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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New Program Day 21: Paving Your Own Path

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Alan Gordon LCSW, Aug 3, 2017.

  1. freakengine

    freakengine New Member

    Alan, thank you for making this available here. It truly has been eye-opening to get your insight into the big picture. My one suggestion would be to add or link to more information on how somatic tracking actually works. For those of us who are abuse victims, we are often disconnected from our bodies in very fundamental ways. As I struggle with the concept of somatic tracking, I feel that it is a useful tool already, but I feel a little like I'm feeling my way in the dark. A brief amount of insight into HOW to achieve that kind of awareness would be very helpful.

    Best wishes!
    UnknownStuntman, plum and shmps like this.
  2. billiewells

    billiewells Peer Supporter

    Fabulous programme, thank you Alan and only another Brit could draw on the Cardiff Diva :) It seems not only Dame Shirley but that famous Brit Winnie has infiltrated the US psyche.

    My first book was 'When we were very young' by AAMilne and I can remember every verse a half century on.

    Note to self pay more attention to the blessings that seeped under your skin than the pain that tries to take its place.

    Thank you all xx
    suky and plum like this.
  3. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    In another thread, there seemed to a lot of interest in an outline of the program:
    @robodelfy @shmps @plum @Ellen @James59 @Laleah Shoo Shoo @nele @Lunarlass66 @nele and others...

    Perhaps we could crowdsource a summary?

    Basically, just like shmps dove in and added detail to the outline, perhaps we could collaboratively enrich it even further.

    I'd be glad to help out some, though I'll need help if we want it to be good.

    I added it to a document that anyone can edit. Just click and type. Please, edit with abandon! Make any changes that you think might help. Be bold!

    http://go.tmswiki.org/summary (Psychogenic Pain Recovery Program Summary)

    I linkified some of @shmps ' tools to make it easier to start us off.
  4. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

  5. Kat

    Kat Peer Supporter

    Thanks so much Alan, and Forest, Christie (and Paul for his drawings) for this amazing programme! It's really kind of you all to give your time to help all of us who are suffering. I thought it was all really clearly laid out and informative. I think the only one I didn't quite understand was how to do cognitive soothing - maybe more examples here would be good. But everything else was really well-explained and easy to understand. Some really interesting ideas in there, much food for thought. It will take me a while to process it all, and go over the material again. Thanks also to all of you who posted some amazing insights - I have copied some of these down, to read over again and again. I will miss this daily programme!
  6. shmps

    shmps Peer Supporter

    Thanks so so so much Alan and team for your time and support!!!

    Just knowing that someone is putting efforts without expecting any gains from it, makes it so compassionate and truthful. It motivates you to believe in them, that they care for you :)

    So many tools to chose, and it took me almost two years of work to finally be able to pin point the source of my symptoms. The moment I have a situation in life where my mind is racing with thoughts (fear, worry, pressure, future uncertainty, catastrophization), extreme thoughts from one to another to another to anotehr to another, where focusing on what you are doing in the moment is no longer joyous whether its typing email, talking on phone, watching tv, eating food, even just staring at something.. BOOM thats when pain comes. So now i know the landscape of the problem, just need the right tool. I am not scared or worried about the pain. The moment my mind goes crazy, it throws me off and I have pain. When my mind is calm my pain is calm. WHICH TOOL ?? Any suggestions folks :)
    plum and Forest like this.
  7. Anxiety states

    Anxiety states New Member

    Thank you so much, I've loved this programme. Your amazing people for helping others that are suffering. Thanks again so so much :)
    plum and Forest like this.
  8. Fabi

    Fabi Well known member

    Thank you all for this opportunity. As I always tell my language students, I believe this programme is like peeling an onion, or growing layers in one, one by one, with a lot of attention (not tension) and mindfully attending with loving-kindness to each step we take.
    nele, plum and Forest like this.
  9. Christie Uipi MSW

    Christie Uipi MSW TMS Therapist

    Lovely to be in touch with so many of you throughout the past three weeks, and I'm so happy Alan's hard work resonated with this group. He crafted this program with a lot of thought and care, and I think you all felt that. Of course a big thank you Forest for your continued and tireless work to help this wonderful community. And lastly, a special thank you to my sweet husband Paul for his drawings - your creativity added so much life to the posts. Best wishes to all for continued healing, please know I am here as a resource if ever I can be of help.
  10. Katia

    Katia New Member

    Thank you Christie for all of your posts. Your input has been invaluable. By sharing your experiences, both the struggles and your successes, you clarified and illustrated many of the concepts, making them easier for me to understand. Thank you for all the time and effort you put into this program. It would not have been the same without your perspective. Thank you!
  11. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    This program, this journey, has been wonderful. My thanks to Alan, Christie, Forest, and all you wonderful people on the Forum.

    "How do you spell 'love'?" - Piglet

    "You don't spell it. You feel it." - Pooh
  12. Gigi

    Gigi Well known member

    Many thanks Alan,
    Forest, and all helpers for this wonderful program. The timing was great for me; I head back to school in a week--even though kids don't come for three weeks.

    The jam experiment Alan mentions reminds me of the book The Paradox of Choice. The premise is that the more choices we have, the more difficult things become. That's why it's easier to offer a toddler--or anyone--just two options!
    plum and Forest like this.
  13. James59

    James59 Well known member

    Thanks, Alan, for providing such simple guidelines to follow, and to Christie for providing some added depth when needed, and to Forest for organizing the whole shebang.

    I'm glad I don't have to try it all. For now the somatic tracking, cognitive soothing (which took me a little while to figure out), and the breathing exercise (I can't remember just now what it was called) seem to be the most practical approaches for me right now. Maybe I'll add some of the other things into the mix later.
    Ellen, plum and Christie Uipi MSW like this.
  14. maggiehl

    maggiehl New Member

    Thanks for this. I didn't know this song before. It does fit.
    plum likes this.
  15. maggiehl

    maggiehl New Member

    I've appreciated this program and especially the explicit permission to choose what seems right to me of all the things to focus on. Helps with my perfectionism!
    nele, plum and Forest like this.
  16. itmsw

    itmsw Peer Supporter

    Just saying thank you doesnt seem to be enough to convey my gratitude, But, from the bottom of my heart Thank you to Dr.Schubiner for telling me about this 21 Day Program, Thank you to Alan for writing and organizing this Program, Thank you to Paul for his artistic drawings as they say pictures are worth worth a thousand words, Thank you to Forest for assisting in this program and sending out all of the mail notifications, and Thank you to Alan, Christie, and Forest for tirelessly reading and attending to all of our questions and concerns, and Thank you to all the participants for all of your support, comfort, compassion, encouragement, and advice!! It is wonderful to be with people who share similar struggles and to be guided by those who have overcome these same struggles is very empowering! Yes, I could definitely feel the empathy and compassion that Alan, Christie, Forest and Dr. Schubiner have for people they have never met. As I can only imagine how many hours it takes to create such a program as this and then to read and respond to so many posts with such compassion, insight and dedication. Yes, I will be definitely rereading these 21 lessons and practicing them all. God Bless You all and May you all be free from suffering, may you all be happy and healthy!!!! THANK YOU!!!:)
  17. hodini

    hodini Peer Supporter

    The study Alan has referred to is indeed a classic I am familiar with;
    https://faculty.washington.edu/jdb/345/345 Articles/Iyengar & Lepper (2000).pdf

    This controversial study has been replicated many times since then.

    Done close to 20 years ago, it spurred many advances in consumer psychology and it has effected the ways in which we are all lured into purchasing products of all kinds. It is an example of consumerism psychology.

    That it works when we go to the store to buy groceries, phones, stereo equipment etc. is a given. Why it works is perhaps an even more interesting story.

    The heuristics involved in creating the mental shortcuts we all use daily in out everyday life are essential to our functioning in our society. Because they govern automatic and intuitive processes in judgement and decision making they work well when determining everyday decisions. It is also well known that these rules can lead us astray when it comes to rational decision making, figuring probabilities, as well as perceiving logical circumstances. This is known as cognitive biases.

    One of the many reasons why it can cause anxiety especially in a person with a perfectionist personality, is that with many more choices comes the increased possibility of making the wrong choice or decision. However, this is not always an accurate perception. An understanding of this goes a long way to mitigate its effects on anxiety.

    The "gamblers fallacy" is a good example of this. I am sure you know people like this or have even experienced the same sort of logic yourself, I know I have. That is, if you lose for a long time, the odds of you winning get greater. But reality is, even if you have flipped a coin 10,000 times and each time it came up heads, the odds are still 50/50 that it will come up tails on the 10,001st toss!

    There is a large body of study on decision making and why we make the decisions we make. However, to infer that good decision making in this particular instance should be based on if something "resonates" with you is not something I am familiar with that has been proven to be true. I say that because of the scientific nature of medicine, science and psychology of the subject. In some instances it might apply, like purchasing a home, or choosing something to wear, or picking a painting. But in this case where there are so many other factors that effect ones decision making processes in making important, life changing decisions it surprises me that they go without mention.

    The greater majority of people who contribute to this site seem very intelligent and would surely benefit from understanding the many factors that can effect decision making. Not including them is a missed opportunity IMHO.

    Explaining something in simplistic childish terms to an audience who is articulating a need for greater understanding only goes to enhance their acceptance of limited choices as one might do to a child when too many choices can lead to frustration for them. From what I have seen and read virtually everyone on this site has the capacity, curiosity, tenacity and intelligence for more then that.

    Of the many hats that Herbert Simon [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbert_A._Simon (Herbert A. Simon - Wikipedia) ] wore, one of those was as a cognitive scientist. He coined the term "bounded rationality" being that decision making can be bound by time limitations, depth and breath of knowledge, and cognitive limitations.

    The use of catering to resonance ie. emotions and feelings, is well known to politicians, lawyers, salesmen and influence peddlers of all stripes. Many fall prey to its charms. I could go on, but I will leave you with a bit of my own Pooh knowledge; understanding that I am being hypocritical.

    "When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it".
    -- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne
  18. Bodhigirl

    Bodhigirl Well known member

    There is always more to learn, as we are so vast! I used to fear elements of my unconscious material. Afraid of how much pain it might throw me into.
    These past few weeks have deepened my faith in this process and I feel more familiar and close to others who participated. We listened to one another. We related. As Pooh and Piglet always agreed, "it's so much friendlier with two."
    We are not alone here. There are answers. For me the somatic tracking, pendulating to the breath and some tough love talk to my pain - and some reparenting - seem to be my go-to success stories.
    I doubt I would have begun swimming ever again had this program not convinced me I was avoiding something I used to love.
    Looking forward to the reviewing of the program with you all.

    Attached Files:

    suky, nele, Ellen and 3 others like this.
  19. shmps

    shmps Peer Supporter

    This maybe off topic, but a good place to ask. Has anyone tried TRE - trauma release therapy to help with TMS symptoms ?
  20. Lauren T

    Lauren T Peer Supporter


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