Mind Optimization Part 23: The Boogey Man

It’s hard to confront scary or shameful parts of ourselves. The alternative to work and confrontation is avoidance. Then the problems continue. Good therapy is like a personal trainer who pushes you through these hard spots. The outcome is good, and often a cure.

This video is part twenty-three of twenty-six excerpts from a presentation hosted by SOUL Food Salon in March 2019.

You may check out the full playlist of this video series on The Art and Science on Mind Optimization here. Alternatively, you can also click here to watch the previous video and here for the next one.

Video Transcript

I want to talk about the Boogeyman. This is a very important principle also in the work that I do. I think … How many of you remember being afraid of the dark when you were little? I was also afraid of the dark. Are we still afraid of the dark now? Maybe, but far less so. The reason that we’re not afraid of the dark anymore is because at some point we stopped and looked to see what was there.

In many ways, to me, that’s what therapy, that’s what psychiatry is about. In some ways, I think it’s terrifying and scary to look under the bed. I don’t know what’s down there. Do you know what I mean? The person with panic attacks, I don’t know what’s going to happen if I have another one. That’s the power of psychotherapy and the power of psychology to influence your behavior because the reality is for a lot of the things that you’re afraid of they can be remedied and alleviated with a little bit of light and exploration.

It’s so important that we kind of go out a little bit and we … Don’t let yourself have touchy topics. Things that you don’t want to talk about. This is where I encourage everybody, work with a therapist, talk with a friend, at minimal journal about it, write it down. The key trick there is, I think, if it’s scary enough, if you’re asking yourself oh gosh I’m too scared to even write these words on paper, then you definitely should write it down. You can burn it tomorrow, it’s okay, but get it out.

The human brain … There’s a concept called integration, which is bringing back into your experience, laying something to rest. Integrating it back into your life, rather than saying I had this terrible thing and I never want to experience that again.

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