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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

Think for Yourself

 

 

The term “dimwit” may be defined as a stupid person. The adjective “dim” infers that one isn’t bright or intelligent while the noun “wit” relates to one’s intellect or capacity to understand.

 

Of course, in a polite society, people would refrain from use of terms such as “dimwit.” However, the United States isn’t entirely a polite society and nor should, must, or ought it to be.

 

Besides, who am I to oppose tradition? Therefore, I invite the reader to forgive me a personal anecdote—one that references how to create a dimwit through the therapeutic process.

 

I once knew someone who I’ll refer to as “Matilda” who after many years of experiencing mental, emotional, and behavioral health symptoms decided to pursue the services of a psychotherapist. I was appreciative that my longtime friend took a step towards wellness.

 

An intelligent person through demonstration of her academic pursuits, Matilda carefully selected a clinician that met my friend’s needs. As time passed and Matilda shared information with me about the practitioner, I became suspicious about the psychotherapeutic modality being practiced.

 

Granted, Matilda provided me with an interpretive view of her therapy, so I maintained a healthy level of skepticism regarding the information she shared. Still, I learned that Matilda was apparently encouraged to rely on the psychotherapist for answers rather than Matilda learning to think on her own.

 

For instance, when I’d inquire about a problem Matilda shared with me, she’d say something to the effect of, “I’m gonna ask [psychotherapist] what to do about it.” This was a different approach to psychotherapy than how I helped clients.

 

Through my practice of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), I encourage clients to think for themselves rather than relying on me. Regarding this approach, page 48 of The REBT Therapist’s Pocket Companion discourages REBT practitioners from inviting clients to “mindlessly” agree with us and other people.

 

Essentially, Matilda—a relatively bright person—was becoming a dimwit (of sorts) through apparent exposure to and reliance upon a psychotherapist who practiced a different model of therapy. This form of dullard therapy relates more to codependency than wellness.

 

Granting Matilda’s description of her psychotherapy experience as true, I suspect her therapist sought to help my friend feel better. Removing the burden of having to make difficult decisions or to have a client experience discomfort associated with unhelpful beliefs, I suppose a person would feel better by outsourcing agency to another individual.

 

However, as an REBT practitioner, I’m not focused on merely helping people feel better. Rather, I aim to help people get better. This means my clients will need to think for themselves, make difficult decisions, and push through discomfort as a means of achieving growth.

 

Using Matilda’s example as a reminder about the sort of therapy some people may encounter, I typically remind prospective clients about how challenging REBT can be in comparison to other psychotherapy options. It isn’t a feel-good approach to wellness.

 

Ultimately, I find it interesting how many times I’ve been contacted by people who seek a therapist who isn’t a “feel your feelings” or “you’re perfect the way you are” type of practitioner. Predictably, the feel better effect tends to fade and people wind up seeking to actually get better.

 

If you’re looking to try discomfort versus comfort, because your current therapist isn’t helping you by encouraging you to think for yourself, I’m here to help. After all, one of the last behaviors I wish to model for my clients is codependency-fostering that creates dimwits who rely on me.

 

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

Hollings, D. (2023, September 8). Fair use. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/fair-use

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

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

Hollings, D. (2024, January 13). In terms of REBT. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/in-terms-of-REBT

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

Hollings, D. (2023, September 15). Psychotherapeutic modalities. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/psychotherapeutic-modalities

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

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

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