Mentalization and Metacognitive Skills

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  • Post published:November 19, 2021
  • Reading time:3 mins read
Mentalization and Metacognitive Skills
Photo: Kamil Szumotalski

Do you want to improve your ability to regulate your emotions so you aren’t blown around by the changing winds of mood? You can start by memorizing the following six metacognitve skills.   Identification is the ability to recognize what is happening in one’s inner experience, and greatly overlaps with mindfulness. Someone with weak identification skills will have trouble knowing what emotions they’re feeling and is more likely to be overwhelmed by them as a result. On the other hand, recognizing when we’re experiencing sadness or anger can help us…

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Summary of Coherence Therapy

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  • Post published:September 9, 2021
  • Reading time:3 mins read

“In short, we had stopped treating the symptom like the work of a demon whom we were trying to drive out of the client’s life. We had focused instead solely on learning from the client why their depression, panic attacks, stormy relationships or obsessions were somehow necessary -- what unconscious benefit these seemingly nefarious symptoms served. We were fascinated to find that by focusing therapy in this way from the first session, we could get powerful results swiftly and reliably.” - Ecker & Hulley Coherence Therapy is a unified set…

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The Schema Modes as They Relate to Attachment Styles

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  • Post published:August 16, 2021
  • Reading time:7 mins read

Disclaimer: These are my personal opinions. In this, I am drawing from Jeffrey Young’s work on schema therapy, and attachment theory more generally. I believe that the attachment styles can be viewed as clusters of schemas and modes; schemas  being beliefs about self and world, and the necessary behaviors (modes) that result from those beliefs. The modes represent the coherent behavioral manifestations of the schemas. Insecure attachment is associated with impaired emotional self-regulation. The coping modes are those emotional regulation strategies that avoid “an even greater suffering”, as Bruce Ecker…

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Schemas as they relate to Attachment Styles

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  • Post published:July 23, 2021
  • Reading time:1 mins read

This list is based on my perspective as to how Jeffrey Young’s ‘Early Maladaptive Schemas’ relate to insecure attachment. More info on the 18 schemas here: http://www.schematherapy.com/id73.htm   General Insecurity 11 - Insufficient Self-Control / Self-Discipline   Dismissing 3 - Emotional Deprivation (central) 4 - Defectiveness / Shame (central) 5 - Social Isolation / Alienation 10 - Entitlement / Grandiosity 17 - Unrelenting Standards / Hypercriticalness 18 - Punitiveness   Preoccupied 1 - Abandonment / Instability (central) 3 - Emotional Deprivation 6 - Dependence / Incompetence 7 - Vulnerability to…

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How to Care for Yourself After a Retreat and How to Make it Count

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  • Post published:July 15, 2021
  • Reading time:4 mins read

Going on retreat can be deeply impactful. It is time spent outside the ordinary rhythms of life and often also outside ordinary states of mind. Coming back after a retreat can therefore be a challenging time, although one that’s full of opportunity. Below are some suggestions on how best to care for yourself post-retreat, while respecting the experience you’ve just had.   First off, don’t expect loved ones to understand. You may feel you’ve made important realisations or changed in significant ways that need to be communicated right away. But…

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Can you change your attachment style and if so how?

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  • Post published:June 27, 2021
  • Reading time:4 mins read

Yes, you can. But, there are many important considerations to keep in mind. Attachment conditioning dictates much of how we behave in relationships, view ourselves, how well we explore our world, and how good we are at emotional self regulation (Brown et al., 2016). This conditioning is largely determined very early on between the ages of six and twenty-four months (and to a lesser degree up to three years). The conditioning that takes place at this time occurs at the procedural or implicit level, which is pre-verbal. The implications are…

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How to work through the schemas – step by step

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  • Post published:May 5, 2021
  • Reading time:1 mins read

Here is a brief guideline on how to work through the Schemas. Identify which schemas you have. We will have an assessment program available shortly, but until then you can get a sense for them by reading through a list of them. Pick the particular schema that you want to work on. Activate the schema and come into the mental state by bringing up auditory thoughts, image thoughts and body sensations and emotions that are associated with the schema. Then drop into your inner child and you allow for either…

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Biology, Evolution, and Love

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  • Post published:February 19, 2021
  • Reading time:2 mins read

I watched “My Octopus Teacher” last night. It was so moving. John Bowlby theorized that Humans like other primates and mammals seek out proximity to the mother for evolutionary reasons, namely to seek safety. This makes perfect sense. You can build a theory of love, connection, and affection solely on the basis of the evolutionary benefits of proximity explained by attachment theory. In the film, Craig Foster the main protagonist, states that the highlighted kind of octopus has no relationship with mother or father. They are solitary creatures. The only…

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Some notes on the three insecure attachment styles

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  • Post published:February 19, 2021
  • Reading time:2 mins read

Another quick note about how attachment theory “blames the mom” for everything. Yes, that’s true on one level. Mom is usually the primary caregiver. And our attachment conditioning comes mostly from the interactions with the primary caregiver. But, as we discover with meditation there is no self that is apart from others and apart from our conditioning. You parents did the best they could. They only had their conditioning to inform them. They are ultimately blameless. You are no different in any way. This is how compassion is wise and…

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