Redirect: The surprising new science of psychological change

Buddy

The Living Force
Nuke said:
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?

I agree with Pob and still recommend what's in that quote. I'm suggesting to avoid a head-on approach. An indirect approach, or combination of indirect approaches might be much more helpful. One reason may be due to our mind's tendency to confabulate for even common every day stuff, so a motivated remembering might have distortion or doubt forever accompanying it.

My rule of thumb for myself is that something I can't remember is like a plate in the middle of a stack of plates. Before I can get the one I want, something needs to come off the top first.
 

Rich

The Living Force
Buddy said:
Nuke said:
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?

I agree with Pob and still recommend what's in that quote. I'm suggesting to avoid a head-on approach. An indirect approach, or combination of indirect approaches might be much more helpful. One reason may be due to our mind's tendency to confabulate for even common every day stuff, so a motivated remembering might have distortion or doubt forever accompanying it.

My rule of thumb for myself is that something I can't remember is like a plate in the middle of a stack of plates. Before I can get the one I want, something needs to come off the top first.

One of the most productive revelations I had was re-reading Trapped in the Mirror after networking on the forum and it being pointed out to me that it would be beneficial. I related to one of the characters experiences in the case studies and could see how a self-destructive element to my behaviour had been negatively influential. The point I'm making is that networking is also an invaluable source of advice that may point you towards areas of your life with lurking causal factors that you may be unaware of.
 

Iron

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
This is my second night doing the writing exercises, and really wow, what started with a simple premisse ended in a very distant and surprising place.
I also discovered that I like to write. Really write, pen and paper. I used to evade this exercise saying that I hated writing. Go figure.

I will after two more nights post a more coherent feedback of what I have learned about myself.
I noticed, specially on the first day, that there were at least two "Iron" writing. It was actualy kind of a debate. And a third aspect that came only in short lines, and those were the lines of greatest wisdon. I could feel waves of calmness, alternated with intense sadness, shame, the whole nine yards.
 

Nook

Dagobah Resident
Buddy said:
I agree with Pob and still recommend what's in that quote. I'm suggesting to avoid a head-on approach. An indirect approach, or combination of indirect approaches might be much more helpful. One reason may be due to our mind's tendency to confabulate for even common every day stuff, so a motivated remembering might have distortion or doubt forever accompanying it.

Thank you, Buddy.

This is exactly one of the reasons why I asked.
Since I already have a theory, having a dream or a flash of memories to confirm what I currently suspect happened is not what I'm looking for.

Buddy said:
My rule of thumb for myself is that something I can't remember is like a plate in the middle of a stack of plates. Before I can get the one I want, something needs to come off the top first.

Thanks for the analogy as well.
It ties in nicely with the analogy of peeling away the layers of an onion to get to the bottom of oneself and our issues
(i.e. we need to take care of the outer layers first, those are also issues to be dealt with and the 'outer ones' are more readily accessible)

I guess I just have to be more patient, with everything hanging in the air, I just feel like I might not have enough time to get to the bottom of things and let The Work take its natural course.
I needed to be reminded that this is way to do it.

Thanks for the links to the related threads, Pob.
I think I could've been clearer with my question, as what I meant was: besides doing EE and reading the books, including the Big Five,
gathering knowledge, striving for real understanding, i.e. doing the Work, is there any other way we can help the process.
But as Buddy pointed out, there is no direct approach without the risk of confabulating.

I wanted to go for the big fish, the first potentially traumatic event in my life that I do not remember, instead of dealing with the smaller fish first (later events that I do remember).
My reasoning was that they're all connected, which is true (and the one I can't remember was the foundation for all the issues that followed, which may or may not be true)
but I have to keep in mind that I can't work on something I do not have memories of.
And work with what I have at the moment. To 'hone my recollection ability'.

The ideal thing is to attack the task in chronological order, from the most recent memory until the most distant that it is possible to evoke.

First, it is necessary to go for the strongest investments, which are the most harrowing feelings. Then we go for those memories that are buried so deeply that we thought we had forgotten them, but they are there.

Thank you both again.
 

Niall

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Here is a short presentation Wilson gave about Redirect:

Redirect with Timothy Wilson


https://youtu.be/Tk4bdpA6oz4

If it's that easy for one or two researchers to produce long-term changes in groups of people, then it's even easier to see how daily 'war on terror stories' have redirected masses of people into accepting the 'mark of the beast' (torture, inhuman acts, etc).
 

H-KQGE

Dagobah Resident
it seems that there's a lack of awareness of Timothy Wilson's work.

_http://www.theverge.com/2013/10/23/4947304/trauma-counseling-psychological-first-aid-new-study

Post-traumatic mess? Why crisis counselors still don't know if they're helping or hurting
It's the go-to method for trauma relief — but nobody knows if psychological first aid actually works
By Rebecca Ruiz on October 23, 2013 02:32 pm

Last month, floodwaters dark with silt and mud devastated a 1,500-square-mile area surrounding Denver. Nine people lost their lives. Some survivors lost their homes, and others couldn't return because of the damage.

Since those catastrophic days, Janine D'Anniballe has tried to help as many as she can. But unlike other responders, she's not delivering blankets or food. Instead, D'Anniballe is offering psychological first aid (PFA): developed several years ago, the technique is the primary mode for immediately buffering the traumatic effects of surviving a disaster. It's designed to stabilize victims who often feel numb, overwhelmed, and angry, and who may eventually spiral into depression or hopelessness.

PFA is widely used by agencies like the Red Cross and the World Health Organization. In the last year alone, for example, the Red Cross used PFA at the Sandy Hook massacre, Hurricane Sandy, and the Boston bombings.

A psychologist by training, D'Anniballe has for the past six weeks been meeting survivors in vacant malls and gutted neighborhoods. In what are usually five to ten-minute encounters, she takes a matter-of-fact approach to topics like sleep quality and diet, or how to deal with insurance companies and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). But if survivors are emotional, she doesn't start an impromptu counseling session.

"THIS IS A NON-SEXY INTERVENTION."

"This is a non-sexy intervention, but it was sitting with that person in distress and validating that it's overwhelming," D'Anniballe says. "I'm under no illusion this person won't feel overwhelmed and horrible many, many times, but in that moment, they felt a bit of relief."

The approach seems intuitively right. Restoring a person's sense of self-efficacy, while also normalizing grief and stress, seems like an obvious way to calm a trauma survivor, enhance resiliency, and maybe even ward off post-traumatic stress and depression.

POURING TIME AND RESOURCES INTO EFFORTS THAT MIGHT BE FRUITLESS

But here's the quandary: though PFA has been widely adopted, no one has empirical data to validate whether it helps or harms survivors. Now, a study sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) hopes to start solving that mystery. And that's critical: even interventions with the best intentions may not make a difference or, worse yet, may aggravate symptoms of trauma. Meaning that without this research, responders around the world are pouring time and resources into efforts that might be fruitless.

LOOKING FOR EVIDENCE
Pfa-2

A few years ago, Dr. Michael McCart was a clinician at the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center, where he regularly treated those traumatized by sexual and physical assault.

Though about 80 percent of disaster and trauma survivors won't experience long-term psychological problems, that number plummets with crime victims; about one-third develop chronic disorders. Amongst rape and sexual assault victims, that can reach 40 percent.

"A WAY TO PREVENT THESE SYMPTOMS FROM DEVELOPING IN THE FIRST PLACE."

After reflecting on the painful journeys of his patients, McCart kept returning to a single question: "I couldn't help but wonder if there might be a way to prevent these symptoms from developing in the first place," he says. PFA, with its emphasis on resiliency, coping, and self-efficacy, seemed like the best candidate.

So McCart, now at the Medical University of South Carolina, is working with NIMH funding to examine whether the intervention actually decreases acute trauma symptoms in adult crime victims. His three-year study, which concludes in 2015, will be the first ever to assess PFA in a controlled, randomized setting.

With about 150 participants, the study is small. Each victim will work with a police department-based advocate who traditionally helps fill out paperwork, goes to court, or offers emotional support. Some of those professionals will be trained in a version of PFA, while others will not.

THERE ARE REASONS TO BE HESITANT ABOUT PFA

If McCart's study demonstrates that PFA can benefit such a high-risk population, the results are likely to generate new interest and perhaps additional government funding — not to mention lend scientific credence to the technique. "The reality is that a lot of money has been spent on training people and preparing manuals and discouraging other practices before we really know it's the right thing," says Farris Tuma, chief of the Traumatic Stress Research Program at the NIMH.

There are reasons to be hesitant about PFA. After all, scientists and clinicians in this field have been disappointed by promising interventions before.

‘WHAT COULD WE DO?'


In the past, responders relied on a technique called debriefing. It was developed for first responders like firefighters and police officers. They would witness something terrible, then gather and discuss their feelings. The early evidence suggested that these men and women who shared an intense bond felt less alone.

It made sense then to apply the same principle to other groups that had endured disasters. But these individuals were sometimes strangers, with no imperative to trust each other and no desire to relive the trauma en masse.

Indeed, when debriefing was studied, the data was disappointing. In many cases, debriefing didn't prevent or reduce stress or anxiety. It may even have made symptoms worse. "Out of frustration," Tuma says, "different parts of the mental health community started to ask, ‘What could we do?'"

IT MAY EVEN HAVE MADE SYMPTOMS WORSE

What they did was devise "a recipe book" of eight components essential to PFA. These include calming survivors, offering practical assistance, and providing information on coping skills. There are no therapy sessions or group discussions.

Valerie Cole, manager of disaster health and mental health services for the Red Cross, says their clinicians and responders use PFA to provide immediate, short-term emotional and psychological relief. The hope is that it might even improve the odds of preventing PTSD and other chronic conditions. Of course, there's no conclusive data suggesting that it does. But "I would love it if it did," Cole says.

In theory, science could answer this question. But researchers have been stymied by the difficulty of conducting a study in the wake of a mass shooting or hurricane. By nature, these events are unpredictable and unleash chaos. Even if a study could be deployed, there are ethical concerns about recruiting participants and diverting resources from disaster response.

A NEW MODEL
Pfa-3

McCart believes his project avoids these complications.

At the end of the month, advocates in the study will deliver PFA over two or three interactions in the weeks following a crime. For assault victims who know the perpetrator, advocates will use PFA's focus on safety to develop strategies to avoid that person and get a protection order if necessary. Advocates will also draw on PFA to help victims with practical considerations like housing, health and financial needs. Victims will be taught coping strategies and encouraged to maintain strong ties with family and friends, both central components of PFA.

"THE BOTTOM LINE IS WE HAVE NO IDEA IF ... IT PREVENTS ANXIETY OR DEPRESSION."

By next summer, McCart and his team will start analyzing data to see if victims given PFA show greater reductions in PTSD, depression, and general anxiety symptoms relative to the comparison group. They'll also track measures like work performance and substance use.

If this novel research pans out, experts say it might finally offer evidence for a practical way to steer survivors towards healthy recovery following trauma — a goal that's remained elusive for years. "Taking off my scientist hat, I have no quibbles or problems with PFA," says Tuma of the NIMH. "But the bottom line is we have no idea if it's better than engaging people another way, or if it prevents anxiety or depression. So we're trying to help get the data."
 

Psalehesost

The Living Force
I found a longer talk by Wilson about Redirect: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPXRupXNNEY


Also, for those looking for the book, a note that it has two names. It was republished as Redirect: Changing the Stories We Live By. As far as I can tell, other than the added foreword there is no significant difference. (Looking at Amazon's preview, all chapter headings and page numbers are identical.)
 

Psalehesost

The Living Force
Niall said:
If it's that easy for one or two researchers to produce long-term changes in groups of people, then it's even easier to see how daily 'war on terror stories' have redirected masses of people into accepting the 'mark of the beast' (torture, inhuman acts, etc).

In the time since you posted that, this point has become more striking than ever, with the massive propaganda war against Russia (now in addition to the 'war on terror'), the sheer extent to which the "mainstream media" narrative has managed to diverge from reality with so many accepting it, and the Holocaust 2.0 that now seems all too likely.
 

riclapaz

Dagobah Resident
Hello, to be honest, my memories are few, are small glimpses of my childhood, I have found in this thread the exercise of writing, could someone tell me what the technique is simply to say whatever comes to mind as I write? how often is it done? I have never written in my life, it seems like you have no memories, or were hidden, is a confusing topic for me. :/
Any suggestions are appreciated



Sorry the book I have not read (not the translation into Spanish)
 

Psalehesost

The Living Force
riclapaz said:
Hello, to be honest, my memories are few, are small glimpses of my childhood, I have found in this thread the exercise of writing, could someone tell me what the technique is simply to say whatever comes to mind as I write? how often is it done? I have never written in my life, it seems like you have no memories, or were hidden, is a confusing topic for me. :/
Any suggestions are appreciated



Sorry the book I have not read (not the translation into Spanish)

You can read some more about the writing exercise in this article.

Basically, the idea is to write down the deepest thoughts and emotions about troubling experiences. The most important thing is to find meaning in them. That means exploring how they relate to the rest of your life. As mentioned in the article, 15-20 minutes every day for four days is the time used in the research. (The point is that it's not good to focus endlessly on the same experiences. However, you could take a break and then do the exercise again for different experiences.)

If you don't remember much, you could start with what you remember. If there are newer experiences that bother you, then you can also write about them, and not only about early childhood experiences.

It is okay if what you write is unclear at first. The goal is to make it more clear and more meaningful as a result of the exercise, over the time it is done.
 

riclapaz

Dagobah Resident
Ok, thanks for the explanation Psalehesost, a little strange yesterday I had an emotional whirlwind, presisamente thinking about my childhood and relationship with my dad, again I thank you and I will give you a look at the article.
 

davey72

The Living Force
I thought this was an interesting demonstration of neural plasticity. I wasn't quite sure where to put it though.

-https://www.facebook.com/shahrvandyar/videos/886575054731849/
 

Galaxia2002

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
Psalehesost said:
riclapaz said:
Hello, to be honest, my memories are few, are small glimpses of my childhood, I have found in this thread the exercise of writing, could someone tell me what the technique is simply to say whatever comes to mind as I write? how often is it done? I have never written in my life, it seems like you have no memories, or were hidden, is a confusing topic for me. :/
Any suggestions are appreciated



Sorry the book I have not read (not the translation into Spanish)

You can read some more about the writing exercise in this article.

Basically, the idea is to write down the deepest thoughts and emotions about troubling experiences. The most important thing is to find meaning in them. That means exploring how they relate to the rest of your life. As mentioned in the article, 15-20 minutes every day for four days is the time used in the research. (The point is that it's not good to focus endlessly on the same experiences. However, you could take a break and then do the exercise again for different experiences.)

If you don't remember much, you could start with what you remember. If there are newer experiences that bother you, then you can also write about them, and not only about early childhood experiences.

It is okay if what you write is unclear at first. The goal is to make it more clear and more meaningful as a result of the exercise, over the time it is done.

Adding to the said by Psalehesost. I also remember that you have to try being as much objective as you can about the possible reasons that led the situation you are experience now . The new narrative has to be based in objectivity. For that is good to use your knowledge about psychology and your machine, between others.
This really work, but you could see the results in two months, so be patient.
 

Starshine

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
I just finished reading Redirect and wanted to add my review and observations based on it.
It has been on my shelve for a while now, so I am quite satisfied to finally have read it.
Apart from the writing exercises which have been mentioned throughout the thread, I found some data to be impressive regarding the number of programs implemented without any testing whatsoever, and the costs of it, to only find out that some of those programs can do more harm than good! A lot of the content is a review of those different techniques that have been implemented and a comparison of what works and what doesn't, along with a conclusive attempt to understand why.

The structure is well thought of, with a summary given at the end of each chapter on how to implement those tested and approved techniques to our own lives.

I was aware of the CISD approach vs Pennebaker writing exercise as being the main takeovers of the book, but there are others techniques which are emphasized too:

Step back and ask why approach, which is consistent with the NARM approach of keeping a distance while reliving a traumatic event, to avoid re traumatizing oneself. That also made me think of the idea Laura shared somewhere, if I remember correctly, to imagine seeing the scene while seated at a theater and trying to understand your reactions instead of reliving it firsthand.

The Best Possible Selves Exercise, which made me think about the Future Self Authoring program provided by Peterson's team, which add the opportunity to write about one's worst future, which in itself is a great thing to write about too. If you don't know what you want, at least you can try to envision what you don't want. It strengthens your will to stay vigilant against psychic attacks.
If you would rather not dredge up upsetting events from the past, and prefer to focus on the positive, try this exercise. Again, find a quiet, private place and follow these instructions on consecutive nights: "Think about your life in the future. Imagine that everything has gone as well as it possibly could. You have worked hard and succeeded at accomplishing all your life goals. Think of this as the realization of all your life dreams. Now, write about what you imagined."

Don't just think about what you have achieved, like getting your dream job, but be sure to write about how you got there. By so doing you might become more optimistic about your future and cope better with any obstacles you encounter.

Maintain a sense of purpose, Here again, JPB's self authoring program comes in handy to help define purpose. What I found to be of help too is Covey's exercise from his book "7 habits" which makes one envision one's own funeral, thinking about what is most important to you and what do you want to be retained from you once you'll pass the bridge. What would you like your friends, family, coworkers to be reminded of when thinking about you?

The Do good, Be good principle, which is similar to the idea of "Fake it until you make it". What research shows is that it is better to do volunteer work to construct a healthy narrative about oneself, building a sense of belonging to the community is the best factor to avoid most behavioral problems. Just saying you could end up here or there won't help, as the narrative that will derive is "I am at risk to begin with". With volunteer work, the narrative becomes "I am a helpful person".

I found the info about stereotypes threat to be incredible. The study where the same test was handed to black and white kids with different descriptions of it is mind boggling. Just by changing the description of the test without changing it, you get totally different results!
Surely it doesn’t matter whether the test is described as a measure of IQ or a set of puzzles. Well, it turns out it does matter, and it matters a lot, at least to one group of people: African Americans. As seen in the figure opposite, when the test was described as a measure of IQ, the standard achievement gap was evident: whites outperformed blacks, to about the same extent as is typically found on other measures of intelligence and achievement. When participants received the standard instructions, which described the test as a measure of observation and clear thinking, the achievement gap was still present, but to a lesser degree. But look what happened when the test was described as a set of puzzles: as seen in the two bars on the far right of the figure, the achievement gap completely disappeared! In fact, in this condition, African American students did slightly better than white students. What was going on here? Clearly, something about the way in which the students interpreted the test made a big difference in their performance—something that isn’t supposed to happen on tests of intelligence or achievement.

We can see here the depth to which we are influenced by our beliefs. This one is a classic example of the stereotype threat. To counter that, he gave examples where kids had to think about things they value outside of school. That worked quite well to remind them that they are more than just students, which reduced the negative thought loop they created and entertained, improving their overall results.

In that sense, Covey's message to define all of our roles comes in handy. What are your different roles and to what extent do you give them space and define objectives surrounding them? It helps reduce anxiety and also help to avoid obsession to the point of hindering your other roles. A success in one field does not prevent a failure in another.

At some point he warns us of all those self-help books which are sold, reminding us of how big an industry it is. He cites Covey's book as an example but doesn't explain how it might be detrimental to read it. Along with it, Louise Hay is cited. Instead, he focuses on "The secret" which is easier to debunk with its New-agey wishful thinking flavor. I thought his points were correct but would have liked him to give some examples of those other books he cited, because I think it's a bit like throwing the baby out with the bath water at that point. It would have been better to not cite them at all and just focus on the Secret, then.

As has been said on Samenow's thread, understanding the criminal mind and how we are subject to it might be one of those missing piece in self-help books. Another piece would be to realize what unconscious stereotypes/beliefs do we hold and to what extent do they limit us? Do you believe intelligence is innate, fixed, or can you believe you can improve it by hard work?

If you really believe you can improve your receivership capacity by improving your knowledge base, then what limits you apart from the allotted energy you give to it? Isn't it the most important thing to do?

Reshaping one's narrative to shift from "I am a victim and don't fit in here" to "I will persist until I succeed." is so crucial.
 

genero81

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
As has been said on Samenow's thread, understanding the criminal mind and how we are subject to it might be one of those missing piece in self-help books. Another piece would be to realize what unconscious stereotypes/beliefs do we hold and to what extent do they limit us? Do you believe intelligence is innate, fixed, or can you believe you can improve it by hard work?

If you really believe you can improve your receivership capacity by improving your knowledge base, then what limits you apart from the allotted energy you give to it? Isn't it the most important thing to do?

Well speaking of receivership capacity, I was contemplating about this recently. I had picked up Stefan's book, 'A Masters Guide to The Way of the Warrior.' How we view Stefan currently not withstanding, I came across this which I find most interesting:

"In China, there are two schools of thought on how Chi is best developed. The first school suggest that proper living habits, high moral conduct, and moderation is the way to develop and store Chi. All cultures have stories and legends about saints and sages that derived miraculous powers from living a proper lifestyle."

The C's have told us that it's not just knowledge acquisition, which is akin to fuel, but utilization that increases capacity. Interesting how Laura's initial post in this thread is emphasizing how traumatic events are best dealt with when one is able to find meaning in them that becomes useful. In other words, it's really about integration.

Now you mention Samenow's work as being an important element here and also limiting beliefs about oneself. It seems to me that the basis of all thinking errors revolve around entitlement; i.e. ascribing credit to oneself that one has not earned or acquired.

Anyway, just some thoughts. It seems to me that if one is acquiring, integrating, and utilizing knowledge on a regular basis, that the result of that would be the living of "a proper lifestyle."
 
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