The Annual ANTs Convention


Discuss the ANTs Convention Handout, and how it particularly helped you or changed your view about your negative thoughts.

Feel free to share any other stories / parables you come up with, or record your own “audio story” of reading this handout aloud, and share it here.


Wondered if this was written about psychiatry. The annual convention being like sales meetings for drug companies and psychiatry to come up with new disorders. It fits with the theme that ‘you are sabotaging your own life’. And although this is treatment for social anxiety, perhaps the same treatment would work for most other mental disorders.

Also wondered if their was a metaphor of the ants being like psychiatric drugs, or the idea that there is something wrong with you and drugs will treat it.

It made me consider that perhaps Dr Richards, after years of treating people with social anxiety, doesn’t believe in psychiatry. There is a part of my intuition that has always felt this way.



I’m really enjoying the sessions and I don’t mean to play devil’s advocate, but I struggle envisaging the ANTS as these evil little critters trying to destroy me. I find it much easier to see them as a misguided self-protection mechanism, and when they surface, rather than feeling like I have an internal battle going on, I thank them for their intention albeit misguided, and let them know I am ok and I don’t them to protect me anymore. Surely unless there is underlying mental health issues, I can’t envisage any subconscious triggers occurring for any reason other than self preservation (not that I can understand at this point in time why some of the things said would protect me though - future rejection perhaps?).

Is that weird? Just wanted to soundboard it in case my way of thinking will somehow create a barrier in my progress. Can’t remember where I even picked it up, must have been along the way in some earlier personal development. I think it’s like when you’re feeling sick, rather than fight the phlegm and blocked nose with flu meds and being ticked off, I try and thank my immune system for protecting me and stop resisting feeling lousy. In social anxiety example, obviously it’s actually harming more than helping, but surely it’s generated in a misguided attempt to protect us?

Not sure if I’m making any sense!
Thank you in advance for your time


That’s how I feel about ANTs too! I think they did start out as a way to protect us, that is, to help us survive.
I did get a lot out of the handout as well - specifically, how persistent and even sneaky ANTs can get!