Cognitive Behavioural therapy (CBT)

I am not going to attempt to do justice to the ‘big’ models and how they inform the work I do. Part of your ‘safe experimenting’, may be to research these areas for yourself, and in your own way.

I am making mention of some key models simply to stimulate you in creating your own experimental designs, and to foster your curiosity.

CBT has had a long and chequered history, emerging in the 21st century as something of a ‘flavour of the year’, particularly in those institutions needing to administer mass programmes to help people under stress, e.g. The National Health Service (NHS) here in the UK.

Initially a harsh and rather impoverished model having no truck with our ‘inner world’,. modern CBT is more willing to address the ‘black box’ that is our inner experience. It still tends to be ‘manualised’ as training programmes have felt the need to create an identifiable minimum standard of service.  That might be important when those administering CBT programmes are drawn from many walks of life – some heavily influenced by psychology and other therapists with limited psychological education.

It is not difficult to criticise the ‘manualised’ approach (mini-experiment: take a moment to consider how you would create your own criticism).  Plenty of practitioners have moved away from it and I’d like to think this process will continue.

Where CBT does help is in:

  • identifying how and what to record about our own actions, thoughts and feelings.
  • structuring therapy and ‘homework’ exercises to generate evidence to encourage us to change.
  • creating a positive attitude to collecting and recording evidence so that change appears to be manageable, and not as some daunting and discouraging obstacle.
  • seeking out the resources we need to sustain the change process.
  • understand the change process at a knowledge level and helping us see beyond ‘knowledge’ into ‘action’.

… and, above all else, CBT challenging the ways we think about things. In my view, the key notion that we are too often unaware of our feelings as they impact on our beliefs and equally unaware of the way in which our beliefs shape our actions, cannot be revisited enough.

There are many other ways in which CBT might help you in the design and implementation of safe experiments. Why not tell me about your experiences of what worked for you at:

robintrewartha@btinternet.com

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Models informing therapy

Welcome to Find Your Nudge

How to give yourself a nudge

Blind Spots

There is a problem with the method I recommend. It places a lot of responsibility on you to decide the direction of change and how to go about it bit-by-bit.

Therapy has thrived as a profession because individuals possess blind spots that make it difficult to direct your own therapy. Many people have reported the benefits of having some-one around to help them complete the therapeutic journey.

You may well have doubted your own judgment as you examined the results of some of your experiments and wondered what to do next. All along I’ve encouraged you to seek a consultation when this happened.

However, there is still more you can do to develop your own self-awareness and to extend the benefits of the ‘safe experiment’. There are ‘doors’ that will help you along and there are others to be wary of. You will need to experiment differently as you approach the different ‘doors’.

What do I mean by this? Try this:

Consider an issue in your life: a new one or one you already have worked on. Jot it down somewhere in the briefest detail.

  • it is likely to be concerned with the way you are thinking,  behaving or feeling. I’m including ‘financial’ matters under ‘behaving’, for present purposes.
  • would you say you are some-one more dogged by your thoughts, or behaviour or feelings?  If so, then one of the three is likely to dominate. This dominant one becomes your ‘target door’: your response to  it requires some attention now.
  • according to your personality, you will have an ‘open door’ more available to you –  one of the remaining ‘doors’ will be approached with greater confidence.
  • the remaining ‘door’ – – either your thoughts, or behaviour or feelings – will be your trap door;  the door most likely to trip you up.

Now, how will this category of ‘doors’ help with safe experiments?

It provides an opportunity to focus our attention on a ‘target’ using the skills already available to you. The ‘open door’ provides a way in to the opportunities to do things.

The aim is to reduce the traps right in front of us or offer us a warning about the things we might miss.

That all sounds rather vague so let’s make up some examples. An individual becomes more and more aware that his checking behaviour, say, door locking, gets in the way of a quality life; it wastes time. That person is trapped by his behaviour. He is good at thinking – too good, as his thoughts are full of “did I check or not“. On this analysis, the man will focus safe experiments on the ‘feeling door’.  He reacts to the anxiety he experiences when regularly checking. This might even lessen his anxiety, if only on a temporary basis. The likely experiments are likely to focus on affect regulation and his observations of the changing levels of anxiety feelings using the SUD scales. This may lead to actions and behaviours that prove more useful; making him more aware and sensitive to other aspects of his existence.

What about another individual -a woman – who finds it difficult to say ‘boo to a goose’? she demonstrates withdrawal in company; her behaviour, the open door, is passive avoidance of company. Her thoughts provide the trap door that reinforce her actions – ‘I wouldn’t do that if i were you’  ideas, so again, the target door is ‘feeling’. By devising experiments that attend to her feelings, and the changing levels of her SUDS, this woman learns to improve her self-confidence and manage her feelings differently. Often, these changed responses will encourage different thoughts such as self-affirmation: “even though I am feeling anxious, I can deeply and completely accept myself ” and she will then be more able to act differently when meeting people.

 

 

Power, Threat and Meaning

A group of clinical psychologists have recently (2017/18) started a debate about the increasingly frail system of mental health assessment – processes used to label emotional and psychological ‘problems’. This  rather lengthy commentary can be found via:

https://www.bps.org.uk/news-and-policy/introducing-power-threat-meaning-framework

I mention this work as I am suggesting they question, rather helpfully, the tendency to label behaviour and to see our responses as ‘problems’ at all.  I think this is similar to the challenge I am offering here, in my blog, where I offer you an opportunity to review your life within the boundaries of your own SPACE-TIME, BODY and SPIRIT.

I would go as far as saying that the Framework improves on my own perspective by making the POWER issue explicit. The Framework highlights the social setting in which we are all obliged to operate. My own approach focuses on YOU and the safe experiments that you can design.

The Framework reminds us that we have to fit in to the world of other people, even if we only fight to pressure to do so.

Sometimes we are oppressed by those other people and sometimes we do the oppressing. It helps to be clear about this less comfortable aspect of the world in which we live. Whenever you review your Road Map and Genogram experiments, please keep in mind where you fit in to your community and how you are treated in that wider world.

However, any Framework  presents its own problems. It is still an attempt to explain what we do and where we fit in.  This blog has tried to reverse that process by asking:  do you want to change and, if so, in what direction and, if so, how?

Rather than assume ‘a one size fits all’, my approach assumes that you may fit with the majority, or you may be in the minority or indeed, be a minority of one. Other Frameworks and models seek to paint a picture of ‘Everyman’  That is an ambition that is destined to fail (and not simply because ‘Everyman’ is now a sexist word!).

That said, some people I know rather like a label as it can provides a starting point and become a focus for initiating change. Others have been known to use the label as an excuse for doing nothing and feel more secure because an ‘expert’ makes a pronouncement!

My might  this newish Framework link into this blog and foster safe experiments and story-telling? Try this, for instance:

EXPERIMENT:  take a bit of paper and identify something current in your life – preferably a minor obstacle – and consider:

‘What happened to you [as you faced the obstacle]?’ (This may show how has Power operated in or on your life, e.g by a parent, teacher, manager or friend.
‘How did it affect you?’ (Assuming the obstacle was a kind of Threat, what uncertainty did the outcome create in your life?).
What sense did you make of it?’  Elsewhere, I have said that humans may well be defined as ‘meaning-making creatures’. So what Meaning did you make out of the outcome you faced?

NB As a seemingly brief experiment, this may be more difficult to complete than is first obvious. Give yourself time, if needs be; put things down and come back to your results, if needs be).

when you review your notes and results, consider:
What did you do, or are your doing to survive [meeting that obstacle]?’ This identifies the responses you are making to the Threat?

It’s an experiment  that fits in to other elements in my main blog. For instance, this framework picks up part of the SWOT analysis mentioned in the Blog:

‘What are your strengths?’ (What access to Power resources do you have?)

…and asks if these questions help you know:

How do you deal with Threats? Can you turn them into Opportunities?

These questions, and your answers, may help you construct some aspect of the story of your life (often called your ‘narrative’). In my blog, this connects very closely to the Script you will have written for yourself on an unconscious level. So, continue the experiment by considering:

‘What is your broader life story?’ and what changes, if any, do you want to make to that story and the way it is unfolding?.

It may help to return to your Road Map described early on in How to Give Yourself a Nudge. This may help you develop your story from the various cross-roads emerging from the road map.

Note how the Framework fits rather well into the cognitive behavioural models of change and the Transactional Analytic (TA) model, in particular.

If you want to continue the experiment, return to the TA questions mentioned in my blog:

What do you want?

How will you get what you want?

What stops you getting what you want?

Who or what do you need, in addition, now, to get what you want?.

Such questions, in my view,  help us to move things forward, rather than simply label a condition. Too often health professionals spend time on what is known as ‘assessment’ in order to search out an appropriate label. It can do more than that: assessment collects ‘facts’ relevant to your life story so you can be  initiate change – get treatment, if you like. Assessment, in my view,  is best regarded as helping YOU to tell your story. Change may not be possible until that story starts to be told.

The Framework – as adapted and summarised here – and well worth a more detailed examination – questions assessment in the traditional form, and seek to cast light on what you understand about your current circumstances. Most importantly, it is an approach that invites you to start formulating a way forward, rather than waiting to be ‘told’!

Ways to return to the main blog:

How to give yourself a nudge

Welcome to Find Your Nudge

The Defence Mechanisms

I have been prompted to think about the psychological ‘defence mechanisms’. These come out of Freudian tradition of psychological therapies. A detailed account of some of these mechanisms can be found in several places but have a look on:

https://www.psychologistworld.com/freud/defence-mechanisms-list

The full list is long so I will only sample some of them.

Acting Out: when our energies are diverted into some action to alleviate a strong impulse.

EXPERIMENT: recall a memory of a time when he felt you were acting out of character.  In retrospect, how would you have preferred it to be? How might you have ‘acted in’; that is, used a Body Scan to notice your internal thoughts, feelings and sensations so you could ‘label’ then more authentically.

Avoidance: walking around an obstacle rather than looking it in the eye.

EXPERIMENT: recall a time when when you were angry with some-one important in your life.  With the benefit of hindsight, was there something you might have said and done that would have addressed that feeling more directly?

Conversion and somatisation: when a high emotion stores itself in the body. Babette Rothschild wrote an interesting text about this called The Body Remembers. Her web site is well worth a visit if you are keen on researching.

EXPERIMENT: the Body Scan exists to help you be in touch with internal sensations.  When you do the Body Scan over a period of time, it is likely that you will notice a pattern; a discomforting sensation that persistently appears in one particular part of your body. Can you use meditation and relaxation to relate to the experience differently?

Denial: what better way to put something to one side than to pretend it does not exist. This phenomenon is important in safe experimenting and links very closely to the notion of Discounting, I touch on in my blog. Look to the blog for more on this.
Displacement: involves diverting spare energy into an action with some, or little, relevance to the stress we are experiencing.

EXPERIMENT: consider whether you have been frustrated about a persistent obstacle in your life a lot. How have you responded to that frustration? You may have benefited from it, e.g. by working harder to compensation for an apparent loss or short-coming. Equally, you may resolved in your mind to say  ‘dammit’ and rebelled against the issue by becoming the ‘bad boy’ or bad .girl’.
Dissociation: this is an important behaviour addressed in my blog and too complex to address in passing, here..
Humour: why not laugh it off? I’ll leave you to find the time when you did this as I think you’ll find an example without too much prompting. Emergency service personnel are notorious for ‘black humour’, an understandable protection against the horrors of their daily round.

Idealisation: placing some-one on a pedestal may be easier than looking at a ‘truer’ picture. By the way, have you noticed we can idealise ourselves or, in compensation,  damn ourselves. Anything rather than looking at who we are?!  You may notice how Hollywood makes a virtue of this tendency in some films!

EXPERIMENT: use the image below to write down one or two words  of description for some-one important in your life.  Take a break and return to the descriptions later. Notice ways in which see that other in a rather partial way.  In what way do you miss the ‘true person’, whatever that is?


Identification: a specific case of this is the so-called Stockholm Syndrome – when individuals taken hostage in a bank raid came to side with their kidnappers. Baloo the Bear had this right when, in the Disney film The Jungle Book, he sang the song: I want to be like you. When did you sing the same song, and about whom?!

Intellectualisation: I’m good at this. Let’s explain it all away, rather than feel it! A special case of this is called “mustabation”, when we explain something away with a few rules and commands to ourselves to others.

EXPERIMENT: take some time to listen to a conversation in a group of people – preferably one involving in you. Attend to the language and notice the use of words like ‘should’, ‘must’, ‘ought’ and ‘absolutely’. Later, as you reflect on this conversation, consider how helpful those words are. Are they a ‘cover’ for telling self and others what to believe, rather than helping the other person really think something through.

Projection: or, dump it all one some-one else, especially our nearest and dearest. That is a good way to get rid of bad parts of ourselves! bad

EXPERIMENT: how often have you felt bad about something in your life and dumped any bad feeling inside yourself on some-one else nearby, e.g. accused them of being angry or perverse? What might you have done differently to express yourself more directly or, as they say, authentically?

Rationalisation: or explain it all away. How many experiments are there for that.

Reaction Formation: or go in the opposite direction just to be perverse. That is, when love turns into hate. In the transactional analytic (TA) model there is a useful diagram called the Karpman Triangle that demonstrates just how quickly we can move from one extreme to another when passions run high. Well worth some exploration, if you are interested. Does the triangle help you formulate an experiment in your world?

Repression: a bit like denial, but potentially more accessible. Denial is a high level of discounting whereas repression is maintained by our personal ability to detach from reality – whatever that is.

Regression: flight into the security of yesterday when today feels a bit harsh.

EXPERIMENT: Use the ‘inverted tree’ model  or your road-map. described early on in my blog.

This may help you recall times when -on later life – you floated back to your early years in an attempt to find comfort. The blog EXPERIMENT: finding a Safe Place is, for me, an OK version of this process.
Splitting: or “nothing to do with me, Gov; it was him (or her)”.
Suppression: conscious repression often of a temporary nature; something we can put out of our mind for a while.

Transference: when we take qualities of one person and project – see above – those qualities on to another person and act towards the other as if. The end result is an unreal relationship. There are several forms of transference, including the intensities involved when we fall in love. It is a potential complication in therapy as therapists can be cast into the role of expert, when they are unable to be an expert in you. Tranferential experiences can emerge from real or imagined childhood relationships, such as parent, teacher, or charismatic school friend.  It is knowledge of this phenomenon that led me, in my blog, to caution against the tendency to relate to the idea of some-one rather than their present self.

Bear in mind that the original psycho-analytical model – formulated it is worth remembering well over 100 years ago – was both implicitly and explicitly judgmental. Originally, some of the defence mechanisms were labelled “mature”, that is OK in some ways. Others were vaguely disapproved of and needed ‘treatment’ or, at least, worked through (especially the transferences).

To be an effective experimenter, you will need to approach all of the defence mechanisms with more respect and to appreciate that they are there to do an important job.  Your task is to harness your energy to find ways in which those reactions will help you to do something different.

In what way may these ‘mechanisms’ help you with designing your safe experiments?

 

How to do safe experiments for yourself

Welcome to Find Your Nudge

How to give yourself a nudge

The Evolving Ape.

Recently I was asked: why provide this information for free? Doesn’t your living depend on it?

As an evolving ape, I am beginning to realise that there is an alternative to short-term profiteering from other people’s hardship and distress.

To explain what I am getting at prompts me to comment on my motivation for writing this blog.

For a start, I am writing it for me; I am gathering my thoughts at the tail-end of my career.

That said, I am confident that my story will help me talk to a different kind of ‘client’ or, indeed, a non-client (as well as old clients).  There are people out there who are able to change themselves with minimal professional guidance. I will be happy enough if just one person makes a safe change in the direction of their life without consultation with me or anyone else!

Furthermore, in practical terms, my approach may increase the flow of business to professional therapists. Some people reading this material will do some experimenting and come to the conclusion that some professional advice may help. That is a ‘good thing’ as the first step along the path of change is the recognition that something needs to change. The individual becomes more confident about how, and where, to find the help that will move things on. In the jargon of my professional world, this is termed resource-building!

By becoming more aware of what we need to do, and the obstacles to getting things done, we can identify our own conclusion and act on it. The most successful clients I have ever worked with are those who come to meet me after they have already started to make changes.

One obstacle to change arises when we are told what conclusions to draw, and how to behave, based on those conclusions. For example, our families and life partners do this to us with the very best of intentions, but that behaviour can have the unintended consequence of stopping us in our tracks – prompting, some, to rebel against what we are told!

There is a lot of difference between information that directs us toward something, and similar comments that simply point out, or guide us. Once we had spiritual teachers directing our behaviour from the pulpit, or its equivalent. Today we are much more able to assess information and make judgments for ourselves. Humankind has not been around so very long, but we are still evolving froma  reactive being into a thinking self and, thereafter, to an increasingly self-directing human being. Sadly, I am aware that this comes at a cost as some people initiate large and unsafe ‘experiments’ that endanger themselves and others around them. For the present, we still need laws to contain those disorganised individuals.

When you find that my material is interfering with your move toward self-direction – drop it!  I am sure you will find something that does not work, just as there will be things that DO work. Please let me know so I can review content. When I help, I want it to be to ensure that you devise changes that you want to make.

 

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Welcome to Find Your Nudge

How to give yourself a nudge

How to do safe experiments for yourself

Models informing therapy

There are literally hundreds of approaches to therapy. How can some-one find out what works for them? It is a precarious business as you will need to find out what works for you!

One way of trying to explore this minefield is to explore the processes of change underpinning any one model. In 1977, James Prochaska embarked on a journey through the various systems of therapy. He concluded that theories of psychotherapy can be summarized by ten processes of change and I am reducing this to seven. Apologies to any-one offended by my summary! It’s a lot to cram in and some folk may well not wish to associated with some of the labels I am using!! Remember, I am not writing an accurate research review; only creating a device to help you find ways to explore your truths. When you can see where I am going wrong, will be the day when your view is becoming clearer by the day! The seven categories I offer are:

  1. Consciousness raising: helping you bring the unconscious in to the conscious. This is found in the ‘traditional’ approaches of psycho-analysis, Freud and Jung and many others. Also, the psycho-social model of Erik Erikson and Jean Piaget, and others, once dominated therapy by covering a range of ideas about how humans grown and develop. It is difficult to offer an helpful link into this vast area of research and study.
  2. Self-liberation: breaking out of your prison created by your past. This can be seen in the radical therapies from the Lesbian, Gay and Bi-sexual and Transgender movement (LGBT), or in the more mainstream material of Dorothy Rowe, and others. I believe the Person-Centred School, emerging from the work of Carl Rogers, would want to see itself operating in this area.
  3. Social liberation: working with others to change the existing social order. Rather a favourite of radical and revolutionary thinking, this approach is well represented by the radical South American RC priest, Paulo Friere. More can be found on:  https://justliving808.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/freire-ch-1-and-2.pdf
  4. Counter-conditioning: involves ‘inoculating’ yourself against past habits by the deliberate alteration of behaviour, attitudes and beliefs. Transactional Analysis is a good example here as it helps us to identify our life Script and amend it. It has informed a lot of what I have included in my material.
  5. Stimulus control: models using affect regulation help you to discriminate what you can control, from experiences and events beyond your own control.  One example, and there are many, include; https://www.emotionregulationtherapy.com/.
  6. Contingency management: summarised as changing behaviour to hope for the best, and prepare for the worst, an approach well represented by Albert Ellis’s Rational Emotive Therapy (RET), and its cousins . See https://www.verywellmind.com/rational-emotive-behavior-therapy-2796000
  7. Dramatic relief: acting decisively to see things differently can be represented by Psychodrama and the work of Jacob Moreno and his followers. For further information, see: https://www.crchealth.com/types-of-therapy/what-is-psychodrama/. Also the work of  recently-deceased Arthur Janov and his ‘Primal Scream’ fits in here. For more information, see: www.primaltherapy.com/what-is-primal-therapy.php.

Notice the use of the term ‘trans-theoretical’ to cover a number of models that want to integrate different approaches – meaning the approach wishes to be above (any one) theory. In some ways, this has been my intention. I share the approach that recommends that we act, as well as think. Too often, however, you may find the action is prescribed by the model. I am asking you to move from the recommendations of others, toward confidently designed safe experiments of your own. This is often overlooked; the ACT Approach does explicitly ask you to find your own direction, but too often, in other models,  the advice is implicit and often sacrificed in the name of self-publicity.

Two other approaches I will address elsewhere, include:

Transactional Analysis (TA)

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Both heavily influence the work I do  but  I am aware there other approaches that have helped me to understand how therapy can work for different people. I have completed additional training in:

Clinical Hypnosis:

Emotional Freedom Therapy (EFT):

Eye movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR):

Mindfulness:

For those interested in trauma therapies, it is increasingly impossible to overlook:

Parts Therapy:

Psychodrama (see item 7, above):

Body Psychotherapy:

Neural Feedback:

….. as well as Action programmes such as Yoga, Pilates and Eastern Meditations such as Qigong and Tai Chi.

As and when I am able to offer some integration of these very different approaches, you will see a hyperlink appear.

Tap the link here to return to other pages:

Welcome to Find Your Nudge

How to give yourself a nudge

When ‘doing’ isn’t enough.

Practical relaxation and meditation

I mention relaxation, controlled breathing and body scans throughout my blog. A question was raised about how it all fitws together and here are my thoughts on that

…. however, possibly attending a class in your area would be the best introduction. For the present, meanwhile, consider these experiments.

ATTEND TO YOUR POSTURE

sit upright, look straight ahead,place your hands on knees or upper leg; keep your feet firmly on floor.

THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING

breathe only through your nose, with your mouth closed. Breathe in slowly to the count of around three; in through the nose and out through mouth. Evenly in and out.

USE THE BODY SCAN

slowly allow your attention to travel from the top of your head to the smallest pinkie on your toes. Notice what thoughts, feelings and sensations you observe as your focus moves down your body (it can be up, if you prefer)?

As it helps, note any Subjective Unit of Discomfort (SUD) level (0-10) associated with a particular thought, feeling or sensation.

FOCUS

your attention on a specific thought, feeling or sensation. You may need to make choices as a body scan will produce more than one result. Consider address each choice in an organised way. To help you focus, consider these further experiments:

  • use external objects – fix your eyes on an object above you and to one side.
  • use internal information – ‘just notice’ the disturbance(s) of thought, feeling or sensation from the body scan.

ATTENTION

use your internal dialogue to acknowledge any disturbance of thought, feeling or sensation.

use any other self-talk or diversionary strategies, as you wish. This may include

  • affirmation work. “Even though I am feeling [name the feeling you observe] I can deeply and completely accept myself”.
  • use of your breathing to attend to any unwanted tension in your muscles and body.
  • using the out-breath to let go of the unwanted tension, allowing your body to relax down, little by little, at the same time.

EYES

as your eyes become tired, having ‘played’ with images created around the fixed object, allow your eyes to close in your own time and meditate on any image created within your ‘inner eye’.

THIS PROCESS CAN CONTINUE FOR A FEW MINUTES OR FOR PARTS OF AN HOUR, AS YOU WISH, OR AS TIME ALLOWS.

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Welcome to Find Your Nudge

How to give yourself a nudge

Control breathing to keep calm. Is it really that simple?

My blog does emphasis the value of simple breathing exercises to calm ourselves. These exercises work for many people as they focus attention on our physiology – the workings of our bodies – and less on intricate psychological processes. Physiology seems to reach more of us than psychology!

However, thinking about breathing is a simple beginning. I’d ask you to think about controlled breathing – however you do it – as a gateway to many other important safe experiments. Controlled breathing is one step to take in affect regulation (to provide the official title for the process of soothing ourselves). On the subject of affect regulation there is a ton of research you can read, and, by way of a health warning, it is not very digestible. Affect regulation refers to the ability to maintain or increase positive feelings and well-being states and to minimise or regulate stress feelings and defensive states.

The idea of affect regulation is very old as it arises from the earlier, traditional psychological models. A living expert in this field is Allan Schore and he has two books of over 300 pages devoted to the topic. It is an important subject – infants and children have to learn how to control their responses to the world and carers are generally charged with helping that process. Some are more or less capable here. Therapy often exists to support and repair damage done in early years. Unfortunately, rather like the acquisition of language, it is less easy to put things right in later years.

To compound the problem, affect regulation rather depends on a deep understanding of human neuro-science. On this subject, Schore is well worth studying along with Louis Cozolino (The Neuroscience of Psychotherapy). For a more readable introduction to  the topic, have a look at Sebastian Seung’s Connectome.  A useful text that looks wider has Peter Fonagy as a lead writer (Affect Regulation, Mentalisation and the Development of the Self). Just a few glances at one or more of these texts will reinforce the idea that controlled breathing does, indeed, simply scratch the surface of ways to calm ourselves.

…. but you could be forgiven for the passing thought that therapy and therapists have a talent for complicating the picture and created a mystery around the change process. My own blog is less concerned with the under-pinning of affect regulation and more on practical ways in which you can enhance your own skills – on a daily basis.

For an interesting introduction to a brief affect regulation therapy, take a look at:

http://www.affectregulationtherapy.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/About-brief-Affect-Regulation-Therapy.pdf

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How to give yourself a nudge

Welcome to Find Your Nudge

 

 

Do you need some change?

I have been asked how the ‘safe experiment’ model fits into our understanding of how we change.

This is a good point as some of the theory around change explains why we have to persist with some experiments and learn from results that leave us discomforted – those small defeats, I mention.

Effective change appears to require some initial inspiration, growing motivation, an effective strategy that transforms into the ‘do-able thing’.

The results of one do-able thing after another make the change. If its the  preferred change – then you will do more of it. If it is an unexpected or undesirable change, then you will find something a little bit different to experiment with instead.

For a practical example of a change process, specifically relating to the research of James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente, take a look at:

stepupprogram.org/docs/handouts/STEPUP_Stages_of_Change.pdf

This material is based on important research contained in their text:

Trans-theoretical Stages of Change model (1983).

Those four pages, alone, provide considerable practical suggestions for any number of safe experiments. TRY IT!!

Return to:

How to give yourself a nudge.

Welcome to Find Your Nudge.