11 A sense of self? Only humans have a sense of self Why? Although studies have suggested that animals have some awareness of self such as work with chimpanzees being able to notice that a dot on this
12 Symbolic relationships between things… Is what allows us to make sounds that other people understand rather than simply pointing and grunting at things‘HAT’‘Kelly’
13 ??? Physical Relationships Relationships based on cues = CONTEXTUAL CUE13
14 ??? = CONTEXTUAL CUE CONTEXTUAL CUE IS SAME AS Nic Nic BAD BAD OK GOOD 14
15 GENERATIVITY in human language THE JUMJAW EXERCISEBEFOREAFTERA jumjaw is a dogIs a jumjaw the same as a cat?Is a jumjaw the same as a cat?Is a jumjaw bigger than a tractor?Is a jumjaw bigger than a tractor?Does a jumjaw have ears?Does a jumjaw have ears?ETC.CONTEXTUAL CUELittle or no reactionReadily answer questions
16 When children are taught to name objects, they are provided with masses of explicit bi-directional trainingCUEAudience participation moment (writing materials)Mimic adult child name game – teach audience Irish for ‘ball’‘Lumlap’ – novel object; Gaelic ’hurley’ stick / camannClue for ‘Name-Object / Object-Name’ responding
17 After thousands of such interactions, the child no longer requires explicit bi-directional training
18 We can relate in many ways Same as (‘Jumjaw is the same as dog’)Opposite (‘Day is opposite to Night’)Different (‘Boys are different from Girls’)Comparison (‘£1 is more than 10p’)Causal (‘If anxious then I will mess up’)Temporal (‘Bad now worse later’)Perspective (‘I am here and you are there’)18
19 Relating is great it can help me solve problems!
21 And we can relate everything! Think of three single digit numbers (you can repeat numbers) and write them down in random orderNow answer the following question, using the first number to pick the word in the first column, the second number to pick the word in the second column, etc.
22 How is a. . .(e.g., banana) (e.g., the cause of) (e.g., candle)1. Banana 1. like 1. prostitute?2. Race car 2. unlike 2. war?3. Kangaroo 3. better than 3. chair?4. Foreman 4. different from 4. candle?5. Priest 5. worse than 5. house plant?6. Football 6. the father of 6. book?7. Hat 7. the cause of 7. mud hole?8. Computer 8. the partner of 8. baby?9. TV 9. the opposite of 9. toilet?
23 Causal Relations can be tricky! EmotionsThat problem with the government, your neighbors, your boss, etc.… the cause of…ProblemsThat problem with you
24 Technical Term Alert! Function basically means the ‘effects something has’
25 Transformation of Functions PsychologicalFunction
33 Relating and the Transformation of Functions 15 normal subjectsEstablish this relational network in half of them using arbitrary stimuli:A < B < CGive B a CS shock function and then present a single ½ strength shock in the presence of ATest the C stimulus . . .Dougher, Hamilton, Fink, & Harrington (2007)
34 Derived Relations of Comparison Panic attack in one’s own living room results in increased arousal and avoidance of corner store and university classMORE THANMORE THANuniversity classcorner storeliving room
35 And deriving explodes… Try this exercise: Learn four relations and see what happens. . .RELATION 1:OLDER THANHOMERLISA
39 From 4 Trained Relations. . . YOUNGEROLDERYOUNGEROLDEROLDERYOUNGEROLDEROLDEROLDERYOUNGERYOUNGEROLDEROLDERYOUNGERYOUNGEROLDEROLDERYOUNGER
40 With age comes… Wisdom Beauty Regret Freedom Responsibility Strength Weakness
41 LanguageJust as we learn to manipulate the environment with our body and handsWe also learn to manipulate it through sound and symbolsMilk Please!
42 So language is responding to abstract relations So what does that have to do with the ‘self’?‘I think therefore I am’No Rene – you learn to verbally discriminate your own behaviour from others behaviour - therefore you areWell, according to the CBS view, the self is the product of learning to put one’s own behavior into relation to otherslearning to verbally discriminate ones own behavior from others' behavior
43 What did YOU have for breakfast? I had a banana for breakfastNo silly I had a banana for breakfast
44 I feel happy I feel sad I am happier than you! As a child begins to relate more and more of their own behavior…I am happier than you!…and to compare it with that of others…I am not as happy as youI am a happy person!I am a depressed person!…they begin to have a concept of self
45 The emergence of self I am good I am bad I am a husband I am a doctor I think of my workI think of your painI think of my fatherI think of lunchtimeI go to my officeI go homeI go back to schoolI go into the darkI touch the hot panI touch into the waterI touch the screenI touch my faceI see you comingI see a bright futureI see a deskI see and hear a dogI hear musicI hear birds singingI hear a driving carI hear my mother callingI eat ice creamI eat a steakI eat chocolateI eat bread
46 The emergence of self I am good I am bad I am a husband I am a doctor I think of my workI think of your painI think of my fatherI think of lunchtimeI go to my officeI go homeI go back to schoolI go into the darkI touch the hot panI touch into the waterI touch the screenI touch my faceI see you comingI see a bright futureI see a deskI see and hear a dogI eat chocolateI eat a steakI eat ice creamI hear musicI hear a driving carI eat breadI hear my mother callingI hear birds singing
47 The emergence of self I am good I am bad I am a husband I am a doctor I think of my workI think of your painI think of my fatherI think of lunchtimeI go to my officeI go homeI go back to schoolI go into the darkI touch the hot panI touch into the waterI touch my faceI touch the screenI hear musicI hear a driving carI eat chocolateI eat ice creamI hear birds singingI eat a steakI see a deskI see and hear a dogI see a bright futureI see you comingI eat breadI hear my mother calling
48 The emergence of self I am good I am bad I am a husband I am a doctor I think of my workI think of your painI think of my fatherI think of lunchtimeI go to my officeI go homeI go back to schoolI go into the darkI touch the hot panI touch into the waterI hear a driving carI hear birds singingI hear musicI eat chocolateI eat ice creamI eat a steakI hear my mother callingI see a deskI touch the screenI touch my faceI see and hear a dogI see a bright futureI see you comingI eat bread
49 The emergence of self I think of your pain I think of my work I think of lunchtimeI think of my fatherI go into the darkI go homeI go to my officeI go back to schoolI am a doctorI touch the hot panI am badI am a husbandI am goodI touch into the waterI hear a driving carI hear birds singingI hear musicI eat chocolateI eat ice creamI eat a steakI hear my mother callingI see a deskI touch the screenI touch my faceI see and hear a dogI see a bright futureI see you comingI eat bread
50 The training of perspective I go back to schoolI go into the darkI go homeI go to my officeI think of my workI think of your painI think of my fatherI am a husbandI am a doctorI am badI am goodI touch the hot panI think of lunchtimeI touch into the waterI hear a driving carI hear birds singingI hear musicI eat chocolateI eat ice creamI eat a steakI hear my mother callingI see a deskI touch the screenI touch my faceI see and hear a dogI see a bright futureI see you comingI eat bread
51 The emergence of self I go back to school I think of my work I go into the darkI go homeI go to my officeI think of your painI think of my fatherI am a husbandI am a doctorI am badI am goodI touch the hot panI think of lunchtimeI touch into the waterI hear a driving carI hear birds singingI hear musicI eat chocolateI eat ice creamI eat a steakI hear my mother callingI see a deskI touch the screenI touch my faceI see and hear a dogI see a bright futureI see you comingI eat bread
53 Understanding others?‘The key to a happier world is the growth of compassion’ Dalai Lama
54 Theory of Mind ModuleI Know what you are thinking! I have a ‘module’ in my brain that tells me!
55 CBS Approach to Perspective-Taking Perspective relations specify a relation in terms of the perspective of the speakerConsider the three relations of:I versus YOUHERE versus THERENOW versus THEN
56 CBS Approach to Perspective-Taking Each time a child is asked or answers questions such as:“What are you doing here?”“What was I doing then?”“What am I doing now?”“What were you doing there?”the physical environment will likely be different…The only constant across such questions are the relational properties of:I versus YouHere versus ThereNow versus Then
57 CBS Approach to Perspective-Taking Two important variables: Relation TypeI / YOUHERE / THERENOW / THENComplexitySimple RelationsReversed RelationsDouble Reversed RelationsMcHugh, et al., (2004)
58 I have a white brick and you have a red brick A Simple Relation TaskI have a white brick and you have a red brickWhich brick do you have?Which brick do I have?
59 A Reversed Relation Task I am sitting here on the blue chair and you are sitting there on the black chairHere:There:If I was YOUandYOU were MEWhere would I be sitting?Where would you be sitting?
60 A Double Reversed Relation Task Yesterday I was sitting there on the black chair, today I am sitting here on the blue chairThere:Here:Now:Then:If HERE was THERE and THERE was HEREandNOW was THEN and THEN was NOWWhere would I be sitting now?Where would I be sitting then?
62 Empirical SupportMcHugh, et al., (2004) - Developmental Profile – appears at same age as ToM Rehfeldt, et al, 2006 – those diagnosed with ASD less proficient Villatte, et al. (2010) – patients with schizophrenia less proficient Villatte et al (2008) – link between deictics and social anhedonia Weil et al (2011) – training in deictics with children with ASD produces gains on Theory of Mind tests Vilardaga et al (2009) - Link between deictic relational responding and empathy
65 Psychological Flexibility Contacting the present moment fully and without defense, as a conscious human being, and based on what the situation affords, changing or persisting in behaviour in the service of chosen valuesBe presentOpen upDo what matters
66 Psychological Inflexibility Not fully contacting experienceLimited experience of the selfAvoiding experienceEven when it’s getting in the way of what we want and the person we want to be
67 Double Edged SwordVerbal self-knowledge is a two-edged sword
68 ‘I wish I…’ Comparison is a bitch Were as good at presenting as Robyn Were as young as I am in this photo!Were as smart as SteveHad great hair like RussComparison is a bitch
69 Even if you are a mega star… 1969I am not good enough as I am.In order to be good enoughI need to look a certain way
73 3 Selves in ACT Self as content Story Self as process Contacting the presentSelf as context Flexible Perspective Taking
74 FEELINGS OF LONELINESS MUST AVOID INTIMACYUNWORTHY OF THEAFFECTION OR TRUSTOF OTHERSLack of contact with social contingenciesFEELINGS OF LONELINESSLONELY SAD INDIVIDUALWORTHLESSBADNO-ONE LOVES MENOTHING BUT TROUBLEMEEVERYONE LAUGHS AT MESTUPID
75 ExerciseWhat kind of self-descriptive ________ does the client fuse with?judgements e.g., about body, personality, weaknesses, rolesbeliefsself-limiting attitudes – e.g., I can’t do X because of Ypredictions about the future
76 The conceptualized self trap I slept all day I am a lazy person.Result: The only way to change yourfuture is to change your past. You’re Stuck!
77 ExerciseWhy is attachment to both NEGATIVE and POSITIVE conceptions of self detrimental?
78 What ACT technique helps us let go of our attachment to our self concept?
80 Put a self judgment into one word Now say:X is goodX is badX is ruthlessX is beautifulX is a bananaX is positiveX is trueX is falseX is awfulX is upliftingX is scaryX is evilX is prettyX is a fishX is a girlX is hopelessX is disgustingX is boringX is safeX is menacing
81 I’m having the thought that I am not good enough DefusionDefusion is salience of many functions with no one function dominatingFocus on process not contentHighlight the non-literal quality of the client’s thoughtsI’m having the thought that I am not good enoughI’m not good enough
82 Perspective relations in defusion Respond to our thoughts as I HERE NOW - caught up in them Respond to our thoughts and feelings as I THERE THEN - they are seen as thoughts and feelings that we had
83 I feel so worthless right now Fusion and DefusionDefusionSelf as ContextI HERE NOW notice that I am having the thought that I am worthlessFusionSelf as ContentI am a worthless personSelf as ProcessI feel so worthless right nowANDI HERE NOW am noticing that I am having the feeling that I am worthlessSelf as Context
84 SELF AS CONTEXT SELF AS CONTENT I’m not good enough. SELF AS PROCESS I am too anxiousSELF AS PROCESSI HERE NOW notice my thoughts and feelings and what I can see, hear, touch taste and smellSELF AS CONTEXTSELF COMPASSIONI HERE NOW notice my pain and respond with kindnessEMPATHYI HERE NOW notice that you are feeling sadTRANSCENDENT SELFI HERE NOW am the observer of my thoughts and feelings
85 What about the other? Other as content Other as process Other as context
86 ACT Self Goals 1. Undermine attachment to conceptualised self 2. Help client notice continual flow of experience3. Help client increase the availability of flexible perspective taking
87 Clinical example - Jessie Jessie says she’s “finally” seeking therapy because she’s “sick of feeling so awful all the time.” She says it’s been five years since she felt something other than “depression and shame.” She describes her life in terms of “the real me, before I got depressed,” and “this person I’ve become.” She says she doesn’t go places or do things because “I’m just too ashamed,” and “that shame takes away anything that used to be good about it.” She gives the example of hating for her family to see her “this way.” In session, Jessie is persistently tearful and has trouble following directions and giving contingent responses.
88 Broadening Her Experience of Self Expand her contact with stimuli in the world and her range of responding to stimuliSelf as more than depressedWorld as more than source of shameShame as more than thing to be avoided
89 JohnJohn struggles with chronic pain and spends much of his time trying to come up with a fool-proof strategy that will ideally get the pain to go away, or at least to let him get some control over it. He firmly believes that he has tried everything, but that nothing has worked. The pain and the struggle with it have gained such dominance over his life that much of who John is psychologically is about pain. In other words, John knows himself first and foremost to be a sufferer of chronic pain and many other aspects of his life have become secondary to this sense of self (not just in terms of his overt behaviour). As such, the identification with the problem has become almost the whole person that he resides in, and other aspects (e.g., husband, father, worker) have fallen away (e.g., “I can no longer play with the kids because my back will get sore”).
90 John Hopelessness The solution has become part of the problem Acceptanceand isn’t this what has actually been thecase for the last few years?Struggling and avoidancePain is perhaps inevitable, struggle is notObstructionAvoiding the struggle controls his behaviourmore than actual painSelf and fusionHe knows himself first and foremost to be asufferer of chronic pain and many other aspectsof his life have become secondary to this sense of selfValuesThe pain has been allowed to take John’s life off in adirection that he did not see himself choosing
91 TIP - No need to win the conceptual war! The problem solving mind: sense making, prediction, and story tellingReduce its dominance by distinguishing thoughts vs thinkeremotions vs feeler
92 TIP - Give examples of perspective Therapist can self disclose to give an example of perspective‘When I get hurt, like you, I find it difficult to just step back and let the hurt be there, and instead see it as part of me’
94 Training Flexible Perspective Taking Step 1. Basic Perspective Training‘If I were you, where would I be?’‘If I were you and here was there, where would I be?’Step 2. Empathy Training‘I feel sad. If you were me, how would you feel?’‘I’ve won a prize. If you were me, how would you feel?’Step 3. Self-as-Context‘I watch thoughts and feelings come and go. Who is it that is watching them?’Vilardaga& Hayes, 2009
95 ExerciseFor Step 2 design an intervention in session could that could target the transfer of emotions across perspective relations (empathy)
96 Transfer of emotions across perspective relations Think of a time when you were in distress that someone invalidated your pain?Contact how you felt at that timeThink of a time when you invalidated someone else’s pain when they were distressedNow contact how they felt then
97 Self and the failure of empathy Narcissistic personality disorder – such strong fusion with a particular conceptualised self that events tend to be universally framed in terms of their relevance to this self and thus taking the perspective of another is made less likelyHigh levels of anxiety - empathy is sometimes possible but it often results in such distress that it produces not sympathy for the other but self-concern and thus the result is the absence of overt empathic respondingBurn out - Low levels of empathy can be produced by avoidance of the level of distress experienced during previous episodes of empathic responding
98 Context matters!There are a number of contextual variables that may make empathic responding more or less likely for any individual:similarity between observer and observedfamiliaritysocial dispositionscooperative versus competitive contexthow much the observer likes the observed