Redirect: The surprising new science of psychological change

Jones

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Psalehesost said:
obyvatel said:
It may be useful in some cases to have the first draft(s) express raw feelings only - without censoring, editing or much cognitive input. Subsequent entries could bring in cognitive (system2) input and achieve the "redirection". That way, there is less chance of suppressing some more deeply buried feelings. OSIT

That's tricky in my case - given the inner distance to my feelings. As a concept for it, you could think of the transparent "plastic wall" described in The Narcissistic Family, only instead, it is applied on the inside (relation to self and own psyche), as opposed to on the outside (relation with others). That is, I can often come to see and experience various things in me, but still there is a degree of separation - distance - between them and me, so to speak.

Usually - since there is always suppression and things held either buried or half-buried, automatically, in me - all I have to start out with is the topic and a restlessness, an inner urging to process it.

Then, as I write, feeling can begin to seep through and "break out" to a greater extent, become relatively vivid, provided the writing, and the thought that goes into it, touches something deeply. When it "resonates", feeling is increased. And there is an intuitive "feedback" to every proposed thought, in the form of a "feeling" of how it "fits" or not. I follow, to a great extent, this intuition - at the same time questioning it in case, as sometimes happens, it tries to divert me, to lull me to sleep.

So, in short, I tend to begin with the cognitive input - which may be colored by an underlying feeling - and which may also start out vague or incoherent at times. Then, feeling comes - rather than the other way around.

I've noticed that I begin to write about some experiences in the third person.
eg:

A five year old girl had dreams of flying. She seriously believed that she could. She’d climb up on all sorts of things and flap her arms.

She loved being up high on roof tops.

She frequently climbed up on the shed roof.

One day she took a little friend up there. The little friend walked onto an area that was weak and fell through.

The little girl stared down through the hole in the roof in horror at what she saw. Sitting on the ground surrounded by debris, sat her little friend screaming. A massive hole torn in the side of her face.

Adults screaming. Tea towels dabbing at the wound trying to stop the flow of blood. The ambulance men arriving.

The little girl was frozen. She doesn’t remember what was said to her. Only that there was anger and blame. A mother who it seemed was more interested in how the whole situation made her look to her neighbours and was in image management mode.

She cannot remember what her little friend looked like. She can only remember the hole in her face, the blood, later the scarring and how the closing of the wound stretched the skin and distorted the side of her face. The horror of what she’d done and how forever this would change that little girls life. The horror that she could not take it back, undo it. She wanted to forget her little friend. It was too painful to remember. She wanted to forget that it ever happened. She never wanted to feel that guilt and shame again. It was too much to contain on her own. And she was alone. No-one to talk to, no one to cry too. She stopped believing that she could fly.

She wanted to move away and never have to see her little friend again. She wanted to forget and not have anyone know. But always felt as though everyone could see it in her eyes, what it was that she had done. Like what she had done had given a visible taint to her, a coat that she had to wear and could never take off, and she was not deserving of anything else. Yes she was blamed for the accident and she blamed herself. It was too much to bear.

She developed a fear of hurting anyone ever again, she couldn’t bear it.

I don't know how helpful it is, but it seems that I can kind of sneak in through the back door on the emotions. It at least helps to identify patterns and gives some insight to what I sometimes feel, but attempt to suppress or act to relieve.
 

Mariama

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I have read 'Redirect' and started the writing exercise yesterday evening. I had forgotten how wonderful it feels to write my thoughts down on paper. I write with a pencil. That makes it even more special. :)
But I had a question. I have several big lessons to learn, so I was wondering if I could continue writing, but then each four days or so change the topic? Or pause a bit and then continue?
Any thoughts?
 

Ollie

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Mariama said:
I have read 'Redirect' and started the writing exercise yesterday evening. I had forgotten how wonderful it feels to write my thoughts down on paper. I write with a pencil. That makes it even more special. :)
But I had a question. I have several big lessons to learn, so I was wondering if I could continue writing, but then each four days or so change the topic? Or pause a bit and then continue?
Any thoughts?
I love working with a pencil too. :)

From my experience it is better to pause, even if it is only for a day, before moving on to the next topic.

This may help, or not.
 

Mariama

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Prodigal Son said:
Mariama said:
I have read 'Redirect' and started the writing exercise yesterday evening. I had forgotten how wonderful it feels to write my thoughts down on paper. I write with a pencil. That makes it even more special. :)
But I had a question. I have several big lessons to learn, so I was wondering if I could continue writing, but then each four days or so change the topic? Or pause a bit and then continue?
Any thoughts?
I love working with a pencil too. :)

From my experience it is better to pause, even if it is only for a day, before moving on to the next topic.

This may help, or not.

Will do! Thanks, PS. :)
 

Psalehesost

The Living Force
Prometeo said:
Is it ok guys if I just write on my journal when I feel I need to talk about something?

Do you even need to ask? I mean, it's your journal, and it doesn't harm to write about things.

Along with redirect-like exercises (except I don't do any timing, and it's more spontaneous), I put some planning and work out thoughts on practical matters (including generally evaluating how things have gone and what I can/should/have learned from it) in mine. That's among the things journals are generally used for.

So just write away - the only thing that counts is what works, so just see what does and what doesn't. Anything that helps and is efficient is worthwhile.
 

Nook

Dagobah Resident
voyageur said:
Thank you Laura for putting this out there. Critical incident stress debriefing is something familiar with, from both sides in accident post situations. This opens my eyes to how i’ve dealt with it and how others deal with these things in the aftermath of an incident – where bottle necks in positive response can manifest. There is much to gain from this thinking.

That is: making people undergo CISD right after a trauma impedes the natural healing process and might even freeze memories of the event in the person's mind.

For the one where i was receiving, this is exactly so, like a film replaying and getting stuck on particular frames. Even after all these years it is still so.

In other words, intellectualizing an emotional state will set it in stone (figuratively speaking. It can still be overcome but will require much more work, knowledge and critical thinking as opposed to having time to let go of the emotions and reflect with a clear head). We won't be thinking clearly, instead, we mentally justify our feelings and later on when we recall the event again, it will be those intellectual conclusions we have drawn from the emotions caused by the event. Triggering the same emotions to surface again, ergo retraumatizing as Obyvatel pointed out.

Buddy said:
With regard to the race car experiment, I actually felt bad for the child about the way he was set up, manipulated and 'programmed' with a 'guilt' identification. I get a strong impression of this process being antithetical to Gurdjieff's concept of life being Real for a child who is being Real. Real in a sense like what Keit's G quote points to.

Seems to me the child apparently watched long enough for part of him to intuit that all was well with the race car and tracks and would likely remain that way for some time. In fact, he was already 'in the right' to the extent that an experimenter had to force an accident for an accident to even happen. This is information that experimenters seem to think is unimportant.

How is placing a child in a contrived situation, inducing him to feel "bad", presumptively questioning him about his feelings, giving him a "label" for his feelings and an opportunity to modify previous behavior judged "bad", any process other than predominately child manipulation and possibly ponerization? Maybe I'm just feeling a bit too strongly about this?

It might be that you feel strongly about this but not too strongly imo. That was my first thought as well when I read the race car experiment. It is one thing to have kids go through psychological experiments but to induce feelings of guilt in them is in my opinion just wrong. Their parents might've not known exactly what they subject their kids to but that's no excuse. If some researchers approached me because they wanted to try an experiment with my child, I would definitely find out everything about before I would even consider it, as I think any parent with a conscience would. Here, I must add that I am not a parent, only wanted to be and had a 'father' program from an early age on.

Buddy said:
Who is to say that this child's best effort at telling what he felt was actually 'appropriate' 'guilt'? Why was it not simply a feeling of being at a loss (emotional confusion) to explain a discrepancy between what his own (correct) cognition informed him about the race car and what actually happened? Again, we're talking about a child here - 7 years old probably.

Agreed. The only way to really tell would be to spy on a family with a child who's going through one or the other which, again, wouldn't be right. Even with the consent of the parents.
Imo, this whole experiment wasn't necessary to draw these conclusions with the use of common sense, especially for people trained in psychology.

obyvatel said:
Buddy said:
For the experiment to work, this non-trivial information is used as a variable. As a manipulation, it's based on knowing that the child is going to do what children that age do when they have short attention spans - stop performing an activity that is boring, and in no way dangerous to anyone if he does so, and go to something more interesting. And that's going to be a part of his "guilt", OSIT. That's what bothered me most I believe.

I believe there is more projection here from an adult mindset. Watching a race car go around the track is not necessarily boring activity for a kid of that age - I have observed kids playing with similar toys for long periods of time. Nor does a kid that age usually figure out that it is a "harmless thing and so I can afford to be distracted". In the experimental setup, the kid was set up to be distracted by other toys in the room in order to induce the "mistake".

The line of force behind the presentation of the experiment and the conclusion was the concept of helping children label their feelings appropriately as they occur naturally as a part of growing up, without being artificially induced.

I think you both have a point. Experimenting with to a certain extent is necessary for parents. To get to know the basic characteristics in their children which are there already, it could also serve to realize what programs the child might have accumulated but in my opinion, this particular experiment was not the way to do it. If the child is sensitive, it will affect him for a long time until he overcomes these effects.
 

Nook

Dagobah Resident
As for the writing exercises

Buddy said:
Gimpy said:
Perfectionism is a writers Achilles heel. (Or it can be.)

Dang, I was going to say that, 'cause I agree...the thinking center can be such a control freak. :)

Perfectionism can be and usually is a writer's Achilles heel but if I understand correctly, these are only writing exercises. One does not have to be a writer, can even rant - maybe on the first day - in writing since the only person seeing it will be him/her, unless they want to show it to someone else or they're obliged to because of their jobs.

I write. Poems, short stories, even have plays planned to be written and perfectionism does get in my way almost every time, unless I have a flow of inspiration hitting me which is rare. But if I were to keep a journal, I wouldn't worry about it being perfect because I'll be the only one reading it.

Laura said:
Not liking to write is probably a System 1 response reinforced by the false personality. I have learned how absolutely crucial it is to actually write - not type, write with the hand on paper - in order to change certain brain circuits. It's similar to memorization in its power to re-wire the brain and there is cognitive science backing for the efficacy of holding certain things in short term memory for a certain period (while writing) in order to transfer it to long-term memory.

Thank you Laura, for opening this thread, Wilson's book, all your input and insight and pointing out the important issue of actually writing and not typing. I miss pen and paper.

3 books added to the list. Once I've read them, I will definitely try the writing exercise and will write about every experience I can remember before the age of 8 as I have huge chunks of blank space in my memory.
I wonder if it's normal that I'm already planning on writing them as if I were another person talking to 'me'.
 

Mariama

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I am reading Sandra Brown's 'Women who love psychopaths', where she gives an example of a kind of redirect/change your narrative exercise, OSIT:

She must learn an ironic process of reframing her fantasy images of him. Referred to as Provocative Therapy—it challenges her insane loyalty, fantasy thinking, and the unusual dichotomous behavior of the psychopath that she has normalized. It uses exaggeration, irony, and helps her to self deprecate her unrealistic trust and absurd assumptions about the true motivations, for God’s sake, of a psychopath! Even humor is woven in to sensitize her to her own absurdities when it comes to trusting the untrustable, loving Satan, or believing a pathological liar.
“You miss being in a relationship with a psychopath?”
“When you were little, you always hoped you would grow up and marry a psychopath, right?”
“You hoped your children would be raised by a sex addict psychopath?”
“You miss having degrading sex with a psychopath?”
“You wish you could give the psychopath just $10,000 more of your money, don’t you?”
OK the answer to all those questions is a resounding ‘No!’ from her.
This provocative reframing is a cold shower on a crusty-irrational-oxytocin-driven fantasy. Women have said they can feel an immediate shift when those kinds of verbal challenges are given. In their center-plex where emotions are experienced, they can ‘feel a difference’ often referred to as a paradigm shift. Her ability to reframe her own thinking will help her nip the fantasy thinking, positive memory flooding, intrusive thoughts and challenge the cognitive dissonance—all which rob her of the ability to heal.

I especially love the question: "You hoped your children would be raised by a sex addict psychopath?" :lol:
 

HowToBe

The Living Force
Last night I was doing some writing after beginning to read Redirect and had a flash of association about these writing exercises. Didn't the Cs say something at one point about the efforts of Laura's group being able to change the past as well as future, as we see them? (I didn't manage to find the transcript.)

My thought was this: Might there be a connection between that idea of "changing the past", the process of story-editing, and Event Enhanced Quantum Theory (http://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php/topic,1922.msg10630.html#msg10630)?

I've toyed with the idea before that maybe there is really nothing other than the present, and the future is potential contained in the present, and the past is memories contained in the present. If this applies on a larger scale than merely human experience, then story editing could be involved somehow in universal processes.

I'm a little embarrassed to share these thoughts, since I'm a bit afraid to show my ignorance and look "baked noodly". I think I was trying too hard to look good on this forum before, and it caused me to get afraid and angsty and leave for a while. I clearly have plenty of "Redirect"ing to do, among other things I'm sure. I have pretty strong fears of being unfit for this forum or "undeserving". I've also started reading The Narcissistic Family which begins to show me why. I hope you'll excuse my monologue here (I seem to end up in these rather often); I've recently been trying to get moving in life again and I'm seeing that I must have some issues I need to work through before I'm going to be of much use or help to anyone.
 

cubbex

The Living Force
Psalehesost said:
Prometeo said:
Is it ok guys if I just write on my journal when I feel I need to talk about something?

Do you even need to ask? I mean, it's your journal, and it doesn't harm to write about things.

Along with redirect-like exercises (except I don't do any timing, and it's more spontaneous), I put some planning and work out thoughts on practical matters (including generally evaluating how things have gone and what I can/should/have learned from it) in mine. That's among the things journals are generally used for.

So just write away - the only thing that counts is what works, so just see what does and what doesn't. Anything that helps and is efficient is worthwhile.

Sorry for not saying thanks in a long time, I didn't remember it. Well yeah, thing was that sometimes I felt that I was writing too much, too little results. But last days I've been writing because I've been having struggles with certain subjects, man, is like the best therapy I've used along EE, is like you discover certain things about yourself while doing it. Sometimes, like a good megalomaniac novel.
 

Nook

Dagobah Resident
Well, having finished the book, the writing exercises surely seem to be able to help with certain events in our lives.
But what about things we do not remember? Suspected events that we can only hypothesize?

My example: After my father left us when I was 2 or 3, my mother took in a single mother who was staying at a Shelter for Abused Mothers until then.
She was our live-in babysitter for 6 months and I do not remember anything from those 6 months.
I only know that after remembering exactly when and how we picked her up, my memory started having huge gaps.
Before this, I had a few memories, after, no memories for years to come and then memories of 'issues' popping up.

Is hypnosis the only way to recover these memories and then do the writing exercises? Or is there some other way without a psychotherapist being involved?
 

Rich

The Living Force
Nuke said:
Is hypnosis the only way to recover these memories and then do the writing exercises? Or is there some other way without a psychotherapist being involved?

Reading the 'big five' psychology books can trigger suppressed memories as can EE breathing and body work. Worth reading threads on recapitulation e.g:
https://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php/topic,5743.0.html
https://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php/topic,7368.msg52324.html#msg52324
Plus search.

In one Buddy writes:
Buddy said:
In addition, I heartily recommend the narcissism books for the knowledge they contain. Afterward and for general recapitulation purposes that release stored emotion, the most helpful thing to me has been the EE program to make me more flexible/ less rigid about experiencing emotion and my attempts to broaden the context of specific life events like you have done by gathering more of the information that relates to the specific experiences.
 
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