1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
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"All the Rage" for Free; Kipper the Dog, and Misc

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Northwood, Jul 26, 2020.

  1. Northwood

    Northwood Well known member

    Hi, All,

    Today, I learned about a streaming service called Kanopy which offers thousands of films and great documentaries for free. Your ticket in is a library card or a university login. (Not sure if there are any restrictions.) At any rate, among the documentaries is All the Rage -- about Dr. Sarno's work. Look forward to viewing it soon.

    When I first learned about this wiki site, I spent a lot of time with Alan Gordon's Pain Recovery Program. In it, he has several images and passages from A.A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh. I found the passages calming and touching. They're so wise. Along the line of calming one's nerves, I've found myself watching Kipper the Dog every once in a while. (They're all on YouTube.) In seven minutes, each of these British episodes has a wonderful way of evoking the luxurious leisure of childhood. The dogs go to Big Hill, eat sandwiches, look at clouds, all to a likeable jazz score. It's moment after moment of cognitive soothing. At the end of a long day, my twenty-year-old son and I will lay on the bed with a laptop and watch a Kipper, then call it a day.

    I've been writing down three things I'm grateful for each day for a couple of months now. It amazed me to look back over all of the entries: about 180 positive moments in my life. In my case, among many things, a lot of appreciation for the way the light looks at certain times of day. All those comments provide a powerful counterpoint to the niggling of negative self-talk.

    Regarding negative self-talk, I'm trying a CBT technique that the author/psychologist David Burns recommends in his book Feeling Good. Here it is: On paper, make six columns. In the first column, capture whatever trigger a negative feeling or mood. Maybe it's the sickening experience of a symptom. So, the brain is off and running. In the next column, note the emotion(s) like anxiety, anger, or despair and rate each in intensity from 1-100%. In the third column write down the automatic negative thought that pops up. Statements like, "I'm one of the f***ing 2% that will never get better" or "I'm a complete failure" or "Nothing I do works." In the fourth column, you write down the type of negative (messed up) thinking associated with each automatic thought. In his book, Burns describes 10 common "cognitive distortions." (Stinkin' Thinking in 12-Step circles.) He offers them on the web at this link: https://feelinggood.com/2014/01/06/secrets-of-self-esteem-2-negative-and-positive-distortions/ In the fifth column, you provide a reasonable counter-response to the BS. In the sixth (and last) column, you rate the emotion (1-100%)--for example, the initial anxiety, anger, or despair--and compare that rating to your initial rating of the emotion. I'm finding this helpful. Once you set up the columns and understand the categories of distorted thinking, it only takes a few moments to do. Usually, I find, the intensity of the emotion goes down. That's encouraging and instructive; it seems to educate the brain at a deep level. That's the feeling I get, anyway. And I'm finding this a helpful way to deal with triggers in REAL TIME, at least in some important situations (long days at home with family when pain comes up and I've got things to do and people I'd rather not burden with my being sullen for long stretches.)

    After a period of doubting and struggling with having assigned myself a tms diagnosis--wondering later if my symptoms might be structural in origin after all--I've rededicated myself to the conviction that I've got a mind-body problem. To keep on point, I return to something I think MiffyBunny said in an earlier post, something along the lines of measure your success in small increments; don't look for only the big over-the-top wins. Note the small gains. Keep reaching toward what affirms. I like what Steve O says about believing that you're "already healed" as opposed to "going to be healed." As an affirmation, he says, say that you're already healed. Put that out there as a catechism for the soul. This is so in keeping with what Sarno's work is all about. It occurs to me that I'm not on the path to finding something outside of myself that will "fix" me and eliminate the pain. It's a clearing away of a lifetime of psychological debris and habits that have got me to this challenging place. I do get to see my inner Kipper on occasion (that already healed self). Getting into the Now, seeing life as a gift (authentically) with or without pain--that's the work of the moment. That's the practice.

    Wish you all well!
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2020
    HattieNC likes this.
  2. mbo

    mbo Well known member

    ....and please remember that, for the most recalcitrant patients, CBT concepts could be not enought. In fact dr. Sarno sent such patients to dr. Feinblatt !
    ISTDP was the best option to reach the unconscious: where rage, fear about that rage,..... and guilt about this rage! when it is directed against beloved people,.... are hidden.
  3. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Northwood,

    Great post, and update. I love the process you describe, ala Burns. I think it helps to observe the steps into a negative thought-hole as you say. It is essentially a form of mindfulness and great way of disidentifying with the familiar "suck" of our repetitive, "morbid" thoughts!

    I think this is a great guidance for you, for all of us. You're doing the real practice of TMS work on many levels. I hope you're patient and loving toward yourself.

    In this process, as per mbo's suggestion, there may be great opportunities for transformative emotional work. By staying present to yourself, they'll arise naturally, I think.


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