A Simple Path to Healing, Hope and Peace

with Seth Gillihan

About the Episode

To alleviate symptoms such as anxiety and depression, mental health professionals have access to a variety of scientifically-based methods. However, these reductionist approaches rarely produce the lasting peace we seek. My guest for today, Dr. Seth Gillihan, a practicing psychologist and one of the leading popularizers of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), believes that to become healthy and whole, we must do more than alleviate our symptoms. He believes that to achieve lasting health and happiness, we must incorporate spirituality into our healing.

Seth is a clinical psychologist, best-selling author, and podcaster. He is an expert in mindful cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).  Seth was a full-time faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania from 2008 to 2012 and taught in the Psychology Department at Haverford College from 2012-2015. He has been in private practice since 2012. He is also the author of multiple books on mindfulness and CBT, Therapy Advisor with the self-therapy app Bloom, a medical reviewer for Everyday Health, and hosts the Think Act Be podcast.

Seth begins the conversation by discussing how he has applied lessons from his book throughout his journey thus far. In this extended excerpt, Seth discusses the “Big Three,” which he defines as sufficient sleep, a healthy diet, and regular physical activity. Seth also explains how to leverage ourselves and the process of working backward. In addition, he mentions the steps he took to re-center himself in the present moment after deciding to practice mindfulness and the central tenets of mindfulness, such as openness, alignment with reality, and decentering. We also talk about “negative thought auditing,” “technology fasting,” “priming our environment,” the difference between “must have” and “nice to have” items, “outsourcing happiness,” “purpose and work,” and more.

Topics Discussed

Seth's Background [00:18]
Sharing his journey, Seth discusses the material of his book and his realization that he, too, can benefit from it.
The “Big Three” [19:06]
Seth elaborates on the idea of the "Big Three," which consists of getting enough rest, eating right, and exercising.
Mindfulness [35:47]
Seth talks about how he brought himself to the present moment when he started focusing on mindfulness, and mindfulness concepts like being open, aligned with reality, and decentering.
Meditation [38:30]
To help with mindfulness, Seth details what he considers to be the essentials of daily meditation practice for novices.
Key Concepts [53:14]
Seth discusses concepts, including negative thought auditing, technology-fast, priming our environment, outsourcing happiness, and the idea of purpose and work. Also, he further explains how listeners can incorporate these concepts into their life.

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