Welcome to Find Your Nudge

You have just noticed my picture on the ‘welcome’ page of my website: Your Nudge. You have gone past my title .….. that’s one step.

Take another look at the picture.

Just notice one specific detail that catches your eye … that’s a second step you have taken.

How do you respond to the picture? With excitement, anxiety, puzzlement or what? I cannot know. I can only offer these three suggestions.

….. that’s a third step.

A fourth step is to answer to my questions, listed above …. that is, your answer, not mine.

A fifth step is to give a label to your own feeling.

If you wrote down some of this information, then you took a sixth step. You have a recorded result.

As the saying goes: any journey, however long, starts with the first step. You are – as of now – already on a journey.

From my point of view everyone reading thus far will have experienced a series of small victories or a small defeats: Let me explain.

If you completed each of the steps, as described, then you may have around five or six small victories; that is, information you can use this afternoon to do something just a little bit different. If you did exactly as I said, then that might well be a small defeat where conformity limits your abilty to be creative.

In actual practice, then, readers have a mixture of small victories and small defeats. How come? A really important question I want to ask is: how many specific parts of my picture did you take in: say, the danger signs or a query about the form of travel, car? walk? bike?

You cannot notice all and everything, but some details are more important than others yet what is important to you, is not the same as what is important to me.

If you do not notice something of potential importance to you, then that’s an important small defeat. Something is there, say, the warning about obstacles on the scenic route you might want to follow – but it was not registered. In my own personal experience, it is a common reaction to miss such important things in life. It can create confusion or – to be contrary – help us to avoid confusion.

There is another example of how we can befuddle ourselves at: .https://your-nudge.com/being-in-two-minds/

It’s OK most of the time, but it could be tricky if I am walking on a scenic route and too pre-occupied to scan my horizon for potential obstacles! I say more about all this at: https://your-nudge.com/nudging-along-the-scenic-route/.

If you did miss the opportunity to be curious about further details in the picture then you would have missed an opportunity to just notice your own reaction to something just a little bit different. When that happens, it’s a different small defeat. How we feel about most things shapes what we do about them.

This first example is intended to demonstrate that the design of a nudge is trickier than first appears, and yet effective change requires a series of  nudges.

There is, of course, yet another outcome. By now, there is a group of readers who did not reach to this point. For them, life goes on just fine – as it did before choosing to visit my website. I wish them well. There are only 24 hours in any one day and, anyway, my style of writing and reasoning will not suit all and everyone.

This website is about designing nudges and how to respond to the small victories and the small defeats you meet.

Let me introduce myself. I am Robin. I am a semi-retired registered counselling psychologist in the UK.

This website provides a large collection of safe experiments that I have gathered from colleagues and clients over decades. They have been tried out over many years.  Although no experiment on offer will always work, most things described here have worked, sometimes, for some people. I believe this website may be of use to you, my reader, as well as clients.

Anyone with a natural curiosity may find it helpful to practise the safe experiments identified on this website. Over time, you can create and develop your MY-NUAL.

For those planning to visit me in person, you may be interested in my background.  As I work in a partnership, you will find details relating to Dr Christina Mason. She is a psycho-therapist and my very patient wife. You can contact either of us via the form, below.

If this web site is about anything, it offers a psychological form of  “personalised medicine” directed by you – with at least one rather important difference:  personalised medicine cannot afford to get it wrong; people can die.   

See my ‘letter’ to you on this topic.

Please note that hyperlinks, when you see them, will take you to a new page. If it is not obvious why I am offering you that link, please leave it. It may be a distraction. If you have the time, then read down the whole page to winkle out the small, safe experiment I had in mind.

There is an experiment available on most pages throughout this website. I am confident small victories will emerge from trying something out, BUT …….

…… this website sets out to demonstrate that a small defeat – arising from a small, safe experiment – is an essential part of effective psychological therapy. It is not an undesirable or an unwanted by-product.

It is essential to the process of change in your life. 

I repeat myself on purpose, as this is a central point. Consider life as a game of Snakes and Ladders. You are not likely to the end of your own scenic route without sliding down a Snake, somewhere along the way.

This is the central ‘message’ – sliding down a snake might be uncomfortable yet there are things to be learned from the experiences and the way we handle them. In this website, I assert that things may appear to get worse, indeed, may need to appear worse before anything gets better. It may take time for it to do so!

There is no short cut to experiencing defeats and victories, yourself, through your own efforts.

A couple of comments:

  1. The website may suggest that I do not have my own model to explain how therapy works.  It is a list of ‘experiments’. True, I do focus on the ‘do-able’ things’ – how things can be made different. Even so, I am a meaning-seeking person – aren’t we all? I have constructed pages that describe my ‘model’. I offer several pages that explains my thinking and illustrate my point of view. My approach seeks to be ‘trans-theoretical’, to use the jargon, but it is still just another theory.  It is my theory. I emphasise this point as many writers are reluctant to own their theory. They appear to offer you ‘the truth’, even The Answer. I do not.
  2. I have been asked about the way small, safe experiments are different from those used by conventional scientists. There are large differences – not least because the same experiment can end up with a different result – at different times.  I say it’s OK for that to happen! Please keep this feature in mind and do not look for consistency when designing and implementing small, safe experiments. Remain open to the variations and be curious about them. What do you learn from them?

There is another important consideration: I cannot do the work for you.

So let’s get down to business. If this web site says anything, it is that you can make a difference for yourself. The information in it, and the contributions of many people, are focused on maximising this possibility. 

A good starting point might be: A First Nudge for you to consider. That’s a suggestion, not a requirement.

The material you are about to generate can provide a tool for your own personal development.  However, some of it may have an emotional impact on you. Therefore, you may want to work on your personal development with a consultant. If you need some leads to follow up, then let me know.  The important thing is to find some-one reliable and discreet outside your immediate circle of friends or family.

For some outcomes or challenges, you may conclude that the support of a well-qualified therapeutic practitioner is necessary. This can now include me.

A note on Advertising: you should find no advertisements on this web site.  I’d ask advertisers, sellers and recruiters not to get in touch. Any such feedback will be left unanswered. I still get junk mail and I’d ask you not to add to the culling I have to do.

Genuine questions and comments using the form at the very bottom of this page are most welcome. I will respond, so do give me a prompt if this does not happen for whatever reason. 


SUMMARY 

You can find out more about me on: About the Author page. A profile of my wife and partner, Dr Christina Mason – a psychotherapist – is available as well. We can be contacted via the contact form, below:

Here’s an additional sample of pages on this website that might get you started::

What is a nudge

How to design small, safe experiments

Safe experiments in time and space

What’s so important about the SMALL in Small Defeats and Small Victories?

Categories of small, safe experiments

Safe experiments using Smart Objectives

Relaxation techniques

Body Scanning and ‘thinking-about-breathing’

Communicating with small, safe experiments

Taking your time

Safe experiments and our ‘spirit’

….. and a final page to explore every entry on this website (now there’s a challenge!)

An index of all pages and posts

Happy Hunting.

Here is a way to make direct contact with Christina Mason or myself.

….. and, finally, for now, after you have done a few safe experiments, consider:

how will you review the work you have done

…… and how will you end some work?

Happy Hunting!

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