On Bullshit Psychology

The Bullshit Psychology Stamp of Disapproval I was going to write this post on ” pop psychology ” but decided that moniker just doesn’t cut it, and the scope is too limited and easy.  What we are referring to when we say “pop psychology” is 99% bullshit.  Not too hard to see that, if you read 50 of those books and your life still sucks .  But for that matter, what passes for “evidence-based” psychology is still probably at least 60% bullshit.  I’m going to go beyond bashing the obvious targets that lard up our bookshelves, the self-help books and so forth.  I want to target much of what clinical psychology that the public encounters eagerly defines itself as.  It’s not “popular” necessarily, but it is awfully self-important and mostly wrong and potentially damaging to the public.  Actually, So let’s call it what it is: Bullshit psychology.

The main premise of bullshit psychology is that there is something wrong with you, and you need psychology to fix what’s wrong with you.  This is the first premise of bullshit.  I want to highlight this premise because all else in bullshit psychology rests on it.  You are broken, we will fix you.  We, the experts, will provide you the information to fix yourself.  Bullshit.

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Why Life Sucks 2: Thoughts And Illusion

Sometimes, I can’t help the feeling that I’m living a life of illusion.

– Joe Walsh

Thoughts and "Reality" - circle square optical illusion

As with this classic optical illusion, things are NOT necessarily what they VERY MUCH APPEAR TO BE.  What you “know” to be “true” is not necessarily even remotely connected to reality. And that’s true for all of us.

What’s really hard to accept is just how much of what we perceive and believe is actually a bunch of poppycock. Balderdash. Ballyhoo.  Utter hogwash. Horsehockey. Life appears to suck — does really seem to suck — often because we have ideas about how things are that are largely inaccurate and certainly unhelpful.  In short: your most treasured beliefs about the world: mostly bullsh*t.  But really, that’s good news, because in fact it’s not life that sucks, it’s your belief system.

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Brain, Schmain. Behavior is What Matters!

Brain, Schmain. Behavior is What Matters!
I admit it, I’m fascinated by neuroscience. I’m a little concerned, though, that the press is overemphasizing the brain science of mindfulness at the expense of what really matters, which is behavior. 

Unless you are prescribing medications or performing neurosurgery, you cannot directly apply brain science to mindfulness practice. All you can do is read something like Huffington Post’s recent article on neuroscience of mindfulness meditation and say, Oh, Cool!

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Why Your Life Sucks So Bad

Why Your Life Sucks So Bad

“What’s the ugliest part of your body?…. I think it’s your MIND!”
–Frank Zappa

Since time immemorial, people across the world have been asking this question: “Why, when I have enough to eat, a place to live, and clothing to wear, does life still suck so damn bad?”  As soon as we stopped hunting and gathering and started having stable civilization, this question cropped up and has stuck with us ever since. Life sucks. Bad. Why??

There’s a simple answer, believe it or not.  The answer is, it’s not your life that sucks, it’s your mind that sucks.

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Why Therapy Often Sucks

Therapy often sucks. Therapy Often Sucks

Therapists, while they may have fancy credentials, often do not take the time to become expert at any particular technique. The result is they slosh around with you a little bit in a number of unfocused ways, and you go noplace, slowly.

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Mindfulness and Leadership

Mindfulness and LeadershipCheck out this LA Times Article on how mindfulness is being used to train better leaders!

I can attest to that. I doubt I’d be organized enough to lead anything at all without practicing mindfulness meditation daily.  Besides organization, mindfulness leads to better decision making, allowing us to slow down enough to consider all the important factors affecting a decision, and to be decisive and bold enough to move forward under ambiguous circumstances.  And what circumstances aren’t ambiguous these days?

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Anxiety Has a Right to Exist

Anxiety Has a Right to Exist

The above photo portrays a typical human response to anxiety: trying to tune it out, in this case quite vigorously!

Everyone experiences anxiety sometimes, some of us more than others.  Many advocacy groups as well as pharmaceutical companies would like us to pathologize anxiety, assuming that it is something “wrong,” “bad,” or “abnormal.”

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We Hate What We Fear

Yoda Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering Yoda

As the wonderful Star Wars character Yoda says, fear leads to anger, and anger leads to hate.

If we find ourselves hating, we can ask ourselves, “What is it that I am angry about?”

Then, we can take it a crucial step further: “What am I afraid of?”

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Gay Marriage Rights, NOW, EVERYWHERE

Marriage is a basic civil right for all, gay, lesbian, transexual, bisexual, or heterosexual.

Portland Mindfulness Therapy supports gay marriage rights – and we’re proud of it!  Want to help support our stance? We’d love to hear from you.

This issue is the civil-rights issue of our day.  Those who stood in the way of gay marriage will be looked upon in coming decades as similar to those who opposed integration in public schools.

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Do I Need Therapy?

I’m guessing most people in this country at one time or another have at least considered getting some professional help, some therapy or counseling.

When deciding whether one “needs” therapy or counseling (I will use those two words “therapy” and “counseling” interchangeably here), it can be useful to consider some questions.

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