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Andrew McNaughton


What’s the Difference Between Selfishness and Self-Interest?

February 18, 2022

By Andrew McNaughton, LCSW, CADC In my work with individuals, I frequently will hear folks say, “This may sound selfish, but” and far more often than not, they are expressing a desire to prioritize their self-interest, not selfishness. I am always quick to point out to them that identifying and prioritizing their preferences is not an act of selfishness, but rather they are acting in their own self-interest. What’s the difference? My go-to example of selfishness comes…

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Self-Sabotage, Part III: How Do I Deal With Uncertainty?

January 21, 2022

By Andrew McNaughton LCSW CADC Part One of this three-part blog on Self-Sabotage described the pattern and characteristics. In Part Two, we took a close look at using the ABCs of REBT to catch and dispute our irrational beliefs with which we cause ourselves anxiety. In Part Three, we will apply this to our second of the two scenarios described in Part One.  SCENARIO #2 I asked her out, she said yes, we went out on a…

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Self-Sabotage, Part II: How Do I Overcome It?

January 20, 2022

By Andrew McNaughton LCSW CADC Part One of this three-part blog on Self-Sabotage described the pattern and characteristics. In Part Two, I will present a rational approach to overcoming this tendency. Let’s go back to the first of our two scenarios. SCENARIO #1  Remember in Scenario #1, I have convinced myself to not ask a woman out on a date because I have decided the rejection would be unbearable and must not happen. When we look to…

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Self-Sabotage, Part I: Why Do I Do It?

January 19, 2022

By Andrew McNaughton LCSW CADC Self-sabotage is as common for people as it is a mystery. Why would anyone do this to themselves? The short answer is that it assures an outcome, even if it is unfavorable, and this spares us of short-term anxiety even if we cause ourselves long-term self-loathing.  This is the pattern of Self-Sabotage: Demanding absolute assurances of comfort, success, or acceptance.  Experiencing discomfort and disappointment in absence of assurances. Catastrophizing the discomfort experienced…

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What is Harm Reduction?

October 24, 2021

By Andrew McNaughton, LCSW, CADC Symmetry Counseling Chicago Harm reduction is a behavior change approach through which an individual reduces their exposure to risk without a complete elimination of the problematic behavior, all while giving oneself the opportunity to learn important new life coping skills. This is for people who are contemplating significant behavior change, but are not ready to completely stop the behavior since they lack skills to cope with emotional discomfort they soothe with their…

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Do I Need to See a Psychiatrist?

October 23, 2021

By Andrew McNaughton, LCSW, CADC Symmetry Counseling Chicago In working with clients in individual psychotherapy, there are times when progress has slowed or become increasingly difficult to sustain. A mentor of mine once told me, “Therapy treats the mind while psychiatry treats the brain.” Psychiatry is the practice of utilizing medical interventions by a MD to treat mood disorders. It is not the same as therapy, as psychiatrists primarily focus on the treatment of symptoms through medication…

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A Brief Guide to Boundary Setting

October 18, 2021

By Andrew McNaughton, LCSW, CADC Imagine a hula hoop around you. This is your boundary with the world. Inside the hula hoop is everything that you have absolute control over: your thoughts, your words, your actions, and even your emotions! What about outside your hula hoop? That represents everything you cannot control. Some things we have no influence over whatsoever, such as the weather, events in the world, whether the White Sox will go all the way…

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Does Everyone Drink?

March 29, 2021

By Andrew McNaughton, LCSW, CADC Depending on your age and social circle, it certainly may seem like everyone, or nearly everyone, is drinking alcohol, whether it be the occasional drink once or twice a month or regular weekend binges. The reality is, no, of course not everyone drinks, and there are recent statistics to pour over, courtesy of the annual federal government survey. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) releases their results from the…

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Do I Have a Gambling Problem?

March 28, 2021

By Andrew McNaughton, LCSW, CADC Gambling has pretty much always been popular since money has existed. Today, it is as immediately accessible as it ever has been through online lottery purchases and mobile apps for casinos and sportsbooks, where players can win and lose real money really fast. In Illinois, online sports betting became legal in 2020, just in time for the professional football season to start. Advertisements for titillating promotions make the lure of trying sports…

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What is SMART Recovery? Part 2

March 7, 2021

By Andrew McNaughton, LCSW, CADC In the first part of this blog, we explored Point 1 and Point 2 of SMART Recovery’s 4-Point Program for behavior change. Next, let’s look at:  Point 3 – Managing Thoughts, Feelings, and Behaviors This dives deeper into Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy tools and concepts. The key tool here is the ABC’s. I have written about the ABC’s of REBT previously, but in short, the theory of REBT says that we create…

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