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Shoulding

CBTer Judith Beck uses a client vignette to look at guilt and the “shoulds.”

John holds certain values quite dear and believes he is violating those values when he doesn’t quite live up to them. He is plagued with the shoulds: I SHOULD work harder; I SHOULD be a better husband/father/son/sister/community member. Every time John perceives that he is failing to live up to his exacting standards, he criticizes himself. He always feels he is lacking in one important area or another. John doesn’t have a psychiatric disorder. He isn’t suffering deeply. On the other hand, though, he doesn’t have peace of mind…

And here, a PT blogger provides a simple antidote: “I wish…” “I’d prefer…”

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Posted by Will Baum, LCSW