Thought for the Day from Dr. Randall Alifano PhD: How Personal Defenses Can Backfire

Dr. Randall Alifano PhD

Dr. Randall Alifano PhD says that it is natural for individuals to want to avoid discomfort. If a person has been hurt by an action or situation, acknowledges Dr. Randall Alifano PhD, he or she will take steps to make sure it does not happen again. Dr. Randall Alifano PhD explains that in these efforts to avoid discomfort, people can take on powerful, negative thought processes like anger, judgment and self-loathing. Dr. Randall Alifano PhD reports that these processes can become habituated into long term modes of thought and behavior that can dismiss new, unfamiliar ideas, the need for connection and a generalized resistance to change.

Ultimately measures taken to defend their emotions, notes Dr. Randall Alifano PhD, can cause as much, or more, discomfort as the pain they are trying to avoid. People will even resist love, says Dr. Randall Alifano PhD, in a vain attempt to avoid disappointment. When people have closed off their feelings, reports Dr. Randall Alifano PhD, opening up again can be just as painful as the hurt they thought they were avoiding.

Dr. Randall Alifano PhD focuses his work on helping individuals examine their own filters and defenses. This is often a difficult process, explains Dr. Randall Alifano PhD, but it offers very real rewards. At times, Dr. Randall Alifano PhD helps clients get started by suggesting that they become quiet and listen to what is going on inside them in that particular moment. Dr. Randall Alifano PhD calls this “Coming Home”.

When a person meditates, i.e., watches without trying to change their thoughts, they often can pick out the negative phrases and sentiments that narrate their thinking. It is the same negativity, illustrates Dr. Randall Alifano PhD, which a person might feel when they pick up a paintbrush to work on a canvas and their mind tells them that they do not know how to paint or that they aren’t any good at painting. The same filters and barriers to presence, notes Dr. Randall Alifano PhD, might convince a person they cannot dance and thus encourage them to retreat into shyness. When an individual comes home, adds Dr. Randall Alifano PhD, they have less to fear about the opinions of others or of the negative, self-depreciating thoughts that can plague us. These critical thoughts are powerful, concludes Dr. Randall Alifano PhD, which reflection, compassion and self-love can help to overcome.

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