What could be better than memes? Funny, shareable, and no huge investment in time. However, the reality is that many of us spend an inordinate amount of time sharing these funny, little bits of wisdom! I’ve even heard people complain that they are suffering from pinteroids!
What is interesting to me to me as a therapist is noticing how people choose to spend their time. I always do my best to leverage that information when I am helping them to make more profound changes in their lives. I learned this in graduate school when we were studying the Premack Principle. If you’re not familiar with it (or you don’t remember from grad school), the Premack Principle involves making high probability behaviours (e.g., playing video games, spending time on Pinterest) contingent on low probability behaviours (e.g., going to the gym, eating your vegetables).
In other words, you can suggest the time that clients usually think of as “wasted time” as their reward for working towards their goals. If you go to the gym, then you get to go on Facebook. If you declutter your closet, then you can tweet as much as you want.
These behaviours could also be used as a substitute, or replacement behaviour, for a bad habit that your client wants to stop. In this case, when you feel the urge to have a cigarette, then go on Pinterest instead and pin everything you want until the craving passes.
This article first appeared in the Winter 2013 issue of TILT Magazine ~ Therapeutic Innovations in Light of Technology.
Click here to read the entire PDF version of the Wired to Worry article.
Christine Korol, PhD, is a cartoonist psychologist in private practice in Calgary, Canada, and the host/producer of a podcast on WiredToWorry.com that provides free online anxiety and stress reduction education videos.
Access TILT Magazine archives: http://issuu.com/onlinetherapyinstitute/docs