• Call Now: 405.341.3554
  • Connect

Edmond Family Counseling Articles

Articles by the Counselors at Edmond Family Counseling

Nothing is as it seems; or at least how it seems to you or me

Thursday, October 13, 2016

By Chad McCoy, M.A., LPC

Now more than ever, I am increasingly impressed by the power of perception. Time after time, event after event, I find myself leaving a situation with what I believe to be the “truth” of the situation only to find out later that it was not at all as it seemed. We’ve all been there, and it makes one wonder why we are so imperfect in our ability to accurately perceive situations.  

Today is September 27th, 2016, the day following the first presidential debate. I watched the debate, many of my friends watched the debate, and most likely you yourself watched the debate. Don’t worry: This will not devolve into a discussion of “who won what”. Rather, the purpose of this prose is to point out how we all could have witnessed the same events, same words, and same answers; yet we all have such varying degrees of who “won.” Why is this? We were all there in one form or another. Lester Holt asked the questions that everyone heard, and everyone heard the answers given. However, I have seen and heard two opposing ideas of the outcome.

The outcome of these debates, or any other emotionally charged event, is colored by the bias that we carry into the event. Elizabeth Loftus, a prolific researcher and professor, points out the importance of bias and memory; in particular, false memories (I suggest looking into her TED Talk here: https://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_loftus_the_fiction_of_memory?language=en). Our perception of an event is highly influenced by many factors and often times highly malleable. Previous experiences lend to us the most readily available information along with a host of expectations that we carry prior to the experience of any event. Confirmation bias (the idea that we seek out resources to only confirm our beliefs) is another barrier that impedes our ability to see eye-to-eye on topics and events. It’s much more difficult to consume information that is contradictory to our beliefs as it would be to find information that align with it. This often times is why during an argument we can only seem to hear what we want, especially when we’re looking for holes in discussion or information to affirm our position.

Our personal investment in any event also determines our perception. If I have a monetary, or religious belief at stake, my perception may be altered to find alignment with that (e.g. Why would I not believe in the very thing I’ve invested so much?). At times the fallout is much more than what we could bear. It’s often easier to allow our biases to rule over us then for us to adjust our views because of new information presented. Rather than accept your perspective as truth, maybe it’s in better form to settle for providing insight into your own interpretation of an event.

A good way to do this during conversation or debates, is to allow your counterpart an opportunity to understand your perspective in its entirety, biases and all. A good way of doing this is an “I statement”. You take responsibility for your perspective and why you have the stance that you have. An “I statement” begins with your own stance, “I become upset when the chores aren’t done because it shows a lack of respect for the household rules.” Now doesn’t that sound a ton better than, “You never do what I ask and are SO disrespectful!!” It’s a way to turn down the temperature of conflict and turn up your relationships.

Edmond Family Counseling serves the community by providing a local resource for mental health and substance abuse services. If we can help you, call us at 405-341-3554 or log on to edmondfamily.org.


Post has no comments.
Post a Comment

Captcha Image

Trackback Link
Post has no trackbacks.

Recent Posts


Risk taking Siblings in Conflict Confidentiality How to detect signs of depression Audrey Woods Unemployment Edmond Character Council Disasters Elizabeth Loftus Parent peer pressure Oklahoma drug use Oklahoma Department of Human Services Prom Girl Strong Childhood depression Retirement Planning Political bias Therapy Apps for Teens Depression Quinton Ellis ADHD Holidays Affluenza Depression and social media How many sessions do I need Alcohol Limitations of counseling Gun violence and mental health Anger Prom safety Family Roles Children Oklahoma Statute on Marijuana How long should counseling take Marriage counseling Isolation in teens Funding Positive Illusions Teenage perception of drug use Role Models non-verbal communication Co-Parenting Teen Drug Use Opiods Summer time parenting Medical Use of Marijuana in Oklahoma 13 Reasons Why NOT The Amazing Race Edmond Family Counseling Speaker Listener Technique How to talk to your kids about terrorism Twenty Somethings Underage Drinking The Butterfly Circus Panic attacks Communication World Health Organization Parenting through Divorce Divorce with minor children Conflict Ridley Scott Sanjay Gupta Time Management College Transitions Domestic violence resources Drugs Entitlement Syndrome Legalization of Marijuana David Feldman Cell Phones Procrastination Parenting Grandparent Initiative The Martian Movie Donald Miller Teens and cell phones Tetra-Amelia Syndrome 13 Reasons Why Will counseling work quickly Feldman and Kravetz Michael Jackson Relationships Supersurvivors Nutrition and stress Misconceptions of Smoking Marijuana Drinking in high school Why did the system fail Marijuana Heroin Crisis Facebook Eating Disorder Parkland Shooter Back to School Schedule 1 Drug personal growth What to do when you are laid off GirlStrong Discipline Prevention Suicide Prevention Recommendations School Andy Weir Freshman Year Death Character Development Parenting with purpose Choices Drug Abuse Mild-Depression Trauma Holiday stress Tumblr Waxing Parenting Teenagers Culture Micro-aggression Teens and Time Management Wax Consequences Panic Impact of Suicide How prevalent is domestic violence Darcy McConnell list What Really Matters Addiction United States Drug Enforcement Agency HK pen Detox Diet Suicide Prevention for Teens Normalcy Child Development Young Adults Reading The Miracle Worker Edmond Drug Use Teenage Development How do children process trauma College College Age Children Teen Safety Positive Reinforcement Suicide Butane Hask Oil Helen Keller Mayme White Miller Enabling Adult Children Support Group gadgets Fidget Spinners Political Correctness Changing Problem Behavior Annie Sullivan Chad McCoy Millenials Marriage Food Allergies Anxiety Decision-Making Adult Children spring Golden Child Negative Thinking What Matters Most Program Bias and memory Independent Living Teen Suicide Twitter Aggregated News for Teens Retirement Co-Parenting Class Family Theory Teens Use of Technology Boundaries Personality Test Scapegoating Learning Self Investment Divorce Disciplining Teens Communicating with your teen Bong Social anxiety Grandparents as parents Instagram Spanking ADA Strong Willed Child Brain Research Summer Panic Disorder Teenage Boys Family Systems Theory Newsletter Organization Fear Jay Asher Grandparenting Sexual Abuse College Campus The Golden Years James Dobson Terrorism and children Technology Chores for Teens History Is therapy forever Setting Boundaries for Your Teen Unemployment and depression Social Media Emotions Codependency Teen Parenting Divorce School New year’s resolution What is domestic violence 5 Love Languages Substance Abuse Belinda Crosier Edmond Municipal Court Mental Health Teenagers AARP How to control panic attacks Teens and Smartphones 710 Stress Links between unemployment and depression Butane Honey Oil Hanna Baker Managing substance abuse Exercise treatment for depression Dating Captain of Your Ship Self-Esteem self-sabotage Microagression Community Suicide Prevention Programs Prescription Drugs Early Treatment of Depression Dr. Rhonda Patrick Communicating with your child Disability Americans with Disabilities Act DIY Marriage counseling Gender Roles goals high school Child Abuse Seniors Help for panic and anxiety bucket list How to recognize domestic violence Parenting and Cell Phones Prom guidelines for teens Movies for Teens Emotional Development Developmentally appropriate strategies for grief counseling Grounded Hope Happiness Communication techniques for couples Sheila Stinnett Al McCormick Heroin in the Suburbs National Drug Threat Assessment Summary Lee Daniel Kravetz Great Depression Positive Thinking Presidential debate fads Call of Duty How to manage anxiety Peers John Goetz Summer Plans for Teens Ben Carson Dr. Ben Carson How common are panic attacks Learning Disabilites Setting Boundaries with Adult Children Jackie Shaw The Martian Book School Anxiety Bullying HB 2249 Edmond drug use Working Parents Self Image parenting college age kids Goal Setting When Teens Should Get a Cell Phone Amanda Percival Teen Jobs Snapchat Joshua and Rebecca Weigel


Call Us Now!