Our guest speakers last night, Dr. Clifford Lazarus, psychologist, and Ms. Donna Astor-Lazarus, social worker, gave a dynamic and very well received presentation on the forms of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), their development and application. Dr. Lazarus’s father, Dr. Arnold Lazarus, pioneered several of these therapies, including multimodal therapy. He coined the term behavior therapy for these then innovative methods that have since displaced Freudian psychoanalysis in the practices of most therapists.
Ms. Lazarus led us through a mindfulness exercise to illustrate its importance for promoting well-being by enhancing self-awareness to reduce anxiety and stress. Being mindful, bringing focus to the present whether that be your breathing, an activity or sensing your environment, helps us let go of the temporal annoyances that we all must endure in life.
Dr. Lazarus addressed the importance of not requiring perfection in ourselves. “Shoulding” and “musturbating”, terms coined by Dr. Albert Ellis who created Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, when we fall short of unrealistic expectations is harmful and unnecessary.
Dr. Lazarus has co-authored, with his father, popular psychology books and articles. In one such article, Be Your Own Shrink, which appeared in the November 2000 edition of Psychology Today, they present solutions to 10 emotional problems you can apply on your own, no therapist needed.