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 Article on healing trauma

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PostSubject: Article on healing trauma    Article on healing trauma  Empty12/27/2013, 11:30 am

I am posting here an article about counseling teenage victims of rape.  This study stresses the importance of patients repeatedly telling their stories, going over the details, over and over again... and how this can be very helpful in the healing process.  I bring this up on this forum because I do think it is important - for many people - who have experienced various forms of religious trauma - to do the same kind of process - talk about their feelings, experiences - freely, openly, and again and again, as needed.  This is especially important for those who lived in totalistic situations like Shasta/Kennett and the many other groups where communication, criticism is verboten and you had to suppress your adulthood and integrity, and submit/surrender every minute, every day for years.  This kind of mind control, speech control and body control takes its toll and needs to be slowly undone, unraveled, unlearned, undermined, questioned.  It is hardly a perfect process, but so what -  get reacquainted with your own life, insights, emotions, reactions, adulthood and see where things land, see what is true for you and what was force-fed.  Come of out fear and submission.  This can take time - months, years -- or it can be much faster, but there is no set timetable and ignore those who say, "Just let it go" -- terrible advice.  It doesn't work in any case. 

What I am not saying is that we should all glorify being victims.  What I found important in my own healing / journey / path was working through all the experiences and feelings for as long as it took - and that was quite a few years.  In my case, I really didn't have many people to talk to about my experiences for a few years after I left Shasta ... i was mostly alone, and didn't have the tools to process and talk it through.  I probably could have sought out a psychologist, but I was traveling and I also didn't think that most psychologists would understand what I had gone through. Maybe that was true then, but not necessarily.  Could have been just a thought I believed. 

Making raped teens relive trauma works, study says

By LINDSEY TANNER - AP Medical Writer

CHICAGO (AP) -- It almost sounds sadistic - making rape victims as young as 13 relive their harrowing assault over and over again. But a new study shows it works surprisingly well at eliminating their psychological distress.

The results are the first evidence that the same kind of "exposure" therapy that helps combat veterans haunted by flashbacks and nightmares also works for traumatized sexually abused teens with similar symptoms, the study authors and other experts said.

After exposure therapy, 83 percent no longer had a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder. They fared much better than girls who got only supportive counseling - 54 percent in that group no longer had PTSD after treatment.

Girls who got exposure therapy also had much better scores on measures of depression and daily functioning than girls who got conventional counseling.

It's common to think that offering just comforting words and encouraging traumatized youngsters to forget their ordeals is protecting them, but that's "not doing them any favors," said University of Pennsylvania psychologist Edna Foa, the lead author. She said that approach can be harmful because it lets symptoms fester.

Foa developed a two-part treatment known as prolonged exposure therapy and has studied its use in treating post-traumatic stress disorder. It involves having patients repeatedly tell their awful stories, and then visit safe places that remind them of the trauma, or take part in safe activities they'd avoided because of painful reminders.

"Many are actually relieved that somebody wants to hear their story," Foa said.

The Veterans Affairs health system uses the treatment for vets with PTSD.

Foa's previous research has shown this approach works for adult rape victims, and it is used in some rape crisis centers.

Her new study was published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Sixty-one girls aged 13-18 were recruited at a rape crisis center in Philadelphia. They had been raped or sexually abused, sometimes repeatedly, often by a relative. All had been diagnosed with PTSD. The researchers provided four days of prolonged exposure training for counselors at the center and two days of supportive counseling training.

The teens were randomly assigned to 14 weeks of counseling or prolonged exposure therapy from the counselors. Sessions lasted an hour or 90 minutes.

At first, most were very upset talking about what had happened. But by telling and re-telling their trauma, "they get a new perspective of what happened," Foa said. "They get used to thinking and talking about the memory and realizing that it was in the past, that it's not in the present anymore."

Eventually, "the story becomes remote and they get closure," she said.

Benefits of the prolonged exposure therapy lasted throughout a one-year follow-up.

A JAMA editorial said many therapists are reluctant to try the treatment with kids because of concerns that it might worsen symptoms, but that the study should raise awareness of the benefits.

The study "should allay therapist concerns about any potential harmful effects of exposure," said editorial author Sean Perrin, a psychologist at Lund University in Sweden and a specialist in PTSD treatment in kids. The distress that comes with reliving the trauma usually dissipates within a few sessions, and is essential to recovery, he said.

JAMA: http://www.jama.ama-assn.org
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PostSubject: Re: Article on healing trauma    Article on healing trauma  Empty12/27/2013, 2:15 pm

Jcbaran wrote:
I am posting here an article about counseling teenage victims of rape.  This study stresses the importance of patients repeatedly telling their stories, going over the details, over and over again... and how this can be very helpful in the healing process.  I bring this up on this forum because I do think it is important - for many people - who have experienced various forms of religious trauma - to do the same kind of process - talk about their feelings, experiences - freely, openly, and again and again, as needed. 
This reminded me of a report I watched on Sixty Minutes about new therapy for vets with PTSD:

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PostSubject: Bye, bye Frankenstein   Article on healing trauma  Empty1/5/2014, 9:21 am

Placing this story here - as an expansion of the broad discussion on how to heal trauma, how to make sense of what happened to you, how to take back your life and your adulthood, the process that many of us on this forum went through when leaving Shasta/Kennett/OBC/Eko. 

As we all see from the contributors here, each person's experience is different - with varying sets of issues and interactions, but clearly there are many similarities.  We do have to undo, unravel, untie the knots that we created in that distortion field.  We have to fully digest the experience - absorbing and honoring the valuable aspects and eliminating the toxic, the irrelevant, the imposed endarkening dimensions of this experience.  When you believe and live a big multidimensional story for many years (in whatever circumstances), if you want to be free, you need to confront any and all pieces of the constellations of the stories. 

This NPR Show posted here talks about writing your stressful thoughts down.  Everyday. And various forms of mindfulness cognitive therapy, the process noted below  and the work of Byron Katie stress not only writing every stressful thought down, but also challenging them through a process of focused questioning.  Examples -  Is it true?  Is that really true?  Can you absolutely know that it's true?  and when you believe that story, how do you live your life?  Over and over again, you poke these stories with inquiry - when they show up in your head, in your thoughts, in your daily life, and you keep writing them down.  Yes, it's work, but frankly repeating over and over again painful thoughts that you belief, that's painful and consuming.  And when we see some specific thought or belief is really not true, there is no real basis for the belief, that story can fall apart and no longer have this power and gravitas.  Frankenstein no more.  It was just a belief or set of beliefs and it wasn't true - it wasn't even a real monster - it just felt that way - like the old story of seeing a rope and thinking its a snake. Bingo. 

From my experience, it is not about creating new stories, but dissolving the stressful narratives, and seeing the false for the false.  This is a kind process, hopefully.  Kind to yourself.  The key thing for me was not only questioning everything, but also figuring out more clearly what went on and why - and part of that was understanding the back story, who Kennett really was - not the master persona and the story that she presented to us, but the person that she didn't want to acknowledge even to herself.  And what this "Zen" story was - what was dharmic and true and beneficial and what were inherited unquestioned old beliefs and assumptions and myths.  Since I internalized all these narratives for nearly a decade - counting the few years before I came to Shasta where i was reading and seeking - then it takes time to unravel those balls of knots. 

Also, what I found was that this process not only brings relief, but empathy.  When I really began to see Kennett not as this bigger than life master, but as a struggling, lonely woman filled with self-doubt and shadows that she couldn't face, I did feel compassion towards here.  AND that in no way excused her harmful behavior, her excesses, her addiction to adoration, and blindness, but it was clear to me that she was hardly bigger than life, not very powerful in all her strutting about, and far from being "fully enlightened."  She had no power over me anymore and it was clear that much of what she said and taught - well some was valuable - and much was simply irrelevant and not helpful to me.  Some of what she transmitted was clearly undigestible, toxic, not beneficial, and i had no interest in taking refuge in that.  Whatever for? 

It can take years -- and this fellow says below - maybe you can find ways to dissolve the stories and painful inner talk more quickly, cut through the knots in minutes or days.  It is not about being impatient or taking fake shortcuts, but these "strong" beliefs aren't really strong - they are nothing - just a thought that you think is true, but we all need to see that for ourselves, not just believe it. 

Editing Your Life's Stories Can Create Happier Endings

by Lulu Miller

January 01, 2014 2:00 PM - from National Public Radio

This is an NPR Radio story - to listen to the full story on audio, go on-line - and I recommend listening to the full story - the print version is only the highlights:


AND:  http://homepage.psy.utexas.edu/HomePage/Faculty/Pennebaker/Home2000/WritingandHealth.html8 min 54 sec

It was a rainy night in October when my nephew Lewis passed the Frankenstein statue standing in front of a toy store. The 2 1/2-year-old boy didn't see the monster at first, and when he turned around, he was only inches from Frankenstein's green face, bloodshot eyes and stitched-up skin.

Article on healing trauma  Eraser_monsters_final_4_custom-557d9e9316e4991d598bfe7a57e0da4228230ee8-s40-c85

Daniel Horowitz for NPR

The 4-foot-tall monster terrified my nephew so much that he ran deep into the toy store. And on the way back out, he simply couldn't face the statue. He jumped into his mother's arms and had to bury his head in her shoulder.

For hours after the incident, Lewis was stuck. He kept replaying the image of Frankenstein's face in his mind. "Mom, remember Frankenstein?" he asked over and over again. He and his mom talked about how scary the statue was, how Lewis had to jump into her arms. It was "like a record loop," my sister said.

But then, suddenly, Lewis' story completely changed. My sister was recounting the tale to the family: how they left the store, how they had to walk by Frankenstein. And then — "I peed on him!!" Lewis blurted out triumphantly, with a glint in his eyes.

In that instant, Lewis had overpowered Frankenstein — if only in his mind.

"Well, your nephew is a brilliant story editor,'" says psychologist of the University of Virginia.

Wilson has been studying how small changes in a person's own stories and memories can help with emotional health. He calls the process "." And he says small tweaks in the interpretation of life events can reap huge benefits.

This process is essentially what happens during months, or years, of therapy. But Wilson has discovered ways you can change your story in only about 45 minutes.

Wilson first stumbled on the technique back in the early 1980s, when he found that a revised story helped college students who were struggling academically. "I'm bad at school" was the old story many of them were telling themselves. That story leads to a self-defeating cycle that keeps them struggling, Wilson says.

The new story Wilson gave them was: "Everyone fails at first." He introduced the students to this idea by having them read accounts from other students who had struggled with grades at first and then improved. It was a 40-minute intervention that had three years later.

"The ones who got our little story-editing nudge improved their grades, whereas the others didn't," Wilson says. "And to our surprise ... those who got our story-editing intervention were more likely to stay in college. The people in the control group were more likely to drop out."

Similar interventions have also helped students feel like they socially at college and have helped parents to stop abusing their kids.
The idea is that if you believe you are something else — perhaps smarter, more socially at ease — you can allow for profound changes to occur.

You can even try story-editing yourself at home with . Simply pick a troubling event. And write about it for 15 minutes each day for four days. That's it.

These exercises have been shown to help relieve mental anguish, improve health and increase attendance at work.

No one is sure why the approach works. But Wilson's theory is that trying to understand why a painful event happened is mentally consuming. People get stuck in thinking, "Why did he leave me?" or "Why was she so disappointed in me?" Or for Lewis, "Where did that scary Frankenstein face come from?"

As you write about the troubling, confusing event again and again, eventually you begin to make sense of it. You can put those consuming thoughts to rest.

So as you look forward to changing yourself this year, consider looking back on whatever your Frankensteins may be. And if you squint your eyes a little and turn your head just a bit, you may see that your leg was lifted. That maybe you did pee on him after all.

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PostSubject: Re: Article on healing trauma    Article on healing trauma  Empty1/5/2014, 10:40 am

Writing and Health: Some Practical Advice
Writing about emotional upheavals in our lives can improve physical and mental health. Although the scientific research surrounding the value of expressive writing is still in the early phases, there are some approaches to writing that have been found to be helpful. Keep in mind that there are probably a thousand ways to write that may be beneficial to you. Think of these as rough guidelines rather than Truth. Indeed, in your own writing, experiment on your own and see what works best.

Getting Ready to Write
Find a time and place where you won’t be disturbed. Ideally, pick a time at the end of your workday or before you go to bed.

Promise yourself that you will write for a minimum of 15 minutes a day for at least 3 or 4 consecutive days.

Once you begin writing, write continuously. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar. If you run out of things to write about, just repeat what you have already written.

You can write longhand or you can type on a computer. If you are unable to write, you can also talk into a tape recorder.

You can write about the same thing on all 3-4 days of writing or you can write about something different each day. It is entirely up to you.

What to Write About
Something that you are thinking or worrying about too much
Something that you are dreaming about
Something that you feel is affecting your life in an unhealthy way
Something that you have been avoiding for days, weeks, or years

In our research, we generally give people the following instructions for writing:

Over the next four days, I want you to write about your deepest emotions and thoughts about the most upsetting experience in your life. Really let go and explore your feelings and thoughts about it. In your writing, you might tie this experience to your childhood, your relationship with your parents, people you have loved or love now, or even your career. How is this experience related to who you would like to become, who you have been in the past, or who you are now?

Many people have not had a single traumatic experience but all of us have had major conflicts or stressors in our lives and you can write about them as well. You can write about the same issue every day or a series of different issues. Whatever you choose to write about, however, it is critical that you really let go and explore your very deepest emotions and thoughts

Warning: Many people report that after writing, they sometimes feel somewhat sad or depressed. Like seeing a sad movie, this typically goes away in a couple of hours. If you find that you are getting extremely upset about a writing topic, simply stop writing or change topics.

What to do with your Writing Samples

The writing is for you and for you only. Their purpose is for you to be completely honest with yourself. When writing, secretly plan to throw away your writing when you are finished. Whether you keep it or save it is really up to you.

Some people keep their samples and edit them. That is, they gradually change their writing from day to day. Others simply keep them and return to them over and over again to see how they have changed.

Here are some other options:

Burn them. Erase them. Shred them. Flush them. Tear them into little pieces and toss them into the ocean or let the wind take them away. Eat them (not recommended).

Some References for Writing, Journaling, or Diaries

A video of the original writing method can be seen by clicking here.
There are some outstanding books by people who have an intuitive and practical approach to writing. Each author approaches journaling or diary writing in very different ways. Check the various books out and see what works best for you.
Adams, Kathleen (1998). The Way of the Journal : A Journal Therapy Workbook for Healing. Sidron Press.
Baldwin, Christina (1992). One to One : Self-Understanding Through Journal Writing. Evans Publisher
DeSalvo, Louise A. (2000). Writing As a Way of Healing : How Telling Our Stories Transforms Our Lives. Beacon Press.
Fox, John (1997). Poetic Medicine : The Healing Art of Poem-Making. Tarcher Press
Goldberg, Natalie and Guest, Judith (1986). Writing Down the Bones : Freeing the Writer Within. Shambhala Press.
Jacobs, Beth (2005). Writing for Emotional Balance, New Harbinger Publishers.
Pennebaker, James W. (1997). Opening Up: The Healing Power of Expressing Emotion. NY: Guilford Press.
Pennebaker, J.W. (2004)._ Writing to Heal: A Guided Journal for Recovering from Trauma and Emotional Upheaval. Denver, CO: Center for Journal Therapy.
Rainer, Tristine (1979). The New Diary : How to Use a Journal for Self-Guidance and Expanded Creativity. Tarcher
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PostSubject: Re: Article on healing trauma    Article on healing trauma  Empty1/5/2014, 10:50 am

Redirect: The Surprising New Science of Psychological Change by Timothy D. Wilson

What if there were a magic pill that could make you happier, turn you into a better parent, solve a number of your teenager's behavior problems, reduce racial prejudice, and close the achievement gap in education? Well, there is no such magic pill-but there is a new scientifically based approach called story editing that can accomplish all of this. It works by redirecting the stories we tell about ourselves and the world around us, with subtle prompts, in ways that lead to lasting change. In Redirect, world-renowned psychologist Timothy Wilson shows how story-editing works and how you can use it in your everyday life.

The other surprising news is that many existing approaches-from the multi-billion dollar self-help industry to programs that discourage drug use and drinking-don't work at all. In fact, some even have the opposite effect. Most programs are not adequately tested, many do not work, and some even do harm. For example, there are programs that have inadvertently made people unhappy, raised the crime rate, increased teen pregnancy, and even hastened people's deaths-in part by failing to redirect people's stories in healthy ways.

In short, Wilson shows us what works, what doesn't, and why. Fascinating, groundbreaking, and practical, Redirect demonstrates the remarkable power small changes can have on the ways we see ourselves and the world around us, and how we can use this in our everyday lives. In the words of David G. Myers, "With wit and wisdom, Wilson shows us how to spare ourselves worthless (or worse) interventions, think smarter, and live well."

Editorial Reviews

"There are few academics who write with as much grace and wisdom as Timothy Wilson. Redirect is a masterpiece." (Malcolm Gladwell)

"This glorious book shimmers with insights-an instant classic that will be discussed and quoted for generations. One of the great psychologists of our time, Timothy Wilson has distilled the field's wisdom and shown us how to use it to change ourselves and the world. This may well be the single most important psychology book ever written. Not to be missed!" (Daniel Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness)

"With a deft narrative touch, an engaging metaphor for bringing about psychological change (personal story editing), and a ferocious commitment to scientific evidence, Timothy Wilson has made a remarkable contribution to knowledge." (Robert Cialdini, author of Influence: Science and Practice)

"Is it possible to reinvent ourselves, transform our children, and improve our communities? Professor Timothy Wilson proposes an idea that many readers will find revolutionary - namely, that the most effective methods are often deceptively simple. What matters most is not pressuring the people that we want to change, but subtly helping them to shift the stories that they tell about themselves. Whether you are a parent, educator, employer, or simply someone who cares about making the world a better place, you should read this book." (Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside, and author of The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want)

"Wilson convincingly argues that our conscious minds are but the tip of the iceberg in deciding how we behave, what is important to us, and how we feel...A fascinating read." (Library Journal)

"Redirect is a great book! In his uniquely engaging way, Wilson shows how simple techniques can deliver large and lasting personal changes--and convinces us that only good research can give us these techniques." (Carol Dweck, PhD, author of Mindset)

"Wouldn't it be amazing if a very smart scientist could write a book on happiness, crime, violence, drug and alcohol abuse, parenting, and teenage pregnancy-and sum up all the research in clear and surprising lessons on how we should live our lives? Well, Timothy Wilson is the scientist and Redirect is the book, and it is in fact amazing." (Daniel M. Wegner, Harvard University, author of The Illusion of Conscious Will)

"Renowned social psychologist Timothy Wilson writes for those of us who want to make a real difference in our worlds (and not just to fool ourselves into thinking we're doing so). With wit and wisdom, he shows us how to spare ourselves worthless (or worse) interventions, think smarter, and live well." (David G. Myers, Hope College, author of The Pursuit of Happiness)

"One of the foremost psychologists of our time, Timothy Wilson shows us that solving endemic social problems and making ourselves happier, healthier, and more successful is within our grasp. Redirect reveals the hidden meanings we assume in our everyday lives, how these meanings shape our behavior, and how we can change our assumptions and the world. Extraordinary." (Greg Walton, PhD, Department of Psychology, Stanford University)

"Timothy Wilson's book Redirect reminds me why I became a social psychologist. Without solid laboratory and real world research, some of society's most important decisions can easily be guided by faulty beliefs. The genius of Wilson's book is that it points out how mistakes can be made and, at the same time, how research can help us to correct these errors. This should be required reading for any well-intentioned person who wants to make the world a better place. It brings together central issues in psychology, public policy, community activism, and science." (James W. Pennebaker, Professor and Chair of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin, and Author of The Secret Life of Pronouns)

"This presents a fascinating argument for how humans make sense of the world." (Library Journal)

"Accessible, engaging and consistently WTF-worthy...an instant classic of popular science." (Evening Standard)

"[In Redirect], a keen observer of the human condition explains how tweaking our personal narratives can have a huge effect on our lives." (Kirkus Reviews)

"For those...who find in social psychology a viable vehicle for leading us more surely on the path towards what is true, right and good, REDIRECT is likely to be a stimulating, valuable read." (New Scientist Culture Lab)

"In clear prose that does not trivialize the science, Wilson reviews the many success stories in social psychology....As the scientist Paul C. Stern once wrote, a policy objective of science is to 'separate common sense from common nonsense and make uncommon sense more common.' Wilson's book does science and society a great service by accomplishing precisely this." (Science)

"Particularly when criticizing various failed social policies and programs, REDIRECT is sensible and reasonably convincing. Wilson...knows his behavioral research and is a fair and careful critic." (Boston Globe)

"REDIRECT is a 10-chapter treasure trove of information on various aspects of social psychology....The man who wrote REDIRECT is patently honest and fair in his assessments of all the barriers keeping any of us from being all we can, and might, be....[It's] a book to stir all of one's human instincts and curiosity." (Daily Progress)

“There are few academics who write with as much grace and wisdom as Timothy Wilson. Redirect is a masterpiece.”    —Malcolm Gladwell

Timothy D. Wilson - Biography

Timothy D. Wilson is Sherrell J. Aston Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia. He received his B.A. from Hampshire College and his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. He is a social psychologist who has investigated unconscious processing, the limits of introspection, the consequences of introspection, affective forecasting, and happiness. In 2001 he received an All University Outstanding Teaching Award. In 2009 was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 2010 he received the University of Virginia Distinguished Scientist Award. Wilson is the author of Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious, published by Harvard University Press. Malcolm Gladwell wrote in the New Yorker that "Strangers to Ourselves" . . . is what popular psychology ought to be (and rarely is): thoughtful, beautifully written, and full of unexpected insights." On his web page Gladwell says, "In Blink, I probably owe a bigger intellectual debt to Tim Wilson (and his longtime collaborator, Jonathan Schooler) than anyone else, and Strangers to Ourselves is probably the most influential book I've ever read." Wilson is the coauthor of the best-selling text, Social Psychology (Prentice-Hall), now in its seventh edition.
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PostSubject: Four Questions - inquiry process - the work   Article on healing trauma  Empty1/5/2014, 11:13 am

For those who want to explore a specific detailed process of writing down your stressful thoughts and then questioning them in a more systematic method.  This from www.thework.com / the work of Byron Katie. 

I am NOT pushing this particular method - just sharing another resource that some people may find useful.  I happen to think this approach can be very helpful, but that's just me. 

One Belief at a time worksheet:  http://www.thework.com/downloads/worksheets/onebelief_Eng.pdf




Video on how to write down stressful thoughts:  https://youtu.be/VAGPEa2OEsc

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PostSubject: Re: Article on healing trauma    Article on healing trauma  Empty1/5/2014, 11:17 am

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is psychological therapy that is designed to aid in preventing the relapse of depression, specifically in individuals with Major depressive disorder (MDD).[1] It utilizes traditional Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) methods and adds in newer psychological strategies, like mindfulness and mindfulness meditation. Cognitive methods could include educating the participant about depression.[2] Mindfulness and mindfulness meditation, focus on becoming aware of all incoming thoughts and feelings and accepting them, but not attaching or reacting to them.[3] Like CBT, MBCT functions on the theory that when individuals who have historically had depression become distressed, they return to automatic cognitive processes that can trigger a depressive episode.[4] The goal of MBCT is to interrupt these automatic processes and teach the participants to focus less on reacting to incoming stimuli, and instead accepting and observing them without judgment.[4] This mindfulness practice allows the participant to notice when automatic processes are occurring and to alter their reaction to be more of a reflection. Research supports the effects of MBCT in people who have been depressed three or more times and demonstrates reduced relapse rates by 50%.[5]


In 1991 Barnard and Teasdale created a multilevel theory of the mind called “Interacting Cognitive Subsystems,” (ICS). The ICS model is based on Barnard and Teasdale’s theory that the mind has multiple modes that are responsible for receiving and processing new information cognitively and emotionally. Barnard and Teasdale’s (1991) theory associates an individual’s vulnerability to depression with the degree to which he/she relies on only one of the modes of mind, inadvertently blocking the other modes.[6] The two main modes of mind include the “doing” mode and “being” mode. The “doing” mode is also known as the driven mode. This mode is very goal-oriented and is triggered when the mind develops a discrepancy between how things are versus how the mind wishes things to be.[7] The second main mode of mind is the “being” mode. “Being” mode, is not focused on achieving specific goals, instead the emphasis is on “accepting and allowing what is,” without any immediate pressure to change it.[8] The central component of Barnard and Teasdale’s ICS is metacognitive awareness. Metacognitive awareness is the ability to experience negative thoughts and feelings as mental events that pass through the mind, rather than as a part of the self.[9] Individuals with high metacognitive awareness are able to avoid depression and negative thought patterns more easily during stressful life situations, in comparison to individuals with low metacognitive awareness.[9] Metacognitive awareness is regularly reflected through an individual’s ability to decenter. Decentering is the ability to perceive thoughts and feelings as both impermanent and objective occurrences in the mind.[6]

Based on Barnard and Teasdale’s (1991) model, mental health is related to an individual’s ability to disengage from one mode or to easily move among the modes of mind. Therefore, individuals that are able to flexibly move between the modes of mind based on the conditions in the environment are in the most favorable state. The ICS model theorizes that the “being” mode is the most likely mode of mind that will lead to lasting emotional changes. Therefore for prevention of relapse in depression, cognitive therapy must promote this mode. This led Teasdale to the creation of MBCT, which promotes the “being” mode.[6]

This therapy was also created by Zindel Segal and Mark Williams, and was partially based on the mindfulness-based stress reduction program, developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn.[10] Theories behind these mindfulness-based approaches to psychological issues function on the idea that being aware of things in the present, and not focusing on the past or the future, will allow the client to be more apt to deal with current stressors and distressing feelings with a flexible and accepting mindset, rather than avoiding, and, therefore, prolonging them.[3]

The MBCT program is a group intervention that lasts eight weeks. During these eight weeks, there is a weekly course, which lasts two hours, and one day-long class after the fifth week. However, much of the practice is done outside of classes, where the participant uses guided meditations and attempts to cultivate mindfulness in their daily lives.[4]

MBCT prioritizes learning how to pay attention or concentrate with purpose, in each moment and most importantly, without judgment.[11] Through mindfulness, clients can recognize that holding onto some of these feelings is ineffective and mentally destructive. Mindfulness is also thought by Fulton et al. to be useful for the therapists as well during therapy sessions.[12]

MBCT is an intervention program developed to specifically target vulnerability to depressive relapse. Throughout the program, patients learn mind management skills leading to heightened metacognitive awareness, acceptance of negative thought patterns and an ability to respond in skillful ways. During MBCT patients learn to decenter their negative thoughts and feelings, allowing the mind to move from an automatic thought pattern to conscious emotional processing.[6]
See also

    Acceptance and commitment therapy
    Dialectical behavior therapy
    Mindfulness-based stress reduction

Further reading

    Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depression: a new approach to preventing relapse, by Zindel V. Segal, J. Mark G. Williams, John D. Teasdale. Guilford Press, 2002. ISBN 1-57230-706-4.
    Mindfulness: Finding Peace in a Frantic World by Professor Mark Williams & Dr Danny Penman" Rodale Books US (October 25, 2011). Piatkus UK (5 May 2011)
    Mindfulness-based treatment approaches: clinician's guide to evidence base and applications, by Ruth A. Baer. Academic Press, 2006. ISBN 0-12-088519-0.
    Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Anxious Children: A Manual for Treating Childhood Anxiety, by Randye Semple, Jennifer Lee. New Harbinger Pubns Inc, 2010. ISBN 1-57224-719-3.
    Mindfulness Practice in the Treatment of Traumatic Stress, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
    id=Mindfulnet.org The independent mindfulness information resourceInformation on MBCT., MBSR Research, applications and resources
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PostSubject: Re: Article on healing trauma    Article on healing trauma  Empty1/5/2014, 11:28 am

Cognitive Therapy:

The goals of cognitive therapy are to help individuals achieve a remission of their disorder and to prevent relapse. Much of the work in sessions involves aiding individuals in solving their real-life problems and teaching them to modify their distorted thinking, dysfunctional behavior, and distressing affect. Therapists plan treatment on the basis of a cognitive formulation of patients’ disorders and an ongoing individualized cognitive conceptualization of patients and their difficulties. A developmental framework is used to understand how life events and experiences led to the development of core beliefs, underlying assumptions, and coping strategies, particularly in patients with personality disorders.

A strong therapeutic alliance is a key feature of cognitive therapy. Therapists are collaborative and function as a team with patients. They provide rationales and seek patients’ agreement when undertaking interventions. They make mutual decisions about how time will be spent in a session, which problems will be discussed, and which homework assignments patients believe will be helpful. They engage patients in a process of collaborative empiricism to investigate the validity of the patient’s thoughts and beliefs.

Cognitive therapy is educative, and patients are taught cognitive, behavioral, and emotional-regulation skills so they can, in essence, become their own therapists. This allows cognitive therapy to be time-limited for many patients; those with straightforward cases of anxiety or unipolar depression often need only 6 to 12 sessions. Patients with personality disorders, comorbidity, or chronic or severe mental illness usually need longer courses of treatment (6 months to 1 year or more) with additional periodic booster sessions.

Cognitive therapists elicit patients’ goals at the beginning of treatment. They explain their treatment plan and interventions to help patients understand how they will be able to reach their goals and feel better. At every session, they elicit and help patients solve problems that are of greatest distress. They do so through a structure that seeks to maximize efficiency, learning, and therapeutic change. Important parts of each session include a mood check, a bridge between sessions, prioritizing an agenda, discussing specific problems and teaching skills in the context of solving these problems, setting of self-help assignments, summary, and feedback.
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maisie field

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PostSubject: writing therapy   Article on healing trauma  Empty1/6/2014, 12:24 pm

Thank you for all these references Josh.
I am a child psychologist, and some of my post-graduate study was in the field of art therapy.
I have done work with young people where they wrote their stories, in fact I see all of my work as story telling, in one way and another.
I am in the process of completing a graphic novel which also includes short stories.

It was very painful to make the book, but the pain of doing it was preferable to the pain of doing nothing.
I heard a writer attribute his cancer to the inability to write out an episode in his life.
I can believe the poetic truth in that statement.
I agree we need to write tell and write again,re-working our traumas,re-telling the stories,until they cease to haunt us.
I am glad you managed to make such a full life after the strange times at Shasta.
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PostSubject: Re: Article on healing trauma    Article on healing trauma  Empty1/10/2014, 2:35 pm

from my friend Mark Matousek - "Freeing Your Soul through Writing" - for those interested in using writing to work with past feelings, etc....


A Free Teleseminar Event
with Bestselling Author and Teacher
Mark Matousek
Wednesday, January 15, 2014 5:30pm US Pacific / 8:30pm US Eastern

Sign up to tune in or receive the recording
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PostSubject: Re: Article on healing trauma    Article on healing trauma  Empty1/11/2014, 9:13 pm

Maisie said: "I heard a writer attribute his cancer to the inability to write out an episode in his life". I understand this all too well because it often seems impossible to explain the complexities and finer nuances of particular experiences and relationships in such a way as to make others understand them without running the risk of having them completely misinterpreted.  Edvard Munch's famous painting "The Scream" comes to mind. 

Writing can be very therapeutic, and to various degrees this is what all of us are doing here on the forum, yet, some of these experiences can somehow never be fully explained as we would like, either because they are too personal or there are still remnants of ambivalence to them, or because the veracity of certain actions and behavior, at least how is was experienced by us, is simply too difficult to describe: and then, in effect may result in physical illness in some way or other.
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PostSubject: Re: Article on healing trauma    Article on healing trauma  Empty1/11/2014, 9:51 pm

Zen Needs Therapy

Posted by: Herb Eko Deer August 11, 2013
Although they have different parents they may look alike, act alike and even have the same goals, but an intimate relationship between them has never quite been accepted.

Zen people say that combining therapy with Zen will water it down, turn it into something different, inauthentic or shallow.

Therapy people say that to introduce spiritual practice such as mediation or the concept of enlightenment into therapy will make it unprofessional, subjective and woo woo.

I say boo-who, and that both have very important, even essential, elements to offer each other.  To combine the best of both makes a very strong practice.

The vocabulary of therapy has given us terms like ego, projection, transference, triggers, emotional patterns, family dynamics, behavioral problems, etc. as well as concepts like having a “story”.
Zen, in turn, has given us terms like no-self, oneness, emptiness, being the emotion, letting go of the self, dropping the story, etc.

We now have the vocabulary to identify and work on profound personal issues and problems with more subtlety and efficacy than ever before, should we be willing to embrace this cultural-spiritual revolution.

For example, when a Zen student is struggling with painful emotional issues and does not understand why, if we tell them to just cut off the thoughts and be one with the pain… they may be able to cut off or suppress the thoughts, but not necessarily resolve the core issues creating the thoughts.

There is a great scene in the movie “The Piano” where the natives who have never seen an onstage play are watching the shadows lit behind a screen. They assume it is really happening so they attack the screen to save the damsel in distress. We are like this when we are projecting our old issues onto this screen we call reality. We attack our reality thinking it is real, but it is empty. If we see this we can enjoy the play rather than attack the screen. If we can see how we are projecting our childhood issues onto our current situation we can see through it and experience the emptiness.

In therapy we may get a lot of support to learn and tell our story and see how we project it into our current situations. However, if we are not given the space and support to sit quietly with the emotions that are connected with this story we cannot process and let of these stuck emotions on the deepest level.

We hold the energy of our childhood pain and trauma deep in our cells. If we learned to flinch or tighten when we were scared or abused and then we develop that way we grow up with this tightness as part of our being. It takes tremendous amount of sitting still and quietly for this tightness to loosen up. Once we loosen up all that energy begins to release, and we relive the pain.

We practice sitting still with the pain and learning to be intimate with it and comfortable enough to feel it without running away.

Therapy can help us identify this pain and the patterns we have created around it, but it cannot help us be still enough to let it release and let it go, for good.

If a Zen teacher cannot help a student identify emotional patterns that block oneness the student may become enlightened but unhappy or cause more suffering. If a therapist cannot help a client let go of their emotional pain on the deepest level, the client may become self-aware but still unhappy.

Of course Zen teachers and therapists will never adopt the full practice of each other’s roles and expertise. But they can learn, without feeling threatened, enough from each other to help end suffering for their students and clients.

It’s important to be able to tell our story in order to make sense of our issues and patterns. Once we know our story then we can practice letting it go as we become intimate with our emotions. And learning to identify stuck emotional patterns as well as learning not to project will get us to a place of accepting what we need to do to accomplish this path much faster.

These are a few of so many examples of how Zen and therapy can work together to create an incredibly strong foundation for self-awareness and awakening to no-self awareness.
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