Monthly Article Archives: May 2008

Changing Our Ineffective Scripts so that Children Will Change TheirsRobert Brooks, Ph.D.

A major foundation of resilience, about which I have written on many occasions for my website and in the books I have co-authored with my friend Dr. Sam Goldstein, centers on the concept of personal control. Simply stated, resilient people are those who have the insight and courage to change what they are doing if what they are doing is ineffective. They avoid blaming themselves or others if particular actions prove unproductive or counterproductive. Instead, they consider what changes they can initiate to create a more positive outcome rather than wait for others to change first. Such a perspective leads to a sense of empowerment rather than blame. Assuming personal control or responsibility for one’s life is an essential underpinning of emotional and physical well-being, but it is not easily practiced. All too often when confronted with difficult situations, many individuals become frustrated, but instead of considering alternatives to their current outlook and behaviors, they persist in doing the same thing over and over again, trapped in a negative script that frequently involves accusing others for maintaining the status quo. I have witnessed many examples of negative scripts in my clinical and consultation activities. For example, in consultations I have

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