Second Part on Pat Ogden, PhD from the S & P Summit

I wanted to complete this Pat Ogden review before more “info” comes through that I feel compelled to share. As mentioned in my earlier review of the summit itself, one of the patogden 5.jpgthings I liked most about some of these spiritual psychotherapy approaches was the more collaborative methods of therapy between client and therapist.  Pat Ogden was a main example of that.

Her stated belief was that you must trust your client’s inner wisdom (which the client may not be overtly aware of) to desire to heal non-harmonious aspects of themselves, so there is no need to push or force change with the client. You simply allow what needs to change to unveil itself as you work together. But you need to create a safe-haven (a safe and comfortable environment) for the work to unfold.

She believed in the principles of mindfulness and presence, meaning that mindfulness is an actual state of consciousness—where the observer and the observed are united within that state of mind; while presence is a state of beingness.

Being mindful is the ability to focus awareness within and outside the person all at same time, which is desirable at times, but it actually prevents you from being fully present in the body.  Mindfulness may be more the out-of-body experience while being present, is being well-grounded and right here, right now.

traumainterventions.jpgOgden’s work is a unity-focused therapy of client and therapist working together for better client outcomes.  She uses language reflective of the intention of unity— lak’ech-“I am another you.”   It’s a collaborative language of “we”ness in the client’s discovery process where you give the client an option, a say in what they will do together to help the client.  Frame it for them in ways that are easy to understand, and then give them the chance to say yes or no, let’s pursue that suggested exploration or let’s wait a week or so before we do.

Her focus is on holism. Her Sensorimotor Psychotherapy goal is to harness the wisdom of the body to liberate human potential, and the body holds tremendous potential for sensoimotor psy.jpgwisdom. She simply says to honor the intelligence of the body. Watch how a client is presenting herself.  What is the body language stating that the spoken words are not? Hunched shoulders means she is holding fear….so ask about that body message you are seeing.  “Why are you sitting so scrunched together? Are you hiding within yourself or unconsciously defending yourself from something you perceive around you?…Is there something you are afraid of—something you fear about this situation or about exploring those memories? Let’s get it out and look at it. Let’s see if it truly is threatening or just seemed that way for awhile.” (paraphrased)

She says one of the greatest gifts you can ever give is helping the client discover important things about themselves—what is meaningful to them.  Her goal is to help reveal the client to themselves—it’s all about self-discovery.

Ogden avoids diagnosis of a client and especially labeling them with a disorder because they too readily identify with the diagnosis and then become it.  Her stated example was Dissociative Identity Disorder…. It may not be a good thing to call someone this. It limits them—limits how they perceive themselves.

She believes in non-violent approaches. Don’t try to force a client toward an outcome. They resist and it may not be the right outcome anyway. Try another way if possible—make it more exploratory.  A lot of this involves more “undoing” bodypatternsthan doing—unlearning old ways of thinking and being, to allow new ones to emerge.

In her practice mindfulness is a critical skill that supports our way of being, and supports the importance of presence.  When we are focused on our bodies by using our minds to assess what we are feeling in the moment, and when we examine how we are executing the actions that we take in our lives, it establishes the principle of self-engagement. These are all building blocks of the “being present” experience.

Teaching clients how to pay attention to their own bodies and to learn to recognize their own body cues is important for recognizing what the body is telling them it actually needs for optimum mental and physical health. The client might misinterpret a current situation as to whether or not it is threatening, so you look for the natural body cues as to what their body, not their mind, is saying about it?bodyleadsushome.jpg

Helping clients look for their own body-reactions in situations helps them learn what is really happening to them as opposed to what is simply being triggered by a childhood memory, etc.   How we organize our experience—those earliest patterns of inner organization—are often how we first see a situation; and it starts with how we felt about a similar situation in our childhood—like whether or not we felt helplessness or fearfulness in that similar situation.

She believes that if we go in deeply enough to the inner depths of the client, the client’s natural higher consciousness will spontaneously reorganize them toward health.  Uncovering what is emotionally hiding within the client and preventing them from realizing their wholeness allows them to self-reveal and then to self-heal.

She simply becomes a container for love for the client—holding them in acceptance and process until their health is revealed.po7.jpg

Interesting lady, Pat Ogden. Good interview.

Thanks Sounds True for this psychotherapy/spirituality summit.

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Some Comments on Pat Ogden, PhD, from the “S & P Summit”

After reviewing some of my notes taken from that Psychotherapy patogdan.jpgand Spirituality Summit last month, I wanted to highlight Pat Ogden’s approach to treating clients as one that was holistically attractive for many reasons.

I’m not a psychologist, so much of the content and many of the references that these presenters were describing were new to me. Evidently one big influence on Pat Ogden’s professional life was Ron Kurtz who was the pioneer behind the Hakomi method of therapy.

This method sounded so similar to the spiritual approach that on some level of your being, your body/mind/spirit knows what it needs and is working hard to bring that need to your conscious attention—you simply have to listen and allow it to show you what would help to reorganize your health.

ronkurtz.jpgSo here is more information on Ron Kurtz and the Hakomi method:

( http://www.psychotherapy.net/interview/ron-kurtz-hakomi-therapy )

“Ron Kurtz:  Hakomi uses several particular, unique approaches to helping people study themselves.

We believe–or I believe, anyway–that self-study, as it’s practiced even in the East, is about reducing the unnecessary suffering that comes from not knowing who you really are. In fact, Hakomi means, “Who are you?” So, the way we do it is to establish a safe relationship–a “bubble,” we sometimes call it–within which the therapist helps the client feel comfortable, safe, and cared for.

Serge Prengel (the interviewer): So it’s really “Who are you?” in the sense of how you organize your experience.

RK: Yes, and how you do it unconsciously, automatically—things that go on, as John Lennon would say, while you’re doing something else. There are wonderful new books about the adaptive unconscious, and that’s an essential part of my thinking.

SP: That most of the processes happen unconsciously, and that there’s a reason behind that.

RK: Yes. There’s usually a habit that was learned as an adaptation to a situation, and these habits are not necessarily verbalized or even made aware; we have to bring them into consciousness.

SP: So that’s very much related to that notion that Hakomi is about, “Who are you?” And by creating the experiment, you give the person a chance to actually realize the belief that they carry inside.

RK: Sometimes they call it “self-discovery.” Assisted self-discovery–that’s how I like to think of it.

SP: That’s a very different approach from the more medical-oriented model of pathology.

RK: Yes, it’s totally not a pathological model. It’s a model of, “You want to study yourself? I’ll help you.”

Here’s a YouTube of Kurtz explaining it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=11&v=rcRda7-tsXU

***

I guess my comment on this Hakomi method is that it reminded me of the NLP approach coretransform.jpgchampioned by the Andreas (Connirae, Tamara and Steve) called “Core Transformation” where the NLPer takes a client deeper and deeper into what his body says would make him reach a Core State, such as to feel at peace, or to feel loved, or to feel okay, or to feel a sense of oneness with all.

It involves digging layer by layer into the question “What would make you feel closer to this desired state” as they explore the client’s present undesired feeling as opposed to unrealized but desired feeling that would improve the client’s life.  It’s a bit like peeling an onion down to its core point and then doing “soul-parts recovery and reintegration” for the client, which another technique frequently used in hypnosis, NLP, and shamanic healing.

And it’s also far too complicated a process to elaborate on further now, but basically it involves listening more fully and closely to your own body and mind telling you what it really needs and wants in your life to improve your health condition—mentally or physically, or both.makeyoufeel.jpg

So overall, the therapist’s focus is less about the standard clichéd line of: “How does that make you feel?” and more along the line of: “How do you WANT to feel, and what would you need to do or to receive, to feel that way?”

Anyway, my notes on Ogden extended beyond the Kurtz reference, but I’ll have to do it in parts or this will go way too long. But overall, I was impressed with Ogden’s presentation and hoped that others would study her approach to more holistic therapy.

Energy Shifts Now

lee harris 3.jpg

Lee Harris just did a John Burgos interview talking about the energy shifts that we all are experiencing now. I like his psychic intuitive aspect—it feels very harmonious with my sensing abilities.

Lee claims that manifesting your desires is a bit harder at present with these massive upgrades shifting us higher. We are changing so fast that what we create in our lives is having trouble aligning with our fast-shifting personal vibes—it’s like a focusing problem—a frequency discrepancy that is almost auto-correcting our actual needs to be more focused on the moment or being more ready for the future us that we are growing into who is less materially anchored to the old patterns of this world.headshot.jpg

He says there are greater differences in our lower and higher self now—more emotional energy in the lower of course, but the inner discord is really becoming pronounced because of the collective disharmonies and disruption. It’s time to step back and allow yourself to feel what you are feeling but recognize that the energy of that situation is a clearing of sorts for you. That energy needs release—it needs resolution—it needs to simply go because it can’t rise along with our higher-frequency selves as we raise our personal vibration to match the higher-frequency person we are becoming.

An example: For me, patience is a problem, as is tolerance of other’s behaviors that I find irritating or offensive—including my own. Lately I’m constantly trying to not-react.  My temper is tied to my ego’s importance—I do understand this and am continually pulling myself back from reactive mini explosions.  But in doing so, I know there is a caution to not stuff the anger energy as that creates resentment and festering wounds that later explode with far more devastation than the mini eruption might have originally.

Now is a time for self-observation, assessment, acknowledgment of the moment’s feelings, and release of the reactive energies that no longer serve us. And like the Dr. neural pathways.jpgJoe’s Ted Talk explanation from a couple posts ago, when you can do that you create the brain’s new neural pathways of action to move toward who you wish to be—more compassionate, more tolerant, more loving and less judgmental.

As a longtime energy worker (REIKI), I can say that stuck energies create all kinds of mental, emotional and even physical problems for people. Karmically stuck energies can last lifetimes because it attaches to your outer energy matrix which is your personal pattern of earth incarnations that provide you with the very attracting situations necessary to release that stuck karmic energy.

With hypnosis, I take clients into past-life experiences to explore the original wounds in a previous life that are creating the present life problems they are having such difficulty pastlife 6.jpgresolving, so I’m speaking from many levels of professional experience here—energy worker/hypnotist/intuitive.  I’ve personally seen it for myself—I’ve been there with the client guiding them through those situations.

First and foremost, we are beings of energy. For the earth-based experience that overall energy solidifies into a material vehicle that carries and “acts-out” this energetic pattern that defines us. At present, there is so much of our life experience as energy beings that can’t definitively be explained—much of the experience we have glimpses of but have trouble fully understanding—and some explanations we speculate on depending on our own professional focus. That’s why there are so many different treatment methods to try to help people with their various problems.

whatyouthinkis.jpgEverything in our life experience is a matter of perspective and approach—what you see—what you believe to be true—often is. That’s why I keep repeating that what you think, IS, because we create our own life experiences—we create the very tests this earth-based vehicle needs to work through our own energy issues—our own karmic debts and energy disharmonies, because we learn by doing.

The hard part is in recognizing that marvelous learning opportunity at the time, because it isn’t usually a pleasant experience when a “learning situation” explodes in our faces—especially ones that we have created for ourselves.

Yes. … (Long sigh.) …Mea culpa.

Metacognition with Dr. Dispenza on Ted Talk

Joe tedtalk.jpgThis morning I saw Dr. Joe Dispenza’s Ted Talk presentation on neuroplasticity and rewiring our brains (cortical remapping) to change our behaviors. I think it was called “Thinking to Doing to Being.” (The location is: https://www.facebook.com/DrJoeDispenzaOfficialNewsFanPage/videos/2122965437728839/  )

Because I have previously commented on this aspect of “Whatever you think, IS—so change your thinking to reflect what you want” I’ll include the link if anyone wants to see it, and I’ll make a few more comments per Dr. Dispenza’s TT advice.

He began by explaining the functions of the 3 main parts of the brain: the neocortex3 parts of brain.jpg (the thinking brain), the limbic (mammalian/emotions/feeling) brain, and the cerebellum (the subconscious/reptilian) brain.  When all parts are functioning optimally and are in coordination with each other, we are in optimal mental health and can direct the course of our lives as we wish.

However, when what we think and what we feel are out of line with each other—like when a disturbing memory association and corresponding body reaction because of it counters our intentions to better control our present-day actions, then we feel we have no control over our lives—we automatically react to everything around us. We become stressed, we lose our temper, we act fearful for no visible reason, etc., and then we tend to blame others for our inability to control ourselves.

brain neuropla.jpgBut humans have an amazing ability to actually observe our thinking/acting processes. It is called metacognition—we can become consciously aware of ourselves and our reactions to life through observation—by pulling back to watch how our mind and our body are trying to take us in a direction we really don’t want to go, and then tracing the behavior back to the trigger point that created the reaction.  When we go into observation mode we can simply watch ourselves being WHO we are being—watch how we are reacting to the stimuli before us—even observe our thoughts at the moment to see what we are automatically thinking when a trigger subject arises. It is self-observation and reassessment before automatic reaction.

The importance of this is that in the ability to simply observe ourselves through metacognition, we then have the opportunity to change our previously-patterned behavior.

Dr. Dispenza went into depth on when you maintain the observer of how you are reacting stance rather than automatically react, you change the neuron-firing patterns of your brain’s neocortex enough so that you actually disrupt the limbic brain’s emotion-charged, chemical reactions to the same subject matter. By doing this you are diffusing the chemical effect that it would normally have on your endocrine system which controls the specific chemicals released into your blood stream like the hormone cortisol from the adrenal glands that triggers our natural fight-or-flight response.create your future.jpg

Auto-reactions are carefully created neuropathways in the brain established by patterns of reaction and behavior. “Circuits that fire together, wire together,” he says. “So change your thinking, and you can change your body’s reaction to your environment.”

When you can shift to observer/non-reactive mode and choose how you wish to respond to a situation, you begin to biologically breakdown the old circuits earlier created in your brain that were connected to your old way of reacting to life stressors.  This makes your brain neurons start firing in new sequences and new patterns so that what once might have sparked a stress reactor in you, now is recognized as a trigger that you no longer will allow to affect you in the same way. You’ve taken control of how you think about the situation.

I’ll paraphrase him a bit here: “Nerve cells that fire together—wire together. Think new thoughts and you change your brain’s wiring patterns. This is how you change patterns of behavior—you start by thinking new thoughts and recognizing automatic stress triggers that previously might have adversely affected your body. By thinking about the situation in a less-reactive way—less emotional attachment to the situation, you can establish a new pattern of thought and a new pattern of behavior.”

“Knowledge is for the mind, but experience is for the body.  When you change a pattern of thought over time, you change the pattern of your body’s reaction to those thoughts.  The mind is primarily the neocortex of the brain, where as the emotions and body reactions are feelwhatyouthink.jpggoverned by the limbic (mammalian) brain which sends out the signals for the endocrine’s reaction and corresponding chemical release into the bloodstream to provide the body with additional reaction abilities. To change your body’s behavior, you neuro-chemically condition the body to accept the new behavior or new reaction.  With repetition, new circuits are created and the brain creates new pathways for more calmly dealing with a once-stressful situation.”

The third brain, the cerebellum or the reptilian brain, is the automatic reaction for protection and preservation of the body.  When you establish solid connections between the neocortex and the limbic brains, and develop new patterns of established behavior and reactability, then the cerebellum (the seat of your subconscious mind) can adopt it as the natural reactive pattern—it becomes the new habit, the new second-nature, the new go-to skill.  This becomes innate—it becomes your new way of being.”

“The way we transform the world, is to transform ourselves.”joe destiny

And there you have it.

I liked the last statement best, paraphrased as: “If you want a more compassionate world, then train yourself to react with compassion rather than anger to a situation not of your liking.”

He’s worth hearing.

Why Hear the “Psychotherapy and Spirituality Summit”

I watched/listened to the online conference listed above for 10 days.psych-spirit-final_1.png There were a total of 30 individual one-hour-plus sessions provided by 30 different presenters.

To untrained me who loves seeing the integration of both subjects into this unified psycho-spiritual approach to helping people, I think this methodology is extremely important in evolving psychotherapy for clients: to focus on ourselves as Spiritual beings simply trying to make sense of the world around us while determining our working relationship to it, to ourselves, and to each other.

There were some excellent speakers/practitioners participating in this summit; and the 30 individual sessions were totally worth hearing for those dedicated to listening within the allotted 24-hour, free-listening option, but I personally would not pay $300 for the DVD set, although some folks might. If you are interested, here it is: ( https://www.soundstrue.com/store/psychotherapy-and-spirituality-summit?sq=1&utm_source=bronto&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=C171108-PASParticipant10&utm_content=Welcome+to+Day+10+of+The+Psychotherapy+and+Spirituality+Summit#jumplink-buy )

Screenshot2017103021.27.01However, after listening to all of these practitioners and their own takes on how each one integrated spirituality into a psychotherapy practice, I can also personally say that there were some psychotherapists I would readily hear further in discussions or even in a personal session, and then there were some folks that I wouldn’t want to sit across from at lunch and have to listen to more than a sentence or two. Authenticity or falseness came across loud and clear with these folks in an hour-long session of them talking about what they do and how they do it.

This leads me to one point of my posting here: Not all psychotherapists are equal in spiritual depth and professional therapy skills. Those who were genuinely deep vessels of Spirit and who could relate readily to an audience and to their clients, were amazing and felt wonderfully aware, and, in my opinion, were likely helpful to a client.

Others, …well, …I couldn’t even handle listening to them for more than 10 to 15 minutes without thinking that they must be absolutely terrible with clients and simply taking a client’s money by extending session after session with little intentional progress or problem resolution for the client.  So if you are considering personal therapy, do your research into well-recommended therapists—and I’d look for client recommendations of whether or not this therapist helped the person make better sense of her life.

The second point I would like to make was: I personally liked the folks who talked about a ‘collaborative’ interaction allowing the client and therapist to work together to determine the healing direction for that person, rather than those therapists who acted more rigid and maintained an authoritarian relationship to their client.

A therapist’s job should be to help the client discover how best to help themselves, and many presenters taught clients self-empowerment as a major aspect of their sessions. Some folks actually stated that was their goal—to teach the client how to constructively frame life for themselves for future reference.

The Sounds True producer and moderator, Tami Simon, was great. She asked pertinent follow-up questions, pulled the more spacey folks back to reality and tried to get specifics about what they were explaining and HOW that approach applied to a psychotherapy practice—made each one elaborate and provide anecdotal evidence on how this approach actually helped their clients.p&s summit2.jpg

There were many approaches to these two main subjects of integrating psychotherapy and spirituality with differing techniques pertaining to how each therapist conducts their own practice. Every therapist was unique in some way from the others—and some were quite radical in their approach to helping a client, and even in how they framed the therapy experience for the client.

Overall, I felt it was enlightening to hear so many different takes on what makes a person human and how that humanness is to be explored and assisted in today’s world. To me the layperson, integrating spirituality into psychotherapy is recognition of our wholeness as soul-based incarnations on this often chaotic planet, and I feel this is a very good direction for the future of psychology in general.

(Hint for the future in my blog: I needed to mention the summit itself first, to then post additional subjects pertaining to those individual summit sessions in the near future.)

The Couples Counselor

One day, the constantly-bickering Beebo and Boopikins decided that there was only one thing left to try before going their separate ways: couples counseling. So the sleek and fastidious Boopikins made the appointment marriage_counselor_all_alike_246055for them because if she had left it up to Beebo to do, it would never have been done.

In his defense, it wasn’t that Beebo didn’t want to make the appointment. It’s just that there were so many distractions in his life (squirrels, cars, and annoying kids) that he just couldn’t keep his focus long enough to remember to do it.

So the following week, they arrived together at the appointed time, and entered the counselor’s office with Boopikins coolly sauntering in first, and of course, that left Beebo trailing behind.

Boopikins immediately scanned the therapist’s messy room for possible items of interest to her before settling into the soft, cushy side-chair; while Beebo simply plopped down beside the other chair, with his muzzle on his paws.

The counselor, a middle-aged man of sizable girth with low-slung reading glasses saddled above his nostrils, welcomed them both and introduced himself as Mr. Mahler. He told them how happy he was to provide a controlled setting to discuss these “lingering disagreements” that they were experiencing between them; and if allowed, he would guide them in feeling comfortable enough to express what was really on their minds.Dog and cat on white background

Boopikins nodded with nose to the air catching the scent of Mr. Mahler’s corned beef lunch-breath; while Beebo sighed heavily. He knew where a crotch-sniffing-greeting would get him—a lightning-fast scratch on the nose from Boopikins for embarrassing them both, so he might as well just lie there and pass wind—one way or another.

“So, Ms. Boopikins,” the counselor began slowly then cleared his throat before continuing, “ah-h-h ….would you like to start the discussion by telling us what bothers you the most about Mr. Beebo?”

It was always wise to start with the female, as she would be the most anxious to be heard—REALLY heard by someone—anyone. Boopikins, gave a quick tail-flick which in cat body-language meant, “Of course, I’d be the first to start. I’m the one who has to put up with all of his …..WAYS!” And she wailed out a long “Yee-o-o-w-w-w.” (Have you ever noticed that cats never really say, “Meow”? They always say “Yeow.”)

Mr. Mahler nodded, wrote a few words on the legal pad in front of him, and said to Boopikins, “Is there more, or can we ask Mr. Beebo how he’d like to respond to that?”

An uninterested Boopikins yawned at him. This man was as boring as most men were. Same story, just a different day.

Mr. Mahler evidently understood “CAT,” and took that lack of interest as it was intended: “Like whatever, man…I could care less what you do.” So he bent far over his desk, with belly sliding atop it, and asked Beebo lying on the floor: “Would you like to respond to that ‘Yeow’ Mr. Beebo?”dogs and cats image

Beebo, seeing that suddenly everyone’s attention was on him—or at least Mr. Mahler’s attention was, began to pant open-mouthed, drooling a bit on the rug, and kind of grunted out a “boof.” (And dogs don’t “ruff” either.)

Then Beebo looked over to Boopikins, the love of his life who he could never understand in a million years—Boopikins, who was intently watching a pigeon prancing on the outside window sill of the counselor’s office. And seeing that once again, he couldn’t hold her attention even while at the therapist, he sighed heavily and dropped his muzzle back onto his hairy paws.

The counselor nodded, and wrote a few more words on his notepad before taking off his nose glasses to use as a flailing pointer between the differing pair before him.

“It’s unfortunate,” he began then deliberately paused for full effect, because that’s what counselors do—they pause for that dramatic impact. “Yes, I’ve seen this many times before, and I’m afraid it’s happening here between you two. The differences are too great, and the similarities are too few. I’m sorry. I think you’d be better off going your separate ways.”

Beebo lifted his head, hearing the dreaded words he feared the most—rejection and a tinge of sadness in the man’s voice. It was over. All done. They would part ways and never again would he sleep beside her on the cold floor while she claimed his dog pillow as her own. He was devastated. He slowly looked over to Boopikins who by now was preening her satiny fur, since she had all this down time and a soft chair to sit in, and the man was clearly as dumb as the stupid dog that she lived with, so why should she pay any attention to what he said anyway. If she wanted to keep that dumb dog around just to have something to annoy, she would. So there!

cat_and_dog_23And with that thought, she jumped down from the chair, teasingly bopped Beebo on the nose on the way by him, and invited him to chase her out. He jumped to his feet and off they dashed, back home together, to live unharmoniously ever after.

Moral to therapists: You never tell a cat what to do. You should know that by now Mr. Mahler.

Or …perhaps you already do!   Bravo sir!