Get Better at Talking to Yourself

It’s the hallmark of crazy – talking to yourself! Culture feds us the image of the highly disturbed loner, erratically uttering conspiratorial syllables to beings unseen. And we certainly don’t want to emulate that! So, we think that the opposite, never talking to ourselves, neither internally nor externally, is a sign of psychological health. But it’s not. We humans are...[ read more ]

Approval Seeking Schema

“I’m tying myself in knots. Diana is killing me!” A personal assistant, Paige, had recently started to work under Diana, who was aloof and seemed indifferent to efforts to impress her. Paige’s well-honed people pleasing skills just didn’t seem to work with Diana. “I feel like I’m running on adrenaline from the moment I walk into work”. Getting along with...[ read more ]

Thinking Traps V: Personalisation

It’s all my fault! “It’s all my fault” Rebecca lamented. Her son had recently been fired due to testing positive on a workplace drug screen. “I knew he was using; I should have done more to stop him!”   It is a good thing to take responsibility for your actions and their outcomes. When we take responsibility, we start to...[ read more ]

The Vulnerability Schema

Katia came to see me after a work team-building weekend. She was “encouraged” to partake in some fear-inducing and physically challenging exercises. She refused. “There was no way I was going on that rope bridge, that thing could fall at any time”. This refusal lead to a conversation with her boss who suggested she attend therapy. “He opened my eyes...[ read more ]

The Mistrust and Abuse Schema

“You can’t trust anyone!” Clara announced. “They might act nice, but at the end of the day they are only out for number one”. Clara’s employer was funding psychology sessions to treat depression and alcohol addiction. She was reluctant to attend and even more reluctant to open up. “At the end of the day, you work for my boss!” she...[ read more ]

Happy First Anniversary!

Today the Justin Hendriks Psychology blog turns a big one! This blog has been a labour of love for me, I really enjoy sharing thoughts, ideas, research etc. I have been trying very hard to maintain weekly positing, and hopefully I can maintain this throughout Year 2! To celebrate this milestone, here are the top 5 blog posts from the...[ read more ]

Failure Schema

“I f***ed it up again”. Jeff* was frustrated. He had left his preparation for his job interview to the last minute and it had felt like a disaster. They asked me some pretty basic questions about my past work history, and I sounded like an idiot – such a loser. In reality, Jeff was a competent and highly regarded in...[ read more ]

Passive and Passive-Aggressive: The Subjugation Schema

Paul fumed about his wife – “she expects me to do everything, I can’t get a moment for myself”. Paul felt constantly under pressure, at home and at work. He felt himself surrounded by demanding people and fantasised about escaping, being alone. Despite Paul feeling like he was being pushed around, he never got into fights or arguments. “What’s the...[ read more ]

Am I a Narcissist? – The Entitlement Schema

Karl*, a charming, extroverted 48-year-old finance manager was in big trouble. His wife had “suddenly” left with the kids, moving in with her sister. She had had enough of his lies and inconsistencies, mainly related to his cocaine use and “meetings” with other women. Simultaneously, Karl had become under investigation from work for using his company card for personal expenses. Coming...[ read more ]

Little Wounds, Limbic Scars and Holes in the Street

German researchers recruited 110 people who were in hospital for Major Depressive Disorder. They scanned their brains with an MRI machine and gave them a questionnaire about childhood maltreatment. Two years later, they contacted the participants and asked them whether they had experienced in any depressive episodes since first contact. The researchers found that people who had experienced childhood trauma...[ read more ]

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