You have probably heard the story of the tourist who visits New York City for sightseeing and asks an elderly New Yorker, “How do I get to Carnegie Hall?” The New Yorker advises him with one word, “Practice!”
While the advice to practice may not be necessary for a sightseer, it is actually pretty good advice to utilize whenever you are an active participant in learning anything meaningful. If you are learning a foreign language or learning to pay a musical instrument of learning to swim or learning to use a computer,you won’t get very good at it if the only time that you devote to it is your actual class time.
Many of those of us who practice psychotherapy have often been remiss in not placing enough emphasis on the importance of practice. Using the therapy session for talking about making changes can produce insight and good intentions – but changes in attitude or behavior or self-confidence are not likely to take place because of good intentions alone. Goal-Achieving Psychotherapy regards practice as a necessary component for making progress. The importance of practice applies not only to learning new skills but also to learning new attitudes about one’s self and one’s approach to the world. You can practice positive thinking and optimism and self-esteem and ways of being good to yourself. A therapist can help implement those ideas,but a therapist cannot practice for you.
In line with our concept of using this website as the mental health equivalent of going to the gym, mental health exercise cards are available for download at no charge from the Products page. Whether you are planning to learn a new skill or hobby or attitude, the exercise cards can help you to structure in small steps in a positive direction. Those small steps will constitute a practice schedule that becomes part of the process that can lead from good intentions to success.