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Exercise #1: Understanding Denial As A Part Of The Human Condition
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Mini-Education Session

This exercise explains that denial is a normal and natural part of the human condition that is related to our need to search for the truth about what is happening to us in spite of our tendency to make mistakes and lie to ourselves about our mistakes in order to avoid pain.  Once we convince ourselves that our lies that our are in fact true, we start believing our own lies.  Then we tend to become deceptive and can start lying to others whether we mean to or not.  To avoid this. we need to develop personal and social systems for finding the truth while protecting ourselves from self-deception and the lies of others.  Denial management is a personal system for finding the truth while protecting themselves from self-deception.

Focusing Questions

This information is integrated by using active listening to process the following questions: 

(1)  Do you want to know the truth about what is happening in your life?  Tell me about that. 

(2)  Have you spent time trying to answer questions like:  Who Am I?  Why am I here?  How do I fit in?  What is my place in the world?  What does the world require of me in order to survive and thrive?  Why are these things happening to me?  What should I do?

(3)  Have things happened in your life that have caused you to ask What is wrong with me?  Whats wrong with what Im doing?

(4)  Are you interested in figuring out what you must do in order to identify and solve your problems, stop your pain and suffering, and live a life that is meaningful you.

These basic concepts are reinforced in a series of related exercises:

Exercise 1-2:  The Tendency To Make Mistakes

Exercise 1-3:  The Tendency To Lie To Ourselves

Exercise 1-4:  The Tendency To Lie To Others: 

Exercise 1-5: Denial As A Normal Defense Against Pain,
                        Guilt, & Shame


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