Bella Vida Therapy

Molly Papp, MS, MPH, CSAT, LMFT #88196

Bella Vida Therapy

Molly Papp, LMFT

You deserve a beautiful life

Sex, intimacy, and relationship therapy

Prescribing the Symptom

Got a man who never calls? Got a girl who won't stop texting you? Do you find yourself compulsively reaching for M&Ms everyday? Or does your mom want you to start going to church more? What do these things have in common? They can all be improved by a Strategic Therapy technique called "prescribing the symptom." This technique involves excessively doing the exact thing you want to STOP doing. It's like that old story about the dad who caught his teenager smoking and made him smoke the entire carton of cigarettes. The teen got so sick from all those smokes that he never smoked again. I tried this technique on myself by accident last Halloween. I had too much to drink and haven't done a shot since. The thought of hard liquor makes me sick. So, back to the previous examples. If your man never calls you, leaving you to call him all the time, try ignoring his texts/calls and giving him extra space. He might just get a little lonely and start calling you more. For the gal that texts you 24/7, try texting her nonstop. Trust me, she'll back off once you text her "Eating a sandwich- yum it's turkey!" for the third time. When it comes to eating, try eating way too many M&Ms (or whatever your poison) one day- make sure you get a really bad stomachache. Your craving for those colorful goodies won't be returning soon. Finally, if your mom bugs you about not going to church enough, try talking about God and the Bible nonstop. She'll lay off once she sees how annoying it is to hear only about the Lord over pancakes, pizza, and pot roast. I know it's a bit unorthodox, but I do think it's an interesting way to try to curb a dysfunctional or annoying behavior. Unconvinced? Try taking 10 shots of tequila. You won't be ordering another margarita anytime soon.