Some resources from the Internet

The internet offers a rich provision of material supporting self-help activities. As I go along, I will add some pages I have harvested over the years. Where possible, I will explain why the material is included and comment on the ways in which the material might help in the design of safe experiments.

I am including only leads that have impressed me personally or have been tried out by others, with some success.

I have mentioned Dr Dan Seigel in my main blog; his insightful material can be found at:

https://www.drdansiegel.com/resources/wheel_of_awareness_thanks/

His material should link well to experiments on affect regulation and body scanning.

Dr Linda Abel, a US therapist provides some mindful visualisation material on:

http://www.anxietystlouispsychologist.com/free/

This material will give you an opportunity to allow your mind and body to ‘just notice’ your experiences. The experiment of ‘just noticing’ is a fundamental preliminary if you are to pursue small changes.

Two on-line training programmes I have used include:

A programme based in the UK:

https://www.psychotherapyexcellence.com/

…. and two programmes based in the USA:

NICAM: National  Institute for  the Clinical Application of Behavioural Medicine

https://www.nicabm.com

Also, The PESI organisation

https://www.pesi.com/store/onlinecourse

I have found The Great Courses a valuable source of learning using video download or DVD. Their programmes cover a range of academic subjects, but their material on Neuro-science, mindfulness, sleep, Tai Chi and cognitive behavioural therapy has impressed me.  There is a heavy American bias in the selection of teachers, so one of the safe experiments you will do is to translate what is said into your own world. Another plus!!

If you want some on-line meditation and mindfulness programmes, you can subscribe to:

https://www.headspace.com

In particular, I’d recommend any-one to find out more about Bessel van der Kolk and what he has to say on about the processes of change. A compassionate and thoughtful man who is so well informed. His book, The Body Keeps the Score has an important place in understanding the place of neuro-science the treatment of trauma.

http://besselvanderkolk.net/index.html

An associate of Bessel van der Kolk worth following up is Stephen 
Porges. He developed the Polyvagal system and this casts important light on primitive defence mechanisms. I found it particularly important that he draws our attention to the problem of immobilisation for human beings. If all goes well, we will be immobilised without fear (as happens for episodes when we sleep) and immobilised by fear – not a state we want to create too often –  but it is easily done!! For more details, see his important video at:

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

I appreciate the way in which these web sources have helped keep me up to date and, indeed, given me some re-assurance about the relevance of ‘safe experiments’.

I have mentioned Paul Grantham, a UK-based psychologist a few times. His work, and that of his colleagues, can be found at:

http://www.skillsdevelopment.co.uk/index.shtml

A web page offering a number of different stress reduction apps to use ‘on the hoof’, can be found at:

https://thiswayup.org.au/12-free-apps-to-help-you-beat-stress/

Because much of what I do connects closely to the cognitive behavioural models of therapy (CBT), amongst others, you may like to follow to work of one of the ‘fathers’ of CBT, Aaron Beck. His Institute can be found at:

https://beckinstitute.org/

The same is true of Transactional Analysis (TA) and a suitable lead to start with is:

https://www.uktransactionalanalysis.co.uk/

or try the Institute started by Iain Stewart and others:

https://theberne.com

TA is well suited to the design and monitoring of safe experiments; look up exercises in transactional analysis on the internet.

I’d be interested to hear views from people who use these web sites. Integrate their leads into some of your safe experiments – and record the results! I expect some will work, some of the time. I’d be more than surprised if all worked, all of the time.

DISCLAIMER

None of my blog material is copied directly from these programmes. What I am saying to you in my blog is all my own work. It is informed by some ‘leading lights’ or based on the experiences of ‘clients’. Please tell me if you find something I may have misappropriated in error.

I have no financial or professional interest in any of the Internet resources mentioned in my blog. I mention them only because I think they are helpful.

A WARNING

Use the Internet to help you with safe experiments,  not as a substitute for doing something else or being with other human beings.

My experience tells me that there are many things that help us to nurture our emotional well-being. If I had to chose one, it would be actively sustaining contact with other people; not just our immediate family, but beyond. The Internet can help this process and yet, sadly, it can provide a substitute for this close contact.  There are risks using the Internet:

  • there are lies masquerading as facts on the Internet. These can deceive us into developing beliefs that are negative and unhelpful. When you research around a safe experiment, you may find some ‘respectable’ data is not all it seems. Remain sceptical. I’d rather you gave up my blog if it helped you to remain sceptical!
  • the internet is a virtual world. It can create virtual emotional connections, even virtual communities. I have worked with a number of people who suffered when those connections were tested in the real world.
  • there are ‘groomers’  out there. Most want to impress you, even seduce you,  but what about the more subtle work of ‘influencers’ – those who enrich themselves or seek to ‘big’ themselves up with an ever-expanding list of ‘followers’.  
  • in my blog I have emphasised that successful therapy does not depend on the skills or experience of your therapist or, indeed, the extent of any ‘problem’ you may have. It depends on the quality of the space you make together. The internet is not exempt from this, but it can appear to be so. 
  • if you experiment only in a virtual world then it is possible to become dependent on that virtual world. To avoid this, test out that world; interrogate it and negotiate with it – just as you would a human being!
  • only the Internet of Things should be relating one to another; human beings need other human beings in front of them to test things out.
  • in short, value people and tell them when, how and if you feel valued by them.

These are the routes back to the main material in this blog:

Welcome to Find Your Nudge

How to give yourself a nudge

Preparing to design safe experiments