The BET-RR Way: Self-Awareness for Better Living

 

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Self-awareness. Most of us believe we have a good measure of it. But how did we learn it? Is it just natural? If we had to teach someone to become more self-aware, how would we teach them? We know that self-awareness is good for personal growth and increasing well-being, but how many of us actually have a way to work on improving self-awareness?

One thing I have learned as an insight-oriented therapist is this: we are blind to aspects of ourselves. It can take years and even some crisis-experiences before we are able to fully realise the deeper parts of our hearts and minds. It is as if we are immune to negative feedback on those parts of us that we don’t like. But in order to grow with integrity-of-self coupled with a sense of freedom and authenticity, we need to get in touch with every part of our selves.

Over the years of work with clients and seminar participants, I have put together a useful and robust framework to help people develop deeper self-awareness. It is an abstraction and combination of different therapy modalities** into a simple acronym I call: The BET-RR Way. BET-RR [pronounced “better”] stands for: Body – Emotions – Thoughts – Reactions/Responses. Let’s talk about BET first. Continue reading “The BET-RR Way: Self-Awareness for Better Living”

Handling Disagreements — Remaining True While Staying Connected

 

When disagreements arise, it can be difficult to stay connected with the disagreeing person and yet remain true to yourself at the same time. If feels more natural to either blame the other person or to walk away. But if we are to grow into emotional and relational maturity and wellness, we must learn to be able to ask and manage this question in times of conflict:

How can I be fully me and fully us at the same time?

Put it slightly differently: “I want to be true to myself (to be fully me) while I stay connected to you (to remain us), even when we disagree. How can I do that with you?”

I learned this idea from one of my family therapy supervisors many years ago:  move from “either/or” thinking to “both/and” thinking.

We often think in “either/or” terms especially when we are caught up in a fight-or-flight mode during a conflict. Being able to engage in  “both/and” thinking instead gives us new power for creative collaboration.

How does it work?

Continue reading “Handling Disagreements — Remaining True While Staying Connected”