Trudi Jane Wyatt, MA, RP, CCC
Registered Psychotherapist

Psychotherapy for individual male and female adults in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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416-901-0994 No text; if emergency 911; see ‘Resources’.
130 Adelaide St. W. (weekdays)
By appointment only

Think for yourself or let someone else think for you?

Who you are, who you are not, what you believe, and what kind of people you want to spend time with, in part inform your “identity,” the formation of which was seen by developmental psychologist Erik Erikson as taking place across adolescence.1

I was reminded of this in a recent blog post1 by psychologist Alan Godwin about “The seduction of groupthink (the vulnerability of letting other do your thinking for you).” He describes that within the identity task are four sub-stages (Marcia, J.) including “moratorium”, when rather than looking to others for WHAT to think (characteristic of the sub-stage of “foreclosure”), one shifts to asking critical questions about the beliefs they’ve been told such as, “Why is that true? How do I know that’s true? Who says that’s true? Why should I believe it?”

But, Dr. Godwin explains, “There are [actually] many adults who chronologically arrive in adulthood while being developmentally stuck in foreclosure. They’ve never learned to think for themselves and, consequently, look to others to do their thinking for them.” This leaves them vulnerable to exploitation.

A popular approach to psychotherapy called “cognitive behavioural therapy” (“CBT”) helps people with how to think for themselves. It involves learning to “examine the validity and usefulness” 3 of one’s thoughts so as to improve emotion and behaviour.

If you would like to explore how this approach might be able to help you improve and maintain your mental health and well being, consider contacting myself or another professional for an initial telephone consultation or an initial in person appointment.

1. https://peopleproblems.org/may-10-2019-the-seduction-of-groupthink/

2. https://beckinstitute.org/get-informed/cbt-faqs/

Note that this post is not psychotherapy / counselling; please contact me or another professional if you require these services. If you need urgent support, consider Toronto Distress Centres at 416.408.4357. If you need immediate help, call 911 or go to your local Emergency Room. Note this post is for information only, does not imply that a professional relationship has been established with readers, is not advice, and does not imply intent to provide professional services to readers. Intended audience: Current adult residents of the Canadian province of Ontario only.

Trudi Jane Wyatt © 2019