Action Precedes Motivation: Why Clients Shouldn’t “Wait Until They Feel Better” To Make A Change

VIDEO: How To Help Clients Who Can’t Get Moving

Leslie Sokol, Ph.D.

Clients who are struggling with depression tend to believe that they have to be motivated in order to do something.

Whether it’s getting ready in the morning, cleaning their living space, going out to see friends, or exercising (the one thing that can help them the most!)—these tasks often seem impossible. And if you work with clients experiencing depression, you probably have heard statements like, “I just don’t feel like it today.” Or, “I don’t have the energy.” Or, “Once I feel better, I’ll start doing things.”

The problem with that kind of mindset is…it often doesn’t work.

Clients have likely been waiting for this motivation for a long time. And if they haven’t gotten it before, they probably won’t get it in the future. The truth is, you don’t have to have energy, you don’t have to not be depressed, and you don’t have to feel like it… in order to do something. Because doing something requires one thing: action.

Action precedes motivation.

This is what we have to help clients realize.

But how do we do that? Well, by showing them they already have done it.

My guess is some of your clients with depression aren’t always enthusiastically-motivated to come into your office for their latest session. Or, for those who do home visits, I’d also bet your clients didn’t want to get out of bed to talk with you.

If they can do it in this instance…they can certainly do it in others.

Check out this 10-minute clip from my new CBT course to learn more about this topic, as well as discover:
  • What happens to clients who aren’t sleeping
  • What to do before you focus on behavioral activation
  • Two activities that make the biggest difference in boosting mood
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I have even more advanced CBT techniques and expert insights in my brand-new Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Certification Training Course! Enroll now and receive over $500 off (a 63% discount!). I look forward to learning more with you!

Meet the Course Expert:
Leslie Sokol, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist, is an internationally recognized leader in the field of cognitive therapy with more than 30 years of experience in practice, teaching, and research. She was a past director of education and one of the principal instructors with the internationally acclaimed Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Philadelphia. She has taught cognitive therapy to professional and para professional groups, nationally and internationally, on such topics as: depression, anxiety, personality disorders, stress management, psychosis, substance abuse, and couples’ problems.

Dr. Sokol served as chairman of behavioral science for the Mercy Suburban Hospital Family Practice Training Program for over 20 years where she taught psychiatry and psycho social skills to family medicine residents and staff of the hospital. She continues to serve as staff psychologist for cardiac and physical rehabilitation departments. She also consults in numerous hospice and nursing home facilities. She maintains a private practice in the Philadelphia suburbs. Dr. Sokol is a distinguished founding fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy and a past president. She serves as chairman of its Credentialing Committee. She is a fellow of ABCT. In these roles, she was intricately involved in the provision and development of training protocols to insure competency in cognitive therapy training, and in the testing and utilization of tools to evaluate this competency.

To further her mission of spreading accurate knowledge of cognitive therapy worldwide, she was Representative at large for the IACP (International Association of Cognitive Psychotherapy). Dr. Sokol is on the Meet the Experts panel for Psychology Today and an invited member of the Psychology Today and Penguin speakers bureau.

Dr. Sokol has co-authored numerous books and book chapters. Her most current books are: Teaching and Supervising Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Think Confident, Be Confident for Teens: A Cognitive Therapy Guide to Overcoming Self-Doubt and Creating Unshakable Self-Esteem, Think Confident, Be Confident: A Four-Step Program to Eliminate Doubt and Achieve Lifelong Self-Esteem, and The Think Confident, Be Confident Workbook for Teens: Activities to Help you Create Unshakable Self-Confidence and Reach your Goals.

Dr. Sokol has published in peer reviewed journals. She has been interviewed for articles in multiple national magazines, such as Redbook, Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health and Shape Magazine. She also has been interviewed for television WCAU NBC10 “10 Show” and Better TV, a nationally syndicated show. She is often interviewed by many national and international radio stations including such shows as WLAC_AM “He said she said”, “Martha Stuart Radio” “Sirius Satellite”, “I Hear America Talking” WRDC-FM and WLBS-FM, “Montel Williams Show” Air America Radio Network, and “Chefs Table” WHYY.

Learn more about her educational products by clicking here.

Topic: Anxiety/Depression | Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Tags: Depression

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