and small pieces relative to the overall size of an iPhone. Though I don’t know how each individual part impacts function of the cellphone, I can plainly observe the divisible pieces.
Together, each part comprises the whole—the iPhone itself. If I miscalculate the disassembly process and botch reassembly altogether by excluding a piece, the device likely won’t function properly.
Sure, I could forget to apply a screw here or there and this might not cause a critical error in how the phone operates. However, if I don’t reconstruct the pieces according to their intended role within the device, a malfunctioning battery won’t be my only source of concern.
Since I didn’t know how assess the matter when I performed the task, I sought help from an outside source. Ultimately, and with careful attention to detail, I was able to repair the device.
This example is similar to how I approach REBT. Rather than addressing a defective battery, as an outside source available to help others with impaired life function, I assist people with identifying irrational beliefs.
Sometimes, people mistakenly cling to their assumptions as though they are their beliefs. However, the whole person isn’t reduced to a single part.
The fractured conviction of an individual may be as important as a battery or as insignificant as a casing screw. Regardless of how important we may think the parts of a whole are—how precious we regard our beliefs as representing us in entirety—we can replace our beliefs and still remain the same person as we always were.
The parts comprise the whole though are not the whole itself. Your beliefs are a part of you yet not who or what you are.
As such, when a malfunctioning battery or belief no longer serves our interests or goals, we can replace the part. In REBT, this is done by disputing unhelpful assumptions and replacing them with effective new beliefs—akin to removal of a piece and restoring it with a more functional part.
Quite often, I hear challenges to an REBT psychotherapeutic approach to mental health. Someone may claim that invalidation of a belief is akin to an existential threat, as though a challenge to an idea is the same as eradicating a person.
Though this sort of hyperbole invigorates emotions and a person may literally feel bodily sensations or emotions when overstating the case, it simply isn’t true that objection to an opinion is the same as termination of life. The part is not the whole.
Admittedly, I was apprehensive about taking apart an iPhone when my assumption about doing so led me to question whether or not I would make the problem worse. After having restored the device, with help from other resources, I now have confidence in my ability to remedy future issues with cellular devices.
This is the benefit of REBT, as well. Because I don’t aim to help people feel better though to get better, I provide clients with the ability to resolve their issues on their own.
I serve merely as a resource upon which people may call in order to troubleshoot the problems they face. Once a client understands the REBT method, the individual can then become one’s own repairperson.
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, 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
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Hollings, D. (2023, May 18). Irrational beliefs. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/irrational-beliefs
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Hollings, D. (2023, April 24). On truth. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/on-truth
Hollings, D. (2022, March 25). Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/rational-emotive-behavior-therapy-rebt