This page features a collection of historical quotes that are meaningful to me and that illustrate some of the following beliefs about mental health and wellness:
(1) Much of our suffering relates to our emphasis on factors beyond our control at the expense of emphasizing that which is within our control, such as our own thoughts and behaviors;
(2) Acceptance of self and others is an important aspect of mental health;
(3) People have the ability to change or impact their thoughts and behaviors;
(4) People generally function better when they can find meaning or value in their life;
(5) People generally prefer congruence between their values and behaviors;
(6) Meaningful relationships are often healthiest when two whole people experience even more satisfaction together, not when two generally unhappy people depend on each other to complete themselves;
(7) Therapeutic relationships are often essential in the process of healthy life changes;
(8) There are no magic bullets with positive life change. Major life changes typically involve a process of personal growth in which individuals use a variety of strategies.
"No matter where you go, there you are." - Confucius
"When we see men of a contrary character, we must turn inward and examine ourselves." - Confucius
"Men are disturbed not by things, but by the view which they take of them." - Epictetus (1st century AD)
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." - Eleanor Roosevelt
"We cannot change the past. We cannot change the fact that people act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude." - Charles R. Swindoll
"One must differentiate between one's thoughts and one's emotions with full clarity and precision...No discussion, cooperation, agreement, or understanding is possible among men who substitute emotion for proof." - Ayn Rand
"This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purposed recognized by yourself as a mighty one...the being the force of Nature instead of a feverish clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy." - George Bernard Shaw
"Not all those who wander are lost." - J.R.R. Tolkien
Albert Ellis, Ph.D., founder of Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy
"There are three musts that hold us back: I must do well. You must treat me well. And the world must be easy." - Albert Ellis, Ph.D.
"The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny." - Albert Ellis, Ph.D.
Viktor Frankl, MD, founder of Logotherapy
"Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way." - Viktor E. Frankl, MD
Carl Jung, MD, psychoanalyst
"Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves." - C.G. Jung, MD
Carl Rogers, Ph.D.
"In my early professional years I was asking the question: How can I treat, or cure, or change this person? Now I would phrase the question in this way: How can I provide a relationship which this person may use for his own personal growth?" - Carl Rogers, Ph.D.
"The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change." - Carl Rogers, Ph.D.
"The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination." - Carl Rogers, Ph.D.
"In a person who is open to experience, each stimulus is freely relayed through the nervous system, without being distorted by an process of defensiveness." - Carl Rogers, Ph.D.
Abraham Maslow, Ph.D., creator of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
"All the evidence that we have indicates that it is reasonable to assume in practically every human being, and certainly in almost every newborn baby, that there is an active will toward health, an impulse towards growth..." - Abraham Maslow, Ph.D.
"He that is good with a hammer tends to think everything is a nail." - Abraham Maslow, Ph.D.
"If you deliberately plan on being less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you will be unhappy all the days of your life." - Abraham Maslow, Ph.D.
"The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness." - Abraham Maslow, Ph.D.
"We may define therapy as a search for value." - Abraham Maslow, Ph.D.
"What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself." - Abraham Maslow, Ph.D.
William Glasser, M.D., founder of Choice Theory
"Caring for but not trying to own may be a further way to define friendship." - William Glasser, M.D.
"Don't marry someone you would not be friends with if there were no sex between you." - William Glasser, M.D.
"If everyone could learn that what is right for me does not make it right for anyone else, the world would be a much happier place." - William Glasser, M.D.
"It is almost impossible for anyone, even the most ineffective among us, to continue to choose misery after becoming aware that it is a choice." - William Glasser, M.D.
"We almost always have choices, and the better the choice, the more we will be in control of our lives." - William Glasser, M.D.
"We may be up against a stone wall, but we don't have bloody our heads against it unless we choose to." - William Glasser, M.D.
"When we label anyone 'bad,' we will have more trouble dealing with him than if we could have settled for a lesser label." - William Glasser, M.D.
Harville Hendrix, Ph.D., founder of Imago Relationship Therapy
"Marriage, ultimately, is the practice of becoming passionate friends." - Harville Hendrix, Ph.D.