Tag Archives: Education

Perspectives…

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Boys carrying spaghetti in a macaroni factory in Naples, Italy. 1929

Psychological and philosophical point of view, brought to you in plain language…

http://www.raptitude.com/2010/10/9-mind-bending-epiphanies-that-turned-my-world-upside-down

 

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Waking up to the Hoax

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This video changed my life.

It struck home for me. It showed me a perspective I had, it challenged it and tore it down.

In my culture, to be a viable/normal citizen, you go to school, go to uni, get a 9 to 5 job, get married, have kids, and climb the ladder at work. I never questioned this. Never.

I loved school in terms of the learning side of it. I enjoyed doing homework. I knew I was going to go to uni from the moment I went to primary school. All of school and uni was there so I could get a 9 to 5 job. I’d get married and have kids in there somewhere, then retire after being in the same job for my whole life.

That was what I thought I wanted. That was what I thought was supposed to happen. I never questioned this.

Until I saw the video.

At the time I saw the video, I’d already had three jobs (none of which I wanted to stay in), I’d never been on a date, and clearly there were no kids. At the time I saw the video, I thought I was a failure at life. I thought I wasn’t a viable citizen and people would look down on me for it. I was chasing after the things my culture told me to chase, and I felt like it was all a hoax.

The video showed me it was a hoax, and it gave me permission to not go after something I didn’t know if I even wanted. I’ve realized that I actually probably don’t want kids. If I met the right person and they wanted kids, sure I’m open to the idea. But I’m not even sure I care if I get married or not anymore. Single life is pretty good.

No longer am I chasing after something my culture tells me to chase. No longer am I chasing something I think  should want. Instead, I’m learning to sing and dance to the music of life- appreciating each moment rather than rushing to the next thing.

How Poverty Taxes the Brain

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Image

 

“Researchers publishing some groundbreaking findings today in the journal Science have concluded that poverty imposes such a massive cognitive load on the poor that they have little bandwidth left over to do many of the things that might lift them out of poverty – like go to night school, or search for a new job, or even remember to pay bills on time.”  See link below

http://www.theatlanticcities.com/jobs-and-economy/2013/08/how-poverty-taxes-brain/6716/

 

Are you affected? I sure hope so

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  Psychology – A class divided

A Class DividedElliott divided her class by eye color — those with blue eyes and those with brown. On the first day, the blue-eyed children were told they were smarter, nicer, neater, and better than those with brown eyes.

Throughout the day, Elliott praised them and allowed them privileges such as a taking a longer recess and being first in the lunch line. In contrast, the brown-eyed children had to wear collars around their necks and their behavior and performance were criticized and ridiculed by Elliott.

On the second day, the roles were reversed and the blue-eyed children were made to feel inferior while the brown eyes were designated the dominant group. What happened over the course of the unique two-day exercise astonished both students and teacher.

On both days, children who were designated as inferior took on the look and behavior of genuinely inferior students, performing poorly on tests and other work.

Like many readers already know: I am an incurable softy. I get touched by everything beautiful, especially people`s courage, personalities and thoughts. I must confess that this documentary awoke a mix of different feelings: Sadness for the wrongs we`ve done, but also hope for the future and love towards humanity. It also excited some thoughts: What if we could teach children by asking the right questions without feeding them our own pre-made solutions?  Do we learn teachers how to teach, what to focus on and how to take care of our future at all? Because, our children are the future, and I really hope they will do better than we did.

I`d rather know this before I have my own children; I want to know that the world can be better, before I let them run around in it. Peril will be everywhere, of course, but as long as there`s hope, I`m willing to take a chance. I want to protect them from landmines around the next corner. 

My eyes are still filled with tears, touched by the courageous woman who wanted to show her class what racism is by making them really understand it. My first sceptical «be-carefulness», was convinced by her gentle voice that soothed both the children in the “experiment” and me.

Thank you, brave woman. Thank you for not closing your eyes.

I embed hope in my touched tears, and know they won`t be shed for nothing.

Love, Nina. Clinical psychologist

The documentary

The horrible part was not that one was forced to join in: But that it was impossible not to.

G. Orwell: 1984

76 CommentsOctober 5 – World Teachers’ Day (teacherinsights.wordpress.com)
Socializing Race (warwithinmorris.wordpress.com)
You have something in your eye. (purpleturd.wordpress.com)
Brown Eyes, Blue Eyes (chewingmyfruit.wordpress.com)

https://forfreepsychology.wordpress.com/lets-change-the-world/project-validation/

 

Game Theory in Society: Playing Not To Lose

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Game Theory in Society: Playing Not To Lose

When you are 16 there is no fear whatsoever. As you get older you play in more important games and that is when you start thinking about what will happen if you win or lose. ~Wayne Rooney

Current educational systems within society work to divorce the child from his or her natural will, whether that is curiosity or wonder or innocence. An educational system structured on nurturing and nourishing these aspects of humanity work to reunite humans with their connection to nature, animals and their mammal-ness. To become again a human being, rather than a “cog in the wheel” or “gear in the machine” felt by many in current society, and what was beget by the likes of John B. Watson, Frederick Taylor, Ayn Rand and Edward Bernays.

Chess PawnThe educational system does not seem to be interested in providing paths inviting introspection or comprehension of theory of mind or even learning as a means to understanding. Education seems to have only a vested interest in preservation of funding, rote and memorization, grade fulfillment, bicameral thinking (linear grade promotion, success or failure, pass or fail, etc), homogeneous conditioning, etc. Frankly, this does not work and merely churns out workers, rather than evolving society/humanity as a whole. I mean, with current access of technology, shouldn’t this system be a lot farther along; instead, today’s educational system, for the most part, works against technology, rather than with it (however, this is slowly changing).

The educational system is but one part of the systematic deconstruction of human will, therefore, it becomes naturally normal humans will treat one another with impunity come what may and never change because such level of rudeness and offense is now hardwired into the human brain (socialization). Can this be changed? Even if an educational system built upon nourishing and nurturing, self-efficacy rather than self-esteem, ultimately, the change lies in the receiver of the tool (in the student), but that the instruments exist in the first place, that they are available to be utilized freely is an element of that change. In this way, the means to evolve can pass into legacy, can pass into the collective consciousness, if you will, available to any found wanting. Today’s child, even if he or she takes but a little from such teaching, may trigger a subtle reverberation within that causes him or her to behave differently in an otherwise routine circumstance. In this way, the “gene” can be inherited, and then improved in the next generation.

Playing Not To Lose

Fan FlourishToday’s systemic educational system supports and reinforces human suffering (for the supposed greater good, and that greater good is really the continued protection of what has become an extremely insecure society). You see, it is a form of game theory. We are playing not for profit, or even to win, but not to lose. Not to lose is a third option, that is to say, not an opposite of winning. But a third option, along with winning and losing. To play not to lose, is to risk the possibility of winning and to avoid any chance at all of losing. Applied to society, we have become comfortable in not losing anything, which seems like a better alternative. This is an illusion. To play not to lose would beget suffering, as one becomes so intent on making sure the status quo remains intact that any opportunity to change one’s station in life (however that may be) is discarded due to fear that one may lose everything one has “worked so hard,” up until now, to possess (which of course would be measured in the value placed in things, or the value placed in being allowed privilege of access to things, i.e., money. That is money as social institution, rather than a utility). This can make us bitter, and leads to suffering, fighting, and acts of violence, etc. How to stop this kind of behavior? How to end human suffering? At least, breed it out? Realization, or a precursor, the means to embark upon a journey to realization. Social systems (the forefront, to be honest, for human conditioning—conditioning not in the indoctrination sense, but in the sense of humanity, the natural state of human being-ness) would have to reflect that kind of philosophy.

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on NIKOtheOrb as “Education In An Insecure Society”]

*Image Credits (all work used with permission through CC license)–
“Chess Pawn” by Doug Wheller
“Fan Flourish” by Marcelo Duarte
“Dice” by Daniel Dionne

 

Time To Pretend

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“All the great empires of the future will be empires of the mind.” ~Winston Churchill

Digital Art by Jeanne MasarWhat I mean by hard-wiring caused by years and generations of socialization is that genetically humans are now predisposed to suffering. Suffering, in the social environment, has become normalized, and anyone who should deviate too far from this standard is considered “crazy” or abnormal.

Now, before I continue, let us come to an agreement about what constitutes suffering? Not a definition of suffering but what can be called suffering in the human condition (as we exist in a societal environment). In what form does suffering come? Suffering can be called an intangible state of being, that is, one’s being exists in a state of suffering. Suffering, once had a definite and easily determined cause, i.e., racism (but let us not veer off into efforts of indoctrination or further observations at this movement through sociology’s eyes just yet), womanizing, immigration (and by immigration, I mean, in the early days of Europeans arriving in America and their efforts at rising out of poverty), etc. [NOTE: I purposefully chose social movements, that is large acts of deliberate oppression enacted upon other groups of humans by other humans within a society. I could not go to an indigenous culture for several reasons, but mainly, because I don’t consider myself well-versed enough in indigenous culture to do so and I think much of human suffering that we are talking about stems from western culture and western society constructs. Further note: I am looking at human suffering solely from an anthropological perspective]. Okay, these kinds of mass suffering no longer effects western society as deeply, save only in a mass destructive way, i.e. Hurricane Sandy or 9/11, and human suffering suddenly comes to the forefront.

Sociology says that natural disasters are usually the times in which human beings will come together and forget about all the differences that the day before loomed so important as to cause neighbor to fight with neighbor and realize that “We are all human beings” that we bleed the same blood, etc. etc. Well, why is that? Why is it that humans only understand suffering following a natural disaster (there is a whole other element about this that disturbs me when I think upon it. In what I have been reading of late (anthropology, molecular biology, organic chemistry, which are naturally intermarried and naturally lead to consciousness) it seems as if humans do not unite because suddenly they caught a glimpse of what is really important, but out of fear and a unity in loss. Everybody understands loss)? It is as if humans require a disaster, some cataclysmic event, in order to set aside our petty differences. I think this is part of the reason why these unified acts of kindness are only temporary. Once enough time has passed, or that the event is forgotten or that some other kind of remedy has occurred, that time of bonding falls away, and we return to our “normally” suffering selves. This is a fundamental problem, I think.

I reason that there must be some deeper cause for humans’ [current] inability to understand human suffering or the suffering of others. I mean, if you believe in Kohlberg’s scale of Moral Development, there is more than one dimension, more than one scale of existence, and some humans exist on different scales. We are not all equal, in other words. Now, here is an element of reality that some are reluctant to discuss or even entertain the notion that it is true. We are not all equal. Equality can only be an extrinsic quality offered to humans in society; meaning, equal protection from police, equal representation in court, equal opportunity at law, you know, this kind of philosophy. However, it is not true biologically, psychologically, physiologically, culturally, or genetically, you know? I think we don’t fully understand this, as humans. There is a distinction in some things. It is only so on a certain level. It’s like humans try to create a unified theory of everything in everything. This would create a homogenous existence, what could be learnt from this? What use is a homogenous existence? That would be like playing the game not to lose. Risk is not necessarily a negating property, nor is chance, and I think that playing the game not to lose is to surrender risk and chance.

But, don’t get me wrong, I acknowledge that there is potential and probability that the world can be different. I think fear is a powerful obstacle. But, this too, will end. As in chaos theory and entropy, randomness slows down to order, and order slowly breaks down [entropy] and then transforms to something else, some other unrecognized pattern (what we then call chaos). We, as a race of humans, are learning that the once archetypal ways of living are outdated and obsolete. We are realizing that the acts we have and are committing upon ourselves, upon our consciences, upon our environment, upon the planet; we are now comprehending that every act has an equal and [sometimes] opposite reaction. We are learning to love what we are and then live that way. The times are changing and the time to pretend ends like a clock slowly winding down until it stops on high noon.

*Digital Art by Jeanne Masar.

Complex States At Being

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Emotions can be incredibly complex states of being/mind.

I just want to be happyPeople (particularly in this western culture) are afraid to experience emotion due to heavy amounts of socialization and conditioning, especially in school. You know, we’re taught to sit still, to be quiet, to “use our inside voices”, to line up, to avoid disorder and be orderly, to obey, to submit, to share. To share, but not to cooperate. There is a difference. Sharing does not necessarily imply or guarantee cooperation. In school, sharing is a behavioral technique; used as a means to control the behavior of a room full of pinging (that is, naturally rambunctious and curious-minded) short beings.

Let me tell you a story: a sad story about a little girl who cried.

cry, baby, cryTo get to City Island one can walk across a 2,800 foot long truss bridge, which was exactly what I was doing when I spotted a brief exchange between a little girl and her father. The little girl’s father, pushing another child in a stroller, told the little girl to look around as well as look at all the fish visible in the River below. The little girl was throwing bread over the side of the bridge to the fish, and seemed very happy.

Later, having crossed the bridge, I was sat under a pavilion and saw the little girl and her family again as they were passing by. The little girl tripped over a rise in the structure of the sidewalk and fell very hard. So hard that I winced when I heard the sound. She immediately bawled, as I’m sure that hurt her terribly. Probably terrified at the pain, you know, she ran to her father for solace. . . and he admonished her. He yelled at her as he brushed the dirt from her clothes, “You gotta watch where you’re walking. You can’t be looking around while you’re walking!” He seemed actually angry with her that she tripped, an accident on her part, no intent to spoil his day whatsoever. She only cried harder asking then for her mommy. At this, her father really became angry and shouted, “That’s it! You’re going back to the car you can’t act right!”

Did you see the contradiction?

Just moments ago, on the bridge he was telling her to LOOK around, then minutes later punished her for doing exactly that. These are the kinds of happenings that disturb me in the world. What did that do to the mind of that little girl? How could she possible understand that kind of contradicting information from such a trusted and authoritative figure as her father? What was the impact upon her consciousness? What did she just unconsciously learn? How did that affect her ego? Her sense of self in the world she knows and how will that affect her sense of self in subsequent years?

Which brings me back to emotions and the horrors some humans have undergone. That suffering. What I think not many humans grok is that suffering can be soft, horror is not always large, it can be very subtle. . . like entropy, changing and developing small vibrations over time that then result in the current personality/identity of that child in the form of an adult.

The Girl Who Cried WolfWhat happened to that little girl is a subtle terror, an event that will accompany who knows how many more and will shape her as a human being. It’s systematic, to get children all to sit still or to behave as one being so it could be easier (or more efficient) for the teacher to educate them. A good idea, sure, but in actuality what happens is that the children become standardized. The spark, the inspiration for creativity and innovation and imagination breaks down because the channels created have no room for them, no means to categorize something as unpredictable as a room full of children all having ideas simultaneously.

This is one way that fear of emotion is installed in the collective consciousness. That fear to really let go and be fully in the space. . .

“. . . and I’m free, free falling.” ~Tom Petty, ‘Free Falling’

*Image credits (used with permission through CC license)–
“I just want to be happy” by bravelittlebird
“cry, baby, cry” by Barbara Pellizzon
“The Girl Who Cried Wolf” by GaelForce Photography

Examples on dissociation and more information

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dis-so-ci-a-tion: an adaptive defense in response to high stress or trauma characterized by memory loss and a sense of disconnection from oneself or one’s surroundings.

What does this mean to you? Here’s how a cross section of people
who’ve experienced dissociation describe it:

“When I become engrossed in a good book, I lose all track of time.”
–ALICE M., 33, TRAVEL CONSULTANT
“I feel that somehow my body is not doing what my head wants it to be doing.”
–ERNEST P., 51, ENGINEER
“My mind wanders, and I go in and out. I just go away to myself. Nowhere, really, just not there.”
–SANDRA N., 19, COLLEGE STUDENT
“I have trouble remembering what I said in a presentation after I’ve made it.”
–JOHN T., 41, SALES DIRECTOR FOR INTERNET FIRM
“I was at home with my mother, and the whole thing was unreal. I knew she was my mother, but I just had a feeling that she wasn’t really my mother.”
–CINDY M., 32, TELEVISION PRODUCER
“I’m like a filter, who I am on a particular day depends on what’s coming into me and what’s going out. I don’t feel connected internally all the time.”
–JEAN W., 41, BATTERED WOMEN’S COUNSELOR
“I’ll explode at my husband, and afterward I can’t remember what I said.”
–GAYLE T., 32, AEROBICS INSTRUCTOR
“It’s not feeling real or feeling that I’m just doing things automatically.”
–JIM Z., 37, ALCOHOL COUNSELOR
“I feel like a girl most of the time; other times I feel more like a guy.”
–CARLY B., 19, COLLEGE STUDENT
“It’s like watching a movie in my head. You know, like when you’re watching a movie and you get all absorbed in the movie. And you forget who you are, where you are, what time it is, what’s going on in your life.”
–DONNA E., 41, NURSE
“I can become so totally concerned about what people are thinking of me or expecting from me when I’m talking to them that I become lost. I lose me.”
–GEORGE N., 53, FINANCIAL PLANNER
“I couldn’t remember whether it really happened or I imagined it.”
–SUZANNE O., 35, HOMEMAKER
“It’s like being shell-shocked, you know that you’re doing something, but you feel that somebody else is doing it. You’re watching yourself from a distance. Doesn’t everyone have that feeling sometimes?”
–ROBERT A., 51, SCHOOL ADMINISTRATOR
“I don’t feel like myself; I feel like some other person inside me.”
–VICKI B., 44, MEDICAL TECHNICIAN
“I didn’t let myself feel anything about my divorce until after I was divorced. The emotional side of me just shuts down under stress.”
–FRED D., 42, BOND RATINGS ANALYST
“I’ve been in a shell, and I feel empty inside.”
–LINDA A., 33, TEACHER
“A very powerful wave of emotion comes over me, and I don’t feel in control of myself. I feel that this person is going to do what she wants and I’m over in a corner, helpless, waiting to see what happens.”
–PENELOPE J., 54, FREE-LANCE WRITER
“I act differently with different people.”
–MARSHA G., 36, FASHION CONSULTANT

         Are you surprised to find that you’ve experienced some of these symptoms of dissociation yourself? You shouldn’t be. The fact is that dissociation is a healthy adaptive defense used almost universally by people in response to overwhelming stress or life-threatening danger. What’s more, many normal people experience mild dissociative symptoms on occasion when their lives are not in immediate danger.

dis-so-ci-a-tion: an adaptive defense in response to high stress or trauma characterized by memory loss and a sense of disconnection from oneself or one’s surroundings.

What does this mean to you? Here’s how a cross section of people
who’ve experienced dissociation describe it:

 

“When I become engrossed in a good book, I lose all track of time.”
–ALICE M., 33, TRAVEL CONSULTANT
“I feel that somehow my body is not doing what my head wants it to be doing.”
–ERNEST P., 51, ENGINEER
“My mind wanders, and I go in and out. I just go away to myself. Nowhere, really, just not there.”
–SANDRA N., 19, COLLEGE STUDENT
“I have trouble remembering what I said in a presentation after I’ve made it.”
–JOHN T., 41, SALES DIRECTOR FOR INTERNET FIRM
“I was at home with my mother, and the whole thing was unreal. I knew she was my mother, but I just had a feeling that she wasn’t really my mother.”
–CINDY M., 32, TELEVISION PRODUCER
“I’m like a filter, who I am on a particular day depends on what’s coming into me and what’s going out. I don’t feel connected internally all the time.”
–JEAN W., 41, BATTERED WOMEN’S COUNSELOR
“I’ll explode at my husband, and afterward I can’t remember what I said.”
–GAYLE T., 32, AEROBICS INSTRUCTOR
“It’s not feeling real or feeling that I’m just doing things automatically.”
–JIM Z., 37, ALCOHOL COUNSELOR
“I feel like a girl most of the time; other times I feel more like a guy.”
–CARLY B., 19, COLLEGE STUDENT
“It’s like watching a movie in my head. You know, like when you’re watching a movie and you get all absorbed in the movie. And you forget who you are, where you are, what time it is, what’s going on in your life.”
–DONNA E., 41, NURSE
“I can become so totally concerned about what people are thinking of me or expecting from me when I’m talking to them that I become lost. I lose me.”
–GEORGE N., 53, FINANCIAL PLANNER
“I couldn’t remember whether it really happened or I imagined it.”
–SUZANNE O., 35, HOMEMAKER
“It’s like being shell-shocked, you know that you’re doing something, but you feel that somebody else is doing it. You’re watching yourself from a distance. Doesn’t everyone have that feeling sometimes?”
–ROBERT A., 51, SCHOOL ADMINISTRATOR
“I don’t feel like myself; I feel like some other person inside me.”
–VICKI B., 44, MEDICAL TECHNICIAN
“I didn’t let myself feel anything about my divorce until after I was divorced. The emotional side of me just shuts down under stress.”
–FRED D., 42, BOND RATINGS ANALYST
“I’ve been in a shell, and I feel empty inside.”
–LINDA A., 33, TEACHER
“A very powerful wave of emotion comes over me, and I don’t feel in control of myself. I feel that this person is going to do what she wants and I’m over in a corner, helpless, waiting to see what happens.”
–PENELOPE J., 54, FREE-LANCE WRITER
“I act differently with different people.”
–MARSHA G., 36, FASHION CONSULTANT

         Are you surprised to find that you’ve experienced some of these symptoms of dissociation yourself? You shouldn’t be. The fact is that dissociation is a healthy adaptive defense used almost universally by people in response to overwhelming stress or life-threatening danger. What’s more, many normal people experience mild dissociative symptoms on occasion when their lives are not in immediate danger.

Dissociation is not always the worst case scenario you may mistakenly think it is. It runs along a continuum. Most of us experience mild symptoms of it in our everyday life, like Alice, the travel consultant, who loses all track of time when she becomes engrossed in a good book’a mild form of amnesia. Then there are many other people who experience a moderate degree of symptoms but do not necessarily have a dissociative illness unless their symptoms are associated with distress or dysfunction. Of course, “moderates” who’ve adapted to their symptoms and compensated for them –sometimes unhealthily–may not regard them as distressing or realize their damaging effects. Fred, the bond ratings analyst, is a cautionary example. A man who doesn’t let himself feel anything, a manifestation of a dissociative symptom, may adapt by burying himself in his work and not experience distress in an intimate relationship until it has ended.

Severe symptoms are found mainly in people who have a dissociative disorder, but even at its most extreme this illness is not the catastrophic affliction that it’s often made out to be. In the most basic terms dissociative identity disorder, or DID, formerly called multiple personality disorder, is what happens when your “inner child” or some other hidden part of yourself operates independently, seizes control, and makes you act inappropriately or impairs your ability to function. Vicki, the medical technician, who says, “I don’t feel like myself; I feel like some other person inside me,” is describing a severe dissociative symptom because in her case that internal “other person” is a separate personality state. If that’s true for you, like Vicki, you can have DID and still complete your college education, hold down a responsible job, get married, be a good parent, and have a circle of close friends. And best of all, you can recover.

6c482babb27c99335ffbc7735e271a4c
         Dissociative symptoms and disorders are far more prevalent in the general population than previously recognized for a good reason: a great many people don’t report their symptoms to therapists because they can’t identify them! Research has shown that these symptoms are as common as those of depression and anxiety, but the person who is unfamiliar with them may not regard them as significant.?

Dissociation is not always the worst case scenario you may mistakenly think it is. It runs along a continuum. Most of us experience mild symptoms of it in our everyday life, like Alice, the travel consultant, who loses all track of time when she becomes engrossed in a good book’a mild form of amnesia. Then there are many other people who experience a moderate degree of symptoms but do not necessarily have a dissociative illness unless their symptoms are associated with distress or dysfunction. Of course, “moderates” who’ve adapted to their symptoms and compensated for them –sometimes unhealthily–may not regard them as distressing or realize their damaging effects. Fred, the bond ratings analyst, is a cautionary example. A man who doesn’t let himself feel anything, a manifestation of a dissociative symptom, may adapt by burying himself in his work and not experience distress in an intimate relationship until it has ended.

Taming Obsessive Thoughts

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Taming Obsessive Thoughts

 

Obsessive thinking can be tamed using cognitive-behavioral techniques.
Published on June 28, 2010 by Robert London, MD in Two-Minute Shrink

Have you ever gotten a thought stuck in your brain, akin to an awful pop tune from the eighties that just keeps replaying in your mind and won’t go away? A person I’ll call Rachel came to me to help her with a horrifying obsessive thought that was starting to affect her daily functioning. In it, she was being destroyed by a plague of locusts, much like the one that had attacked Egypt in biblical times.

cycleA successful physics professor at a West Coast university, Rachel needed professional help for this recurring, obsessive thought, which had become so vivid over the years that living with it had become almost unbearable. She tried five years of psychotherapy, and then switched to a psychiatrist, who recommended medications that were ineffective and caused unpleasant side effects. Finally, the patient tried a “geographic cure”– a sabbatical to New York. But Rachel continued to experience the terrifying obsessive thoughts. At that point, she was referred to me.

As always, I took a thorough history. I then explained the type of treatment I had in mind. The time frame was to be three or four sessions lasting 90 minutes each. I planned to apply two cognitive techniques and one behavior modification strategy to treat the patient’s obsessive thoughts.

First, we discussed the P&P (possibility and probability) concept. There was certainly a possibility that the locusts could attack her (this generated some humor), but the probability of this happening was significantly slim. As a physicist, she easily related to that concept. That discussion lasted about 30 minutes.

Next, we discussed Newton’s third law of motion: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. When translated into her treatment strategy, this became “for every thought, there is an equal and opposite thought.”

She easily accepted that theory, and it helped to relieve the anxiety of her obsessive thoughts. Taken further, that concept evolved into thinking that for every thought there is a lesser thought — and possibly even no thought. The no-thought concept helps the patient get long-term relief from the obsessive thought.

Finally, we applied the practice of thought stopping. Thought stopping is a method in which the patient induces the thought that is so distressful and is then taught how to stop it. We used guided imagery to induce the terrifying thought of the locust attack.

Here’s how it worked: I asked Rachel to imagine a large movie screen, onto which I invited her to project the scene she had so often envisioned. As she progressed into this stressful imagery, I made a loud noise by hitting my desk with a ruler and simultaneously shouting “Stop!” In that procedure, the image she was thinking or projecting was automatically interrupted, blocked, and stopped. We practiced several times. After six trials, I stopped using the ruler and just shouted “Stop!” It worked. As we proceeded through this technique, Rachel began to take over the entire strategy and began to shout the word “Stop” to control the obsessive thought.

Moving along, we reached a point at which she was able to subvocalize the word “stop” and get the same result as if an outside force had interrupted, blocked, and stopped the thought.

Rachel’s treatment was completed in three 90-minute visits. She was quite pleased that she had gained control over her obsessive thoughts. To reinforce our work together, we audio taped the sessions so she could review them whenever the obsessive thinking began to recur. Having learned how to use the movie-screen approach to project an obsessive thought, Rachel now had a tool she could use on her own. I explained that she could also change images from the obsessive thought to a pleasant scene to help reduce the anxiety that the thought produced.

When Rachel returned to her university, she resumed her thriving and demanding academic career free of that terrifying obsessive thought.

Behavioral treatments like these are hard work, for both the therapist and the patient. Often, we need to structure the treatment to the patient’s thinking, career, and lifestyle, as I did in this case by using the laws of physics for the physics professor. In this, as in so many cases, I am continually amazed at how resilient and changeable the human mind is when people really want to heal, and customized cognitive and behavioral approaches have proven time and again to provide a quick and effective solution.

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This blog aims to present psychiatric/psychological information to a general readership, offering insights into a variety of emotional disorders, as well as social issues that affect our emotional well-being. It includes the ideas and opinions of Dr. London and other leading experts. This blog does not provide psychotherapy or personal advice, which should only be done by a mental health care professional during a personal evaluation.

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From “glee”
“Emma” has OCD

Exploring the dyslexia mind

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The wordpress universe is filled with good and informative blogs on different topics, and I have found some really excellent posts on different psychology-related topics. For me it is of out most importance to share varied quality posts, that might inform and help people. Today`s text is about something I have far too little knowledge about myself, but something that a lot of children AND adults will relate to: Dyslexia.

JULY 21, 2013 5:32 AM

 Inside The Mind of Dyslexia

 I

“Eli. Please read the next passage,” the teacher commanded. Eli blushed. He stared blankly at his text book and didn’t reply, pretending that she didn’t ask him. “Eli. Start from where Jacob left off, please.” The teacher’s voice was firm. Looking down at his desk, he ignored her. Bringing a hand to cover his face, he hid from the other students. They were staring at him. Avoiding their glances, he began mumbling the words on the page. “Louder. I can’t hear you,” said the teacher. His face grew redder and he felt dizzy. He couldn’t read the words. They were fuzzy and confusing. Choking back his embarrassment, he said, “I can’t read it.” Shame eating at him. “Okay, we’ll skip Eli. Alex you read.”

Eli’s conclusion was that he must be stupid.  Eli suffered from a reading disability. Words just didn’t seem to connect with his brain. His mother would send him to all kinds of lessons, tutors and tests to help improve his reading, which helped, but never got to the core of his problem. He always wished that he could understand what was wrong with him but never knew the answer.

II

Recently I came across an in-depth book that conceptualizes the phenomenon of dyslexia from a psychological perspective in a way which might have enlightened Eli. It is called ‘The GIFT of Dyslexia’ (it’s written by Ronald D. Davis with Eldon M. Braun, 1994). I would like to begin with reviewing the first two chapters of the book ‘The Underlying Talent’ and ‘The Learning Disability’.

In the future I’m hoping to review Elaine N. Aron’s work on The Highly Sensitive Person (HSP, 1997), and examine whether there is a correlation between it and dyslexia.

III

Although creating a list of ‘eight core traits’ that underlie the perceptual-mind of someone with dyslexia may seem redundant and superficial, it can still be beneficial in structuring and categorizing the nature of this phenomenon. According to Davis, R. D., dyslexia is a ‘psychological perceptual phenomenon’ and therefore needs to be explored from the perceptual perspective of the mind’s psychological makeup. Although the innate tendency of the individual’s internal perceptual abilities is based on the neurological and genetic system, which is hereditary, we will place emphasis on the mind’s perceptual function in order to understand dyslexia’s structure better. From a psychological perspective ‘creating perceptions’ within one’s mind lies at the core of dyslexia.

The eight components of a dyslexic person are:

1. They create images within their mind, which gives a certain creativity and reality to their internal world.

2. They are highly aware of their environment.

3. They are more curious than the average person.

4. Their thought process is mainly image oriented as opposed to thinking verbally. 5. They are highly intuitive and insightful.

6. They think and perceive in a multi-dimensional manner, using all the senses.

7. They experience thought as reality.

8. They have vivid imaginations.

Cognition or thoughts can be divided into two categories

a) verbal cognitions

b) image cognitions.

Verbal cognitions are confined to a linear process bound by linear time and order whereas image cognitions are not limited in this way. Verbal cognitions are internal monologues of mental statements. Image cognitions quickly evolve and grow in non-organized processes similar to ideas, dreams, and art. (Neurologically, these two processes are usually divided between the right and left hemispheres of the brain.) Humans are predominately one style over the other. Dyslexics are, by nature, predominately image thinkers.

Words are symbols that can either represent a real-life image or an imaginary image, or they can represent an abstract concept. The two types of words are parallel with the two types of cognitions. The image cognition fits well with the image-word and the verbal cognition fits well with the abstract word. When a dyslexic child reads a word that represents a real life image, the word connects with his style of image cognition, however when the word doesn’t represent a real life image such as ‘and’ or ‘the’, the child’s mind goes blank. They are unable to visualize ‘the’, so confusion sets in. After numerous abstract words they become disoriented and begin pronounce images that are in their mind rather than reading the text that appears in front of them. The mind of the dyslexic works with images thus words without imagery are avoided and incompatible with its thinking style. When avoidance is unable confusion and eventually disorientation sets in.

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Video about dyslexia:

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