Thoughts vs. Feelings...Chicken or the Egg?
- Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 May 2018 18:13
- Written by Steve Halley
One topic that seems to get considerable discussion among BIP facilitators is "the chicken or the egg" conversation regarding "thoughts or feelings". The discussion centers around which approach is better. While there are plenty who would argue that focusing on "thinking and beliefs" impacts feelings and is the best approach, there are others who vehemently argue the focus must be first on feelings. The Family Peace Initiative would say that there really is not a "chicken or egg" conundrum on the topic. A facilitator needs to have the ability to work with both thoughts and feelings with those they serve. The inability to do so limits the effectiveness of BIP work. A better question to be asked is not whatto focus on, but "how" do we focus on both simultaneously.
Commonly, participants in BIP classes have strong beliefs about emotions. Participants will say how they were taught to avoid expressing sadness and fear in their childhood. It is normal to hear comments like, "My step-dad told me that he would give me something to cry about if I kept crying", or, "If people knew that I was afraid, they would think I was weak and would take advantage of me". Participants live in fear of being seen as weak, soft, and unmanly. They mask this fear through aggression, addiction, and a host of other defense systems.