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The Struggle Switch


Dr. Russ Harris




Dr. Russ Harris, Acceptance & Commitment Therapist, explains the struggle switch metaphor through this entertaining and educational clip.


It often seems like we've got a struggle switch at the back of our mind. And as soon as an uncomfortable emotion, a painful feeling, or memory shows up, it's like the struggle switch goes on, and we start to struggle with it.

So, let's suppose anxiety shows up – a very common painful emotion that we all get to experience. Anxiety shows up, the struggle switch goes on. "Oh, it's anxiety. I don't like anxiety. I want to get rid of my anxiety. Now I've got anxiety about my anxiety." So it's getting bigger. With the struggle switch on, I now get, "Oh, my anxiety is getting bigger. How do I get rid of my anxiety? Now I've got even more anxiety."

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