How does Atlas work?
At Atlas, we believe that most individuals benefit from answering identity-focused questions vocally. Of course, this question-answering process is a central feature of psychotherapy. But the metacognitive experience of Atlas—that is, “thinking about thinking”, or focusing and become more aware of one’s own thoughts and feelings—is also a central feature of meditation techniques, mindfulness, numerous schools of therapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and spiritual traditions across time and geography.
Research suggests that adopting metacognitive practices with guidance can result in positive mental health outcomes. Additionally, neuroscience studies also suggest that the act of speech is a distinctly different from non-vocal thought, suggesting that vocalization may result in different outcomes compared to meditation and other non-vocal experiences.
While everyone wonders about their identity—who they are, who they’ve been, and who they ought to be—research shows that poor mental health is often characterized by a dramatic increase in self-questioning and self-referential language. People often describe this experience as being “stuck in your head”, “disconnectedness”, or purposelessness. At Atlas, we don’t believe that questions of identity are necessarily questions we have to find specific answers to—instead, we believe that they’re questions one learns to live with. And through the metacognitive effects of answering these questions out loud, we hope that everyone will be able to develop more positive relationships with their questioning minds and attain (or maintain) positive mental health as a result.