Hi, many of you did not get the link to today’s podcast on Should Statements, due to an error I made in publishing it. So here is the link: https://feelinggood.com/category/dr-davids-blogs/feeling-good-podcast/
Sorry about the glitch, and hope you enjoy the podcast!
Today, the Cognitive Distortion Starter Kit Continues with
Rhonda begins by reading a beautiful email from one of our listeners, and I give a brief shout out for my new book, Feeling Great, which can be pre-ordered on Amazon now (see below for the link). Thanks to your support, as of today (July 2) it is already the #1 best seller in the Amazon depression AND anxiety categories for impending new books!
David and Rhonda briefly summarize the history of Should Statements, starting with the Buddha 2500 years ago, and culminating in the work of Karen Horney and Albert Ellis in the 20th century. They both emphasized that nearly all emotional suffering as well as relationship conflict results from “Shoulds.”
David and Rhonda describe the four categories of Should Statements:
- Shoulds directed against yourself cause depression, anxiety, guilt, and shame. and even lead to suicidal urges.
- Should directed against others cause anger, and can even lead to violence.
- Shoulds directed against the world cause frustration.
- Hidden Shoulds.
They also describe the three valid types of Should Statements:
- Moral Shoulds
- Legal Shoulds
- Laws of the Universe Shoulds
David and Rhonda provide vignettes illustrating the tremendous emotional damage that can result from “Shoulds” and describe a number of strategies for combating them, including:
- Positive Reframing
- the Semantic Technique
- Socratic Questioning
- the Acceptance Paradox
The final podcast in this series will focus on the two types of Blame:
- Self-Blame, which nearly always marches hand-in-hand with Self-Directed Shoulds
- Other-Blame, which nearly always marches hand-in-hand with Other-Directed Shoulds
Rhonda and David
You can reach Dr. Burns at email@example.com. Dr. Rhonda Barovsky practices in Walnut Creek, California, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. She is a Level 4 Certified TEAM-CBT therapist and trainer and specializes in the treatment of trauma, anxiety, depression, and relationship problems. She also does forensic work in family court, but finds TEAM-CBT to be way more rewarding!
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I don’t know if it has a name, but a technique that was very effective for me is restating “I should …” into “I would prefer …”.
Thanks, yes, it does have a name, and I’m glad it is helpful. It is the Semantic Technique, because it is just a simple change in language. There are many uses, but the top two are for Should Statements, as you’ve pointed out, and Labeling / Mislabeling, where you are calling yourself names or using overly harsh language. All the best, david
Hi David, what is with “shoulds” related to recovery from depression? I suffer from depression for about 3 years and say to myself “I should have gotten better sooner”. Isn’t this “should” appropriate? Because who really wants to suffer through this agony?
Greetings from Geneva