A cup was filled with coffee. Jean-Michel Pinot added two teaspoons of sugar and a dash of soy milk, purchased of course at a small deli and made that morning by the owner of the deli. His therapist was a strong supporter of natural foods and not eating animal products whenever possible. He did not have such strong feelings about avoiding coffee, however, as she probably brewed about five or six pots over the course of the day. True, the majority of the coffee was given to clients, but Dr. Rosenbaum had her fair share.
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by Carol H. Lankton, M.A., LMFT
Does anyone really need to hear again about the dangers of living a Type A lifestyle? About the medical and relationship problems that are by now all too well known? No way. Everyone has been told quite thoroughly that they should eliminate this disposition if they recognize themselves in its symptom lineup. But why? And replace it with what? Becoming one with laid back, new age, relaxed zombie, couch potato behavior?
For many, the thought of achieving this ‘success’ fills them with sheer terror. What would become of my leading edge, then, you might wonder? A truism for most Type A personalities is that it is much better to burn out than fade away. Which brings up the worthy point that Type A behavior, for all its adverse effects, has some point, exists for some good reason. And those who use it are loath to give it up unless otherwise convinced that they can still get their leading edge needs met. That is, they (wisely) don’t want to give up an existing choice until a better (or at least as good) choice comes along.
Transforming Type A Personality
I like to assume that behind most every behavior is a positive intention. This is true even when the behavior is considered by most everyone to be undesirable or problematic. For example, anxiety, ‘bad’ habits, criticism, procrastination, domination, overeating, substance abuse, etc. The basic premise is that we learn, often with limited information, about the world and our place in it and we seek to make the best possible adjustments we can think of at the time to get our needs met without alienating those upon whom we are dependent for survival and well being.