Wednesday, July 25, 2012

American Counseling Assoc "Getting Unstuck" American Counseling Association Presentation - 3/21/2010 Getting Unstuck: Creative Healing Approaches Program Description Creative interventions combine the tenets of expressive therapies with the principle of brain(neuro-)plasticity. Neuroscientists know that the human brain continues to grow and reorganize over the course of a lifetime. Counselors can use these principles to interrupt patternedknowledge and thoughts. Using novelty of the creative arts, right-brain (a.k.a. unconscious)“information” will surface, interact, and alter the predictable and known. Talk therapy tends to review previously-learned information and calls on left-brain logic. Conversely, expressive therapies offer novelty through a task that does not call on logic. Creative approaches integrate regions of both right and left hemisphere to help form new neural pathways. A review the work of Ernest Rossi, PhD (Diplomat Clinical Psychology) and Daniel Siegel, M.D.(National Institute of Mental Health Research Fellow) provides theoretical basis for the program. Siegel’s work suggests that non-linear thinking, in particular slower, contemplative brain waves, access lesser-used portions of the right-hemisphere where emotional intelligence is thought to reside. Rossi trained as a psychologist but is also a scholar of neuroscience and molecular biology. Promoting the idea of brain plasticity, Rossi examines how “Art, beauty (Beauty), and truth lead to gene expression, giving rise to new proteins and new connections in the brain.” PROGRAM OVERVIEW ~ Getting Unstuck ~ Creative Healing Approaches A. Therapy Assumptions • Therapy is a creative endeavor. • Client problems are ineffective adaptations. • Solutions lie within the client. ! • Positive outcomes require creative thinking by counselor and the client. B. Change Assumptions! • Therapy is the process of learning; a.k.a. - changing the mind. • Learning requires the development of new neuropathways. • Unfamiliar (novel) information stimulates new genes, cells, and neuropathways, which incites learning. • The growth potential exists so long as the brain is alive. • Learning is enhanced when it is multimodal, collaborative, and embodied. I. Expressive Therapies • What Do They Have In Common? ! ! Words to Remember  Contemplative  Unusual & Unexpected  Experiential & Embodied ! ! ! • What is Creativity Anyhow?  Imaginative! ! ! ! ! !  Novel  Original & Unique  Resourceful II. Something Known – Something Unknown ! • Left Brain Knowing – A frog is a frog is a frog. • The Sign Mind ! ! ! Labels Things  Logical Linear Practiced – Rule Bound  Knows language • Right Brain Learning – Do you know what this is? ! ! • The Design Mind  Simultaneous  Constructs Patterns – Recognizes gestalt  Deals with complexity  Interprets unknown, unrecognized information  Concepts without languages ! • Split Brain Research & The Corpus Callosum ! ! ! ! ! ! ! • You Put Your Whole Brain In  Orchestration of Two Separate Brains - Design Mind & Sign Ming  Teamwork Between Logic & Emotion Partnership Of Left & Right Hemisphere ! ! ! Accesses Right Hemisphere & Alpha Brain Waves Day Dreaming Searching Gestalt & Memory Concept Formation Info Stored for Later Idea Image Takes Passed Over New Idea Takes Shape Conversation With Left Hemisphere New Learned Behavior or Concept III. Favorable Conditions For Growth & Learning ! • A - HA Moments – Synaptic Connection ! ! • Quiet Mind ! • Ambiguity & The Associative Human Mind • Brain Wave Activity – Gamma, Beta, Alpha, Theta, Delta ! • Contemplative Activity Activates Alpha Brain Waves ! ! • What Spawns The Contemplative ?  ambiguity  imagery  metaphor  rhythm  music ! ! • Novelty Activates - Right Brain (Alpha Brain Waves) ! • Truth, Art, & Beauty Awaken & Feed The Mind. IV.Expressive Therapy and Creative Homework (see related handout)!! A Sampling of Expressive Therapy (Contemplative & Experiental)!  Art /PhotoTherapy  Movement/Dance Therapy  Play, Puppets, Drama, Psychodrama Therapy  Music Therapy  Poetry Therapy/Narrative Therapy  Hypnotherapy/Guided Imagery  Gestalt  Experiential/Active Metaphor V. Therapist Development! ! ! ! ! Cultivate Your Creative Energy!  Develop Your “right mind.”  Take time for art, beauty, truth & novelty.  Learn to take risks – Rollo May “The Courage to Create.”  Commit to experiential sessions: Embrace spontaneous possibilities.  Recognize the creative impulses in your clients – Play to them. Play with them.! ! Wave Frequency Associated Mental State Beta 12hz - 38hz Wide awake. This is generally the mental state most people are in during the day and most of their waking lives. Usually, this state in itself is uneventful, but don't underestimate its importance. Many people lack sufficient Beta activity, which can cause mental or emotional disorders such as depression, ADD and insomnia. Stimulating Beta activity can improve emotional stability, energy levels, attentiveness and concentration. Alpha 8hz - 12hz Awake but relaxed and not processing much information. When you get up in the morning and just before sleep, you are naturally in this state. When you close your eyes your brain automatically starts producing more Alpha waves. Alpha is usually the goal of experienced meditators, but to enter it using NP2 is incredibly easy. Since Alpha is a very receptive, absorbent mental state, you can also use it for effective self-hypnosis, mental re-programming, accelerated learning and more. Theta 3hz - 8hz Light sleep or extreme relaxation. Theta can also be used for hypnosis, accelerated learning and self-programming using pre-recorded suggestions. Delta 0.2hz - 3hz Deep, dreamless sleep. Delta is the slowest band of brainwaves. When your dominant brainwave is Delta, your body is healing itself and "resetting" its internal clocks. You do not dream in this state and are completely unconscious. Therapeutic Continuity Expressive Homework Ideas Creative Therapy Some Possible Themes Examples of Homework Art Sketches & Doodles Themes: Discovery. Solutions, Self-Awareness, Creative Energy • Portrait of the Real Me. • Sketches From My Future. • Overcoming The Demon. Collage Themes: Discovery. Solutions, Self-Awareness, Creative Energy • Images of Self. • Childhood Dreams. • Smiles. Photography Taking Photos Existing Photo Albums Themes: Discovery, Memory, Appreciation of Nature & Beauty, Creative Energy • Images of Light or Beauty. • Children at Play. • Moments of Joy-present or historic. Movement Organized Fitness Classes Yoga Tai Chi, Qigong Themes: Self-confidence, Self & Body-Awareness, Fitness, Socialization, Concentration. • Sample classes to find a good fit. • Practice yoga, tai chi etc. at home. Dance & Rhythm Organized Classes Practice & Play at Home Themes: Self-confidence, Self & Body-Awareness, Fitness, Socialization, Concentration. • Sign up for a class. • Dance With the Broom. • Drumming. Music & Rhythm Listen, Participate, Write Music Themes: Self-confidence, Self Awareness, Voice & Personal Expression, Socialization, • Sing in the Shower. • Join a choir, chorus. • Discover lyrics that speak to you. Poetry Read, Write, Respond To Poems Themes: Growth, Development, Overcoming Hardship & Grief. Personal & Creative Expression. • Ten Poems To Change Your Life (Roger Housden, 2001.) • Write List Poems:“I Say Yes to . . .” • “Multitude of Gratitude.” Bibliotherapy & Cinematherapy Reading Articles or Books, Watching Videos or Film Themes: Growth, Development, Overcoming Hardship & Grief, Understand Human Experiences Watch “Field Of Dreams.” • Read Ordinary People. (J. Guest) • Self - Help Article or Book. Journaling & Creative Writing Train of Thought Writing (free) Unsent Letters, Lists, Dialogues Themes: Growth, Development, Overcoming Hardship & Grief. Personal & Creative Expression • The Artist’s Way (Julia Cameron.) • Journal To The Self (Adams.) • “One Time I Found My Way.” •“Ten Things I Can Do Today.” Active Metaphors Embodied Learning Sculpting Themes: Growth, Overcoming Doubt, Fear, or Guilt. Empowerment, Extinguish or Practice a Behavior, Embody A Positive Attribute. • Burning “Old Tapes.” • Plant Seeds • Coin-Toss Walk (coin determines the route.) • Collect Symbols of Identity. • Give a Gift Each Day Psychodrama Fantasy Roles Themes: Family Therapy, Self- Awareness, Empowerment, Empathy, Spontaneity, Personal Expression. • Make a Mask – try wearing it. • Pretend you are brave today. • Join an Improv group. Play Therapy & Sandtray Miniatures - Costumes Puppets - Games Themes: Empowerment, Self- Awareness, Healing Crisis & Trauma, Communication • Solve arguments with foam swords. • Create Shadow-Box Solutions. • Draw pictures of empowering play. Hypnotherapy Guided Imagery Relaxation Themes: Overcoming Anxiety & Phobias, Physical & Emotional Well-Being, Habit Control • Recorded Session of Guided Visualization or Muscle Relaxation. • Meditation. • Yoga Nedra & Qigong Practice. Note: Sample Themes are limited by space. Expressive Therapies work with a multitude of issues. Who ever said that expressing feelings makes us weak? Who said it is best to keep problems to yourself? When did we start believing that “acting strong” is a virtue? The Truth Suppressed negative emotions, like toxic waste, erode mental and physical health. Feelings – good or bad – are a normal part of living. Expressing troublesome emotions opens the door to relief. James Pennebaker1 has conducted extensive research into the value of expressing emotions after trauma. Keeping it in yields recurrent unwanted thoughts, higher levels of anxiety and depression, insomnia, and a variety of health problems. Pennebaker’s researchers measured blood pressure, pulse, white blood count, and reported illness before and after writing about painful experiences and troubling emotions. The studies follow subjects for 6 months after they write for 20 minutes on two consecutive days. Pennebaker found that writers who experienced traumas, including those who committed crime, received powerful physical and psychological benefits from Opening Up. In a similar vein, the researchers discovered that people suffer more health problems when they fail to express their emotional pain and sadness when grieving a loved one. Those who talked (or wrote) about the death experienced fewer health concerns. These studies help us understand the connections between emotional distress and health. Writing about trauma reduces trauma’s stress on physical and emotional health systems. Similarly journaling about personal secrets removes the shame from those secrets. The process of writing helps make sense of negative life events. Pennebaker outlines a writing protocol to encourage physical and mental healing.