approaching therapy

musings as they come, and as they evolve …

Archive for the ‘neuroscience’ Category

anger deconstructed

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Some views on anger

Needs and Thoughts
From NVC – Nonviolent Communication: If there’s a “should” in your head, there will be anger in your heart.
It relates to unmet needs, and thinking. Both components. Thinking something SHOULD be different than how it is. And anger is an overlay feeling. There’s always another feeling right underneath, along for the ride. I can think of three: frustration, fear, and hurt.

Rising Up
From The Anger Trap, by Les Carter: It’s self preservation. It’s like a way to rise up when feeling one-down. Like a defensive maneuver.

Emotional Tipping Point
From IFS – Internal Family Systems, by Richard Schwartz: It’s a Protector, that comes into play when the emotions are overwhelmed. Our managers are usually at work keeping things under control and in line, but when the emotional brain is activated and emotional equilibrium is lost, the fire fighter comes in. All to protect the vulnerable self. The hurt one.


Written by David

November 30th, 2012 at 11:33 pm


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This, from Tara Brach, via, The National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine

Compassion might be the most crucial element in healing.

What’s really going on therapy: The therapist is simply mirroring someone’s goodness to free him or her from the trance of unworthiness.

I have never heard it expressed that way, and I like it. The trance. The presumption that there’s nothing wrong with someone, except their belief that there’s something wrong. And then, one day, they wake up.


Written by David

November 30th, 2012 at 11:24 pm

the new empathy

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According to Pat Love, it turns out that there are two empathic systems in the brain.

See this short video link:

One is the MNS – Mirror Neuron System
This is what we think of as the classic empathic system – which enables one person to feel what another is feeling.
It’s like compassionate presence.

But there’s another system – the TPJ – Temperoparietal Junction System
According to Pat, that part of the brain is just as empathic, but responds with analysis and troubleshooting to fix the problem, to alleviate the pain as quickly as possible.

Most women use the MNS and appreciate that, and most men use the TPJ.
Sometimes people want compassion and not troubleshooting.
In fact, sometimes the troubleshooting misses the target, so to speak, and makes things worse.
It’s one of those many (!) things people tend to do that ends up being counter to someone’s needs for empathy.

That’s unfortunate!


Written by David

May 20th, 2012 at 11:40 am