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      How does low self-confidence affect mental health? This article offers tips for overcoming low self-confidence

      Human beings have a natural tendency to seek certainty and control over their lives. Doubt challenges this desire for certainty and introduces a feeling of ambiguity and unpredictability Gibson, (2022).

      Pathological doubt

      Faced with doubt

      When faced with doubt, individuals may experience discomfort and anxiety due to the inability to confidently predict or control outcomes or guarantee that they will perform well. Doubt can create psychological discomfort that occurs when individuals have conflicting beliefs, ideas, or perceptions. Doubt, like acid, eats away at our existing beliefs and highlights inconsistencies, leading to a state of contradiction that we seek to resolve.

      Doubt can be particularly destabilizing when it comes to questioning deeply held beliefs, values, personal identities, or expected outcomes. Our attachment to these beliefs and identities gives us a sense of stability, meaning, and belonging in life. Doubt can often be associated with the fear of making wrong decisions or choices, and human beings tend to avoid mistakes and strive to be accurate wherever possible. Doubt also makes us feel vulnerable and interferes with performance and relationships, but it also introduces the risk of making mistakes, leading individuals to experience anxiety and hesitation in decision-making processes. decision.

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      The story of doubt

      The story of doubt

      The history of doubt in philosophy is rich and spans different periods and philosophical traditions. Doubt has played an important role in shaping philosophical inquiry and has been a driving force in the exploration of knowledge, truth, skepticism, and epistemology (the study of knowledge). Socrates, an emblematic figure of ancient philosophy, emphasized the importance of questioning and doubting one's beliefs in the quest for wisdom. His method of inquiry, known as the Socratic method, involved engaging in critical dialogue to question and examine assumptions, leading to a better understanding of issues.

      In the 17th century, René Descartes brought doubt to the forefront of philosophical inquiry with his method of systematic doubt. In his work Meditations on First Philosophy, Descartes engaged in radical doubt, questioning the reliability of sense perceptions and even the existence of an external world. He also strove to find a foundation for knowledge that could withstand doubt, ultimately arriving at his famous saying "Cogito, ergo sum" (I think, therefore I am). Doubt remains a central topic, and philosophers continue to explore questions related to the nature of knowledge, the criteria for justified belief, and the limits of human understanding. It continues to be an integral part of philosophy and can help us grasp the complexities of knowledge, truth, and human understanding, but it can also backfire, sometimes dramatically.

      Psychological effects of doubt

      When doubt arises, it can threaten these fundamental aspects of our "self", triggering emotional reactions and a strong desire to protect and defend one's beliefs or identity, as can be seen in many current political debates across the world. world. While doubt itself is not generally considered a pathology or disorder, some psychological disorders and conditions may involve doubt as a predominant characteristic or contributing factor.

      Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

      Obsessive-compulsive disorder is characterized by recurring intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive behaviors or mental acts (compulsions) aimed at reducing anxiety or preventing perceived harm Gibson, (2022). Doubt is often at the heart of OCD, as individuals experience excessive doubt and uncertainty, leading them to engage in repetitive behaviors or mental rituals to temporarily alleviate the uncertainty.

      Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)

      Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)

      Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by persistent and excessive worry and anxiety about various aspects of life, often accompanied by physical symptoms such as agitation, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating. Doubt may be a significant factor in generalized anxiety disorder, as individuals may experience chronic uncertainty, apprehension, and excessive doubts about their abilities, decision-making, and future.

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      • Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)

      Body dysmorphic disorder is a disorder characterized by a preoccupation with perceived flaws in physical appearance that are not observable to others or are mild. People with this disorder often have excessive doubts and worries about their appearance, leading to intense distress, self-consciousness, and avoidance of social situations.

      Paranoid personality disorder

      Paranoid personality disorder is characterized by pervasive distrust and suspicion of others, with a tendency to interpret others' motives as malicious. Although not explicitly linked to doubt in the traditional sense, people with paranoid personality disorder often experience excessive doubt and uncertainty about the intentions of others, which contributes to their distrustful nature. and suspicious.

      Specific phobias

      Some specific phobias may also involve self-doubt as a contributing factor. For example, people with a phobia of flying may have doubts about the safety of airplanes and experience excessive worry and uncertainty about flying. These doubts and anxiety can lead to avoidant behaviors and significant distress.

      It is important to note that the presence of doubts alone does not indicate psychopathology or a disorder.

      Some conditions I noted above were influenced by doubt. However, in my next article, I will talk directly about paranoia, which is becoming more and more difficult to live with.

      Reference

      • Abramowitz, J. S. (2006). Understanding and Treating Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Cognitive-Behavioral Approach. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

      • American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA  

      • American Psychiatric Publishing. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Anxiety Disorders. In Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.  

      • Antony, M.M., & Swinson, R.P. (2010). The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook: Proven, Step-by-Step Techniques for Overcoming Your Fear (2nd ed.). New Harbinger Publications.

      • Barlow, D.H., and Durand, V.M. (2014). Abnormal Psychology: An Integrative Approach. Cengage Learning.

      • Descartes, René. "Meditations on first philosophy. (1641)

      • Hofmann, S.G., & DiBartolo, P.M. (2001). Social Anxiety: Clinical, Developmental, and Social Perspectives. Academic Press  

      • Hume, David. "Investigation of human understanding". (1748)

      • Kant, Immanuel. “Critique of pure reason. (1781)

      • Nietzsche, Friedrich. “On the genealogy of morality”. (1887)

      • Sartre, Jean-Paul. "Being and Nothingness". (1943)

      • Stroud, Barry. "The meaning of philosophical skepticism". (1984)

      • Williams, Bernard. “Descartes: the project of pure inquiry”. (1978)  

      • Wittgenstein, Ludwig. “Of certainty”. (1969)

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      A team of more than
      50 trainers in France
      and abroad

      of our students satisfied with
      their training year at LACT *

      International partnerships

      The quality certification was issued under
      the following category of actions: Training action

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