Saturday, 21 March 2015

Psychological Quicksand - Try a Different Approach
March 21, 2015

Psychological Quicksand - Try a Different Approach

image source - creativejunkie

Recently I've decided to change my approach to dealing with my depression, and have worked with my therapist to find something that tackles my issues from a different angle. He told me about this recent scientifically researched cognitive therapy called 'ACT' or 'Acceptance and Commitment Therapy' (which sounds silly so lets just call it ACT). The philosophy behind ACT is to leave the battlefield raging in the mind and begin to live a life you truly want (which it admits to be rather vague). To be honest, I find that pretty unhelpful. I kept reading this book on ACT and found this pretty profound analogy.

Suppose you found yourself standing in the middle of a pool of quicksand. No ropes or tree branches are available to reach. You're shouting 'Help, get me out!' and beginning to do what people usually do when they are stuck in something that they fear, struggle to get out. 99.9% of the time the effective action to take is to walk, run, step, hop or jump out of trouble. This is not so with quicksand. Any attempt to wriggle yourself out or get one foot out will leave you sinking deeper into the sand. The counter-intuitive approach to maximise body contact with the quicksand so that you can possibly log-roll to safety may be your best bet.

Our lives can be very similar, our issues are like quicksand. Our deepest worries have often been lurking for many years. The fact suggests that normal problem-solving methods are unlikely to be successful. If they could succeed why haven't they already? Struggling to deal with your deep-set problems can more often than not, make them worse. In this scenario the only option is to stop struggling and try a completely different approach.

I hope this reaches out to some people, if you've been struggling with any issues for a while then maybe it is time to try a different approach that you haven't tried.



  1. Un-Tipsy Teacher21 March 2015 at 16:20

    There is some truth to this, I think. Fake it till you make it.
    Even with my depression I have had a successful career, good marriage, and a good life.

  2. wow i have literally never thought about it like this before, such a refreshing way of looking at your problems :)

    Rachel // Style Soup