Articles

August 6

Everything is Easier on Paper

Posted by William Berry | Filed under Articles | No Comments

easier on paper
The title might seem commonsensical, but it is rare that people remember it when they are judging themselves harshly. Since I put a lot of words on paper (this is my 108th post), I think it is time to explicitly state that practicing anything is more difficult than it seems in one’s head.

Continue reading, Everything is Easier on Paper here.

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June 19

Recovery for Everyone

Posted by William Berry | Filed under Articles | No Comments

Photo credit Alexi Berry Photo credit Alexi Berry

Over twenty-five years ago I started in the counseling field, working in a substance abusetreatment center. The Recovery Model was commonplace in addiction treatment. It was not called that, it was simply how addiction treatment was. One of the treatment centers I worked at had a poster called, “The Twelve Steps for Everyone”. It generalized the 12-Steps of AA, NA, and other 12-step meetings, suggesting everyone can benefit. The point I’m fumbling with here follows that example: The Recovery Model, now commonplace in the treatment of mental …

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May 20

Top 20 Ways You Are Lying to Yourself

Posted by William Berry | Filed under Articles | No Comments

Photo Credit Alexi Berry Photo Credit Alexi Berry

I often write about how we humans deceive ourselves. Much of the time I’ll list a few ways that relate particularly to whatever I am writing about. Often, I am asking the reader to take a leap of faith and trust that psychology has demonstrated self-delusion based on a few examples. For this post, I have compiled some of my favorite ways the unconscious affects behavior without awareness. Continue reading here.

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April 19

Incentivizing Lying

Posted by William Berry | Filed under Articles | No Comments

 

I write a good deal about self-deception. This post, however, will focus on the deception of others. Most people abhor deception. Yet, to some extent, everyone does it. A study indicated most subjects lied on average one or two times a day (Bhattacharjee, Y., 2017). It seems dishonesty has become more prevalent, and perhaps more tolerated.

 

Nine years ago I wrote on my personal blog about dishonesty (Dishonesty and “I Love You Man”). I had recently caught two students cheating on an exam. It was the first time that had happened (I had only been teaching a year or so at the time). In the time since, …

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March 20

The Words in Your Story

Posted by William Berry | Filed under Articles | No Comments

Photo Credit Alexi Berry. Used with permission. Photo Credit Alexi Berry.Used with permission.

We’ve all heard about the power of words. Many have also probably heard something about how you can change your story, or how the story you tell shapes your life. In this post I hope to bring the power of both together, so one can make significant changes in his or her life, if she so chooses.

We have all likely said things that come back to haunt us, and demonstrate the power of words. Yet, do we really consider much of what we speak? Despite all of the quotes you might have heard regarding the …

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February 19

Security is an Illusion

Posted by William Berry | Filed under Articles | No Comments

Art work by Alexi Berry. Used with permission. Art work by Alexi Berry.Used with permission.

Recently the idea of security in life has arisen in several aspects of my life. I read Rick Hanson’s weekly newsletter, Just One Thing, the post titled, “See Deep Wants”. In it he suggests looking at the underlying wants that are driving you (and others). One of the underlying drives he gives as an example is security.

This has also arisen in some of the therapy sessions I’ve had of late. I’ve had several clients, who when faced with losing a parent who they have perceived as a security blanket, suddenly faces a lack of …

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January 19

Your True Colors Aren’t True

Posted by William Berry | Filed under Articles | No Comments

Photo Credit Alexi Berry. Used with permission. Photo Credit Alexi Berry. Used with permission.

This post is a follow up to last month’s, which discussed similarities between Buddhism and Existentialism. In that post, one of the commonalities is the belief of becoming, rather than being a finished product. In existential thought, existence, which refers to the ability to grow and change, is greater than essence, which refers to a finished product. In American culture, essence dominates what people think of personality. Most can relate to discussion of a person’s essence. When this is discussed, it refers to someone’s core. Sometimes another term, true colors, is used. However, in existential …

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December 19

Existentialism Meets Buddhism

Posted by William Berry | Filed under Articles | No Comments

A good portion of my writing focuses on Eastern practices such as mindfulness, and how they can improve one’s life. Another topic I focus on is existential philosophy and how beliefs derived from that school can also make life more fulfilling. In this post, I’d like to discuss similarities between the two.

I was struck recently by how the two philosophies, born of different worlds, came to many of the same conclusions. Existential philosophy is a Western idea, originating in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries. Buddhism is much older, said to have originated in the fifth century B.C.E. Despite their disparate origins and development, there are several striking similarities.

Being in the moment: Heidegger, a famous existential writer, wrote a …

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November 19

You Don’t Know What You Want

Posted by William Berry | Filed under Articles | No Comments

Photo Credit Alexi Berry Photo Credit Alexi Berry

If you read my work with even a cursory interest, you must know I make it my mission to convince people their minds cannot be trusted. In the past I’ve focused on biases, and how unconscious biases work to protect the ego by distorting objective reality. This post takes a slightly different approach, and instead focuses on evidence that people generally think they know what they want, but in practice do not.

About a year and a half ago I read a book about dating by Aziz Ansari. In the …

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October 19

There is No Point

Posted by William Berry | Filed under Articles | No Comments

It is doubtful that whether there is a point to life or not is a topic of conversation in the average American’s year. In mine, it seems to have been a theme. Some of the most memorable situations where it has arisen begins with an excellent book I read at the beginning of the year. It also comes up in lectures with students and in one of my favorite television programs. In these forums, the theme is there is no point.

In one part of the book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, by Mark Manson, he tells the story of losing a college friend and becoming despondent. He decides during that time that nothing matters; there is no point …

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