POV: A Practical Progression
By Ernest L. Lotecka, PhD
Pragmatic psychological counseling involves a dedicated dialogue about important experiences and points-of-view (POV). For promoting health and well-being, the four successive viewpoints below seem to be important stages in personal understanding, effectiveness and enjoyment.
1. Influences Biological, psychological and social-cultural factors are interactive influences on the quality of human life. These biopsychosocial factors are impacted by diet, activities, sleep, beliefs and people. The solution to psychological problems can most often be found in this basic list. Clarifying other problem causes or sources may help in making physical, psychological and/or social progress.
Respectively, the problem sources frequently include the following: (a) viruses, toxins and drugs that weaken not only the body, but also the mind; (b) excessive stress from prolonged tension, anxieties about possible losses and depression after losses that often have adverse physical or social effects; and (c) destructive behavior or mental delusions stemming from hatreds, prejudices and wishful fantasies.
2. Reactions After food-poisoning, there likely will be defensive reactions to absolutely avoid any food linked to that unpleasant event. Similarly, there may be a reaction to avoid a variety of human contacts after personal psychosocial attacks or disappointments. After suffering tragic losses, there are strong inclinations to return to a past where there were better personal roles, relationships and supports. This can result in getting fixated on memories.
Sometimes fears of previous dangers lead to over-generalization and over-reaction. There may be a behavioral swing in the extreme opposite direction. These reactions prevent adapting to present conditions.
3. Perspectives New helpful awareness can grow from examining assumptions, checking factual evidence and testing conclusions with observations over time. From experience comes perspective – a wider viewpoint. This enables new references points from which to examine a past POV. It is like looking above a lower hilltop position from a newly reached higher one. “Mindfully” looking at habitual thoughts may lead to identifying patterns in their repetition, endurance and passion.
4. Steps Even small steps can result in significant improvement. ∆ Change your mental focus. Words and thoughts (self-talk) can help or hinder. Identify troubling negative thoughts, and then focus on constructive ones: for example, how you have previously solved problems. You may have to firmly tell intrusive thoughts to “stop” as you would an unruly two-year old. ∆ When distressed, calm down by taking time to breathe slowly, listen to relaxing sounds and look at something pleasurable.
∆ Consider your available assets (including skills), and daily apply these productively. Do what you enjoy — talking to somebody, writing anything, reading something, walking somewhere or creating something. Keep it simple: engage in natural basic actions that are good and true to your real values. The result will likely be more satisfying relationships with yourself, others, and the world.
Communications Connections® Ernest Llynn Lotecka, PhD © 2010