The Mother of All Discrepancies!

Blog entry: The Mother of All discrepancies

Yes, I have identified (article, workbook) eight “motivational discrepancies, gaps between values or ideals and perceived decision/action.  But it occurs to me that all discrepancies are not created equal.  Is it not the very essence of “powerlessness” to be faced with the appalling fact that the values and ideals that “should” motivate my change utterly fail to do so. I know I will lose my job, am certain I would not jeopardize it, and I do anyway.  I know how much I hurt my spouse, how close s/he is to being done, and I drink or use again anyway.  The doctor’s warning? Another arrest and probation violation? Nothing seems to stop me!  Imagine the smoker described by Premack and used by Rollnick and Miller as the defining example of“motivational discrepancy.”  What if he had found himself smoking again anyway, just a few weeks or months after his life-changing “aha?”  Early COPD or emphysema, even hypertension or high cholesterol attributed to smoking?  Still smoking on!  Yet that inability to stop for “good” reason is exactly what the alcoholic/addict watches in him/herself.  Drinking in spite of consequences, unable to learn from experience, call it what you will. “Powerless” is still the best name for it.  And it is not just one thing – it is, at least, eight things.  No wonder almost no one “gets it” the first time!

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