When Reality Bites: How Denial Helps and What to Do When It Hurts

When Reality Bites: How Denial Helps and What to Do When It Hurts

by Holly Parker Ph.D.


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Learn how to use denial to help you when you are facing tragedy and how to recognize and move past denial when it becomes counterproductive.

Denial is often seen as an inability or unwillingness to face unpleasant or difficult realities—from financial losses, to illnesses like alcoholism, to larger social issues like climate change. In some instances, denial can be detrimental because it can keep you stuck in a cycle of destructive behaviors. However, denial can also be very useful for helping you get through hard times, allowing you to tap into your resiliency for emotional survival.With great insight and originality, author Holly Parker shows you how to use denial as a buffer in the face of tragedy and how to know when your use of denial has become counterproductive or detrimental. Through a fresh, comforting, and clinically-based perspective, Parker takes the shame out of denial with practical and relatable solutions to uncovering, reframing, and harnessing this very normal coping technique. Hands-on exercises and compelling personal stories help you apply this information to your situation and come to accept your need for denial when it helps, and break through it to face life’s challenges with courage when it hurts.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781616496654
Publisher: Hazelden Publishing
Publication date: 07/27/2016
Pages: 220
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Holly Parker, PhD, is a lecturer in the department of psychology at Harvard University, and a clinical psychologist and an associate director of training at the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital in Bedford, MA. She has won multiple awards for her teaching excellence.http://www.drhollyparker.com/ @DrHollyParker

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

1 If Denial Ain't Just a River, Then What Is It? 5

2 Denial within Us 27

3 Denial at the Level of Ourselves 51

4 Denial at the Level of Our Relationships 73

5 Denial at the Level of Our Situation 95

6 Denial at the Level of Society 117

7 Denial at the Level of Life and Death 141

Epilogue 161

Resources 165

Notes 173

About the Author 201

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