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Dr Michael Edelstein on Overcoming Addiction and Procrastination: PYP 162

As seen on a Sussex Directories Inc site

Michael R Edelstein is a clinical psychologist with a practice in San Francisco, and globally via Skype. As a teenager, he was depressed and anxious, and a chronic procrastinator. After a long, unsuccessful stint of psychoanalysis, Michael discovered the pioneering work of Albert Ellis, the founder of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT).

In fact, Ellis became his therapist, and showed him that the root of his problem was not childhood trauma or subconscious currents, but dysfunctions in his present-day thinking.

Michael was so inspired that he became a student and protegé of Ellis's, and is now one of the leader authorities of this form of quick, direct, and rational therapy (one of the cognitive/behavioral school).

Michael and I met via the book Proteinaholic, of which he is a fan and I am a contributing author. When I saw his email address (@threeminutetherapy.com), I was intrigued, and asked Michael about it.

In response, Michael sent me a copy of his book, Three Minute Therapy, which I devoured (disclaimer: it took closer to three hours than three minutes to read). It's based on a really simple and profound premise: our psychological and behavioral problems are all due to a single cause: mistaking our preferences for demands.

Demands on ourselves; on others; and on the universe.

When we examine the evidence, dispute our dysfunctional thinking, and adopt more realistic views, we can heal depression and anxiety, control our tendencies toward violence and abuse, and conquer procrastination and addiction.

[powerpress]

In our conversation, Michael and I discussed:

  • the problem of “musty” thinking
  • the single root cause of overeating (low frustration tolerance)
  • the genetic basis of most personality traits
  • the three types of demands, and the results of each
  • why even very strong preferences and desires aren't a problem
  • embracing discomfort, and the mathematics of procrastination
  • the ABCDEF exercise (three minute therapy)
  • how we can change our thinking and retool our minds
  • why three minute therapy is like learning Italian
  • the importance of changing our perspective if we want to solve persistent problems
  • the power of rewards and (especially) penalties
  • when it's a good idea not to brush your teeth before going to bed
  • the problem with the 12-step model of addressing addiction
  • is abstinence the only outcome of recovery from addiction?
  • how to increase your frustration tolerance
  • the similarities between stage fright and overeating
  • and much more…

Enjoy, add your voice to the conversation via the comment box below, and please share – that's how we spread our message and spread our roots.

Links

Michael's website: ThreeMinuteTherapy.com

Three Minute Therapy, by Micael R Edelstein, PhD, and David Ramsay Steele, PhD

A Guide to Rational Living, by Albert Ellis, PhD, and Ronald A Harper, PhD

Rational Drinking: How to Live Happily With or Without Alcohol, by Michael R Edelstein, PhD, and Will Ross

Stage Fright: 40 Stars Tell You How They Beat America's #1 Fear, by Michael R Edelstein, PhD and Mick Berry, MFA

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Music

The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.

It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.

You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website, WillRidenour.com.

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3 comments on “Dr Michael Edelstein on Overcoming Addiction and Procrastination: PYP 162

  1. Rachel Behrens says:

    Hi Howard, thank you so much for the interview with Dr. Edelstein. I learned a ton from that and was able to start implementing some of the practices right away. I do tend to procrastinate on unpleasant things and started asking myself why I ‘must’ do that. It’s very interesting and I was able to get a few tasks done and over with yesterday.

    I think I’m actually going to buy his book. As always, you ask the greatest questions with the right mix of skepticism so that we feel the topic has been really addressed.

    1. Howard says:

      Hi Rachel,

      Thanks so much for your feedback. I’m so glad the interview was useful, and I’m delighted that you’ll be diving deeper into Dr Edelstein’s work.

  2. Thank You says:

    Thank You for another informative podcast.

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