In which Dr. Ricks Warren and I discuss self-compassion vs. self-esteem, mindfulness meditation and practical Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques.
Dr. Ricks Warren is a clinical psychologist of Cognitive & Behavioral Psychology at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Depression Center. He is also a clinical associate professor at the University of Michigan Department of Psychiatry. Ricks is the author of several books and book chapters on the topic of Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (which is a subset of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy [CBT]) for anxiety, depression, obsession and has published over 41 peer-reviewed articles on the topic.
I’m happy to say that Ricks’ and my conversation covered a ton of ground in 3/4 of an hour.
We got into his “origin” story as a clinical psychologist, his personal practices of mindfulness and mental discipline through meditation and CBT, various forms of therapy and their effectiveness, as well as a practical toolbox for getting a handle on our minds and emotions.
I think you’ll find this episode especially interesting. Ricks is a real pro in these areas, and I know that most of us suffer from some degree of self-doubt, second-guessing and debilitating thought patterns. Ricks speaks directly to how these things can have power over us, how they can develop into major problems and what we can do about it.
You can listen to the episode below, or at the links provided. Cheers!
Topics covered in this conversation
- Ricks’ background as a boy who loved helping people and how it led him to study psychology
- Encounters with Albert Ellis, the eccentric founder Rational Emotive Therapy (RET)
- The basic Rational Emotive framework and how to apply it in your own life
- Different counseling and psychological theories
- Why cognitive behavioral therapy is the most effective form of therapy
- Who cognitive behavioral therapy won’t work for
- Using psychodynamic therapy early on in the therapeutic process for personal insight
- Thought-challenging exercises: how to use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques to face your fear in a structured way
- Cognitive distortions—recognizing and overcoming self-limiting habits of thinking
- “Musterbation” and “shoulding” all over ourselves
- Insights from Marcus Aurelius and CBT on how to be patient with others
- Albert Ellis’ unconditional self-acceptance, unconditional other acceptance and unconditional life acceptance
- Buddhism in modern therapy and Kristin Neff’s research on self-compassion
- The three components of self-compassion: self-kindness, common humanity and mindfulness
- Writing yourself a self-compassion letter
- The importance of self-testing in the laboratory of your own life as a teacher and therapist
- Ricks’ story about tires and handling anger with other people and situations
- Mindfulness meditation for mental discipline and self care
People, resources and links from this episode
- Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David D. Burns (most frequently recommended self-help book by therapists for their patients)
- Kristin Neff’s website Self-Compassion.org and book Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind (also see Dr. Neff’s newer book Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself)
- “Self-Criticism and Self-Acceptance: Risk and Resilience” by Ricks Warren, PhD with Elke Smeets, PhD and Kristin Neff, MD
Ricks mentioned that David Burns is a psychologist in the podcast and he wanted me to clarify that Dr. Burns is in fact a psychiatrist.