Presentation on theme: "Catalyzing Brain Change: From Incremental Skills to Quantum Learning"— Presentation transcript:
1Catalyzing Brain Change: From Incremental Skills to Quantum Learning 2015 Psychotherapy Networker SymposiumMarch 28, 2014Washington, D.C.
2Linda Graham, MFT Marriage and Family Therapist – 25 years Psychodynamic, Attachment, Trauma, Mindfulness, NeuroscienceBouncing Back: Rewiring Your Brain for Maximum Resilience and Well-Being2013 Books for a Better Life award2014 Better Books for a Better World award
3All the world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming All the world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming. - Helen Keller
5Premise of Workshop Different neural activities underlie Different levels of client functioning, thusDifferent mechanisms of therapeutic changeFour mechanisms of brain change to addressFour levels of client functioning
6Modern Brain ScienceThe field of neuroscience is so new, we must be comfortable not only venturing into the unknown but into error. - Richard Mendius, M.D.
7Neuroscience of Brain Change Neuroscience technology is 20 years oldMeditation improves attention and impulse control; shifts mood and perspective; promotes healthOxytocin can calm a panic attack in less than a minuteKindness and comfort, early on, protects against later stress, trauma, psychopathology
9Neuroplasticity Greatest discovery of modern neuroscience Growing new neuronsStrengthening synaptic connectionsMyelinating pathways – faster processingCreating and altering brain structure and circuitryOrganizing and re-organizing functions of brain structuresThe brain changes itself - lifelong
11The brain is shaped by experience The brain is shaped by experience. And because we have a choice about what experiences we want to use to shape our brain, we have a responsibility to choose the experiences that will shape the brain toward the wise and the wholesome. - Richard J. Davidson, PhD
13Evolutionary legacyGenetic templatesFamily of origin conditioningWho we are and how we cope……is not our fault
14Given neuroplasticity and choices of self-directed neuroplasticityWho we are and how we cope……is our responsibility
15Mechanisms of Brain Change ConditioningNew ConditioningRe-ConditioningDe-Conditioning
16Conditioning Experience causes neurons to fire Repeated experiences, repeated neural firingsNeurons that fire together wire togetherStrengthen synaptic connectionsConnections stabilize into neural pathwaysConditioning is neutral, wires positive and negative
18Conditioning – Skills and Functions How brain learns from experienceEncodes learning, behaviors, skills in neural circuitryDevelop pre-frontal cortexStrengthen inner secure base, personal sense of selfTherapeutic relationship = re-parenting
19Attachment – Earliest Conditioning Secure: safety and trust; stable and flexible focus and functioning; open to learning; inner secure base provides buffer against stress, traumaInsecure-avoidant: stable, not flexible; focus on self-world, not on other or emotions; rigid; defensive, not open to learning; neural cementInsecure-anxious: flexible, not stable; focus on other, not on self-world; less able to retain learning; neural swampDisorganized: lack of focus, moments of dissociation, compartmentalization of trauma
20Loving parent & child / parent and child ignoring each other / parent ignoring child
21Pre-Frontal Cortex - Functions Regulate body and nervous systemQuell fear response of amygdalaManage emotionsAttunement – felt sense of feelingsEmpathy – making sense of experienceInsight and self-knowingResponse flexibility
23True Other to the True Self The roots of resilience are to be found in the felt sense of being held in the mind and heart of an empathic, attuned, and self-possessed other. - Diana Fosha, PhD To see and be seen: that is the question, and that is the answer. - Ken Benau, PhD
25New Conditioning Choose new experiences Gratitude practice, listening skills, focusing attention, self-compassion, self-acceptanceCreate new learning, new memoryEncode new wiringInstall new pattern of response
27New Conditioning Strengthen pre-frontal cortex Brain more resilient Brain more receptiveWe are more resilient
28Cues to Practice - ANTS to PATS Identify habitual negative pattern of responseIdentify new, positive response to counter/replaceIdentify cue word or phrase to name negative and positiveCriticism - CompassionUse cue to break automaticity and change the channelRepeat the practice as many times as necessary
29Re-conditioning Memory de-consolidation – re-consolidation “Light up” neural networksJuxtapose old negative with new positiveNeurons fall apart, rewireNew rewires old
31Re-conditioning Evoke compassion for your self Resource with memory of someone’s compassion toward youEvoke compassion for your selfEvoke memory of someone being critical of you (or inner critic)Hold awareness of criticizing moment and compassionate moment in dual awarenessDrop the criticizing moment; rest in the compassionate moment
32Wished for Outcome Evoke memory of what did happen Imagine new behaviors, new players, new resolutionHold new outcome in awareness, strengthening and refreshingNotice shift in perspective of experience, of self
33Modes of Processing Focused De-focused Tasks and details New conditioning and re-conditioningDe-focusedDefault networkMental play spaceDe-conditioning
34De-Conditioning Default network De-focusing, loosens grip Creates mental play spaceCan open to worry, ruminationCan open to plane of open possibilitiesBrain makes new links, associationsNew insights, new behaviors
36De-Conditioning Imagination Guided visualizations Guided meditations Reverie, daydreamsBrain “plays,” makes own associations and links, connect dots in new waysReflect on new insights
37Compassionate FriendSit comfortably; hand on heart for loving awarenessImagine safe placeImagine warm, compassionate figure – Compassionate FriendSit-walk-talk with compassionate friendDiscuss difficulties; listen for exactly what you need to hear from compassionate friendReceive object of remembrance from friendReflect-savor intuitive wisdom
38Practices to Accelerate Brain Change Presence – primes receptivity of brainIntention/choice – activates plasticityPerseverance – creates and installs change
39Mindfulness and Psychotherapy Even-hovering attentionUnconditional positive regardObserving ego“What are you noticing now?”Catch the moment; make a choice
40Incremental Learning to Quantum Leaps Stress/trauma; stuck in reactive patternsRestore calm, equilibrium, presence, acceptanceAntidote negativity bias; rewire defensive patternsInstall new, more resilient strategiesRewire shameRecover secure base of resilient selfExpand to creativity, flow, flourishingEmbody, express authentic self
41Incremental Learning to Quantum Leaps Stress/trauma; stuck in reactive patternsRestore calm, equilibrium, presence, acceptanceConditioningUse integration of higher and lower brainAttachment conditioning (stabilize the brain)AEDP, IFS, CFT
49Intelligences Somatic - body-based, rewire trauma Emotional - from survival responses to thrivingRelational - heal heartache, access havens and resources, navigate peopled worldReflective – conscious awareness; catch the moment, make a choice
50Conditioning Without intervention, what happens in brain all the time Therapeutic interventionTherapist as attachment, re-parenting figureCreate conditions of safety and acceptance:Stabilize reactivity, foster receptivityMature the pre-frontal cortexDissolve defenses; re-open to learning
51True Other to the True Self The roots of resilience are to be found in the felt sense of being held in the mind and heart of an empathic, attuned, and self-possessed other. - Diana Fosha, PhD To see and be seen: that is the questions, and that is the answer. - Ken Benau, PhD
53Ah, the comfort, The inexpressible comfort Of feeling safe with a person. Having neither to weigh out thoughts Nor words, But pouring them all right out, just as they are, Chaff and grain together; Certain that a faithful hand Will take them and sift them; Keeping what is worth keeping and, With the breath of kindness, Blow the rest away. - Dinah Craik
55Deep ListeningThe most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention….A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words. - Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.
59See Yourself as Others See You Imagine sitting across from someone who loves you unconditionallyImagine switching places with them; see yourself as they see you; feel why they love you and delight in you; take in the goodImagine being yourself again; taking in the love and affection coming to you; savor and absorb.
60The Guest House - Rumi This being human is a guest-house. Every morning a new arrival.A joy, a depression, a meanness,Some momentary awareness comeAs an unexpected visitor.Welcome and entertain them all!Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,who violently sweep your houseempty of its furniture,still, treat each guest honorably.
61He may be clearing you out for some new delight He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond. - Rumi
62Welcome Them All Wiser Self welcomes to the “party” characters that embody positive and negative parts of the selfwith curiosity and acceptance of the message or gift of each part andhonors each part of the “inner committee”
63Create a Circle of Support Imagine several people who love and support you, who are “on your side” – partners, close friends, benefactors (therapists-mentors-teachers). Spiritual figures and pets work, too.Imagine your circle of support surrounding you, or in support behind you, as you venture into the unknown or difficult
64Positivity PortfolioAsk 10 friends to send cards or s expressing appreciation of youAssemble phrases on piece of paperTape to bathroom mirror or computer monitor, carry in wallet or purseRead phrases 3 times a day for 30 daysSavor and appreciate
65Wiser SelfImagine yourself five years from now: wise, compassionate, good, strong, alive and vibrantAsk this Wiser Self: how did you become like this? What did you have to overcome or let go of to become like this? What one word of advice do you have for me?Inhabit this Wiser Self briefly; what does it feel like to become your Wiser Self?
66Relational Intelligence Receiving/reaching out for helpSetting limits and boundariesNegotiating changeRepairing rupturesForgiveness
67Receiving-Reaching Out for Help Identifying conditioned patternsAvoiding/rejecting; clingingPracticing the opposite patternAsking/receiving; activating/experimentingAllowing the new pattern to settle inSelf-compassion when new practice is difficult; evokes shame
69Setting Limits and Boundaries Identify values that determine limitCreate context of mindful empathyAssert limits/boundariesState consequencesEnforce consequences
70Negotiating Change Speaker requests dialogue Speaker/listener create conditions to be heardSpeaker states topic sentenceSpeaker uses “I” statements; focuses on own perceptions, reactions, needsListener reflects back; no interruptions, questions, defenses, explanations, judgments, criticisms
71Negotiationg Change, part 2 Listener summarizes; speaker correctsSpeaker identifies 3 behavior he/she can do to meet identified need and 3 behaviors partner can do to meet identified need; positive, measurable, within time frameEach chooses one behavior to do in time frameEach acknowledges the other when behavior is done
72Repairing Ruptures Acknowledge existence of rupture; desire to repair Each states own experience, hurts, needsEach listens to and empathizes with experience, hurts, needs of otherEach takes responsibility for their actions and acknowledges impactEach asks and offers forgiveness
74Forgiveness Forgiving ourselves Asking others for forgiveness Forgiving othersfor harm, hurt, betrayal, abandonmentout of fear, anger, hurt, confusionin thought, word, or deedknowingly or unknowingly
75New Conditioning Use cues to break automaticity Create new thoughts, affirmationsUse cues to practice new behaviorsShift from negative to positive emotionsCreate new habits, new ways of being
76Neuroscience is Revolutionizing Our Thinking about Feelings Negative Emotions – Up Side of Your Dark SideSignal – pay attention, this is important!Motivator of actionPositive Emotions – left shift; antidotes negativity; opens up possibilities
77Negativity Bias – Left Shift Brain hard-wired to notice and remember negative and intense more than positive and subtle; how we survive as individuals and as a speciesLeads to tendency to avoid experiencePositive emotions activate “left shift,” brain is more open to approaching experience, learning, and action
78Compassion Practice Mindfulness Self-Compassion Awareness of what’s happening(and our reaction to what’s happening)Self-CompassionAcceptance of what’s happeningCompassion – Common HumanityWise effort in response to what’s happening(and our reactions to what’s happening)
79Benefits of Self-Compassion Increased motivation; efforts to learn and growLess fear of failure; greater likelihood to try againTaking responsibility for mistakes; apologies and forgivenessMore resilience in coping with life stressorsLess depression, anxiety, stress, avoidanceHealthier relationships; more support and, less control and/or aggressionIncreased social connectedness, life satisfaction, and happiness
80Positive Emotions - Benefits Less stress, anxiety, depression, lonelinessMore friendships, social support, collaborationShift in perspectives, more optimismMore creativity, productivityBetter health, better sleepLive on average 7-9 years longerResilience is direct outcome
81Take in the Good Notice: in the moment or in memory Enrich: the felt sense in the bodyAbsorb: savor seconds, install in long-term memory
82Emotional Intelligence Perceiving, identifying, managing one’s own emotional landscape with openness and curiosityRegulating negative emotionsCultivating positive emotionsMaintaining emotional vitality and equilibriumRecognizing others’ emotions, empathizing with emotional causes of behaviorsResponding to one’s own and others’ emotions skillfully and compassionately
84Reconditioning of Shame that De-Rails Resilience Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing we are flawed and therefore unworthy of acceptance and belonging. Shame erodes the part of ourselves that believes we are capable of change. We cannot change and grow when we are in shame, and we can’t use shame to change ourselves or others. - Brene Brown, PhD
88Just that action of paying attention to ourselves, that I care enough about myself, that I am worthy enough to pay attention to, starts to unlock some of those deep beliefs of unworthiness at a deeper level in the brain. - Elisha Goldstein
89Reconditioning Memory de-consolidation – re-consolidation “Light up” neural networks of problematic memoryCause neural networks to fall apart temporarily and instantly rewire by:Juxtaposing positive memory that directly contradicts or disconfirms;Focused attention on juxtaposition of both memories held in simultaneous dual awarenessCauses the falling apart and the rewiring
90Reconditioning Anchor in present moment awareness Resource with acceptance and goodnessStart with small negative memory“Light up the networks”Evoke positive memory that contradicts or disconfirmsSimultaneous dual awareness (or toggle)Refresh and strengthen positiveLet go of negativeRest in, savor positiveReflect on shifts in perspective
91Wished for Outcome Evoke memory of what did happen Imagine new behaviors, new players, new resolutionHold new outcome in awareness, strengthening and refreshingNotice shift in perspective of experience, of self
92Intelligence of Integrated Self There is a natural and inviolable tendency in things to bloom into whatever they truly are in the core of their being. All we have to do is align ourselves with what wants to happen naturally and put in the effort that is our part in helping it happen. - David Richo
93Creativity, Flow, Flourishing Enjoyment appears at the boundary between boredom and anxiety, when the challenges are just balanced with the person’s capacity to act.The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile. Optimal experience is thus something that we can make happen. For each person there are thousands of opportunities, challenges to expand ourselves.- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
95Autobiography in Five Short Chapters – Portia Nelson I I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk I fall in. I am lost…I am helpless It isn’t my fault. It takes me forever to find a way out.
96III walk down the same street.There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.I pretend I don’t see it.I fall in again.I can’t believe I’m in the same placeBut, it isn’t my fault.It still takes a long time to get out.
97III I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk III I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it is there. I still fall in…it’s a habit My eyes are open, I know where I am. It is my fault. I get out immediately.
98IV I walk down the same street There is a deep hole in the sidewalk IV I walk down the same street There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it. V I walk down another street. -Portia Nelson
101Defocused mode Dreams Daydreams, reveries Stream of consciousness ImaginationGuided visualization
102I am larger than I thought. I did not know I held so much goodness I am larger than I thought. I did not know I held so much goodness. - Walt Whitman Love teaches me I am everything. Wisdom teaches me I am nothing. Between the two, my life flows. - Sri Nisargadatta