Therapeutic Distinctions

Of Whats and Whys

This is another entry in my ever-growing list of "therapeutic distinctions", pairs of closely related concepts that contain subtle differences that may initially seem obscure but which can often reveal profound implications. One such distinction is between "what" and "why".

Nice versus Good

Are nice people always good? Are good people always nice?  It’s common to confuse these two concepts.

Apologizing vs. Empathizing

 

I've previously written at length about the art of apologizing, since a full apology is much more than saying "I'm sorry".  It's important to highlight one point which gets often gets overlooked when one person tries to apologize to another. It involves the important distinction between apologizing and empathizing.

Smart vs. Wise

This is another entry to my list of "therapeutic distinctions", pairs of words that at first glace may seem similar but which reveal important differences upon closer investigation . Today I want to compare intelligence and wisdom, since what it means to smart is not the same as being wise.

Absence of the Negative vs. Presence of the Positive

What prevents us from being happy?  Often our search for happiness seems elusive because of some negative influence that is getting in the way.  But is that all there is to it?

The Best One-Word Question in Psychotherapy

As a counselor and psychotherapist part of my job is to help clients explore important life issues that can bring lasting positive change.  One advice I can give to my younger colleagues in the field is to not stop too soon when exploring a particular question.  Like excavating a treasure or drilling for oil, deeper explorations can yield valuable results.

Are You a Thermometer or a Thermostat?

The difference between a thermometer and a thermostat is fairly obvious. A thermometer merely reacts to the temperature around it. It rises with heat and lowers with cold.  I think this can be a useful metaphor to consider regarding your ability to manage your emotions as well as those of the people around you. 

Heal vs. Fix

This is another in a long line of posts I've published about what I call "therapeutic distinctions", pairs of related concepts that are often used interchangeably but which reveal vitally important differences when examined more carefully.

 
Such is the case with "heal" versus "fix"

"If" vs. "Is"

Picture representing "if"Regular readers know that I often write about what I call "therapeutic distinctions", pairs of words or concepts with similar meanings that contain important and even life-altering distinctions, or which initially seem to have little in common but which reveal valuable insights when examined more deeply. These distinctions can be crucial since the words we use influence the way we think, and even small conceptual differences can yield very large consequences.

Intentional vs. Invitational

This is another entry in my ever-increasing collection of "therapeutic distinctions", pairs of words that relate to each other while containing subtle but important differences in meaning. Since I pay very close attention to words I'm constantly on the alert for distinctions that can open up new choices in how to think about a situation. More choices equal more possibilities, and that's where the greatest fun is . (If you want proof of that statement just get a 64-color box of crayons.)

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