In the realm of psychology, it is not often that you hear of therapists or professionals admitting to their own struggles and emotional ups and downs. We are supposed to be the models of emotional well-being, after all. Well, guess what, we’re human too, with all sorts of messy stories and imperfections. I think the greatest gift a therapist or any healer can give to others is the openness to be themselves and share that story, especially since healing from setbacks can be one of the greatest gifts to building oneself as a well-rounded and empathetic practitioner.
Steve Hayes, the founder of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), is one of those rare psychologists who has come clean about his own emotional difficulties, specifically panic attacks. He developed ACT therapy in response to some of his own symptoms, and the therapy revolves around encouraging greater acceptance and mindfulness of emotional experiences, while combining behavior strategies and flexibility.
I wanted to share his TED talk because his openness about his own struggle really touched me. His vulnerability is beautiful, and his willingness to go there is brave, in a field (ironically) where many aren’t….