18 Jan Useful Links
Self-awareness at the centre of healing trauma.
Calming your brain down, and helping your brain be focused in the present is central to resolving trauma
Bessel van der Kolk is a professor of psychiatry at Boston University. He says traumatic events impacts on the body as much as they impact on the brain. By learning to calm down so we can reflect, observe and notice ourselves – we learn better self regulation. This means standard talk and drug therapies are not enough in resolving trauma.
Read the full ABC article and listen to the ABC Radio National excerpt here.
Mindfulness for a sense of competency and trust in who you are
``Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, nonjudgmentally. It's about knowing what is on your mind.`` - Jon Kabat-Zinn
Support in a time of grief
How do we support someone who has lost their life partner? Practical advise for friends and family of the recently bereaved.
Caroline Doughty lost her husband to cancer. Years after his passing she wrote her book “If there’s anything I can do” to help anyone close to someone grieving.
What does it mean to be fully human?
``Being fully human calls for a reinstatement of emotion`` - Silvan Tomkins
Affect theory is a theory to support our understanding of our emotional lives. Affects, positive or negative, are at the core of our motivation. Nothing in our awareness becomes conscious, remembered, sought or avoided without affect. It is our emotions that tell us what to pay attention to. Based on our affect experiences, we make up rules or “scripts” that go on to form our personalities (read more here).
Does mental illness exist?
Should we abandon the disease model and instead take into account the social impacts and social factors that we, with evidence, can see play a huge role in the emotional wellbeing of humans?
How helpful is it to have a scientific mental health model that pathologises? Should we rather look at behaviours as appropriate adaptations to survive in the environment we have been exposed to? Listen here to this interesting talk about how we best support each other.
How Psychotherapy Retrains the Brain to Expect (and Feel) Better
A successful course of therapy helps restore a person’s emotional flexibility and empowerment so they can have greater agency in their relationships.
Understanding how talking to a psychotherapist or counsellor is going to help, can be hard to get your head around. This article describes the therapeutic relationship – and the both conscious and unconscious processes in place to bring about change.