The internet offers a rich provision of resources supporting self-help activities. As I go along, I am adding pages harvested over the years. Where possible, I will explain why the material is included.
I comment on the ways in which the material might help you in the design of your own safe experiments.
I am including only internet resources that have impressed me personally, or have been tried out by others, with some success. No financial encouragement has been offered to me for any of the leads I provide.
I have mentioned Dr Dan Seigel a few times; his insightful material can be found at:
His material has important things to say about the nature of ‘Mind’ and about well to experiments on affect regulation and body scanning. His work goes deeper into the effective practices of change. I do offer you a modification of his Window of Tolerance as I want you to stay on a scenic route for as long as it helps – knowing where to go for some rest and recuperation!
Working on his information may make your safe experiments even more robust.
Dr Linda Abel, a US therapist
provides some mindful visualisation material on:
This material will give you an opportunity to allow your mind and body to ‘just notice’ your experiences. The experiment of ‘just noticing’ is not as easy to do, as to say. I believe it is a fundamental step in the pursuit of small changes.
Two on-line training programmes I have used
Also, The PESI organisation at: https://www.pesi.co.uk/
I have found The Great Courses (mainly US material, but with a UK-base) a valuable source of learning using video and audio 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!!
On-line meditation and mindfulness
You can subscribe to: https://www.headspace.com
You can look out for a US developer of Mindfulness, Jon Kabat-Zinn. In the UK, there is a post-graduate programme available at Bangor University.
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.
…. along with Antonio Damasio, Allan Schore, Louis Cozolino, Mark Solms and Oliver Turnbull, as well as Peter Levine and Babette Rothschild. The latter has an important text called The Body Remembers published by W.W Norton. I heard her offer some refreshing views on Mindfulness in a 2023 PESI event. Keep it simple was her advice and I expect the safe experiment First Person and Present Tense does fit that bill.
Stephen Porges is a ‘must’ in my view. He developed the Polyvagal system and his research 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, safe experiments will help me be immobilised without fear (as happens for episodes when we sleep) rather than 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’.
More recently, in 2022, I have found this website:https://themillennialexec.com/
… although it is oriented to organisations, I like the idea of “safe-to-fail” experiments. The design of safe experiments is helped by the principles identified on this website and I discuss them further at: https://your-nudge.com/my-letter-to-you-on-nudging-yourself/
I have mentioned Paul Grantham, a UK-based psychologist a few times. His work, and that of his colleagues, can be found at:
A web page offering a number of different stress reduction apps to use ‘on the hoof’, can be found at:
Other leads to consider
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, recently deceased at over 100 years of age!
His Institute, now managed by Judy Beck, can be found at: https://beckinstitute.org/#?secret=ZLkdmckGb6https://beckinstitute.org/
….. and Transactional Analysis (TA)
where a suitable lead to start can be found at:
or try the Institute started by Iain Stewart, Adrienne Lee and others:
TA is well suited to the design and monitoring of safe experiments. You will have detected that it had a big impact on me, in my time.
Eye Movement De-sensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR)
….. offers another insightful perspective on treatment, I’d commend the following to you: braynework.com, and emdrfocus.com
…. both links direct you to the work of Mark Brayne here in the East of England. You may like to have leads to the National and international organisations. These can be found at:
EMDR: The basics – EMDR Association UK – Overcoming trauma with expert help
…. with its UK-based account of what is involved should you engage with mainstream EMDR as a treatment.
What is EMDR? – EMDR Institute – EYE MOVEMENT DESENSITIZATION AND REPROCESSING THERAPY
…. offering an International perspective. It may help to compare and contrast the approaches on offer from the two website.
Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)
Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) is a talking therapy. ‘Dialectical’ means trying to understand how two contradictions can both be true. For example, accepting yourself and changing your behaviour might feel contradictory. DBT shares with other therapies ways to achieve both these goals and live with the tension created by the contradiction. Some alternative approaches include acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) as well as compassion focused therapy (CFT).
Such approaches are respectful toward psycho-education and not all therapist are.
DBT is based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). It is a valuable perspective for people feeling emotions very intensely. Some aims of DBT include:
- Understanding and accepting difficult feelings,
- Learning skills to manage our feelings (or affects),
- Becoming more able to create positive changes in your life
…. bit like safe experimenting, eh!!
More specialist facilities
For those interested in issues of substance misuse and recovery, there are resources available from the US-bases in Denver and the Recovery Village in Columbus: see,
as well as:
The latter is a UK-based treatment provider and this may be of help to individuals seeking intensive treatment, or relevant information about paid-for rehabilitation services.
I mention these web sites as they have a focus on addiction management and I have not, as yet, provided many safe experiments relating to this topic.
I’d be interested to hear views from people who use any of these web sites. Can you integrate these 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.
There is an American slant on the features of post-trauma, with particular reference of to car accidents at:
A more poetic approach to safe experimenting
I would have valued the opportunity to reproduce Jon Roedel’s poem. A quote from poetry can speak volumes in few words. In the absence of his permission, you can follow it indirectly through:
Poem by John Roedel – The Maggie Oliver Foundation, or
Robin’s thoughts on the questions raised by John Roedel’s Story-poem – Find Your Nudge (your-nudge.com)
The pages on this website have been informed by some ‘leading lights’ and, more particularly, by the experiences of ‘clients’. Little of my website material is copied directly from these programmes, but it is very much informed by them.
Do tell me if you find something I may have misappropriated in error. My website is all my own work, faults and all. It has evolved now over many years. You could help me be more clear by commenting on a page that has impact on you, one way or the other. See a contact form at the bottom of this page.
Can I thank all clients and current readers for the contributions they have made to this compendium of small, safe experiments.
As stated, I have no financial or professional interest in any of the Internet resources mentioned on this web site. I mention them only because I think they have been helpful in my further researches.
Of course, you could approach me for some further help!!
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 could help this process and yet, sadly, it too often proves to be a substitute for this close contact; an opportunity to project a particular image.
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 on my web site 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’. You will notice I have relatively few!
- on my website I have emphasised that successful therapy does not have to depend on the skills or experience of your therapist or, indeed, on the extent of any ‘problem’ you may have. Problems are often symptoms; growth most often depends on the quality of the space you make with others so you can find out what ‘really’ needs to be changed. The Johari Window places emphasis on giving and getting feedback.
- The internet is not a substitute for a human relationship. True, it offers a special space – but not necessarily a safe space. In a virtual world it is possible to become dependent on a created world. To avoid this, test out things in the outside 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.
Further leads to consider
Preparing to design safe experiments
Stepping outside the Window of Tolerance (WoT)