Diagrams on Extreme Mental States

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If “schizophrenia” and “bipolar disorder” and such are not real “biologically based brain disorders” or “biochemical imbalances” then what does account for the difficult experiences and problems that …

If “schizophrenia” and “bipolar disorder” and such are not real “biologically based brain disorders” or “biochemical imbalances” then what does account for the difficult experiences and problems that get people these sorts of labels?
One way of explaining them is as imbalances, though not necessarily “biochemically based” imbalances. (That isn’t to say biochemistry isn’t involved, since as living beings our bodies and brains function through biochemistry.) Instead, the idea is that in responding to life events, some of which may be difficult or overwhelming, our mind can go to extremes of one kind or another, and lose its balance. It can then be difficult, though not impossible, to get back to balance.
Obviously traumatic experience is the most obvious example of this. To get through a traumatic situation, people go to extremes of fight, flight, freeze, and/or submit, in order to survive. The very thing we do to survive may also threaten our wellbeing, so later we might go to an opposite extreme to protect ourselves from the first extreme. Pretty soon, we may feel crazy, and fear that we might be crazy drives us, and often the people around us, to even more extremes. Vicious circles are created.
“Flipping” from one extreme to another is pretty obvious in “bipolar disorder” as people go from very excited to very depressed and lethargic, etc. It isn’t so obvious in “schizophrenia” as the people with these labels often manifest two extremes at once, or they identify as one extreme while fearing persecution by another extreme that manifests as a “voice,” or some other combination. And things get more confused when mental health professionals label extreme versions of normal mental states as pathological, rather than understandable.
I believe the most humanistic way of looking at “mad” mental states is to see them as extreme versions of everyday mental states. When people look at them that way, they can see that they are not so different from other people, and that they do have the option of moderating their extreme states, of finding a middle ground, to come back to the world shared by others.
Of course, it isn’t always as simple as a need to move toward “balance.” Living creatures are not meant to be perfectly balanced; instead, as complexity scientists tell us, life happens “far from equilibrium,” or as a “balance between balance and imbalance.” We are moving systems, and total balance would mean perfect stillness, not a property associated with life! This means that people’s extreme states may also at times have something to contribute, and not just be a problem. So sometimes it is normality that is the problem, and being “more extreme” is actually wise or helpful in a given situation.
I have spent some time mapping out some of the issues people go out of balance around, and identifying what a middle ground might be. I have put many of these issues into a PowerPoint display, which is available here. I have found it helpful with people to just identify these issues (which are issues we all face) and help people see where they have been going to one extreme or the other, and to help them see they also have the option of trying out the middle ground. Because often when people are “freaked out” they and others around them can’t identify that option.
I think people are healthiest when they see themselves as having options, from the extremes to the middle, and they can pick what best seems to fit a situation. I hope the ideas I am presenting here will help some of you see more options, for yourselves and for those you help. There’s a lot more I could say about all this, so much so that I may write a book around this someday.

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  • 1. Mindfulness: Giving in to, or Fight or flight: appeasing, the being aware of voices: the voices but not arguing with feeling compelled voices or Submitting to running from to believe or act voice them, such as any particular commands, through way because of passively distraction them. believing statements by voices, etc.
  • 2. Notice dangers Picture world Picture world that are as good and as dangerous, prominent but positive, also possible so that one to comfort self areas of safety. won’t be and feel overwhelmed Try to picture relaxed. by any risks world accurately in regards to that weren’t safety versus anticipated danger.
  • 3. The trauma or Block out the The trauma or stress is trauma or stress accepted as part distress… intrudes into of the story: it just doesn’t everything: but the story is exist…numb. it seems to be still ongoing and is free to move in happening right positive now and is directions overwhelming
  • 4. I can check in I think or feel My thoughts with myself and it: and feelings with others, and – therefore it is make a are unreliable: true, even if conclusion and others everyone else based on what I offer so many says it isn’t. notice: different If I find later there opinions – is a problem with there is no way my decision, I will to decide what change my mind. is true.
  • 5. I can work Try Too Hard: Not Try: toward things If something is and see what Working worthwhile, I happens; towards things must keep leads to If the stress is too working disaster and much, I can let towards it no impossible go, at least for matter how stress, so it’s awhile, then I can much I suffer. better to give resume where I left off. up before I start.
  • 6. I negotiate my I define myself I am mentally identity with completely ill or others. My independently incompetent, I identity of others. If I cannot define emerges out of say I am myself. the mix of what I captain of a Others tell me propose and spaceship, who and how I what I do, and then I am. am. how others see what I propose and what I do.
  • 7. I negotiate my I define myself I am identity with completely completely others: independently vulnerable to of others: In general I care how others how others see see and I am me but I am not a define me: invulnerable. captive of the perspective of Often I can’t others. I decide stand to be what to make of looked at how they see me. because of what might happen to me.
  • 8. Cognitive Consumer: I Mental Health approach: let’s think or feel it, system: This share some therefore it is person is perspectives on correct. wrong and where the distress here mentally ill, may be coming therefore we from & how to must take resolve it. Each control away of us may be from her and making some decide for her. mistakes ……
  • 9. Some mix of Totally Totally autonomy and a focused on focused on sense of autonomy: belonging: belonging: self defining, has no self sometimes self others have no definition, asserting, other input or completely times relaxes and connection. defined by lets others define I am what I say self. Comfortable others. I am. intimacy with coexisting sense of independence.
  • 10. Medication I don’t need Based on decisions any your should be medication: I diagnosis, thoughtful, & dumped it all you need to should consider out this stay on possible morning. medication benefits, risks, & the possibility the rest of for reducing your life, need for despite the medication over side effects & time by learning risk of early new beliefs & death. behaviors.
  • 11. I hold beliefs My beliefs are I question all tentatively. 100% true and beliefs, even I refuse to I’m open to what most question them questioning my people take at all. beliefs, but I do for granted. so gently to avoid I always “know” It’s hard for me overwhelming my what is true. to “know” or ability to stay organized. focus on anything, because I am so uncertain.
  • 12. I am vast, I Dysfunctional Of course I contain Thought can’t control contradictions Control this, it’s not (as Walt Whitman Strategies: me doing it: said). I don’t I must control need to control these thoughts, everything that everything in my images, & happens in my mind, it’s only my impulses are mind. actions that I coming from need to focus on. the CIA or…..
  • 13. Valuing Overly valuing Fearing and spontaneity but spontaneity: resisting also sifting Whatever spontaneity: through it: my thoughts or My thoughts spontaneous impulses come and impulses thoughts and into me are true get me into impulses are part and correct trouble, I am of me, but only some of them fit “ill” and must each situation strive to be normal at all costs
  • 14. I can walk the Too much Too little edge between creativity: I creativity: To order and can see avoid getting chaos, I can innumerable caught up in consider a few ways of chaos, I must possible interpreting the choose one meanings and simplest fixed see how they fit statement….. interpretation the context, and if necessary and stick with it explore even no matter what. further…..
  • 15. I can hold on to, Too much Too little or let go of, my creativity: I try creativity: In creativity as to win my way attempting to appropriate, I back to social avoid being can find acceptability by judged for something of convincing being bizarre, I value in my others of the end up being uniqueness to value of my too flat, share with others, bizarre “negative while also letting experiences symptoms.” go of it when it and doesn’t work. interpretations
  • 16. I see myself as I believe I don’t see fundamentally something is any problems OK, but am fundamentally with myself or open to learning wrong with my views: about where I me: this leads This means my might be wrong: to negative mistakes don’t I usually catch emotions and get corrected, mistakes before over-reactions instead they they get huge. in an attempt to get correct things, compounded & which often escalate till I’m compounds in serious problems. trouble.
  • 17. Accept things Comfort self Seek peace by as belonging by assuming a allowing somewhere, but very narrow everything in: wrestle to put identity: I am I won’t them into only what is perpetuate perspective; good and under internal conflict everything I control, that by trying to experience is part other nasty stuff reject any of me, but I is not me. thoughts, continually sort out what is most feelings or helpful in a given impulses as moment inappropriate
  • 18. Coexistence of No rationality Too many some rational or comparisons or thinking with comparisons: too much irrational A thought, spontaneity: rationality: perception, or No ability to Can compare experience is decide, relax, or things rationally just taken as enjoy, because but also has perfect in itself, endless enough of the without comparisons, spark of comparisons or endless second imbalance to cut rational guessing, etc. off comparison & criticism. move forward.
  • 19. Some ability to Experiential Emotional practice Avoidance: reasoning or mindfulness; Attempts are fusion: Willingness to made to not Emotions and experience have thoughts, other mental whatever is in emotions, content is just one’s mind, but impulses, taken as true in also able to perceptions etc. itself, and disengage from it which are allowed to and see other evaluated as determine the perspectives. “bad.” person’s direction, without rational criticism.
  • 20. All things in I must go to an I must always moderation, extreme to be be moderate: including safe and/or Being extreme in moderation: It is correct: Life is any way is a sign normal to be extreme and of sickness, I extreme at times, demanding, must always be though I can also and I must be in the middle, be comfortable in extreme in always be the middle; I have response. normal. options.
  • 21. Spontaneity Totally Overwhelmed mixed with Spontaneous: by self- modest editing I think or do or self-criticism: criticism: whatever I see flaws in I value my occurs to me, everything I spontaneity but I with no pause come up with, can also step for self- nothing is good back from it and criticism. I enough. I stuff can often sort out jump to any feeling that the useful from conclusions. might lead the not. toward a conclusion.
  • 22. Willing to Inability to Complete question myself calm self, to certainty and but also able to stop worrying being decide when I or decide on a unperturbed no have questioned path: matter what: or fretted Nothing is good enough: I am completely enough, I must happy with my After what seems continue to fret thoughts and like enough endlessly. interpretations worrying or fretting, I decide even when they what to do and are out of touch. just do my best.
  • 23. Detached from Very attached Very detached, the irrelevant, to outcome, not attempting Attached to attempting to to control, not living out core control, caring caring to the values: to the point of point of self being I do my best to neglect: overwhelmed: act on my values and once I’ve I deal with I can’t let go potential done my best, I even if it’s frustration by not let go of the rest. unnecessary trying. and/or it’s killing me.
  • 24. A balance Too many Too few between focus associations: associations: and ability to I see so many make novel I see only one or possible associations: two fairly dull associations, so ways of looking I can focus in at things. many conventional Excessive focus, meanings, that ways, but also things have nothing makes break free at meaning but it is any particular times to see new narrow and kind of sense. forms of sterile. meaning.
  • 25. Depersonalized I have my feelings and Fused with - experience body reactions oneself as body reactions, but I am also and feelings: totally separate from body and more than that: I can’t do or think feelings: anything independently or in opposition to them.
  • 26. Overprotection Open to hearing criticism but Collapse under from criticism: criticism: makes own No criticism is decisions about Cannot sustain accepted, even what to make of own point of that which it: view, gives too could be very much weight to useful. Overly Can often see criticism as partly critical views. defensive. true, partly not, and use it constructively.
  • 27. Medium Low arousal: High arousal: arousal: Not thinking Black and white Making about it, thinking, distinctions and dull, applying values, extreme but also seeing reactions, passive, commonalities not making and shades of highly polarized distinctions or grey. Can make seeing an effort and then differences. let go.
  • 28. “…accept the Thinking that Letting go of things I cannot perpetuates too much: change...courage stress: to change the Person does not Person is things I can…” face or address unwilling to see problems or Person can do any problem as even bother to rational problem too difficult to think logically solving but also solve, no letting about them. “let go” of go of problems problems when even as person they are hopeless becomes or overwhelming overwhelmed.
  • 29. I can think Fixed Dissociation to through whether associations protect from associations based on trauma with the trauma trauma: associations: are relevant or For example, irrelevant in a I avoid traumatic my abuser wore given situation. over-reactions a green coat, by under- Balance between now all green reacting, but associate and coats mean then I fail to dissociate. severe threat protect myself from future threats….
  • 30. Conscious mind Conscious Conscious comfortably mind seen as mind feels shares power one’s complete demoralized with that which identity and all and powerless. is less powerful even conscious at any though it is just a fragment of given time. the whole.
  • 31. Open to input Acts only on Acts on from all feelings consciously whatever but integrates approved feelings emerge the feelings into feelings and in the moment: an overall sense avoids, blocks of values before Fuses with and out, or acting: dissociates acts on feelings others: Influenced by that are not feelings but not subject to Unstable or overwhelmed by conscious excessively them. evaluation. narrow identity.
  • 32. There is a There is no I am and will problem, but it problem: continue to be doesn’t define If anyone thinks me, and it’s the problem, I have a potentially I’m mentally ill: problem, that is temporary: I hope someone a problem with I will pay attention, gives me a pill to them. learn about it, get change me into help, and try something not different things, quite so bad. and the problem can likely be resolved.
  • 33. Relaxed Numbing: Hyperarousal: awareness: None of this Every detail is There are real matters to me, critically issues here for I’m indifferent. me, but I can deal important, I must with them in a be totally on relaxed and guard. coherent way.
  • 34. I have some I am weak, I fight others, power and stick others are bad they see me as up for myself and dangerous and successfully: dangerous: bad: Because I assert I need to watch I’m defending myself, others out for them, myself in the aren’t so bad to but there isn’t me and they don’t only way I know much I can do. see me as bad how. either.
  • 35. Self affirmation Excessive Excessive combined with aggression defending of reasonable toward self: oneself: openness to self I see myself as criticism: I see all critiques deeply flawed, of myself as Critical emotions worthless, or voices or invalid, and so I unsafe, guilty, thoughts are often block the shameful, etc. partly wrong yet emotion or voice, All my negative partly right: after or see it as emotions and all I am simply totally external voices are human. and evil. correct.
  • 36. I do what I can, I surrender to a I never then I make wise higher power, surrender to a choices about or voice, even higher power, when and how to when it or let go in any surrender or let appears to be go of the rest: way: persecutory or corrupt: I turn over power I take only to what is responsibility for Since I have no real power, I good or once I everything, even have done what I the impossible. I might as well can to create what refuse to ever surrender now is good. lower my and get it over with. expectations.
  • 37. It’s normal to be Fear of going “Sealing over,” a little crazy, but mad: don’t even I can catch Hypervigilant for things before think about signs of they get out of possible madness, hand: madness: attempts to Not stressed by If I don’t think control thoughts minor anomalies, about madness and emotions, reacts strongly but does then I won’t be effectively bothered by it. to minor challenge anomalies. dysfunctional reactions.
  • 38. Mix of literal and Excessively Excessively metaphorical metaphorical literal thinking: thinking: thinking: I can both see I fail to see Everything is connections and distinctions, and connected, and see similarities similarities, for everything is that go beyond me the world is everything else; the distinctions. divided into I’m dreaming while awake. “Particle and Wave” categories that have nothing to “Wave” do with each other. “Particle”
  • 39. I let the memory Remember so Refuse to let occur, but I have vividly it seems the memory ways of reducing to be intrude: its intensity: happening right now: I can note that I stop the reduced intensity memory from The memory is and remind myself retraumatizing so vivid I get it is just a memory me right now, retraumatized just by having it, now. but I also fail to and I still don’t integrate it so I put it in context. will run into problems with it later.
  • 40. Individuated: Cutoff: Enmeshment: I am connected to, I’m not I am totally but I am not connected at all defined by, and defined to my ….. I’m drowning in, exclusively by, Family my …. my …. Family Family Feelings Feelings Feelings Thoughts or Thoughts or Thoughts or voices voices voices Etc. Etc Etc.
  • 41. Good mix of Too intentional, Too spontaneity with too focused on spontaneous: self control: control: I can focus on My conscious I try to control mind is too important my thoughts and intentions and self passive, everything that control, but I can associations are goes on inside also let go in made in a me, I can’t even let go in order to various ways, to dreamlike way, laugh, sleep, etc. there is no order. sleep.
  • 42. Willing to have Over-valued Overly the experience experience: concerned with but put it in I see my perspective: controlling the experience as experience: I don’t need to completely true stop myself from I believe having and significant. having the the experience experience, but I can destroy me can put it into so I focus on perspective & not trying to get rid make too much of of it. it.
  • 43. I own my I am my These thoughts thoughts and thoughts or or experiences experiences, experiences: are coming though they I must control don’t define me: from my thoughts and somewhere It’s what I choose outside of me: experiences so to do with my that none of thoughts and I’m not them are evil or crazy. experiences that responsible, I’m makes me who I the victim of am. others.
  • 44. I am both self- I am I am completely determining and completely vulnerable: vulnerable: self- determining: I choose my I can’t change initiatives and anything, I have I withdraw from responses, but I no responsibility. anything that I am also I’m a victim. cannot control. vulnerable to Only that which I others and to how decide is part of what I initiate is me. received, both internally and externally.
  • 45. Be open minded Distrust any Distrust any about safety and feeling of fear or feeling danger: safety: of threat: I accept the reality Remember Remember how I of uncertainty, I times in the past question both gave in to false when safety fears and feelings alarms in the proved to be an of safety, I make past. Suppress illusion. Be on guard! as wise decisions the fear, full as I can and then speed ahead! correct course when I detect a mistake.
  • 46. I prefer to I desperately I don’t need connect with need you: you at all: you, but I make Without you I do, or find Nothing you say, am nothing. others, if you think, or feel aren’t there: means anything You mean to me. I am just something to me so independent! but I am something without you as well.
  • 47. I see everything I put everything I see the world as different in into airtight without any some sense yet categories or categories at also the same in compartments: all: some sense: Everything is I’m willing to I have no way to completely explore different organize my separate and senses, different perceptions or has nothing to do with anything ways of make any sense organizing out of them. else. It’s very information or not. orderly.
  • 48. Balance between Positive Negative under and over- Symptoms: Symptoms: reacting: Mind is over- Mind protects If I’m off balance reactive in itself by under- one way or the response to other, I quickly reacting to stress stress and lack self correct. I try or lack of control, of control, jumps but not too hard. by not trying etc. to conclusions, etc.
  • 49. I have something I am dominant: I am to say, but I also I don’t trust accept input submissive: others or what from others: I can’t trust they have to myself, and I listen to different say. I decide viewpoints, then I others have all what will do some mix of the power; I will happen, when, going along with only get hurt if I and how, without input others and oppose them. deciding my own from others. path, depending on the situation.
  • 50. I am creatively I am always I am always maladjusted: focused on maladjusted: being adjusted I can roll with to things as things as they are I totally resist they are. when that makes things as they sense, but I can are, even when I can’t change also pick a good fighting against things so I just time to make a them leads to my accept them as they are, even stand and work for self destruction meaningful and no real when they are change. change in what I rotten. don’t like.
  • 51. Healthy dialogue Creativity Spirituality between without without spirituality and Spirituality: Creativity: creativity: Metaphor is Seeing no I can come up taken as real, with metaphors, metaphor for rather than as images and words experience, no pointing at for things, but also way to express it something else beyond it. recognize that or put it into reality goes words or images, beyond those it is containers. overwhelming.
  • 52. What’s going on What is going What’s going in my mind on in my mind on in my mind partly represents is what is real. has nothing to reality and partly I don’t need to doesn’t: do with reality: look outside of I engage in an The contents of my mind or ongoing my mind are all question it in meaningful crazy, and I am any way, if my mind says it’s interaction where I helpless to test out ideas and engage with the real, it’s the clarify what’s in world in any literal truth. my mind. meaningful way.
  • 53. Focus on living a Excess focus Excess focus good life: on conflict: on I don’t waste appeasement: I am always energy opposing ready to do It’s better to give the voices just for battle with the the sake of in to the voices, voices, my goal conflict, but if they even when they is to drive them push for are out of existence. something that will unreasonable, harm my life, I will rather than risk stand firm against upsetting them. it.
  • 54. I see a spectrum Fight or flight: Freeze or of choices: I take extreme submit: I can pick action to avoid I take no action to whatever seems or defend avoid, or like the most against what completely give in appropriate threatens me. to, that which behavior, including options threatens me. in the middle This protects me ground between from damage that fight/submit and could be caused flight/freeze. by attempts to fight or flee.
  • 55. Wise choices Overly risky Excess risk about what kinds behavior: avoidance, or of risks to take: I avoid noticing too many I am thoughtful “safety risks that are regarding which behaviors”: present, so I can risks are best feel free to move I avoid danger avoided and ahead in my life even when risks which risks it no matter what. are low compared makes sense to take so I can to potential move forward. benefits, and this stops me from moving forward in my life.
  • 56. Can worry to a Avoid worry Overly values realistic degree, and see it as a worry: then drop it: threat: I need to worry Worry is Worry is necessary to enough to come dangerous to protect me from up with a me. I need to having bad things reasonable plan, distract myself happen to me. then I can just so I don’t worry, proceed with the I can’t control plan and see how my worry if it things work out. starts.
  • 57. I can put the Hate abuser Felt need to abuser into and reminders remember the perspective of abuser: abuser & the rather than see I want to myself through abuser’s eliminate even a his/her perspective in trace of the perspective: order to defend memory of the against it: I’m not scared of abuser from my In order to be reminders of the life, so I don’t safe, I must abuser because have to feel remember the they are no longer victimized abuser & his a big deal to me. anymore. perspective.
  • 58. I can face I need to calm I need to face external threats and soothe the demands of while also myself no the external managing to matter what: threat no matter avoid over- If I fall apart stressing myself: what effect that inside, I will be has on my I focus on doing internal world: completely what I can & then useless, so I I can’t take time avoid over- need to lie to to attempt any stressing by myself about self soothing. letting the rest go. external threats if necessary to calm myself.
  • 59. I get to know I don’t want to I am willing to myself gradually: understand face anything myself or my I make sure I have about myself, past resources to fall even that which experience: back on so that I I’m not ready to can handle handle: Please distract difficult me from myself, I don’t have any experiences as it or numb me out, sense of comes time to no matter what preparedness or face them. the cost! pacing, so I overwhelm myself.
  • 60. I honor my Reacting to my I see a need to uniqueness but unique self, hide my also explore and my unique weirdness from what I have in traumas and others: common with unusual others: This means that experiences, I seem weird to I can follow social instead of trying others: norms when that to express myself makes sense, but with others, I am But I just act on more focused on I also get around what I feel, even hiding myself, to expressing if the social which makes me what is different consequences weird. about me. are not good.
  • 61. I have lots of I’m spiritually I’m evil and faults but that’s fine, perfect doomed: understandable: just as I am: I move toward I’m in hell I don’t need to already, what I see as do a thing to persecuted good as best I make anything endlessly, full of can, changing better, I’m evil, there is no course as I learn invulnerable, way out. more, and this perfect, beyond process of doing criticism. what I can is perfectly acceptable.
  • 62. Improved Identify with Identify with the perspective the status quo new viewpoint evolves out of the before the tension between developed in trauma: previous response to the Everything viewpoints and trauma: would be OK if I those resulting Everything will be could just go from the trauma: better if the new back to that. I value all my beliefs and experience though perspectives just I need to wrestle to win completely find the right and blow the old perspective on it. patterns away.
  • 63. Improved Identify with Identify with the perspective the status quo psychosis: evolves out of before the the tension Everything will be psychosis: between better if the new Everything previous beliefs and would be OK if I viewpoints and perspectives just could just go the psychosis: win completely back to that. and blow the old I value all my experience patterns away. though I need to wrestle to find the right perspective on it.
  • 64. My identity is I am what I am I am not what I always identified as: have been emerging: Whatever I am identified as: I am not just what currently doing Whatever I am I have already and however I currently doing or done or how I am seen, that is being seen as, have already who I am. has no been seen, rather, I am also the relationship to process of who I am. recreating myself to meet each new circumstance.
  • 65. I can learn to I need to I need to attach escape from or escape from or even when it cause change in destroy the “dark side” of hurts: whoever hurts others, while me: I can’t afford to maintaining be alone, so I I need to positive need to accept withdraw from or connections: any pain as being destroy those I experiment with my own fault and who hurt me no trying to change see the other as matter what. myself, my blameless. relationships and others to make this happen.
  • 66. I balance I love I want to destroy respecting and everything and all of creation: enjoying things everyone as they are with absolutely: I am unhappy, so taking action to everything and Everyone and meet my needs: everyone must everything is A good balance go, or be perfect just the can emerge from obliterated. way it is, so I the tension have no right to between the alter or hurt appreciation of anything, even if things as they are, my needs are and the need to unmet. move and change.
  • 67. I make a Overly focused Giving up reasonable on control: control: attempt at I must control control, then let I can’t control my own the rest go: anything so why thoughts and I try to create a try. feelings, and good impression, also control but I accept that I what others am always only secretly think partly in control of and feel about what actually me. happens.
  • 68. Self esteem that Self esteem no Self criticism incorporates matter what: without reasonable self I am determined criticism: restraint: to think positive I am open to I am determined about myself no realistically seeing to see all my matter what. I both my strengths faults, even those block out and weaknesses, that are information that and my self imaginary. doesn’t fit my esteem is based positive on seeing myself thoughts. relatively clearly.
  • 69. I try to use good Ignore context, Context judgment: I know what changes things are: I proceed with my everything, best judgment, but nothing can be I will go ahead then if I see trusted to be as based on my substantial it seems: current evidence that I perceptions I must be might have without paying hypervigilant for misjudged, I any attention to the subtlest reevaluate. wider context or indicators that contrary may show that evidence. everything is different.
  • 70. I am imperfect I am innocent, I am bad, but and vulnerable, alone, and also very but I do have helpless: powerful and some value and Others harm me power: allied with when they want, powerful others: I experiment in for no good I choose to harm looking for ways reason, and myself, or I to escape there is nothing I choose to let mistreatment, can do about it. others harm me, either by changing myself or because it is the changing punishment I relationships. deserve. It will make me better.
  • 71. Uncertain yet Overly Overly reliant on finding spiritual vulnerable after denial after safety in trauma: trauma: uncertainty: I cannot rely on Through my new I cannot rely on anything to keep spiritual/magical any “thing” to me safe. method, I can keep me safe. Previous now be But I can trust the knowledge has invulnerable to process of doing been shown to the kinds of threat my best, then be inadequate. that happened letting go in each moment. before.
  • 72. Work, then relax Let go of Stress out everything endlessly
  • 73. Balance of Magical All my problems realism and thinking: are real: magic: I can solve any I am weighed I start solving my problem just by down by how problems with imagining a overwhelming it imagination solution, I don’t all is. (which is enough need to be in itself for the practical. imaginary problems!) but then I follow up with practical action.
  • 74. I’m human and I’m bad, I’m good, imperfect, and important important others the others are as others are are bad: well: good: When we have I must get away I can bond with from them, or conflict, I assume these others defeat them. I will be right even though some of the time, they hurt me and they will be (I deserve it for right some of the being bad.) time.
  • 75. I’m a mix of good “Bad me” “Good me” and bad, and paranoia: paranoia: others are as I anticipate well: Since others are others will not so good, I We will probably persecute me expect they will hurt each other because of my persecute me. sometimes, but badness. not all the time.
  • 76. Flashback Flashback Flashback is defines a portion defines shut out: of the past, but who/where I am doesn’t It has no reality at in the present dominate the all present
  • 77. Good balance of Persist in Persist in short and long behavior with strategy with a term strategies: short term hoped for long payoff despite term payoff, reasonably despite intense clear evidence short term costs it will lead to a and the absence huge long term of clear problem: evidence that long term payoff will come true
  • 78. Good judgment Be flexible to fit Have faith to about when to be immediate persist despite flexible and context: what is believed when to be Even when this unbending: to be a means giving up temporary lack I make good of confirmation on longer term decisions about from immediate strategies. when to hold to context: my faith and when to change my Even when costs ideas to fit new are great and circumstances. current feedback indicates strategy won’t work.
  • 79. Uses magic or Fail to use Think “magic” imagination “magic” or or imagination, when needed to imagination can be applied experiment with even in areas as a solution in reshaping how where it best an area where things are seen, applies: some other kind but also takes Because of this, practical action of action is one is a victim of when that is needed: what has been called for. Believes in imagined by solutions that others or other don’t work, and parts of self. doesn’t do what would work.
  • 80. Constantly Protect self Use “magic” or evolving and from failing to imagination or complex perceive a biased perception of a threat by being perception to mix of threat and biased toward increase sense safety: seeing it: of safety: I can often find I’m not afraid to I know how to safety in the midst look on the dark look on the bright of danger, and side, but side! But I fail to see the danger in sometimes I see detect many real assuming too threats that threats. much safety. aren’t real.
  • 81. Opposing bad Destroying Just letting decisions but people’s people destroy supporting autonomy in themselves: autonomy: order to “save” them: Coercion used only A person’s as a last resort to autonomy is Prior bad block really major respected, even decisions are bad decisions: to the point of seen as proof emphasis is on letting them carry that person’s helping person out bad decisions autonomy must regain autonomy that destroy be restricted in combined with themselves and the future by competent hurt others. medications and decisions. other means.
  • 82. Expectations fit Too great of Too few positive the positive expectations: circumstances: expectations or the wrong Person learns to Important expectations: expect what is opportunities are available & adjusts missed because Unrealistic expectations to there is no expectations lead changing expectation that to frustration and circumstances. they are suffering. available.
  • 83. Balance of Too much Too little attachment and attachment: attachment: detachment: I need things to I don’t care if I can value things be a certain way, and people and there are losses I don’t let go attach to them, but and wounds, in even when I can also let go fact I prove it by hanging on leads when hanging on inflicting them on to overwhelming leads to too much myself! stress. stress.
  • 84. Balance of use of Excess thinking Things are categories and in categories: excessively ability to see how I see things just individual events specific: in terms of pre- or people don’t I see things only fabricated totally fit the as individual categories category: events, as I result (seeing things Categorical my senses are excessively in enough to not be overloaded by the terms of overwhelmed, but “blooming categories, and also able to get buzzing not specifics, is free of categories confusion” associated with when that is depression.) helpful.
  • 85. Balance of going Excessively Goes to out to extremes centered: extremes and and coming back Always stays to center to gets stuck close to the regain flexibility: there: center in an Looks like healthy Expresses attempt to retain attachment, where freedom from the flexibility, but in child balances tyranny of the so doing loses exploring with center by going to the capacity to going back to an extreme, but go to extremes, parent for then loses in other words, comforting & flexibility by being loses flexibility. nurturing. extreme.
  • 86. Balances need to Grabbing at Giving up maintain hope by straws to “see” attempts to noticing all a way of possibilities for control, being controlling an control, with need hopeless: out of control to “weed out” situation: Person may give illusory pattern up even though Often sees perception that some pattern of illusory patterns could lead to misguided acting would because looking have worked to efforts. so hard at faint control the associations. situation.
  • 87. Dynamic tension Too little Too much between toleration of toleration of acceptance of uncertainty: uncertainty and uncertainty: This leads to efforts to resolve This leads to jumping to it: being incurious, conclusions, to This leads to a lack of interest, a reduce the nuanced view, negative uncertainty. which includes symptom. both ability to make conclusions and an ability to see past conclusions.
  • 88. Needs and Values A need or value Denied need or are integrated: is denied: value suddenly Each need or value becomes This may reduce finds some kind of conflict with dominant: place, in a other needs, but dynamic, shifting A long pent-up perhaps out of balance. Nothing demand may be awareness, is either totally satisfied, but pressure to denied or totally perhaps at meet the denied dominant. enormous cost to need builds up. other needs and values
  • 89. My experiences My experience My experience have some value is meaningless, is completely and potential it is just the meaning, but I meaningful and result of an may need to sort accurate: illness: out in just what All my It is just the sense: conclusions are result of a I don’t need to completely true chemical reject any of my and I don’t have imbalance, or experiences but I to doubt or sort random misfiring may have to through any of due to a brain search to find a them. disease wise interpretation of them.
  • 90. Psychotic Psychotic Psychotic experience is experience is experience is seen as having a seen as mix of danger and seen as very entirely sick or possible value: good: bad: Health is seen as Efforts are made To be healthy I coming from to have more of it must seek to get sorting out the & encourage rid of every bit of misleading aspects whatever is this kind of of the experience causing it. experience & of from potentially whatever is helpful aspects. causing it.
  • 91. Balance of Divergent Convergent Divergent and Thinking: Thinking: Convergent Also seen as Thinking: Also seen as a loose Person can narrowing of associations or alternate between associations, even both thinking styles fewer unusual dissociation, in a way that experiences but leads to unusual integrates into a also something perceptions & good life. like “negative experiences, symptoms,” common in common in poets, visual mathematicians, artists. engineers etc.
  • 92. Having one’s own Live in one’s Fail to even world but also own world: have one’s own relating that Be so unique in world to the world world: the way one of others: Be so focused on sees things and One is able to being “normal” expresses about focus on the points that one has things that of contact between nothing of one’s others cannot one’s own world own to contribute, connect, there is and the world as nothing to say. no seen by others, so communication. communication happens.
  • 93. I have a semi- Being too Being too permeable closed off from sensitive to the boundary with others and others and the world and from the world: world: others: I use judgment to What I hold as What I hold as decide when to true can be easily true is not hold onto my views overwhelmed by affected by despite the views of exterior disagreement, and others or by evidence or by when to change random bits of what others them. I am just the external think. somewhat open. world.
  • 94. I make Assume too Assume too assumptions: much: little: but also can open I refuse to them up to I question too question my questioning when much, don’t know assumptions, they aren’t working what to assume, my perceptions, out well. can’t organize my and my perceptions or conclusions. make conclusions.
  • 95. I trust in my own Mistrust in the Blind trust in the efforts working spontaneous, spontaneous, or alongside the or Nature, or spontaneous, or Nature, or Spirit: Spirit: Nature, or Spirit: Since I am so Because I lack My own efforts trusting, I make trust, I must rely have a role, but I no efforts to sort exclusively on don’t get things out for my own efforts, overwhelmed myself, or to and so I get because I can also question what overwhelmed. let go and trust. pops into my head.
  • 96. Both methods of Overly focused Overly focused processing are on left brain on right brain used: processing: processing: only that which The gifts and the is in words and/ limits of each Patterns are seen or makes logical method of in ways not easily sense is real… processing are put into words or noticed and communicated, respected. and no attempts are made to logically sort things out.
  • 97. Balance of Micro- Lack of spontaneity with managing management of management: mental events: mental events: I trust my mind but I feel the need to also I’m aware it I give up trying to control every can make manage how my aspect of how I mistakes, and I mind works, it’s think, feel, and have a process of out of control. process detecting and Whatever I think, perceptions: it’s working through feel, perceive just overwhelming! them where is what it is. I possible. don’t notice mistakes……
  • 98. Who’s responsible for what hurts? Abused children usually blame themselves, but as adults, may shift to blaming others excessively…. Realistic locus of Excessively Excessively control: internal locus external locus of of control: Sometimes I run control: into trouble I’m not being I’m actually quite because others abused or good, but various are hostile, abandoned, it’s external forces sometimes I only that I’ve (other people, create my own been bad, as voices, or problems. I can soon as I entities) are evil learn to respond change that and are appropriately to everything will persecuting me. each situation. be better.
  • 99. Two Extremes in Seeking Safety, Not Very Compatible…… Guard against Focus on Focus on either ignoring defending maintaining threats or seeing against exaggerated internal sense of external threat, threat: safety, guard guard against against feeling too safe I seek to be vigilant perceiving too internally: but not much external hypervigilant, to to maintain threat: maintain a feeling vigilance. of safety without to maintain being oblivious. stability.
  • 100. CBT for psychosis includes “off the map” exploration: Follows charted Therapy by Columbus routes when that formula: therapy: makes sense, I just do what is but also willing I set off not in the therapy to explore knowing where I manual, whether uncharted am going, get it works or territory: there & don’t makes sense to know where I am, When I explore the individual then get back and uncharted client or not. don’t know where territory, I tend to I always know I’ve been. make charts as I exactly what I go as much as I am doing can. though.