Tricks with quicksand.

Sunday May 19, 2013

Language is always revealing. We talk about being mired in our problems. A mire is a swamp or bog. The image is of being trapped, sucked in, impossible to extricate. Quicksand is the most terrifying form of mire.

Steve Hayes, an eminent psychology professor in the US, uses a metaphor about quicksand to introduce an approach to healing he calls acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).

When we're stuck in quicksand, our immediate impulse is to struggle and fight to get out. But that's exactly what you mustn't do because as you put weight down on one part of your body (like your foot), it goes deeper.  So the more you struggle, the deeper you sink – and the more you struggle. It's a no-win situation.

With quicksand, the way to survive is to spread the weight of your body over a large surface area by laying down on the quicksand. It goes against all our instincts to do this - to get into as much contact as possible with the very thing that is threatening us. But that's exactly what we have to do.

It's the same with distress. We struggle and fight against it. But perhaps we've not considered just letting it be, of being in direct contact with the distressing thoughts and feelings. If we did, we'd find that we'd get through it and survive more effectively than if we'd fought and struggled.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our Blogspot:



Comments are viewable only by members. Register Now to participate in the discussion.

Already have an account? Login to leave a comment.

There are 34 comments so far.

What is Moodscope?

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. If you’d like to receive these daily posts by email, just sign up to Moodscope now, completely free of charge.

Moodscope is an innovative way for people to treat their own low mood problems using an engaging online tool. Anyone in the world can accurately assess and track daily mood scores over a period of time. We have proved that the very act of measuring, tracking and sharing mood can actually lift it. Join now.

Blog Archive


Posts and comments on the Moodscope blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice. Moodscope makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this blog or found by following any of the links.

Moodscope will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.