June 24, 2016 by Angus
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Treat Your Psychological Techniques Like Antibiotics

Before we start, let’s get one thing clear. You can’t treat anxiety and stress by swallowing antibiotics. You need the best psychological techniques and evidence-based treatments to do that. Antibiotics are great for treating another type of ailment.

When winter strikes and the wind, rain and cold set in, we become susceptible to getting colds or the flu. When we do, often the first thing we reach for is a course of antibiotics.

Antibiotics have been the “magic bullet” taking away serious challenges to our body health. But increasingly, we’re hearing stories of new “superbugs” that are immune to antibiotics.

A major reason for this is the apparent overuse of antibiotics. But that’s not the only reason. The other reason is that people, when prescribed antibiotics, are not taking the full course.

Let me explain.

When feeling better is all in the mind …

People get infections. They reach for the antibiotics. They start the course. A few days later, they start feeling better. Then, they stop taking the tablets.

“Why bother taking more?”, you say. After all, you’re feeling much better.

But caution.

Not all of the bacteria in your body have been killed off. You feel much better, to be sure. But the most resistant bacteria are still working their “evil ways”. The antibiotic treatment hasn’t had the time to take it’s full course.

These remaining bacteria are likely to build resistance to future treatments.

Why am I telling you this, you might ask?

Well, firstly, next time you take antibiotics … finish the course.

Secondly, and my real reason is this …

Psychology has a very similar mechanism.

View Psychological techniques treating anxiety and stress as analogous to antibiotics

People often only work a psychological technique when they’re in the “heat of crisis”. When things are really bad, falling apart or seriously holding us back, we reach for a psychological technique for relief.

But then, when things start getting better, we stop.

This approach creates a problem.

We lose faith in that psychological technique. The next time when anxiety spikes and holds us back we tend not to trust the previous treatment. The next time when stress overflows and clouds our life, we don’t feel compelled to re-engage the psychological technique that seemed to help last time. After all, it “obviously” didn’t fix the problem. “Clearly”, it didn’t stop the stress or anxiety from coming back!

At least, that’s how we often see it …

Take psychological techniques treating stress and anxiety the full course

But consider this. Instead of accusing the psychological technique of failing to prevent “relapse”, why not ask, “did I give it enough time to work fully?”

What if, as is often the case, the psychological technique wasn’t given enough time and space to “bed down” fully in your life?

We need to be more “functionally stubborn”. Invest more in giving yourself “real immunity” going forward when dealing with those challenges that hold us back from living our best life.

When things are not going right …
When something is holding you back …
Having a specialist in your camp to guide you through with the right course of “psychological techniques” is often best.

If that’s you, let us know here.

Contact Angus Munro Psychology

Clinical Psychologist Sydney

We specialise in evidence based treatments for relieving psychological distress such as anxiety, stress and depression. We also excel in helping people create lasting, powerful change in career, business and life. Find out more

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