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Bouncing Back:. Rewiring the Brain for Resilience and Well-Being Cape Cod Institute August 4-8, 2014. Bouncing Back. Rewiring the Brain for Resilience and Well-Being Linda Graham, MFT linda@lindagraham-mft.net www.lindagraham-mft.net 415-924-7765. All the world is full of suffering.

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bouncing back
Bouncing Back:

Rewiring the Brain for Resilience

and Well-Being

Cape Cod Institute

August 4-8, 2014

bouncing back1
Bouncing Back

Rewiring the Brain for Resilience

and Well-Being

Linda Graham, MFT

linda@lindagraham-mft.net

www.lindagraham-mft.net

415-924-7765

slide3

All the world is full of suffering.

It is also full of overcoming.

- Helen Keller

slide5

All the world is full of suffering.

It is also full of overcoming.

- Helen Keller

suffering
Suffering
  • External stressors
  • Internal stressors
  • Stress response
  • Survival responses
    • Fight-flight-freeze-appease
    • Shut down, numb out, collapse
resilience
Resilience
  • Hardiness
  • Coping
  • Flexibility
hardiness
Hardiness
  • Capacities to last, to endure
  • Capacities to persevere, to follow through
  • Capacities of determination and grit
flexibility
Flexibility

Adaptability, capacity to shift gears

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is the most adaptive to change.

- Charles Darwin

coping
Coping
  • Face and deal with disappointments, difficulties, even disasters
  • Bounce back from troubles, from adversity, from the unexpected, from the truly awful
resilience1
Resilience
  • Deal with challenges and crises
  • Bounce back from adversity
  • Recover our balance and equilibrium
  • Find refuges and maximize resources
  • Cope skillfully, flexibly, adaptively
  • Shift perspectives, open to possibilities, create options, find meaning and purpose
6 c s of coping
6 C’s of Coping
  • Calm
  • Compassion
  • Clarity
  • Connections to Resources
  • Competence
  • Courage
slide13
Calm
  • Manage disruptive emotions
  • Tolerate distress
  • Down-regulate stress to return to baseline equilibrium
compassion
Compassion
  • Respond to pain and suffering with open heart, interested mind, willingness to help
  • Care, concern for problems and blocks that de-rail resilience
  • Empathy, compassion for feelings and suffering of self, others
  • Skillful behaviors in response to difficulties and differences
clarity
Clarity
  • Focused attention on present moment experience
  • Improves cognitive functioning
  • Self-awareness, self-reflection
  • Shifting perspectives
  • Discerning options
  • Choose wise actions
connections to resources
Connections to Resources
  • People, Places Practices
  • Counter-balance brain’s negativity bias
  • Strengthen inner secure base
  • Access resources
competence
Competence
  • Empowerment and mastery from changing old coping strategies, learning new ones
  • Embodying, “I am somebody who CAN do this.”
courage
Courage
  • Using signal anxiety as cue to:
  • Try something new
  • Take risks
  • Move resilience beyond personal self
evolution of human brain
Evolution of Human Brain
  • Reptilian – brainstem
  • Mammalian – limbic
  • Human - cortex
avoid
Avoid
  • Brainstem – assess safety-danger
  • Limbic – automatic survival responses
  • Cortex – strategies for withdrawal, limits and boundaries, defenses
approach
Approach
  • Brainstem – seek pleasure/reward
  • Limbic – seek protection and comfort
  • Cortex – seek empathy, understanding, validation; conscious reflection, choices
attach
Attach
  • Brainstem – fear-attachment-exploration motivational system
  • Limbic – emotional valence of experience
  • Cortex – regulate emotions; “rules” of relationship, social-emotional intelligence

Kindles maturation of pre-frontal cortex

attachment styles secure
Attachment Styles - Secure
  • Parenting is attuned, empathic, responsive, comforting, soothing, helpful
  • Attachment develops safety and trust, and inner secure base
  • Stable and flexible focus and functioning
  • Open to learning
  • inner secure base provides buffer against stress, trauma, and psychopathology
insecure avoidant
Insecure-Avoidant
  • Parenting is indifferent, neglectful, or critical, rejecting
  • Attachment is compulsively self-reliant
  • Stable, but not flexible
  • Focus on self or world, not others or emotions
  • Rigid, defensive, not open to learning
  • Neural cement
insecure anxious
Insecure-Anxious
  • Parenting is inconsistent, unpredictable
  • Attachment is compulsive caregiving
  • Flexible, but not stable
  • Focus on other, not on self-world,
  • Less able to retain learning
  • Neural swamp
disorganized
Disorganized
  • Parenting is frightening or abusive, or parent is “checked out,” not “there”
  • Attachment is fright without solution
  • Lack of focus
  • Moments of dissociation
  • Compartmentalization of trauma
pre frontal cortex
Pre-Frontal Cortex
  • Development kindled in relationships
  • Executive center of higher brain
  • Evolved most recently – makes us human
  • Matures the latest – 25 years of age
  • Most integrative structure of brain
  • Evolutionary masterpiece
  • CEO of resilience
functions of pre frontal cortex
Functions of Pre-Frontal Cortex
  • Regulate body and nervous system
  • Quell fear response of amygdala
  • Manage emotions
  • Attunement – felt sense of feelings
  • Empathy – making sense of expereince
  • Insight and self-knowing
  • Response flexibility
slide29

Evolutionary legacy

Genetic templates

Family of origin conditioning

Norms-expectations of culture-society

Who we are and how we cope….

…is not our fault.

- Paul Gilbert, The Compassionate Mind

slide30

Given neuroplasticity

  • And choices of self-directed neuroplasticity
  • Who we are and how we cope…
  • …is our responsibility
      • - Paul Gilbert, The Compassionate Mind
modern brain science
Modern Brain Science

The field of neuroscience is so new,

we must be comfortable not only

venturing into the unknown

but into error.

- Richard Mendius, M.D.

neuroscience of resilience
Neuroscience of Resilience
  • Neuroscience technology is 20 years old
  • Meditation improves attention and impulse control; shifts mood and perspective; promotes health
  • Oxytocin can calm a panic attack in less than a minute
  • Kindness and comfort, early on, protects against later stress, trauma, psychopathology
neuroplasticity
Neuroplasticity
  • Greatest discovery of modern neuroscience
    • Growing new neurons
    • Strengthening synaptic connections
    • Myelinating pathways – faster processing
    • Creating and altering brain structure and circuitry
    • Organizing and re-organizing functions of brain structures
  • The brain changes itself - lifelong
slide34

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

mechanisms of brain change
Mechanisms of Brain Change
  • Conditioning
  • New Conditioning
  • Re-Conditioning
  • De-Conditioning
conditioning
Conditioning
  • Experience causes neurons to fire
  • Repeated experiences, repeated neural firings
  • Neurons that fire together wire together
  • Strengthen synaptic connections
  • Connections stabilize into neural pathways
  • Conditioning is neutral, wires positive and negative
new conditioning
New Conditioning
  • Choose new experiences
    • Gratitude practice, listening skills, focusing attention, self-compassion, self-acceptance
  • Create new learning, new memory
  • Encode new wiring
  • Install new pattern of response
re conditioning
Re-conditioning
  • Memory de-consolidation – re-consolidation
  • “Light up” neural networks
  • Juxtapose old negative with new positive
  • Neurons fall apart, rewire
  • New rewires old
modes of processing
Modes of Processing
  • Focused
    • Tasks and details
    • Self-referential
    • New conditioning and re-conditioning
  • De-focused
    • Default network
    • Mental play space
    • De-conditioning
de conditioning
De-Conditioning
  • Default network
  • De-focusing, loosens grip
  • Creates mental play space
  • Plane of open possibilities
  • Brain makes new links, associations
  • New insights, new behaviors
practices to accelerate brain change
Practices to Accelerate Brain Change
  • Presence – primes receptivity of brain
  • Intention/choice – activates plasticity
  • Perseverance – creates and installs change
slide42

Kindness is more important than wisdom,

And the recognition of that is the beginning of wisdom.

- Theodore Rubin

neuroscience of empathy
Neuroscience of Empathy
  • Emotional communication is 93% non-verbal
  • Social engagement system
  • Dyadic regulation
  • Vagal brake
  • Fusiformgyrus regulates amygdala
  • Restores equilibrium
mindfulness and compassion
Mindfulness and Compassion

Awareness of what’s happening

(and our reactions to what’s happening)

Acceptance of what’s happening

(and our reactions to what’s happening)

Attention circuit and resonance circuit

Two most powerful agents of brain change known to science; both foster response flexibility

integration
Integration
  • Reflection
    • See clearly
  • Resonance
    • Embrace wholeheartedly
  • May I meet this moment fully;
  • May I meet it as a friend.
conditioning1
Conditioning

Neurons that fire together wire together.

- Donald Hebb

conditioning2
Conditioning
  • Brainstem: No! Yes.
  • Limbic: 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
  • Cortex: Attachment patterns of response
intelligences
Intelligences
  • Somatic - body-based, rewire trauma
  • Emotional - from survival responses to thriving
  • Relational - heal heartache, access havens and resources, navigate peopled world
  • Reflective – conscious awareness; catch the moment, make a choice
new conditioning1
New Conditioning
  • Brain more resilient
  • Brain more receptive
  • Strengthen pre-frontal cortex
  • We are more resilient
cues to practice ants to pats
Cues to Practice - ANTS to PATS
  • Identify habitual negative pattern of response
  • Identify new, positive response to counter/replace
  • Identify cue word or phrase to name negative and positive
    • Criticism - Compassion
  • Use cue to break automaticity and change the channel
  • Repeat the practice as many times as necessary
re conditioning1
Re-conditioning
  • Resource with memory of someone’s compassion toward you
  • Evoke memory of someone being critical of you (or inner critic)
  • Evoke compassion for your self
  • Hold awareness of criticizing moment and compassionate moment in dual awareness
  • Drop the criticizing moment; rest in the compassionate moment
wished for outcome
Wished for Outcome
  • Evoke memory of what did happen
  • Imagine new behaviors, new players, new resolution
  • Hold new outcome in awareness, strengthening and refreshing
  • Notice shift in perspective of experience, of self
de conditioning1
De-Conditioning
  • Imagination
  • Guided visualizations
  • Guided meditations
  • Reverie, daydreams
  • Brain “plays,” makes own associations and links, connect dots in new ways
  • Reflect on new insights
wiser self
Wiser Self
  • Imagine being in your safe place
  • Imagine meeting your Wiser Self who embodies all of your best qualities and strengths
  • Ask your Wiser Self
    • How did you come to be wise, happy, content?
    • What did you have to overcome?
  • Listen to words of advice for your journey
  • Receive object to remember Wiser Self by
bouncing back2
Bouncing Back

Rewiring the Brain for Resilience

and Well-Being

Linda Graham, MFT

linda@lindagraham-mft.net

www.lindagraham-mft.net

415-924-7765

bouncing back3
Bouncing Back:

Rewiring the Brain for Resilience

and Well-Being

Somatic Intelligence

Cape Cod Institute

August 4-8, 2014

slide57
Calm
  • Manage disruptive emotions
  • Tolerate distress
  • Down-regulate stress to return to baseline equilibrium
keep calm and carry on
Keep Calm and Carry On

Serenity is not freedom from the storm

but peace amidst the storm.

- author unknown

window of tolerance
Window of Tolerance
  • SNS – explore, play, create, produce…. OR

Fight-flight-freeze

  • Baseline physiological equilibrium
  • Calm and relaxed, engaged and alert
  • WINDOW OF TOLERANCE
  • Relational and resilient
  • Equanimity
  • PNS – inner peace, serenity…. OR

Numb out, collapse

hand on the heart
Hand on the Heart
  • Touch – oxytocin – safety and trust
  • Deep breathing – parasympathetic
  • Breathing ease into heart center
    • Brakes on survival responses
    • Coherent heart rate
  • Being loved and cherizhed
  • Oxytocin – direct and immediate antidote to stress hormone cortisol
oxytocin
Oxytocin
  • Hormone of safety and trust, bonding and belonging, calm and connect
  • Brain’s direct and immediate antidote to stress hormone cortisol
  • Can pre-empt stress response altogether
  • A single exposure to oxytocin can create a lifelong change in the brain. – Sue Carter, PhD
touch
Touch
  • Hand on heart, hand on cheek
  • Head rubs, foot rubs
  • Massage back of neck
  • Hold thumb as “inner child”
  • Hugs – 20 second full bodied
calm through the body
Calm through the Body
  • Hand on the Heart
  • Body Scan
  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation
  • Movement Opposite
calm friendly body scan
Calm – Friendly Body Scan
  • Awareness
  • Breathing gently into tension
  • Hello! and gratitude
  • Release tension, reduce trauma
progressive muscle relaxation
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
  • Body cannot be tense and relaxed at the same time
  • Tense for 7 seconds, relax for 15
  • Focused attention calms the mind
calm through movement
Calm through Movement
  • Body inhabits posture of difficult emotion (40 seconds
  • Body moves into opposite posture (40 seconds)
  • Body returns to first posture (20 seconds)
  • Body returns to second posture (20 seconds)
  • Body finds posture in the middle (30 seconds
  • Reflect on experience
  • “Power posing” – Amy Cuddy TED talk
compassion1
Compassion
  • Respond to pain and suffering with open heart, interested mind, willingness to help
  • Care, concern for problems and blocks that de-rail resilience
  • Empathy, compassion for feelings and suffering of self, others
  • Skillful behaviors in response to difficulties and differences
self compassion
Self-Compassion
  • Threat-protection system
    • Cortisol driven
  • Pleasure-reward system
    • Dopamine driven
  • Caregiving-soothing-comfort system
    • Oxytocin driven
    • Paul Gilbert, The Compassionate Mind
self compassion1
Self-Compassion
  • Powerful and immediate antidote to self-criticism, self-loathing
  • Practice not to feel better but because we feel bad
  • Putting own oxygen mask on first when other people are not around
  • Come into loving connected presence
  • Compassion leads to calm leads to clarity
compassion for others self
Compassion for Others - Self
  • Remember moment of compassion and care for another
  • Evoke felt sense of compassion in your body
  • When flow of compassion is steady…
  • Place yourself in flow of compassion, care, concern
self compassion break
Self-Compassion Break
  • Notice-recognize: this is a moment of suffering
    • Ouch! This hurts! This is hard!
  • Pause, breathe, hand on heart or cheek
    • Oh sweetheart!
  • Self-empathy
    • I care about my own suffering, me as experiencer
  • Drop into calm; hold moment with awareness; breathe in compassion and care
    • May I meet this moment fully; may I meet it as a friend
self compassion break cont
Self-Compassion Break, cont.
  • My pain is the pain; I’m not the only one
  • Kindness to self: May I be safe; May I be peaceful; May I be free of fear; May I be free of shame; May I accept myself just as I am; May I know this, too, will pass; May I know I can be skillful here
  • Choose wisely: re-direct, shift the channel; practice gratitude, metta; share pain with caring other; notice coping and easing of suffering
one for me one for you
One for Me; One for You
  • Breathing in, “nourishing, nourishing”
  • Breathing out, “soothing, soothing”
  • In imagination, “nourishing for me, nourishing for you, soothing for me, soothing for you”
  • “One for me, one for you”
  • Practice breathing “one for me, one for you” when in conversation with someone
courage1
Courage

Yes, risk-taking is inherently failure-prone.

Otherwise, it would be called sure thing-taking

- Tim McMahon

do one scary thing a day
Do One Scary Thing a Day
  • Venture into New or Unknown
  • Somatic marker of “Uh, oh”
  • Dopamine disrupted
  • Cross threshold into new
  • Satisfaction, mastery
  • Dopamine restored
human brain evolutionary masterpiece
Human Brain:Evolutionary Masterpiece
  • 100 billion neurons
    • Each neuron contains the entire human genome
    • Neurons “fire” hundreds of time per second
  • Neurons connect to 5,000-7,000 other neurons
  • Trillions of synaptic connections
  • As many connections in single cubic centimeter of brain tissue as stars in Milky Way galaxy
practices as resources
Practices as Resources
  • Yoga, meditation, tai chi, chi gong
  • Sleep
  • Nutrition
  • Movement-Exercise
  • Laughter
  • Learn Something New
  • Hanging Out with Healthy Brains
sleep
Sleep
  • Housekeeping
  • Reset nervous system
  • Consolidate learning
  • Take mental breaks
take mental breaks
Take Mental Breaks
  • Focus on something else (positive is good)
  • Talk to someone else (resonant is good)
  • Move-walk somewhere else (nature is good)
  • Every 90 minutes; avoid adrenal fatigue
nutrition
Nutrition
  • Less Caffeine
  • Less Sugar
  • More Protein
  • More Water
movement exercise
Movement - Exercise
  • Oxygen – brain is 2% of body weight, uses 20% of body’s oxygen
  • Endorphins – feel good hormones, brighten the mind
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) - grow new brain cells, will migrate to where needed
laughter
Laughter
  • Increases oxygen and blood flow, reduces risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Releases endorphins – body’s natural pain killer
  • Reduces stress hormone cortisol, lowers blood pressure
  • Triggers catecholamines, heightens alertness in brain
  • Releases tension in body, balances nervous system
laughter1
Laughter
  • Promotes work productivity
    • Reduces stress
    • Promotes creativity and problem-solving
    • Reduces mistakes, increases efficiency

Promotes group cohesion

  • Promotes learning (through play)
  • Eases loss, grief, trauma
laughter yoga
Laughter Yoga
  • Let yourself laugh for 5-15 minutes,
  • Gently at first, then relaxing into a deep belly laugh
  • Happy baby pose (dead bug pose)
  • Lying on the floor with your head in someone else’s lap; someone else’s head in your lap
learn something new
Learn Something New
  • Speak a foreign language
  • Play a musical instrument
  • Juggle
  • Play chess
  • Crossword puzzles when you don’t know the words
hanging out with healthy brains
Hanging Out with Healthy Brains
  • Brain is social organ; matures and learns best in interactions with other brains
  • Social engagement regulates nervous system
  • Resonant interactions prime the brain’s neuroplasticity; promotes learning and growth
connections to resources1
Connections to Resources
  • People
    • Love guards the heart from the abyss. - Mozart
  • Places
    • …I rest in the grace of the world…. – Berry
  • Practices
    • As an irrigator guides water to his field, as an archer aims an arrow, as a carpenter carves wood, the wise shape their lives. - Buddha
the peace of wild things
The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me

and I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,

I go and lie down where the wood drake

rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought

of grief. I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting with their light. For a time

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

- Wendell Berry

slide90

One summer night, out on a flat headland, all but surrounded by the waters of the bay, the horizons were remote and distant rims on the edge of space. Millions of stars blazed in darkness, and on the far shore a few lights burned in cottages. Otherwise there was no reminder of human life. My companion and I were alone with the stars: the misty river of the Milky Way flowing across the sky, the patterns of the constellations standing out bright and clear, a blazing planet low on the horizon. It occurred to me that if this were a sight that could be seen only once in a century, this little headland would be thronged with spectators. But it can be seen many scores of night in any year, and so the lights burned in the cottages and the inhabitants probably gave not a thought to the beauty overhead; and because they could see it almost any night, perhaps they never will.

- Rachel Carson

shifting perspectives in nature
Shifting Perspectives in Nature
  • BELLY BOTANY
  • Select a one square foot patch of earth. Observe patch from two feet away/above for two minutes.
    • (light and shadow, movement and stillness, beauty and decay, life and death)
  • Shift your view to the larger landscape, all the way to the horizon.
  • Reflect on shift in perspective.
bouncing back4
Bouncing Back

Rewiring the Brain for Resilience

and Well-Being

Linda Graham, MFT

linda@lindagraham-mft.net

www.lindagraham-mft.net

415-924-7765

bouncing back5
Bouncing Back:

Rewiring the Brain for Resilience

and Well-Being

Emotional Intelligence

Cape Cod Institute

August 4-8, 2014

emotions
Emotions
  • Signals to take action
  • Adaptive action tendencies
    • Anger –
    • Sadness –
    • Fear –
the guest house rumi
The Guest House - Rumi

This being human is a guest-house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

Some momentary awareness come

As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still, treat each guest honorably.

slide96

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

positive emotions behaviors
Positive Emotions-Behaviors
  • Brain hard-wired to notice and remember negative and intense more than positive and subtle; how we survive as individuals and as a species
  • Leads to tendency to avoid experience
  • Positive emotions activate “left shift,” brain is more open to approaching experience, learning, and action
positive emotions
Positive Emotions

Gratitude Awe Generosity

Compassion Delight

Serenity Love Curiosity

Kindness Joy Trust

positive emotions1
Positive Emotions
  • Less stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness
  • More friendships, social support, collaboration
  • Shift in perspectives, more optimism
  • More creativity, productivity
  • Better health, better sleep
  • Live on average 7-9 years longer
  • Resilience is direct outcome
left shift
Left shift
  • Positive emotions cause more neural firing in left hemisphere of brain
  • Left hemisphere more oriented to approach stance toward experience, openness to learning
  • Openness to learning, flexibility, options = resilience
slide102

A hundred times every day, I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labors of other people, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.

- Albert Einstein

gratitude
Gratitude
  • 2-minute free write
  • Gratitude journal
  • Gratitude buddy
  • Carry love and appreciation in your wallet
take in the good
Take in the Good
  • Notice: in the moment or in memory
  • Enrich: the intensity, duration, novelty, personal relevance, multi-modality
  • Absorb: savor 10-20-30 seconds, felt sense in body
circle of support
Circle of Support
  • Call to mind people who have been supportive of you; who have “had your back”
    • Currently, in the past, in imagination
  • Imagine them gathered around you, or behind you, lending you their faith in you, and their strengths in coping
  • Imagine your circle of support present with you as you face difficult people or situations
positivity portfolio
Positivity Portfolio
  • Ask 10 friends to send cards or e-mails expressing appreciation of you
  • Assemble phrases on piece of paper
  • Tape to bathroom mirror or computer monitor, carry in wallet or purse
  • Read phrases 3 times a day for 30 days
  • Savor and appreciate
connections to resources2
Connections to Resources
  • People
    • Love guards the heart from the abyss. - Mozart
  • Places
    • …I rest in the grace of the world…. – Berry
  • Practices
    • As an irrigator guides water to his field, as an archer aims an arrow, as a carpenter carves wood, the wise shape their lives. - Buddha
people as resources
People as Resources

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by the spark from another person.

Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.

- Albert Schweitzer

shame de rails resilience
Shame 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

true other to the true self
True 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

slide111

Love makes your soul crawl out of its hiding place.

- Zora Neale Hurston

Love guards the heart from the abyss.

- Mozart

slide112

Just 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

reconditioning
Reconditioning
  • Memory de-consolidation – re-consolidation
  • “Light up” neural networks of problematic memory
  • Cause 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 awareness
  • Causes the falling apart and the rewiring
reconditioning1
Reconditioning
  • Anchor in present moment awareness
  • Resource with acceptance and goodness
  • Start with small negative memory
  • “Light up the networks”
  • Evoke positive memory that contradicts or disconfirms
  • Simultaneous dual awareness (or toggle)
  • Refresh and strengthen positive
  • Let go of negative
  • Rest in, savor positive
  • Reflect on shifts in perspective
wished for outcome1
Wished for Outcome
  • Evoke memory of what did happen
  • Imagine new behaviors, new players, new resolution
  • Hold new outcome in awareness, strengthening and refreshing
  • Notice shift in perspective of experience, of self
bouncing back6
Bouncing Back

Rewiring the Brain for Resilience

and Well-Being

Linda Graham, MFT

linda@lindagraham-mft.net

www.lindagraham-mft.net

415-924-7765

bouncing back7
Bouncing Back:

Rewiring the Brain for Resilience

and Well-Being

Relational Intelligence

Cape Cod Institute

August 4-8, 2014

true other to the true self1
True 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

slide119

Ah, 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

empathy
Empathy

I hear you say….

I see that you….

I sense that you…

I’m touched that you…

Rather than “I think that you….”

resonance circuit
Resonance Circuit
  • Resonance – vibe, emotional contagion
  • Attunement – felt sense, explicit, non-verbal
  • Empathy – verbal, cognitive, coherent narrative
  • Compassion – concern, caring, help
  • Acceptance – pre-requisite for resilience and lasting change
theory of mind
Theory of Mind

I know that you can be thinking and feeling

something completely different

from what I’m thinking and feeling,

and that’s OK.

seeing ourselves as others see us
Seeing Ourselves as Others See Us
  • Imagine sitting across from someone who loves you unconditionally
  • Imagine switching places with them; see yourself as they see you; feel why they love you and delight in you; take in the good
  • Imagine being yourself again; taking in the love and affection coming to you; savor and absorb.
welcome them all
Welcome Them All
  • Wiser Self welcomes to the “party”
  • characters that embody positive and negative parts of the self
  • with curiosity and acceptance of the message or gift of each part and
  • honors each part of the “inner committee”
relational intelligence
Relational Intelligence
  • Receiving/reaching out for help
  • Setting limits and boundaries
  • Negotiating change
  • Resolving conflicts
  • Repairing ruptures
  • Forgiveness
receiving reaching out for help
Receiving/Reaching Out for Help
  • Self-compassion for human vulnerability
  • Identify behaviors, resources that would be helpful
  • Ask for help (don’t rely on mind-reading)
  • Receive help; take in the good
  • If help not available, seek other resources
setting limits and boundaries
Setting Limits and Boundaries
  • Permission to assert request without aggression or collapse
  • Cultivate mindful empathy for self and other
  • State values, needs, desires
  • State the limit and consequences
  • (When practicing, partner accepts limit)
negotiating change
Negotiating Change
  • Code to initiate dialogue; agreement to follow protocol
  • Speaker states topic, then shares experience, progressing from perceptions of behaviors to emotional needs, fears, desires
  • Listener listens; no debate, defense, rebuttal
  • Summary of concern
negotiating change part 2
Negotiating Change, part 2
  • Speaker identifies three behaviors he/she is willing to do to address emotional needs
  • Speaker identifies three behaviors partner can do to address emotional needs
  • Each chooses one; must be specific, positive, within defined time frame
  • Each acknowledges when other does the new behavior
resolving conflicts
Resolving Conflicts
  • Acknowledge conflict
  • Identify possible misunderstandings, mis-perceptions
  • Take responsibility for your part in conflict
  • Convey your responsibility to other; ask them to reflect on their responsibility for their part
  • Brainstorm possible solutions; come to agreement
repairing ruptures
Repairing Ruptures
  • Focus on repairing the relationship, not on right v. wrong
  • Value of relationship, motivation to repair
  • Mindful empathy for each other
  • Share experiences, not opinions
  • Convey understanding of experience, care for person
  • Re-engage from more resonant space
forgiveness i
Forgiveness - I

For the many ways that I have hurt and harmed myself, that I have betrayed or abandoned myself, out of fear, pain, and confusion, through action or inaction, in thought, word or deed, knowingly or unknowingly…

I extend a full and heartfelt forgiveness. I forgive myself. I forgive myself.

forgiveness ii
Forgiveness - II

For the ways that I have hurt and harmed you, have betrayed or abandoned you, caused you suffering, knowingly or unknowingly, out of my pain, fear, anger, and confusion…

I ask for your forgiveness, I ask for your forgiveness.

forgiveness iii
Forgiveness - III

For the many ways that others have hurt, wounded, or harmed me, out of fear, pain, confusion, and anger…

I have carried this pain in my heart long enough. To the extent that I am ready, I offer you forgiveness. To those who have caused me harm, I offer my forgiveness, I forgive you.

slide135

Forgiveness is not an occasional act;

It is a permanent attitude.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

bouncing back8
Bouncing Back

Rewiring the Brain for Resilience

and Well-Being

Linda Graham, MFT

linda@lindagraham-mft.net

www.lindagraham-mft.net

415-924-7765

bouncing back9
Bouncing Back:

Rewiring the Brain for Resilience

and Well-Being

Reflective Intelligence

Cape Cod Institute

August 4-8, 2014

mindfulness and compassion1
Mindfulness and Compassion

Awareness of what’s happening

(and our reactions to what’s happening)

Acceptance of what’s happening

(and our reactions to what’s happening)

Attention circuit and resonance circuit

Two most powerful agents of brain change known to science; both foster response flexibility

integration1
Integration
  • Reflection
    • See clearly
  • Resonance
    • Embrace wholeheartedly
  • May I meet this moment fully;
  • May I meet it as a friend.
mindfulness
Mindfulness

Focused attention on

present moment experience

without judgment or resistance.

- Jon Kabat-Zinn

mindfulness comes to the west
Mindfulness Comes to the West
  • Mindful schools
  • Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction
  • Business – 2014 World Economic Forum
  • Government – Tim Ryan in Congress
  • Military – post-traumatic stress
  • Cover of Time magazine, February 3, 2014
mindfulness1
Mindfulness
  • Pause, become present
  • Notice and name
  • Step back, dis-entangle, reflect
  • Catch the moment; make a choice
  • Shift perspectives; shift states
  • Discern options
  • Choose wisely – let go of unwholesome, cultivate wholesome
slide143

Between a stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. The last of human freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.

- Viktor Frankl

notice and name
Notice and Name

Increasingly complex objects of awareness:

  • Sensations as sensations
  • Emotions as emotions
  • Cascades of emotions as cascades
  • Thoughts as thoughts
  • Patterns of thoughts as patterns
  • States of mind as states of mind
  • Identities, belief systems as identities and
    • Mental contents, patterns of neural firing

Awareness itself – vast sky that storms pass through

anything is a cue to practice
Anything is a Cue to Practice
  • Notice any moment of contraction
  • Use contraction as cue to:
  • Step back, come to center
  • Use practice to come to equilibrium
  • Discern options, choose wisely
mindfulness2
Mindfulness

Catch the moment; make a choice

- Janet Friedman

Every moment has a choice;

Every choice has an impact.

- Julia Butterfly Hill

autobiography in five short chapters portia nelson
Autobiography 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.

autobiography in five short chapters portia nelson1
Autobiography 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.

slide149

II

I 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 place

But, it isn’t my fault.

It still takes a long time to get out.

slide150

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.

slide151

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

modes of processing1
Modes of Processing
  • Focused
    • Tasks and details
    • Self-referential
  • Defocused
    • Default network
    • Plane of open possibilities
mindfulness dissolves the stuff of self
Mindfulness Dissolves the Stuff of “Self”
  • Quantum physics investigates matter
    • Matter is more space than stuff
  • Mindfulness investigates “I”
    • Self is not static or fixed; is ever-changing, ever-unfolding
  • True Self is flow of beingness
rest in simply being
Rest in Simply Being
  • Awareness of Awareness
  • Insights, epiphanies, revelations

Wisdom teaches me I am nothing.

Love teaches me I am everything.

Between the two, my life flows.

      • - Sri Nisargadatta
pre frontal cortex1
Pre-Frontal Cortex
  • Toggles back and forth between focused and defocused modes of processing
  • Integration of two modes; integration of right and left hemispheres, integration of higher and lower brain
  • Deeper brain functioning; brain itself more reslient
slide156

Consciousness

  • True Nature
  • Wiser Self
  • Adult Self
  • Inner Child
brahma viharas
Brahma Viharas
  • Loving Kindness
  • Compassion
  • Sympathetic Joy
  • Equanimity
presence
Presence

To be present is far from trivial. It may be the hardest work in the world. And forget about the “may be.” It is the hardest work in the world – at least to sustain presence. And the most important.

- Jon Kabat-Zinn

intention
Intention

And the day came when the risk it took

To stay tight inside the bud

Was more painful

than the risk it took to blossom.

- Anais Nin

perseverance
Perseverance

How long should you try? Until. - Jim Rohn

The difference between try and triumph is a little “umph.” – author unknown

The greatest oak was once a little nut that held its ground. – Author unknown

competence1
Competence
  • Empowerment and mastery from changing old coping strategies, learning new ones
  • Embodying, “I am somebody who CAN do this.”
slide162

You can’t stop the waves,

But you can learn to surf.

-Jon Kabat-Zinn

slide163

As an irrigator guides water to his field, as an archer aims an arrow, as a carpenter carves wood, the wise shape their lives.

- Buddha

competence2
Competence

Bodily felt sense of “Sure I can!”

Based on previous experience

No matter what, no matter how small

Ownership

learning model
Learning Model
  • Unconscious Incompetence
  • Conscious Incompetence
  • Conscious Competence
  • Unconscious Competence
how to create a new habit
How to Create a New Habit
  • Identify new behavior you want to cultivate
  • Identify reward for new behavior; how will you sense that reward in your body?
  • Identify first five seconds of new behavior
  • Identify cue to begin the first five seconds of behavior
cues to practice ants to pats1
Cues to Practice - ANTS to PATS
  • Identify habitual negative pattern of response
  • Identify new, positive response to counter/replace
  • Identify cue word or phrase to name negative and positive
    • Criticism - Compassion
  • Use cue to break automaticity and change the channel
  • Repeat the practice as many times as necessary
find the gift in the mistake
Find the Gift in the Mistake
  • Regrettable Moment – Teachable Moment
  • What’s Right with this Wrong?
  • What’s the Lesson?
  • What’s the Cue to Act Differently?
  • Find the Gift in the Mistake
coherent narrative
Coherent Narrative
  • This is what happened.
  • This is what I did.
  • This has been the cost.
  • This is what I learned.
  • This is what I would do differently going forward.
deep listening
Deep Listening

The 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.

deep listening1
Deep Listening
  • Listener asks speaker the question. Speaker answers honestly.
  • The speaker answers the repeating question for several rounds, deepening his/her understanding of his/her experience.
  • Listener and speaker switch roles.
  • Take a few moments to share reflections on the experience.
questions for deep listening
Questions for Deep Listening
  • What brings you joy in your life?
  • What has brought you sorrow?
  • What worries you now?
  • When have you found courage in dark times?
  • What are you grateful for?
  • What are you proud of?
slide173

I am no longer afraid of storms,

For I am learning how to sail my ship.

- Louisa May Alcott

slide175

In every community, there is work to be done.

In every nation, there are wounds to heal.

In every heart, there is the power to do it.

- Marianne Williamson

courage2
Courage

It’s as wrong to deny the possible

As it is to deny the problem.

- Dennis Seleeby

slide177

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

slide178

Mastering the art of resilience does much more than restore you to who you once thought you were. Rather, you emerge from the experience transformed into a truer expression of who you were really meant to be.

- Carol Orsborn

bouncing back10
Bouncing Back

Rewiring the Brain for Resilience

and Well-Being

Linda Graham, MFT

linda@lindagraham-mft.net

www.lindagraham-mft.net

415-924-7765