The Work, in terms of the 4 Questions and a Turnaround, is a clever "gimmick".
As Jay said, for these "facilitators" they can use it with clients, and many of these untrained people charge over $100-$150 an hour! There seem to be hundreds of these "coaches" out there who are selling it.
And its also the golden goose, as people get hooked into the Turnaround loop, and there is no way to get out. The excessive self-blame and guilt created, draws them further into the Byron Katie system.
Notice how the PR people for The Work say, its all free, just do it. Well, then why are there are these hundreds of seminars, coaches, books, DVD, turnaround Houses, and everything else? Why do people get hooked into it for years? Its a golden goose cash-cow.
So it is very cleverly put together, so that most people can't see what's really happening.
But in terms of Cognitive Therapy CT, and David Burns, they are actually in direct opposition.
CT is about adjusting to actual reality, based on objective EVIDENCE. [www.nacbt.org
Byron Katie has tried to link herself to CT, as CT has been proven to help people in many studies.
CT and the BK work are actually in direct opposition, its somewhat like saying that Astrology and Astronomy are related, as they both talk about planets. The Work is like Astrology.
Whereas CT, has been very carefully studies and refined for decades, with hundreds of actual studies to refine it.
(stay away from any "therapist" who claims they are alike)
One of the philosophical roots of CT is Epictetus.
"Men are disturbed not by things but by the views which they take of them" Epictetus, Greek Stoic philosopher 55-135AD
So its an ancient idea, that our perceptions are what disturb us, its in Shakespeare too. Its common sense. If you see a snake on a path, you freak out...then you see its a stick, and calm down.
But from there, it gets a lot more precise.
Cognitive Therapy is about adjusting to factual reality, based on evidence and reality-testing. So CT is literally the OPPOSITE to the BK work. What is CT? [www.nacbt.org
What BK seems to have done, is to take a few components, and put them together as a "gimmick", similar to how she warped hypnotherapy to her own ends.
The Work is not neutral, its directional. It directs the client further toward BK, in a closed-loop. It is a checkmate. Its NOT freedom.
Let's look at it.
1. Is it true?
2. Can you absolutely know that it's true?
3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
4. Who would you be without the thought?
Turnaround: (the thought is turned around to its opposite, around to oneself)
Question 1-2 are nothing new or interesting. That is why UG Krishnamurti dismissed it as a gimmick. That is the first question of epistemology in philosophy, which has been asked forever. The answer, is that nothing is 100% "true". But its the start of the BK mindtrap, as she pushes people away from how epistemology works.
The real questions should be, how ACCURATE is this thought, and to what extent can it be verified? That is epistemology [plato.stanford.edu
] and is where science begins, through testing for evidence. So beliefs/thoughts/ideas can be put on a continuum of accuracy, from just over 0% to under 100%.
Question 3, is just basic self-awareness. If you believe a snake is a stick, you are scared. Again, its nothing original, just basic stuff.
Question 4, this is where it starts getting damaging. Buddhists have trained people to detach and observe thoughts, so there is nothing new here. But to try to erase and negate thought, and connect that to the SELF, is when things can get damaging. This is the beginning of the Thinking Errors in the BK Work.
Turnaround: this is where it goes right off the rails, and the real Cognitive Distortions, Thinking Errors, and mind-warping starts. Modern therapy has proven that excessive self-blaming creates depression and guilt. Also, Polarized thinking is called Black/White thinking, and is very harmful.
So its very clear how this operates.
She presents the salespitch as a cure to all human suffering, which is a bigger claim that the Buddha, and is obviously false. (the irony is the BK Work does the opposite, and creates more suffering).
Then Questions 1,2, are just basic human thought. But for healthy thinking, you don't say, "is it true", you say..."how accurate is it", and look for objective evidence.
Question 3,4 push people toward the No-Self No-Mind idea, and this is meant to try and clear the slate, so to speak.
Then the power kicks in on the Turnaround aimed at the self.
As when people assign excessive self-blame, they are going to get guilt-ridden and depressed. That is actually proven in many studies. And of course, most women tend to self-blame anyway, and this makes it worse.
Then what? Then people need more Aftercare, more coaching, and even the Turnaround House.
The Turnaround is the most destructive aspect of the Work, and this is what starts to point the person towards Byron Katie, and can even disable people. Then when she layers everything else over top of it, you get exactly what she has.
If the Turnaround is self-applied by people in serious depression, or with suicide issues, they could spin down right to the bottom. As since serious depression is created by excessive self-blame, people will literally start to blame themselves for blaming themselves, and it spirals down to the bottom. If you asked Byron Katie, doesn't the BK work Turnaround spiral people right down to the bottom? She would SMILE widely and say with glee and clap her hands...YES!! She loves spiralling people down to the bottom.
These Turnarounds on the self, can completely disable vulnerable people, and can even lead to suicide. Read the Byron Katie RELEASE OF LIABILITY [forum.culteducation.com
Personalization and Blame. This is when you take personal responsibility for something that is not in your control. An example could be blaming oneself for a spouse's medical illness by saying, "I am to blame, if only I had made he/she exercise more."
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/08/2009 12:45PM by The Anticult.