Dr. Larry Berkelhammer

Dr. Larry Berkelhammer

The purpose of this website, my book, and the Community Education course I teach at the College of Marin, is to teach people how to live a vibrant, meaningful life through the cultivation of self-empowerment and self-efficacy. In this weekly Q&A column, I post questions from students and from people who attend my presentations along with my answers.

Here is this week’s question:

QUESTION: Can wellbeing really arise from simply recognizing thoughts as thoughts?

ANSWER: Recognizing thoughts as nothing more than thoughts is essential, but not the whole self-empowerment practice. Part of the practice includes a level of introspection that allows us to learn how to identify and then courageously and fully own our fear, shame, rage, frustration, and other emotions, which are terribly disempowering when we fail to recognize and own them. The practice includes cultivation of the skills of introspection along with the mindfulness skills that help us to remain present when those awful feelings appear. It is important to be able to actually feel our feelings, especially the ones we don’t want to experience.

 This website is offered as a free public service, supplying information that has been found helpful to certain people living with chronic health challenges or issues related to wellbeing. No treatment is offered on this website. The advice is general, and may or may not apply to your individual situation, and is not a substitute for psychotherapy or medical treatment.

If you would like to ask me something, you can type your question in the comment box below. An answer to your specific question may not necessarily appear in this column. The reason for that is I wait until I get a certain number of related questions, then I pick one that covers them all and I answer that one.