Therapy should enable new options for the consumer. Identifying and functionalizing (enabling the maturation of / decompensating) a developmental attribute that missed the opportunity to actualize can facilitate lasting change, opening up new pathways for Life’s journey. The intersection between Developmental Psychology and Evolutionary Physiology establishes the guide rails on this website for identifying and functionalizing missed developmental milestones. Linking a cluster of “symptoms” to the evolutionary paradigm within which incomplete developmental maturation occurred promotes better therapeutic outcomes.
The therapies discussed here are established training protocols for our neurology and physiology. They are known to extend our adaptive capacity, whereby we increase our perceptual abilities and the “bandwidth” or scope of our responses. It should be noted that these therapies are by no means inclusive, and there are many other modalities with great efficacy. This writer believes that the guidelines implicit in the discussed modalities will enhance the efficacy of any therapy and find universal utility.
The intention is that by focusing therapeutic attention on the specific neurophysiology global functions will be enhanced. However, integration requires complex movement, so combining these therapies with activities that challenge our perceptions and actions globally, for example going camping, rock climbing, or hiking on a trail, is important – as long as a stress-response is not induced. Combining these therapies with habituated behaviors such as playing video games minimizes their efficacy.
Contrary to common wisdom stress and learning are not compatible. We learn effectively when we are challenged, which is a type of stress called Eustress. However, if pushed beyond our capacity to adapt (Adaptive Capacity) we become triggered into a protective reaction called Distress in which our ability to change is inhibited. It is important that when doing any type of therapy that Distress is not triggered, either during the session or in the following days. Triggering Distress makes coming back to the Therapy more challenging as it imprints an association between that activity and a protective reaction.
How do you know if you are about to trigger a protective stress reaction? The answer is that it can be quite challenging to realize preceding triggering. It is much easier to observe that you have triggered a stress response as you will see a sudden change in behavior, flushing or something else that will cause you to pause. Stop whatever you are doing if this happens, and do something fun or relaxing. It is best to be conservative with these therapies, and increase the duration/intensity only as long as the client/patient/child responds positively. For neurology that is very poorly integrated an exercise duration may be only a few seconds, but the exercise may be returned to multiple times over the course of a day. The rule of thumb is that if you feel that a stress response is about to be triggered, do the exercise for a shorter period, or break the exercise down into smaller parts, or both. However, if you are training within the range where the patient/client can adapt to the challenge you are presenting their tolerance will increase, and therefore the duration/intensity should also be increased.
In a nutshell, the more fun or interesting you can make these activities, exercises, and therapies, and the more you can build them into playful activities, the more effective they will be.
SKILL LEVEL REQUIRED
The activities and floor exercises are organized so that anyone should be able to derive benefit from them. The section on Therapies is oriented to professional therapists. The modalities the recommended therapies are sourced from is by no means comprehensive and if you are a therapist whose principle modality is not represented here, you can still utilize the Survey and/or Diagnostic Tools in your modality. For example, if you are an Ericksonian Hypnotherapist, and the Vertebrate Layer registered, you could improvise a story that had a strong timeline, visual component, strong intention, and linear movement (walking over a long flat surface). Another example would be if you are a Personal Trainer and the Mammal Layer registered, you could bring both more caution and emphasis to homolateral exercises (triggering a stress response may initiate more quickly with these exercises for that client).
Sometimes one finds that reactive compensatory responses are excessive, and sometimes the opposite – that the neurology just doesn’t even try to step up to the challenge. It is interesting that one therapeutically approaches both mechanisms identically. This tactic has been established experientially by this writer, and he has encountered validation of this tactic from multiple sources.
If these therapies are successful one will discover that the boundary of one’s perceived limitations has moved. It is therefore suggested to regularly test one’s belief of their limitations. For example, if you believe you are terrible at math, you may discover that you derive pleasure from being more mathematically engaged in the world. If you did not challenge this belief, you may never discover this.