Conquering the anxiety monster (with love) metaphor

This metaphor is extremely useful for both children and adults. It works best when using Lego to design an anxiety monster, encouraging the person to make it as fearsome and overwhelming as possible. By breaking down the monster into its component parts, using Lego makes it easier to analyse and understand. Clients can then describe each part in terms of thoughts, beliefs, memories, and emotions, allowing for a closer examination of their qualities individually. This approach enables us to introduce acceptance, defusion, and mindfulness skills, addressing each part separately rather than the monster as a whole.

Breaking down the anxiety monster into its parts often changes how we perceive and relate to it as a whole. When the monster appears, roaring and stomping, we can see each part more clearly and are less likely to be overwhelmed by its totality. This perspective allows us to develop a better understanding of our anxiety monster and respond to it with greater skill. It may involve extending a hand of understanding and genuinely listening to what the monster has to say. For example, it might convey messages of needing to slow down, expressing fear, or feeling overwhelmed. These messages are important to acknowledge, even though it can be challenging when trying to overcome a monster. From this place of understanding, we can genuinely extend compassion towards what initially may feel like a monstrous part of ourselves. In reality, it is a part that requires warmth and understanding.

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