Dr. Gunars shares how he deals with anxiety about granddaughter not doing well in school

Posted by Rex Alexander on Mon 3 Sep 18 in ABC Technique, Anxiety, Basics, Disputing, Guest Author, Guest Author Posts, Perfectionism |

Dr. Gunars is a regular contributor to REBT Info, and we are pleased to offer his reply to our recent discussion about managing GAD and anxiety for the a child who is not doing well in his high school career.

Rex, as most of the time, gives a good answer. This is not to offer an alternative to Rex, but a supplement.


I have one granddaughter who is also undergoing a hard time. After the disputing of the MUSTS, SHALLS, HAVE TO¢‚¬„¢S through the main irrationalities of demanding, awfulizing, can¢‚¬„¢t-stand-it is, rating, and overgeneralizing using the on-line REBT self-help form at http://www.rebtnetwork.org/library/shf.html

This is what I came up for my granddaughter, you should do the same thing for your son and submit the answers to this discussion group as I did:


REBT Self-Help Form


What is the situation that you are upset about?

Answer: granddaughter not doing well in school


What are the unhealthy negative emotions that you are experiencing?

Answer: anxiety


What self-defeating behaviors would you like to change?

     Answer: obsessively thinking about it


What demand are you making about the situation?

Answer: She should be doing better.

Dispute: Where is the evidence she should be doing better?

Rational Belief: we are all Forever Fallible F****-Up Human Beings (FFFHB). Although
I would like her to do better, and I can work on changing her, I do not have to have her be

In what way are you awfulizing about the situation?

     Answer: It would be awful if she were not able to improve her grades.

Dispute: How does it help me if I spend my time awfulizing and imagining all the things that
could and would go wrong.

Rational Belief: It does not help me to worry and obsess about her.


What are you saying to yourself about the situation that indicates low frustration tolerance?

     Answer: I can’t stand her attitude toward education.

Dispute: How does it help me if I tell myself I can’t stand it?

     Rational Belief: Even if I don’t like it, I can surely stand it.


What beliefs show that you are rating people instead of rating their actions?

Answer: 1) I am no good for not being able to help her. 2) She is no good for having a sh*tty attitude.

     Dispute: 1) how can my failure to help her make me a twerp? 2) Why should she be any different than she is?

Rational Belief: I am an FFFHB; She is and FFFHB. It only makes us humans not subhumans if we do not live up to my expectations.


How are you overgeneralizing about the situation?

     Answer: She will never amount to anything. She is doomed.

Dispute: As Mark Twain said “Life is full of misfortunes and catastrophes, most of them that never happen.” (or something like that: we invent problems. Where is the evidence that she will always be this way? Why is she doomed?

Rational Belief: Maybe life would be easier on her if she did better, but I can only do so much to help her. I can accept that I do not know how life will treat her.

[easyazon_infoblock align=”none” identifier=”1494302586″ key=”image” locale=”US” tag=”assets9000-20″]

What are your new healthy negative emotions?

     Answer: Concern


What are your new self-helping behaviors?

     Answer: See how I can help her without wrapping myself around the emotional axle.


Warning: This form should not be considered a substitute for individualized treatment with a mental health professional. If you are seeing a counselor or a therapist, it is recommended that you print this page and discuss your responses with him or her.

Designed by Will Ross ? 2006  . . . http://www.rebtnetwork.org

Then you can go back and allocate some time to helping your son to do better in school.

For example, I help my granddaughter with mathematics homework and try to instill in her the responsibility of scheduling her time.


Gunars-thumbGunars K. Neiders, Ph.D.E.E., Psy.D., a licensed psychologist in the Washington State, providing coaching online to people who want help with stuttering, utilizing multidisciplinary approaches based on REBT-CBT and  Stuttering Modification. Read full bio here => http://stutteringpsychotherapy.com/about-me/

author From Stuttering to Fluency: Manage Your Emotions and Live More Fully
Regular contributor to REBT info
[email protected]


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