I highly recommend watching at least the first session to be reminded of how much the field is in its infancy and how complex it is. And how simplistic are many of the conclusions we hear, such as oxytocin being a love molecule. I enjoyed greatly the criticism of the trolley problem, too.
It's baaaack. … Whether you're scared of brain-eating zombies or evil clowns, Halloween is the time to let your imagination run wild. Many people get a thrill from horror movies and haunted houses -- so long as they're actually safe -- but genuine terror is something most people want to avoid. When fear doesn't subside after a threat is gone, or becomes a phobia, it can be a real-life nightmare. When does healthy fear run amok and become pathological? Why do people respond to threats differently? And is there really a way to "conquer" fear?
This work invigorates connections between somatic knowledge and conflict transformation. Taken together, the chapters address this question: How does the nexus of movement and conflict inform and deepen understandings and generate new questions and insights about conflict geography and the choreography of resolution? Juxtaposing autobiographical and practice experiences with diverse cultural, historical and social realities highlights both challenges and breakthroughs in this burgeoning area.
The chapters also reveal the importance of symbolic and non-literal language in expressing and addressing the true toll of trauma on an individual or community. The contributors describe how physical movement enables more holistic access to decoding emotions that are invariably physiological, containing both mental and embodied nuances. As the body and mind are in constant conversation, it is understood then that emotions begin with physical sensations. When the emotions and energy are blocked by conflict, it then attributes to physical changes. This book illuminates the physical, emotional, and relational intelligence that relate to conflict resolution and takes you on a journey toward reshaping and developing your own mind, as well as your approach to conflict resolution.
I have not read the book and, in fact, only learned of it today (thanks, Merrilyn Astin Tarlton). Have you read it? If so, what were your thoughts? Did it inspire you to try something new?
This research on labeling the affect (naming your feeling) will not be new to anyone who has been reading this blog (see, for example, this post) or who has attended my programs but I wanted to call your attention to an excellent article posted by Dana Foundation with an overview of related research . (The article contains some new information, too; I recommend reading it.)
Brain imaging now supports what psychotherapists, writers, and the philosopher Baruch Spinoza have observed: Simply recognizing and naming an emotion quells its effect, making thoughtful management of subsequent behavior more likely. Psychotherapists employ this phenomenon when treating patients. Writers who turn their attention on themselves often discover it. And in his Ethics, Spinoza observed that “An emotion, which is a passion, ceases to be a passion, as soon as we form a clear and distinct idea thereof.” At that point, Spinoza observed, the mind becomes less submissive to the emotion, and can exercise greater control over it.
I have posted a number of times on both my blogs (find posts here and here) about the benefits of understanding psychosynthesis. When I was participating in a two-year intensive in mediation, a 10-day training in psychosynthesis was required. Over the decades since, I frequently have been grateful for my knowledge of psychosynthesis, so much so that I took a several day refresher course a couple of years ago. In short, I highly recommend to any mediator that he or she learn more about this approach and philosophy, at least by reading the books listed over to the right by Assagioli and Ferrucci.
About a year ago, an article about the neuroscience of psychosynthesis was published by the Association for the Advancement of Psychosynthesis. It was written by Piero Ferrucci, a man who studied with Roberto Assagioli, the founder of psychosynthesis, and who is very skilled at explaining Assagioli's gift to us. Because I was so impressed with the article, I am shocked that I did not link to it before now. What's that cliche? Better late than never?
Many studies in neuroscience show us psychosynthesis in action (without calling it that) in all its important aspects. Studying neuroscience in this context is like learning psychosynthesis again from a different, more concrete perspective. In this essay—by no means an exhaustive treatment of the subject, which would require much more space—I will highlight some basic themes that psychosynthesis and neuroscience have in common.
You likely will recognize several of the names Ferrucci references, including Jeffrey Schwartz, Mario Beauregard, and Daniel Siegel. Click to read the article. Also here. I enthusiastically recommend it!
Emotion regulation has been conceptualized as a process by which individuals modify their emotional experiences, expressions, and physiology and the situations eliciting such emotions in order to produce appropriate responses to the ever-changing demands posed by the environment. Thus, context plays a central role in emotion regulation. This is particularly relevant to the work on emotion regulation in psychopathology, because psychological disorders are characterized by rigid responses to the environment. However, this recognition of the importance of context has appeared primarily in the theoretical realm, with the empirical work lagging behind. In this review, the author proposes an approach to systematically evaluate the contextual factors shaping emotion regulation. Such an approach consists of specifying the components that characterize emotion regulation and then systematically evaluating deviations within each of these components and their underlying dimensions. Initial guidelines for how to combine such dimensions and components in order to capture substantial and meaningful contextual influences are presented. This approach is offered to inspire theoretical and empirical work that it is hoped will result in the development of a more nuanced and sophisticated understanding of the relationship between context and emotion regulation.
In this review, I proposed an approach to the systematic study of contextual factors in emotion regulation. Such an approach consists of specifying the components that characterize emotion regulation (i.e., the organism carrying out the regulation; the emotion-eliciting stimuli; the selection and implementation of strategies; and the types of outcomes considered) and then systematically evaluating deviations in the dimensions underlying these components. In this way, context is operationalized in relative terms. I provided initial guidelines for how to combine such dimensions in order to capture substantial and meaningful contextual variability. It is my hope that this approach will inspire theoretical and empirical work that will contribute to the development of a more nuanced understanding of the relationship between context and emotion regulation. As the 18th-century Scottish philosopher David Hume said, “the passion, in pronouncing its verdict, considers not the object simply, as it is in itself, but surveys it with all the circumstances, which attend it” (Hume, 2004, p. 224). The time has come for emotion regulation researchers to systematically survey those circumstances and develop a more sophisticated understanding of this fascinating process by which heart and mind are constantly seeking to influence each other.
I recommend this article both to those of us who already understand the way mindfulness of both the mediator and the parties can smooth the way to resolution, as well as to those diehards who still protest that mindfulness is not an important component of the way mediation is defined and practiced in the 21st century.
Funny that I had not, since I have given many presentations over the years about the value of humor and have written some articles, including "Don't Deck the Clown: Inviting Humor into the Law Firm." But today I am looking at the utility of humor anew, with fresh research to consider.
Humour is often seen as an adaptive coping strategy; however, the empirical literature is inconclusive. One possible explanation is that different types of humour have different adaptive consequences. In the present research, we predicted that positive (good-natured) humour would be more effective at regulating negative emotions than negative (mean-spirited) humour. In Study 1, participants were shown negative pictures two times. First, they simply viewed the pictures and rated their levels of positive and negative emotions. Second, they were instructed to: (a) view; (b) use positive humour; or (c) use negative humour, and then rate their reactions. Compared to negative humour, positive humour was more successful at down-regulating negative and up-regulating positive emotion. In Study 2, we replicated these findings and showed that these effects cannot be explained by differences in difficulty between the two humour conditions, participants’ expectations, or social desirability. Taken together, these findings suggest that positive (but not negative) humour may be an effective form of emotion regulation.
And from the General Discussion:
We assume that the mechanisms of positive and negative humour differ: one possibility is that positive humour is closely related to reappraisal of the situation, whereas negative humour may help more to create an emotional distance from the negative event without being able to look on the bright side of the negative event. However, as our study does not allow us to infer conclusions about mechanisms, we suggest that future studies need to be conducted in order to determine which mechanisms underlie positive and negative types of humour*or humour in general.
As we know, any findings in a lab situation may or may not translate