November 23, 2003December 21, 2003Meeting Report

December 5, 2003

Frank Russell, MFT
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Frank Russell is a Marriage and Family Therapist in Elk Grove. He was trained in Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy at the Albert Ellis Institute and in Cognitive Behavior Therapy at the Beck Institute. He is a retired Parole Administrator with the California Department of Corrections.

Frank Russell wanted to find methods of treatment for mental and emotional problems that actually work. Some old and well-known therapies, such as psychoanalysis, may sound interesting, but have not been very successful in practice. Cognitive Behavior Therapy has worked better. Borrowing from Epictetus' philosophy, he pointed out that what we think about "bad" things and how we react to them shows our mental health. Pleasure and a sense of accomplishment can counter feelings of depression. Discovering cognitive errors and changing one's thinking can improve one's mental health. Drugs such as Prozac also have their place in treatment and we should use them if it helps the situation. Some can increase serotonin and reduce depression. Sometimes, however, they have undesirable side effects.

He went on to discuss how we disorder ourselves. People can have a healthy or unhealthy response to the negative things that happen to them. Negative self-talk, for example, which is often untrue, can disorder a person. Anger is a disorder, although often difficult to avoid. We should strive to avoid impulsiveness. He recommended the book "Reason and Emotion in Psychotherapy" by Albert Ellis and "Cognitive Behavior Therapy of Borderline Personality Disorder" by Marsha Linehan.

Report prepared by Wayne Luney, HAGSA Recorder

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