In this workshop, journalist John-Paul Flintoff will teach you how to stop spirals of negative thinking.
Psychologists use the term “automatic negative thoughts” to describe the ideas that pop into our heads uninvited, like burglars, and leave behind a mess of uncomfortable emotions. They sabotage our best self, keeping us small, and safe - and can lead to a vicious circle of negative reinforcement.
Over generations, and in different traditions, people have found many different ways to describe these thoughts – and, more importantly, ways to deal with them. Some have chosen to hear them as the voice of The Devil. Others talk about having an Inner Critic.
But all too often, when the negative thoughts arise, we fall into the trap of believing that they describe an accurate reflection of the way things are – rather than what is, in fact, just a point of view.
Happily, increasing amounts of evidence of the brain’s plasticity suggest that we can disrupt the poisonous cycle of negative thoughts and put in place something much healthier. In this class, we will explore some of the ways you might do that.
Using ideas and practical exercises from the worlds of art, performance, and cognitive behavioural therapy, John- Paul Flintoff will show you how to find, and identify your inner critic, to bring relief from the tedium and distress he (or she) can cause, and to stop him getting in the way of the things you want to do.
ABOUT Special events
In our classroom on Marchmont Street, leading writers, economists, historians, philosophers, psychologists, artists and other thinkers offer provocation, inspiration and consolation in the form of advice for living better.
Each special event is limited to 32 participants, allowing for intimate engagement with the great ideas of our time. Speakers for this strand have been invited by The School of Life to present their own material. Session formats will vary depending on the subject.
Image Credit: Directors’ Festival by University of the Fraser Valley, Creative Commons image on Flickr