Sexual Assault and the Slow Erosion of Self-Efficacy

Impact statements have revealed the many self-defeating, destructive lessons that sexual assault taught me. In the ten years between 16 and 26, I survived four sexual assaults. The assailants were a high school classmate, a man ten years older than I was who hired me as his English tutor, and my own father. At 20,Continue reading “Sexual Assault and the Slow Erosion of Self-Efficacy”

Shut into the Dark

In the early 1970s, Martin Seligman led experiments on learned helplessness. He tested whether you could abuse dogs to a point where they just gave up. The answer is of course you can. One group of dogs was given electric shocks they could easily end by pressing a lever. Another group was given shocks theyContinue reading “Shut into the Dark”

The Dangers of Negative Self-Talk

I like to think I’m a basically positive person. I can be annoyingly so when friends and loved ones bring problems and frustrations to me. “So what would help with that?” I’ll ask. I like to focus on actions–either physical or cognitive–that have a chance of improving the situation. So I was astonished this morningContinue reading “The Dangers of Negative Self-Talk”