Have you ever wondered why you said, “yes” when you meant “no” or became enraged by something you recognized later was no big deal? Does your anger flare up quickly in your relationships or do you ever feel like the world is against when something minor occurs? This likely means your inner “demons”, also referred to as unresolved inner beliefs or YOUR SHADOW, is ruling your life.
We are joined by Shadow Work expert Dr. Robert Masters to discuss what the shadow is, how to work with your unconscious motivators, and how to challenge a spiritual by-pass (when you don’t want to face the difficult stuff in life). In addition to this, we also explore why this work is so important for your growth and how it leads to inner peace.
There is a huge cost to responding like a hurt 7 year old to a work colleague or becoming explosively jealous when you see your spouse/partner enjoying a conversation with someone else. Great inner growth and peace evolves when you can reflect on why you become triggered/hurt, and become aware of the inner drivers that lead you to feel so bad or become so reactive.
Dr. Robert Masters is an expert in Shadow Work. He has written and taught extensively on the unconscious drivers that lead to behaviors, attitudes and events that do not serve us.
In his 2018 book “Bringing your Shadow out of the Dark: Breaking free from the hidden forces that drive you”, Master’s explains that “Our Shadow … is our internal storehouse for the parts of us that we’ve disowned or rejected, or are otherwise keeping in the dark”. Dr. Masters is a therapist and “Psychospiritual guide” with a deep understanding of the “neglected shadow domains of ourselves”.
Let’s enjoy this conversation with Dr. Robert Augustus Masters and reflect on the deepest places of self-reflection and inner growth, the Shadow.Links & Resources:
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Ranch Hands Rescue: Animal Sanctuary for Healing Trauma
1:02:22Ranch Hands Rescue has a reputation for being a place of refuge for victims who have survived horrific circumstances. This makes Ranch Hands Rescue a very special place. Landon Dickeson, Clinical Director & Bill Williams, CEO of Ranch Hands, will be joining us today to share with us the meaningful work they perform with both abused and neglected animals, and the traumatized people that they bring together. Ranch Hands focuses on the 1-10% of trauma survivors that do not respond well to traditional counselling services. This includes those struggling with treatment resistant PTSD, including sexually abused children and adults, sex trafficking victims and veterans. The animal sanctuary houses horses, llamas, goats, sheep and other farm animals where the therapy between human and animals begin to reclaim life, hope and healing. Let’s spend some time with Bob Williams to better understand how the Ranch integrates this approach to make a difference in the lives of both the people and the animals that they provide care for. Bob's House of Hope is the newest program, and the first safe house in America for young men who have been sex trafficked. This project is a big win for those in need. We learn about the Ranch Hands Rescue approaches to helping at-risk people who bond closely with the animals they encounter, finding solace and healing. Links & Resources: Information about Ranch Hands is available at: https://www.ranchhandsrescue.com Listen to Bob Williams on Youtube.com at Ranch Hands Rescue - YouTube Get involved at Donate Now - Ranch Hands Rescue (gifttool.com) Bob's House of Hope for male victim's of Sex Trafficking
Know Your Shadow – The Route to Inner Peace
1:01:53Have you ever wondered why you said, “yes” when you meant “no” or became enraged by something you recognized later was no big deal? Does your anger flare up quickly in your relationships or do you ever feel like the world is against when something minor occurs? This likely means your inner “demons”, also referred to as unresolved inner beliefs or YOUR SHADOW, is ruling your life. We are joined by Shadow Work expert Dr. Robert Masters to discuss what the shadow is, how to work with your unconscious motivators, and how to challenge a spiritual by-pass (when you don’t want to face the difficult stuff in life). In addition to this, we also explore why this work is so important for your growth and how it leads to inner peace. There is a huge cost to responding like a hurt 7 year old to a work colleague or becoming explosively jealous when you see your spouse/partner enjoying a conversation with someone else. Great inner growth and peace evolves when you can reflect on why you become triggered/hurt, and become aware of the inner drivers that lead you to feel so bad or become so reactive. Dr. Robert Masters is an expert in Shadow Work. He has written and taught extensively on the unconscious drivers that lead to behaviors, attitudes and events that do not serve us. In his 2018 book “Bringing your Shadow out of the Dark: Breaking free from the hidden forces that drive you”, Master’s explains that “Our Shadow … is our internal storehouse for the parts of us that we’ve disowned or rejected, or are otherwise keeping in the dark”. Dr. Masters is a therapist and “Psychospiritual guide” with a deep understanding of the “neglected shadow domains of ourselves”. Let’s enjoy this conversation with Dr. Robert Augustus Masters and reflect on the deepest places of self-reflection and inner growth, the Shadow. Links & Resources: Dr. Robert A. Masters book Bringing your Shadow Out of the Dark is available: https://bit.ly/3sx7VYt Listen to him speak about Shadow Work: https://www.robertmasters.com/interviews/ For information about Dr. Master’s courses, books and work: https://www.robertmasters.com/
Forward Facing Trauma Recovery – Profound Approach
1:01:33What does it mean to "Heal the Moral Wound"? Have you experienced life-changing events that you have not been able to get over? Our guest today is Dr. J. Eric Gentry, renowned psychologist, author and speaker. His recent book Forward-Facing Trauma Therapy provides steps for reclaiming a life "filled with dignity, meaning and purpose". Eric is more than my guest today. He is a friend and co-author of our book The Trauma Practice: Tools for Stabilization & Recovery. I have known Eric since we worked together in 1997 with Dr. Charles Figley, one of the committee members who helped to set the foundational DSM criterion for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. We grappled in those early days with approaches that fit the trauma clients we were working with at the Stress Research Lab that Charles ran. This was the beginning of Trauma Practice. Eric has focused his career on working with trauma survivors and training 1000's of professionals on how to help trauma survivors. The crucial part of his Forward Facing work is that it provides an approach that goes beyond identifying and managing triggers and integrating past trauma to "Aligning behavior with values". This creates an intentional anchor that allows action to follow values and meaning rather than simply reacting to life events. This means you can choose to follow your own life purpose and beliefs instead of the triggers from the past. Dr. Rhoton describes the FFTT approach as "a compelling case that stress reduction and symptom alleviation are only the first steps in the healing process and that our ultimate goal must be to ... achieve a congruent life based on integrity and choice. " We will learn about Dr. Gentry's approaches to helping you Identify Triggers, Establish a Healthy Lifestyle; Practice Self-Regulation; Develop a Mission and Code of Honor and hold true to your core of Intentional Living. While Dr. Charles Figley states that FFTT has the potential to "substantially increase the effectiveness of psychotherapy for the traumatized with a one-two punch: (1) Direct exposure to the root of the traumatic memories paired with (2) resilience-building self-care practices that promote principle-based living ... while rapidly optimizing ... quality of life." So let's spend some time with Dr. J. Eric Gentry to better understand how he integrates "Intentional Living" to create meaningful, principle-based lives into the core of his pivotal work. If you read through Dr. Gentry's work and watch his videos, you will see an earnest dedication to the work of healing and recovery. So let's enjoy our dialogue with Dr. Gentry and understand the Forward Facing Trauma Therapy approach. Links & Resources: Dr. Gentry’s book Forward Facing Trauma Therapy is available at: https://amzn.to/2U9gAUg Listen to him speak about Forward Facing Trauma Therapy: https://youtu.be/F8GiWzbfFhc In the next video Dr. Gentry addresses Self-Regulation: https://youtu.be/k0BYt2rPB9c Contact Dr. Gentry at Forward Facing: https://www.forward-facing.com/
Taming Sleep … Dreams & Nightmares
1:02:12Ahh, deep restorative sleep! What relief! We all know how much better we feel after a good night's sleep. But what happens when we are woken up throughout the night by disturbing nightmares and unsettling dreams? Are we prepared with strategies for getting back to sleep or for addressing upsetting dream content when it surfaces? What about repetitive nightmares that keep coming back? How are we to deal with them? Well, today's show looks at sleep interventions, as well as dream and nightmare strategies. I love this topic as it gives you the skills for looking closely at what surfaces through the dream content and what makes it so interesting and meaningful in your own healing journey. Whether it is tigers chasing you or workplace incidents, repeating the content is often symbolic or representative of what needs addressing, rather than reflective of the actual problems in your life. For example, if in your life you are not getting along with a specific friend ... your dream content might show you in a boat floating away from shore into murky water and away from a house that represents your connections and safety. You can see an array of animals growling on the shoreline as well as one cartoon character happily waving at you from one of the windows of the house. You don't need to live close to water or even in a house in order for the dream to have meaning for you or to relate to the argument you are having with your friend. Nothing needs to be an exact replica if you look at the content through the lens of "everything is an aspect of you". In the example above, you are all elements. You are the murky water, the house you are leaving behind, you are the boat and the feelings you have being on the boat. You are all characters that you see. Given time and introspection, you can begin to notice how each element relates to you and your life themes and events. Treatment for nightmares includes medications such as Prazosin, CBT therapy such as Image Rehearsal Therapy (or changing the ending) and dream journaling. Deep breathing, relaxation practices and embedding the positive rather than fighting to get to sleep. Other approaches include: Sleep Hygiene Dream Journaling using a light pen Decoding Bad Dreams using Imagery Rehearsal Therapy Making Peace with your Sleep – do not fight to get back to sleep ... instead rest and breathe deeply Improve sleep with deep relaxation and embedding positive messages Using Guided Body Scan and Progressive Body Relaxation We also recognize that having a trauma history makes a person much more susceptible to bad dreams/nightmares. This can be thematic such as dreams that reflect a certain type of experience (i.e., loss of an important person, violence against you or those you love, etc). These thematic nightmares do not necessarily present an exact replica of what occurred in your life but can have features representative of a type of loss or trauma that still needs attention or healing in your life. Research indicates that trauma has been increasingly identified as a potential precursor to clinical insomnia (Sinha, 2016). Sleep quality disruption is one of many ways that trauma can have a significant and prolonged impact on health and well-being, and this is largely because of the ways in which trauma can sensitize the central nervous system to become more hyper-aroused. However, there are ways to mitigate this, improve sleep quality, and regulate the body's sleeping patterns again after trauma. An excellent article by Havens et al. (2019) outlines this research, and has informed some of the exercise guidelines below. Links & Resources: Sleep Hygiene: https://youtu.be/YvqeWcPwd2o?t=59 Tame & Decode Bad Dreams: https://youtu.be/Oi72TXnkEy4?t=17 Make Peace with Your Sleep: https://youtu.be/5HjzyLMsygM?t=38 Improve sleep by relaxing deeply and embedding positive messages: https://youtu.be/ZQmfCEtzvEE Sleep relaxation (the Honest Guys): https://youtu.be/8TDcGYmEgyM Guided Body-Scan Meditation for Sleep: https://youtu.be/8TDcGYmEgyM Imagery Rehearsal Therapy (IRT): https://www.verywellmind.com/imagery-rehearsal-therapy-2797304 Reduce Nightmare Frequency with IRT: https://youtu.be/CLsmRs6RXYM
Be You, Only Better–Real Life Self-Care
1:04:03Kristi Hugstad's book gives practical strategies for facing real life hardships. Ms. Hugstad lost her husband to suicide 8 years ago and has been grappling with the loss ever since. She described her life prior to the suicide in glowing terms. She faced social rejection, extreme grief, guilt and the devastating loss of her loving spouse. She described a loveable, popular husband who was a successful gym owner. They sold the business with the plan of retiring early. This was the beginning of his unexpected spiral into depression and eventual suicide. Her book outlines how she faced this loss and details the kinds of real life strategies a person can employ to face struggles. The book outlines simple, straightforward approaches – like journaling, mindfulness, healthy sleep, exercise and sound nutrition to face life struggles. The conversation gets into the real impact of life losses and the importance of recognizing mental health struggles as we grow and change. Although the book is focused on youth, it applies broadly to people needing some practical tools to face the demands of life. Even before COVID, mental health challenges were significant. COVID-19 isolation, lockdowns, losses and restrictions have affected everyone in unexpected ways, leaving more people vulnerable and needing support. Links & Resources: The Grief Girl: https://www.thegriefgirl.com/#/ Life after Loss Blog: https://www.thegriefgirl.com/life-after-loss---a-blog#/
Psychological Strategies that Help – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
1:02:22CBT is one of the most common interventions and tends to deal with every day struggles that you might have in dealing with life events. A CBT approach might help you deal with negative thinking and adapt your behavior so you are more engaged and less impacted by fearful beliefs. The book is full of well-structured and organized resources. The book is supported by video exercises and templates on the publisher's website (NewHarbinger.com). Our guest is Dr. Nina Josefowitz, renowned psychologist and co-author of 'CBT Made Simple; A Clinicians Guide to Practicing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is an evidence-based intervention for addressing the impact of mental health struggles. The CBT approach is one of the most well researched psychological interventions and has demonstrated efficacy. This structured and often goal oriented approach can lay a strong foundation for early career mental health professionals beginning to work with clients, as well as for individuals who are struggling with emotional disturbances and learning to reclaim their lives. The CBT approach provides excellent step-by-step guidance moving toward self-understanding and a balanced mechanism for stabilization. The research on CBT has demonstrated it as a power-house of intervention (Asnaani, Vonk, Sawyer and Fang, 2012) for depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, schizophrenia, eating disorders, insomnia, personality disorders, anger management, stress disorders and chronic pain. In Nina's book, she focuses on the importance of both teaching and practicing the skill, to ensure the intervention can be both understood and used when needed. She focuses on Behavioral Activation as a crucial step toward recovery and encourages strategies for self-reflection on current daily activities as a starting point. In her work, she breaks down exercises using templates that give the user a deep dive into their own behaviors and a clearer sense of ownership over what is working and what is leading to emotional and mental health struggles. If you read through some of her exercises and watch her videos, you will see a clinician with a deep sense of care and compassion for her clients. Links & Resources: Dr. Nina Josefowitz, CPsych, Psychologist, Toronto, ON, M6G https://www.drninajosefowitz.com/ CBT Made Simple – preview: https://bit.ly/3uQnUkh CBT Made Simple – videos / templates: https://www.newharbinger.com/9781684034550/#nh-book-accessories
Spiritual Growth as a Road to Psychological Well-Being
1:03:06Transpersonal Psychology is the section of psychological study that addresses spiritual or transcendent elements of personal experience. The idea of our transpersonal lives is that which encompasses or goes beyond our typical and practical daily lives and into wider or unexplained aspects of what we may encounter in life. This may include peak or mystical experiences, spiritual crisis (in which typical elements of life are no longer sufficient to establish a sense of meaning) and expanded perceptions of life (i.e., who or what we are). Transpersonal psychology addresses our highest potential or evolutionary states of being that may transcend the ego drivers and ordinary states of consciousness. We hope you will join us as we explore this fascinating topic with our special guest Steven Taylor! He is a Transpersonal Psychologist University professor and author who has written 13 books on the topic of spiritual growth and emergence. His extraordinary depth of understanding of this topic and many years of experience delving into this topic have formed a body of work that helps to elevate and inspire. His work goes beyond what we buy, our education, even specific religious backgrounds, and rather into how we profoundly connect to each other and our planet. https://www.stevenmtaylor.com/books/ His work shines hope on a time that has led many to feel destabilized and unsatisfied. His most recent book The Clear Light is an exploration of Spiritual Reflections and Meditations illustrating our ultimate connection with each other and the world around us, and beyond. His book Spiritual Science addresses the importance of our spiritual growth in making sense of the larger world around us, and is grounded in science. My favorite is The Leap, which covers stories of individuals unfolding in their own spiritual growth, revealing the mystery that weaves us together as beings on this complicated life journey. Certainly, when it comes to serious life events and trauma, a well-developed spiritual life can help us navigate the darkest of times. Dr. Emma Bragdon, author and "spiritual emergence" coach has her own heart wrenching and traumatic life experiences. She used spiritual practices including meditation to face the suicide of her mother, followed within a year by her father, the end of her marriage and suicide of her employer. She explained that "without meditation and my connection to a meaningful spiritual community ... I likely would have shipwrecked and fallen into the deeps ... a very human response to total overwhelm." https://www.emmabragdon.com/about One of the earliest Transpersonal Psychologists was William James (1842 to 1910) who described the experience of oneness! James said "a great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices". He captured the struggle of our beliefs with realizations that remain important today. He also recognized that "The world we see that seems so insane is the result of a belief system that is not working. To perceive the world differently, we must be willing to change our belief system, let the past slip away, expand our sense of now, and dissolve the fear in our minds." This idea that we are more than our beliefs is good medicine even today, more than 100 years after his death. So let's dive into this discussion to better understand what Transpersonal Psychology is and how your Spiritual Emergence can be a time of healing and integration. Links & Resources: Dr. Steve Taylor: https://www.stevenmtaylor.com/about-steve-taylor/ Dr. Emma Bragdon: https://www.amazon.ca/Call-Spiritual-Emergency-Personal-Transformation/dp/1456611429 Leo Matos provides an early explanation of Transpersonal Psychology 1982: https://youtu.be/FiCOazoizjU Dr. William James on human consciousness: https://www.brainpickings.org/2018/06/04/william-james-varieties-consciousness/ The Science of Consciousness: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Science_of_Consciousness
The Hidden Truth of Men’s Emotional Pain & the Red Pill
1:03:01Let's talk about why we fail to see the emotional pain that men live with every day. Beliefs can tie us in knots and render us blind to the struggles of others when we fail to look more closely with an open mind and heart. Documentary film-maker Cassie Jaye's most notable film "The Red Pill" forced her to re-examine her beliefs about the Men's Rights Movements. She started her journey with one notion in her mind only to discover the very real pain and suffering that men experience when they are abused and mistreated, directed into dangerous work, or facing violent circumstances. The statistics around the dangers of life for men show that: 1 in 6 are sexually assaulted, they are more likely to experience violent assaults, are 93% more likely to die on the job than women, account for 73% of suicides, and are given longer prison terms for same/similar crimes than women. It seems that these real issues are overlooked and under-reported. Men are told to "suck it up", "get over it", "stop whining" and are shamed into tolerating violence even in their own intimate relationships. I wonder about these frightening numbers and how they are impacting the men in our lives. I wonder about the fathers, brothers, siblings, spouses and friends who are struggling. I wonder why these statistics are not better known. Toronto Psychologist, Dr. Yaacov Lefcoe brings a deep understanding of these issues from his readings, reflections, and clinical practice. He will help us to navigate these concepts and learn about what the drivers of involvement are for the men who join these groups. Dr. Lefcoe will also help us to understand the motivations that lead men to become Men's Rights Activists, PUAs (Pickup artists), Game and Inner Game Theorists (closest to PUAs) and MGTOWs (Men go their own way) of which Incels (involuntary celibates) is a part of. All of these individuals are said to have "taken" the Red Pill, which our guest Dr. Lefcoe will help us understand. We will try to gather information and be thoughtful as we try to figure out what is happening to the men in our society who are struggling, feeling hurt, alienated and distressed. Without this, we fail men who are struggling with their identity and this can lead to further failures at building healthy and meaningful relationships. On April 23, 2018, 25 year old Alek MInassian drove a rented van down Yonge Street in North York, Ontario killing 10 people and injuring 16 in a deadly vehicular attack. Upon apprehension by police, Minassian began demanding that the officer shoot him "in the head!" This did not occur and instead he was taken into custody by a level-headed officer on the scene. Following the attack a Facebook post revealed that he identified himself as an "incel" or involuntary celibate. His anger during the attack was largely focused on female pedestrians, who he perceived had rejected him and other "incel" men. This type of event leaves victims, survivors and community devastated and further disenfranchises men who are legitimately having difficulty fitting in and trying to establish themselves in a satisfying way in their lives, communities, relationships. We need to better understand these issues and develop healthier and more promising roads for men to take while they develop and mature into the best they can become. Links & Resources: Dr. Yaacov Lefcoe, CPsych, Psychologist, Toronto, ON https://www.yaacovlefcoe.com/ Cassie Jaye's Ted Talk on learning about the Men's Rights Movement: https://youtu.be/3WMuzhQXJoY Toronto Van Attack – April 23, 2018 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toronto_van_attack#Suspect The Red Pill – A Cassie Jaye Documentary: http://theredpillmovie.com/
Compassion Fatigue Resiliency & Recovery: Dr. Anna Baranowsky
1:37:04Traumatology Institute recently made available a new Audio Self Help Series. The Accelerated Recovery Program for Compassion Fatigue: A Self-Guided Resiliency & Recovery Series Dr. Anna B. Baranowsky & J. Eric Gentry, M.A. Copyright: 2021 Compassion Fatigue what is it? Crucible of Transformation Retirement Party Intro to NLP: Reflect & Process Memories NLP Reflect & Process Exercise Circle of Support Conclusion Music Sampler Diane Kistner The Traumatology Institute offers training programs for professional and personal development. As a Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Baranowsky works every day with Mental Health Issues with a specialization in Post Trauma Stress. She trains therapists to help trauma survivors and resolve professional compassion fatigue.
Sedition - the lure of power over truth:
1:01:54Let's talk about what led to the storming the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. From my point of view, this includes the lure of relevancy or a fear of loss of power; a fire hose of lies within a bubble of misinformation; isolation during COVID; a longing to belong; fear of a changing world; a psychosis of delusion and an acute sense of entitlement. There are other elements to this, however, given the confusion, fear and uncertainty that this event provoked... it is a timely conversation. On January 6, 2021, I watched with great sadness as the U.S. Capitol was stormed by Trump supporters encouraged by a president who would not accept election results unless he was the victor. His supporters were primarily white and unwilling to allow anything to stand between them and their sense of entitlement to power at all cost. There are those who stormed the capitol that are now paying the price of possible prison time, job loss, injury and even loss of life. Why would so many be willing to lose so much? Who would sign-up for such an event with so much at stake? What type of people attended and why? Christopher Buckley of LaFayette, Georgia, is an Afghanistan war veteran. He is a former White supremacist. He says he needed to "fit in". He launched the organization Life after Hate to help people leave White Supremacist groups. Let's discuss the meaning of this event, how it impacted you, and what you hope for going forward. I do have to say that my U.S. friends, colleagues and friends were a source of inspiration to me in their courage and conviction to guide the world to a better place. One friend told me he was nervous about going outside for anything and choosing to stay as close to home as possible. He admitted that it is just not safe for him to go out. I want to give a special shout out some (but not all) of my heroes who helped me make sense of these events, and those of a wild 2020. Stacey Abrams Raphael Warnock Joh Ossoff Michael Moore Steven Colbert Samantha Bee And Amanda Gorman who stuns with her magnificent heart lifting poem that she read at the pivotal inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. https://youtu.be/whZqA0z61jY The list above is a short one. Are there people who inspired you while you were facing fearful moments or wondering whether democracy would survive? Links & Resources: The 'Shared Psychosis' of Donald Trump and His Loyalists – Scientific American The psychology of American racism and how to work against it (apa.org) Seduced by Temporal Power: 'We are seduced by temporal power': Gloria Purvis on racism, pro-life politics and the lure of the devil | America Magazine White Supremacists are the biggest threat: Former White supremacist: This is how to tackle hate and bigotry (Opinion) – CNN Life after Hate – helps former White Supremacists leave the movement: Life After Hate