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The Difference Between Thinking and Doing

The Difference Between Thinking and Doing

Today’s offering is taken from an Ericksonian case study in which Erickson discusses the difference between thinking and doing with a client. This is something that I notice with clients, especially those who do not want to associate with their emotions. There is a heavy reliance on thinking rather than feeling. With this reliance on thought rather than feeling leads to a lack of action in the client.

Thought is a wonderful thing, it is important in all change work or action for that matter. If we do not have the spark of a thought nothing happens. However, thought alone is not enough for change. To merely think differently means you are doing just that, thinking differently. For change to happen one needs to act or do differently.

With action there is risk. The most obvious risk is that of failure. No one wants to fail, but failure is necessary for growth. So people will sometimes procrastinate and live in their heads rather than to live in the world. Thought leads to action and indeed action leads to thought. Both are necessary to evolve into the people we want to be. Action though is often the harder thing to do. Therapy is about taking action based on sound thinking. If you are stuck in your head today, try taking action and seeing if that does not move things along for you.

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