We live in a time poor society, where stresses are increasing and or demands on life are also increasing. We have email, SMS, Amazon Prime, next day delivery, we are becoming a NOW society. Business are adapting and adopting strategies to compensate for this. My question or proposition is, what if therapy adopted the same stance?
Let me use anger as a simple example. Currently the British Association of Anger Management is offering a 30 hour programme…30 hours!
I propose you can stop anger in one second.
My background is that of an engineer, and I have adopted a mindset of applying an engineers thinking to therapy.
First thought…what is the pattern? The epistemological process required to generate a state, such as anger, and what is required neuro-biologically to achieve this. Second thought..how can I interrupt this pattern and disable the ability to generate a less than useful emotion?
So…please try this. Think of something now that you can get angry about, scale it with a Wolpe scale measure of one-10 with 10 being furious and one being nothing but a memory. Now take the index and second finger of your right hand and push down on the little finger of your left hand (pushing it away from the third finger). Done?
Good … now whilst doing that try to get angry. And find you cannot. Witchcraft?…No a simple function, when you do that with your hands you are unable to make a fist, if you are unable to make a fist the signal goes to the fight or flight response action of the amygdala and turns it off. If it is rage, then do the same but also drop your jaw so it is loose..if you cannot clench your teeth you cannot do rage either.
This simple technique gives you immediate control over whether you wish to be angry or not. There are times where anger may be appropriate. This simple technique enables you to decide though. I posit you do not want to manage anger, you should be able to choose anger or not to have anger.
Current thinking would also suggest too that neuro-plasticity will fire off new neural pathways so you may react ‘less often’ with a default anger reaction as the old neural pathways get synaptically ‘pruned’ as you sleep.
I will be demonstrating and discussing these techniques and principles at the two-day Foundation course in November for the College. I will also demo how to stop worry and rumination, sadness and panic and fear in seconds also and the thinking behind it.
There are just four places left on the Foundation course, Book Here
Kevin Laye D.Psy