This month we welcomed therapist, educator and author Jude Bijou who is a natural fit for AWC-SB, because of her work in communication. In her private practice, her classes at SBCC Continuing Education and her new book, Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life (Riviera Press, 2011), Jude focuses on the kind of communication based on the healthy expression of human emotions.
Jude came to Santa Barbara in 1978 and opened a business on State Street called Enlightened Sights. She had begun to meditate in 1972 and gotten steeped in Eastern philosophy, so it seemed natural to graduate from retail to becoming a marriage and family therapist. She earned a BA in psychology from Reed College and a master’s in psychology from Carleton University, and then in 1982 began practicing psychotherapy with an integrated, holistic approach. Her award-winning system, Attitude Reconstruction, was birthed into the world. She also began teaching communication courses through Santa Barbara City College Adult Education. Word spread about the success of Attitude Reconstruction, and it wasn’t long before Jude became a sought-after workshop and seminar leader, teaching her approach to organizations and groups.
About the Attitude Reconstruction approach, Jude says: “Emotions are the core. There are six basic emotions: Joy, love, and peace, sadness, anger, and fear. All of our bad attitudes arise when emotions are not expressed, not because of the emotions themselves. Sadness to joy, anger to love, fear to peace—they all balance each other.” She added, “Underneath everything are the emotions we’re not expressing. If we can learn to express them, we can make choices and live a better life.”
The culmination of Jude’s groundbreaking work can now be found in her new book, Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life, based on simple principles that have impacted countless clients, seminar participants, and students. The book recently was a winner in the Los Angeles Festival of Books’ how-to category, and earlier was a finalist for the National Indie Excellence Awards in self-help. It also earned two USA Book awards, being a finalist in two categories, self-help and in psychology/mental health. You can buy the book locally at Chaucer’s and Tecolote, or go to her website, www.AttitudeReconstruction.com. It’s also available on Amazon.
Jude will be leading two roundtable discussion on the subject of uprooting old attitudes at the March 10th Women’s Festivals, held at SBCC. Frustration, for example, is an attitude she believes is rooted in the emotion of anger. Through acceptance of how things are—no more shoulds—we learn to handle anger. Jude advises using this mantra to replace old negative thinking: People and things are the way they are, and not the way I want them to be. Her prescription is for 100,000 repetitions daily of this simple statement—advice that is humorous in intent, but nevertheless points to how many times most of us say the exact opposite to ourselves every day!