I had heard of Byron Katie (website and blog) before, and recently came into contact again with her philosophies in Anapol’s Polyamory in the 21st Century. I decided it was time to investigate her ideas further.
I downloaded and read her free e-book The Little Book (excerpts from her book Loving What Is), and found it immensely helpful. I think this description from the introduction to her book is pretty accurate in her approach:
“Her insight into the mind is consistent with leading-edge research in cognitive neuroscience, and The Work has been compared to the Socratic dialogue, Buddhist teachings, and twelve-step programs.”
Her worksheets remind me of the rational emotive therapy I did to work on body image stuff. The inquiry and consequent cognitive restructuring is very similar. Unlike rational emotive therapy and other cognitive behavioral techniques, I find her method of inquiry to be more helpful because it does not assume that you have “rational” versus “irrational” thoughts. The Buddhist and Zen-like quality of her writing and worksheets allows me to accept whatever thoughts and beliefs I have, disregarding whether or not they are rational or not. It allows the inquiry to be more like meditation, instead of like homework.
All of her basic materials are available for free on her website, and she also has a phone app. I just downloaded it and used it, and found it to be pretty helpful. I can imagine using it often because of how accessible it is. It would be more difficult to keep printing out worksheets and keeping them around.
I hope to read Loving What Is soon, and continue blogging about how her method helps my internal work and how. 🙂