Changing Unwanted Aspects of Type A Behavior through Self-awareness, Stillness, and Repentance

Many persons who are characterized with Type A behavior patterns spend so much of their mental and physical resources on getting ahead and accomplishing their goals that they have little time or energy left to devote to their inner lives. For this reason, they often lack a certain self-awareness or self-understanding that manifests itself in their inability to curb their behavior or at least modify it in order to live not only a productive life, but also a healthy one in body and spirit. This is why self-awareness and self-understanding become focal points for therapeutic self-discovery and … [Read more...]

The Spiritual Father’s Ultimate Task: To Enhance Repentance

In Ancient Christian Wisdom, someone who goes to the mystery of confession and repentance is characterized as “a figure with the underlying radiance of the Christian calling, darkened by the fall into sin, and brightened again by the hope of reconciliation.” I also note that “the spiritual father who sees these traits is called upon to enhance them.” It might be helpful to consider how one of the ancient spiritual masters, Abba Dorotheos, did so in training his disciple, Dositheos. In the life of Dositheos, we learn that whenever he would sometimes get angry and speak out while serving the … [Read more...]

Pain of Heart

In Chapter 2 of my book I discuss the problem of pain in terms of cognitive therapy and the ascetic tradition.  While there may be some outward similarities, there are also some really important differences.  Here’s an excerpt to clarify both: “In terms of a diagnosis of the human condition, cognitive therapy locates the sources of human psychological dysfunction in (1) egocentric biases leading to inappropriate anger, envy, cravings, etc., and false beliefs, (2)underlying self-defeating beliefs that reinforce biases, and (3) attaching negative meaning to events.  These dysfunctional … [Read more...]