7 Simple Reasons to Rent a NeurOptimal Neurofeedback System for the Holidays

 

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EEG Neurofeedback is a form of Biofeedback that helps to retrain the brain and is used for numerous reasons but this season I would like to share 7 really good reasons!  You may ask why it is important to ‘train’ your brain and what does that mean anyway?  So, let’s spend a minute and talk about ‘cortical activity’.

When an individual has an issue or a symptom their brain shows as an ’irregular, or turbulent’ brain.  The NeurOptimal system helps mirror this activity into visual and auditory feedback and helps the individual create a balance or homeostasis in cortical activity.  When the turbulence is reduced the brain chemistry actually changes allowing the individual to have a comfortable and ‘trained brain’!

  1. The Holidays are stressful! NeurOptimal® is great at re-normalizing the cortical activity in the brain so although there is still stress your body and brain no longer responds to that stress in the same way.
  2. Many people experience a sadness or even slight depression during the Holidays! Again with NeurOptimal® the reduction in turbulence allows the brain to create a balance which makes that nasty depression just subside!
  3. This Holidays represent the end of a year and people are tired! Many people have sleep concerns and therefore, can’t fall asleep easily, can’t stay asleep or wake feeling exhausted.  NeurOptimal® helps to re-regulate sleep cycles and allows you to sleep as you did when you were young!
  4. Anxiety can hit individuals anytime of year but most people during the Holidays will have an increase in anxiety. Some people have true ‘anxiety attacks’ while others have symptoms such as; tics, repetitive movement (hair twisting), perseveration (not being able to get an idea out of your head), or even obsessive compulsive tendencies.  As NeurOptimal® ‘normalizes’ the CNS the uneasy feelings of of anxiety start to diminish.
  5. 5. Chronic Pain happens in many forms however, during time of stress, cold weather or inflammation due to sugar or diet, we find the pain gets stronger and people are less likely to live comfortably.  The NeurOptimal® system allows the individual to calm their brain and thereby, reduces the signal from the nerves or muscles that they hurt.
  6. Our brains are meant to be able to go from one subject to the next fluently and move on from one method of operation to another, this creates  ‘Flexibility & Resilience’.  It is important that we do not have to go through the ‘drive-through’ every time we get a Starbucks, but that we can look and make a decision that that line is too long and we could get our drink faster if we walked in today.  NeurOptimal® trains the brain to move in and out of different cortical activity easily allowing us to mentally change the station when needed.
  7. So you say “no way, the Holidays do nothing like this to me!”  So let’s look at Peak Performance and keeping up with your personal best!  How sharp are you these days? This system encourages a balance and it may play out in your golf game, your production at work, your ability to focus and attend better or your quick-wittiness!

7 Simple reasons to use the NeurOptimal® system during the holiday’s; stress, depression, sleep concerns, anxiety, flexibility & resilience or Peak Performance, are all significant changes that could occur in just a few months!

Because it is the Holidays we want to add 1 more incredible incentive to rent a Home personal NeurOptimal system at www.cognitive-connections.com .  For this month we’re renting them for 25% off!!! Call with your code xmas25 and we will set you up with a NeurOptimal system!

Should you decide you would rather purchase a system instead, NO ONE can sell it cheaper than we can!  Plus ask about our class and product discounts for each purchased system!

Happy Holidays to you all!!

Dr. Lise’ 317-258-7444

 

Product Review: NeurOptimal Neurofeedback made by Zengar

Product Review:

Zengar’s neurofeedback system called NeurOptimal has been on the market for the past several years.  At Cognitive Connections we use it as we prepare the body’s system to be functionally calm while reinforcing the mental state of focused and alert.  Most individuals use this this as a standalone process to create a homeostasis within the CNS (Central Nervous System).

I have been a Neurofeedback practitioner for 26 years.  Beginning with systems within our field that promote that the practitioner set up and define the amount of ‘feedback’ an individual was going to get during their therapy depending on their diagnosis.  This required us to set the software program and thresholds for the individual to attain their goals.  These instruments leave a great deal of responsibility and authority to the therapist.  Sadly, many times the therapist went to a weekend course before they put up a shingle stating they were a Professional in Neurofeedback.

Let’s look at how Neurofeedback traditionally works:  a computer runs a software program that indicates how much strength (microvolts) of a signal or cortical activity (electro-magnetic information) that individual is displaying.  Some Neurofeedback technicians believe that depending on where these little sensors are placed on the head they can directly influence the ‘brain-wave’ activity directly below that sensor.  After working with a group of Neurologists in Indiana, I have come to understand that this little electrode is only reading a ‘summation’ of all the cortical activity that is being generated in the brain so the changes that occur with Neurofeedback is global, through-out the brain.  Due to this concept it also stands to reason the brain being dynamic is always changing and it would be impossible to change one very small area of activity without it affecting the rest of the brain.  It would be the same as if you went to the gym to work out and decided to only work your left bicep, no matter what exercise you did to increase muscle mass in the left bicep it would also affect the surrounding muscles (and make you look funny).

So, in the traditional model we measure the amount of microvolts (strength) of electromagnetic activity and the practitioner then sets up ‘thresholds’ or boundaries to ‘inhibit’ and ‘augment’ specific frequency levels dependent upon what they call a qEEG.  The q’ is a 24 channel unit that takes a picture of the cortical activity under different brain circumstances and then produces a standard protocol driven on that 12-15 minutes of recorded activity.  The individual is usually asked to sit still with eyes open then eyes closed, and asked to do a task under pressure such as counting backwards from 335 by 7’s.   This measurement is recorded and depending on what the tech sees that day the next several months of brain training is focused on that static moment.  The cons to this program from my perspective are that our brain is not static, and the individual’s cortical activity in that moment is probably not indicative of what they are like when they are not in a stranger’s office being pasted up with wires and fearful of what the results may say.  The Pro’s are they are a pretty picture J

This static picture, traditionally then drives the protocols of sessions this person will take with that technician meaning the next 25-30 sessions will be set up to assume this person is ‘anxious’ due to the 23-38 hz activity displayed or they have ‘attention’ concerns due to the excess slow activity in the brain, with eyes open.  This could be a somewhat accurate picture of that individual but very likely the qEEG has taken pictures of a brain that is influenced by the concerns of the process (lack of sleep the night before, full/empty stomach, dialogue with spouse/parent, work related issues or school related issues that day).

After using these traditional systems for several years I discovered a different method of recording and mirroring back the ‘brain  events’ sometimes referred to as ‘turbulence’ within the cortical activity and achieving a neuronal balance; NeurOptimal.   Dr. Val Brown created a system that works along with a dynamic (ever-changing) brain.  His program has ‘targets’ within the software that actually encompasses the entire range of frequencies from 0.5 hz to 128 hz and allows the brain to self-organize by using ‘auto-dynamical’ settings.  The result of this type of a global system is constantly mirroring the cortical activity to the individual this ‘information’ is received and results in a dance between the computer and the individual.

When we have a frequency or two that is too loud in the brain it is like having a trumpet blaring in an orchestra.  We want the trumpets in the orchestra however, if you cannot hear any of the violins, then there is a problem.  All of the cortical activity we have is good activity, however, when we get too much of certain frequencies then they become too loud and jeopardize the ‘jobs’ of other frequencies (like being able to sleep because your anxiety frequencies are too loud).  This sounds simplistic however, suffice it to say, with NeurOptimal the brain is able to be dynamic and the system will respond in the moment and give information that allows that person to ‘retrain’ their brain.

The Pros of this innovative system are:

  • It is able to give information to all frequencies at one time, this program is global mirroring back information from 0.5 hz to 128 hz. This creates a relationship with the program rather than the technician picking and choosing specific frequencies to augment or inhibit. (In traditional systems, if you can take away ADHD, but depending on your experience and knowledge you can also create it by augmenting and inhibiting the wrong frequencies)
  • NeurOptimal is perfect for all people working on all conditions including Peak-Performance, not because it is a ‘one size fits all’ but because it is using the auto-dynamical thresholds and ‘meeting the person where their cortical activity is on that given day’, using whatever brain events that person has and detecting ANY turbulence in that cortical activity. The instrument will detect this activity within milliseconds and give information to the trainee that they had an interruption upon which time the system then will respond in kind. (256 times per second!  Faster than any trainer could physically respond to the individual!)
  • The music is beautiful; using music created just for this program, Jeff Bova, wrote a seamless rendition that encompasses the individual.
  • The system is so self-regulated it is now able to be purchased as a home system for anyone to use and gain benefit from.
  • Therapists that do adjunctive processing, like we use at Cognitive Connections are able to do Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy at the same time as they are doing Neurofeedback. We use this system for many concerns, strokes, TBI’s, Auditory Processing, ADHD, FASD, Autism and Sleep/Pain concerns.  Programs like Bulletproof Executive are using the system to promote Peak Performance due to its ease and robust abilities.  Other mental health therapists use it in their office for trauma, depression, PTSD, and bessel van der Kolk’s recommendations. .

The Cons

  • The visual graphics that the system uses right now is Windows media player, and although, this is beautiful, I personally would appreciate a different more visually appealing program. ( I understand Zengar is looking at changing that in its newest rendition)
  • The paste is still a concern with all systems, traditional and NeurOptimal, for now that is a concern we all just have to live with!
  • The program is so easy to use it is putting therapists out of business! No seriously reducing the number of months sometimes years a therapist is working with a client!

*It is of note that although I do not work for Zengar or gain monetary gain from writing this, I am a teacher and trainer of this method to other therapists and potential users of NeurOptimal.  Should you have any additional questions about either traditional or Dynamic Neurofeedback systems do not hesitate to contact me at 317-258-7444 or http://www.cognitive-connections.com    

Dr. Lise’ DeLong, PhD, CPCRT   ~Developmental NeuroCognitive Specialist

Have You Taught Your Children About FASD?

It truly takes a whole village to raise a child! We must ALL work together to help the next generation! I remember once seeing a young girl in a restaurant and she had started to take a drink of wine. I ran up to her and stopped that drink. She said it was the first ‘drink’ she had since she found out she was pregnant. She then went on to say it was her Birthday and she was celebrating. I am always surprised by the lack of knowledge of FASD, but went on to explain even 1 drink can make a life-long permanent change in the brain of a baby, depending on what part of the brain is being ‘developed’ at the time of ingestion. It is truly our responsibility to help others become aware of how their actions will affect others!

“Is it safe to drink a little alcohol while pregnant, such as an occasional glass of wine?

No. According to the CDC and the U.S. Surgeon General, “There is no known safe amount of alcohol to drink while pregnant. There is also no safe time during pregnancy to drink and no safe kind of alcohol.”  According to the American Academy of Pediatrics: “There is no safe amount of alcohol when a woman is pregnant. Evidence based research states that even drinking small amounts of alcohol while pregnant can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, prematurity, or sudden infant death syndrome.”

When you drink alcohol, so does your developing baby. Any amount of alcohol, even in one glass of wine, passes through the placenta from the mother to the growing baby.  Developing babies lack the ability to process, or metabolize, alcohol through the liver or other organs.  They absorb all of the alcohol and have the same blood alcohol concentration as the mother.  It makes no difference if the alcoholic drink consumed is a distilled spirit or liquor such as vodka, beer, or wine.”  http://www.nofas.org/light-drinking/

Thirty-two years ago we adopted a child with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.  Her birth Mother was 14 years old.  When we found our little girl when she was 18 months old.  She had no verbal language ability and severe global Apraxia, she was diagnosed with a profound sensory neural loss in her left ear (no functional hearing) and a conductive moderate loss in her right ear. She was unable to stand on her own, was not crawling yet and had a pinched torticollis (which now has left her with hands shaking and a lack of balance).  My heart went out to her and we have spent the last 30 years advocating for her.  She has had a VERY difficult life and continues to have significant problems due to her birth parents being very young, uneducated, and intensely self-involved (as many teens are).

Our children are having babies and they MUST understand the ramifications of even 1 drink while they are pregnant. We are responsible for teaching them.  The time that is the most impressionable to the brain is in the first trimester when many girls do not even know they are pregnant.  Therefore, to a girl that is sexually active everyday must be treated as if today is the day a new life may begin…

The Effects of Subtle FAS:

Fetal Alcohol has a spectrum from mild to severe some of the most mild may look like ADHD but the cognitive effects can be severe and lasting a life time.

  • Learning information and remembering/retaining information
  • Understanding and following auditory, visual or written directions
  • Controlling emotions, highs and lows
  • Communicating and socializing (many times inappropriate)
  • Behavioral concerns ( can be angry and volatile)
  • Daily life skills, such as feeding, brushing teeth, bathing are forgotten
  • No impulse control
  • Not able to learn from their mistakes
  • Auditory Processing problems (unable to understand directions, or listen to more than 1 thing at a time)
  • Attention Problems- Can not stay focused on the topic,
  • Specific Learning Disabilities- Math, Reading Comprehension,

The mild cases are most challenging in some ways, they do not look as if anything is wrong and the individual may even be very bright however, the more subtle brain damage can be the most devastating to an individual.  They know they should be able to learn, that they are different and that they do not have the emotional control that others their age have.

Any alcohol at any time during a pregnancy may have a life-time effect on the baby’s brain.

Do you really want to take a chance on a lifelong disability for your child?  Is that one glass of wine worth the possibilities of FAS?  It is not just YOUR life that is affected.  Your child may look ‘normal’ and have life long cognitive, emotional and psychological damage.

I want to thank our daughter for being so patient with the world…learning how to accept life based on a ‘non-handicapped person’s’ view of what the environment and conditions of the world should be like for her. You have raised us to be more understanding and more compassionate because of your willingness to wait on us to ‘come around’ to your needs. The world will learn someday!  You are a brave girl living with this condition as you put on your huge forgiving smile and continue to struggle daily to learn, live and love…and all because of the pleasure of a few drinks of alcohol for one very young, immature, uninformed girl. I want to promise you sweetie, we will educate the world…because FASD is 100% preventable and it is a horrific burden for all of those suffering with this condition to bear.

Lise’ DeLong, Ph.D., CPCRT

When Do YOU Run a Session?

Many readers are avid runners of NeurOptimal ®(NO) Neurofeedback.  Most know this system for use with physiological ‘issues or symptoms’ such as anxiety, sleep, or attention concerns.  But did you know it is used for many other reasons?

NO is a wildly popular Peak Performance instrument and is being used with corporate offices, business executives, College students and even those that are trying to keep up in their home life maintaining their children’s schedules!   We are lucky to have Samantha Diavatis describe her journey with NO.

Thanks Samantha for sharing your thoughts!

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Samantha Diavatis

 

When do I run a NeurOptimal® session?

NeurOptimal® is my cornerstone.  I use it regularly, and prefer when the people around me do too.  I could never picture my life without it, and when asked what I’d want with me on a deserted island, my first response is my NeurOptimal® unit.

When I first began working for Zengar (doing admin), I had zero interest in neurofeedback.  It was 2002, before anything related to the brain was “cool”.   I thought neurofeedback was weird and not for me.  Boy, was I living under a rock!   One day, I was in the NeurOptimal® (then, NeuroCARE) booth at an event and they needed a head to do a demo on.  I volunteered mine, having no idea this was going to be a life changing moment, and it rocked my world.  Within 5 minutes, I felt a fog that I had been living in (that I was not aware of at the time) part, like clouds after a storm.  I was hooked after that….and have never looked back.

I began understanding that NeurOptimal® isn’t only for “sick” people as I had previously thought.  It’s a tool that anyone can use to function at THEIR best, whatever that best is.  “Best” means something different for everyone, and you won’t know what that means for you until you try it for yourself.

I often get asked “How often should I run a session?”.  My response?  As often as you can.  I personally do one when I feel like I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, knowing it’ll make me feel better, which in turn means my family will have a better day.  I run a session when I have a presentation to make, knowing it’ll help me own the room as my words come freely to me and I approach the event with a sense of calm, creating a more enjoyable experience for my audience.  I’ll run a session at my desk while going through emails, knowing it’ll help me get through them more quickly, providing me with the ability to answer them in a more efficient way.  I also know that on days I do that, my work day will be more organized as my focus is through the roof, resulting in a bunch of to dos being checked off my list by the time I go home that evening.  I’ll run a session if I know I have a house full of kids coming up, knowing it’ll help keep me relaxed, more fun and more easygoing.  Feeling sad?  A session will help.  Big decision or business strategy to work out?  Session!  An a-ha moment may happen during the session, but minimally, my thoughts will make a lot more sense to me afterwards.  A session also helps if I need to process something like a disagreement or a large life event.  If, for some reason I’m not sleeping well, I know that doing a session or two will get me the shut eye I need.  And of course, I’ll also just run myself for the hell of it.  After all, there is never any harm in taking care of yourself, is there?

I find that the more organized my brain is, the easier it is for me to lead a happy life, making better decisions for myself, and approaching what can otherwise be thought of as difficult situations with common sense, less emotion and the ability to see the bigger picture rather than focussing on ego.  It feels so good knowing that I have this tool that so easily helps keep me level headed.  It also feels good knowing I’ve got this tool in my back pocket for my son and his friends around him— to help them all live their best life. He’s 10 now, but I have full intention of selfishly running his closest friends as they enter their pre-teen years, so his group can hopefully be more anchored and make better decisions for themselves in their teen years than if they wouldn’t have had sessions under their belt.  After all, what parent doesn’t want that for their child?   I could never picture my life without NeurOptimal®.  As a matter of fact, I’m doing a session right now:) ________________________________________________________________

To reach Samantha please email sam@neurOptimal.com to let her know you read her journey or for additional questions.

For more information on how you can get started on your own journey with your NeurOptimal ® System give me a text or call:  317-258-7444 or email drldelong@cognitive-connections.com   

Dr. Lise’

 

Touched By An Angel

As most of my you know, I love sharing clients, friends and colleagues experiences in my blogs!  Today I want to introduce you to Hannie Ruinen, a NeurOptimal trainer and friend from the Netherlands.   Hannie had an experience not foreign to many of us that are trainers with Neurofeedback but I was honored to hear no matter where you live, what language you speak or  what difficulties you are experiencing, people are able to get significant results with NeurOptimal!  If you are interested in more information and want to be touched by your own angel…give me a call 317-258-7444 in the Unites States, or call Hannie if you live ‘over that pond’.

Touched by an Angel During a Neuroptimal Session by Hannie Ruinen

(This is a genuine story that happened in my private practice Neuro-Insight only last April 2016).

How does the story go? Well, let me start the story where it began….

In December 2015 I received a call for help with NeurOptimal Neurofeedback (what else…?) from a 51 year old lady who hadn’t been able to sleep well since 2007, without any significant reason. Let me tell you, as an experienced coach and NeurOptimal trainer, I was sure that something must have happened in that year, and, I also knew that the lady would tell me within 10 sessions.

She appeared to be a very hard working person with lots of interests in doing things, and in other people. She is the kind of person who would take everyones’ crap on her shoulders including her own, trying to solve and help in the same order. She also told me she was hypersensitive to smell, sounds and so on…..

During the next four weeks she received four sessions, and after the fourth session she reported she noticed she could sleep 5 hours straight without waking. For her, that was a major breakthrough.

After the 7th session, she walked in happily because she had been able to stand up for herself and say ‘no’ to additional responsibilities that came from work. She felt confident saying no to working late for a colleague who was ill.

During her 8th NeurOptimal session she started to cry, it just happened. She couldn’t stop. I handed her tissues, without asking or saying anything, just allowing this to happen. You see, as a NeurOptimal trainer I just know that things will be emerging and this was definitely happening at that particular moment….

After the session she asked me if she could share what had happened. So here’s what she said….”You see, Hannie, today, exactly at this hour, it has been 7 years ago since my brother passed away in an accident. And, I never realized it, but now I see that I have been feeling that I was robbed from my brother that day. I never had the chance to say goodbye to him, and I miss him immensely…During the session I could smell his presence, I could feel his touch and I heard him saying that he is alright, and that this is the time for me to let go of my feelings of guilt and go on with my life, and start exploring my gift of being a sensitive person. ‘I was touched by an angel, who is my brother’. Thank you for that, because if I hadn’t had these NeurOptimal sessions with you, I am sure this would never, ever have happened.”

 

I want to thank Hannie, for sharing her experiences with her client and the Angel!  It is always such a treat to witness self-healing and be a part of such a powerful process.  If you are interested in participating in a NeurOptimal program please do not hesitate to call and we can set you up with a trainer in your area.  If you are interested in becoming a NeurOptimal trainer give me a call and we can get you into our training program and teach you the skills needed to be a part of this program.  Lastly, if you would like to rent or purchase a system for home use, again, give me a call!  317-258-7444.

Just another thought by Dr. Lise’

Hannie Ruinen  * hannie.ruinen@neuroptimal.com  *  info@neuro-insight.eu

http://www.neuro-insight.eu  * The Netherlands  +31 6 38 0138 68

When 1 Person in the Family is Symptomatic Others are Affected

In the past I have been honored to share the perspective of my friends and colleagues as they write a guest blog for Cognitive Connections.  Today I am excited to introduce you to Andrea Maloney Schara.  Andrea is a Family Systems Coach and author of “Your Mindful Compass”.  She specializes in coaching people to have more fun and be more creative as they seek to define a self in their family and social systems.

https://www.amazon.com/Your-Mindful-Compass-Breakthrough-Relationships/dp/061592879X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1471123339&sr=8-1&keywords=Andrea+Maloney+Schara

Thank you Andrea for sharing your thoughts!  If anyone is interested in reaching out to Andrea you can find her at:  http://thelearningspacedc.com/pages/staff/andrea

Your Mindful Compass Coaching with Andrea Schara from a Family Systems Perspective

Families with symptomatic members are often frustrated in looking for ways to understand the issues facing the family as a whole. People who have a symptomatic member know that suffering is not confined to one individual.  Often family members ask: “Am I making things better or worse?”  Despite years of research on the impact of relationships disturbance, there is precious little available in today’s mental health cafeteria to enable an understanding of the family as a unit, which absorbs and reacts to suffering in automatic and or primitive ways.

 Families are given individual solutions to system’s level problems. What is acceptable, standard, “scientifically” tested treatment today has not yet caught up with the research on relationships done back in the sixties.[1],[2]  Partially this is due to the difficult of measuring systems level change in a social group. 

What a tremendous leap it is to go from understanding the impact of death, divorce, cancer or addictions as a problem in one person, to seeing how the family system reacts to suffering.  What a challenge for those trained in the medical model to perceive the family as an ancient emotional unit. Shakespeare saw the family as a primitive unit guiding the behavior of its members, but he was unable to provide solutions. Solutions require a focus on building a more resilient psychology and physiology in order to break patterns of emotionally programmed reactivity.

Often people who have been frustrated with the individual approach can make the leap to systems thinking.  Those who have both courage and curiosity are able to observe the family as a more primitive organism with goals of its own. There is no blame once you see the family as a system. There is simply personal responsibility to find ways to become a stronger self.

When coaching a family leader (the one who is willing to change self in the system) I add NeurOptimal neurofeedback training as a way to allow the integration of feelings and thinking, and promote an increased ability to observe.  The training takes place over the sensory motor neuron strip.  Old ways of seeing the world are often replaced with a calmer, more realistic understanding of the various social systems people inhabit. This enables one to redefine how they will participate in these social systems.  Over time people are less threated by changes in important relationships. Most people to do ten sessions of neuorfeedback and then reassess. Those I coach over the phone rent neurofeedback personal systems. The basics of my approach can be found in my book Your Mindful Compass detailing how each of us has a compass that automatically guides us in specific directions, which are compatible with the rules that worked in the past.  When we are dealing with new and difficult problems, often our compass needs to be recalibrated. As people figure out what they believe and where they stand, they are better able to speak to the emotional system of the family.  Family members can be stuck in the past way of reacting, believing and being.

In the initial coaching session, we develop a family diagram of three generations. This gives us an overview of the system and a different way of understanding how problems arise and are maintained.  Most people find it useful to meet every week or two and then move to once a month consulting. Some people have an immediate response and a different view of problems after the first session. Others take more time to report a breakthrough, and still others find a system’s approach and neurofeedback too challenging.  The beautiful thing is that when one person in the family can use knowledge of the family system to change self they are breaking old patterns which will eventually benefit the entire family.

Andrea Maloney Schara


[1] In 1967, psychiatristsThomas Holmes and Richard Rahe examined the medical records of over 5,000 medical patients as a way to determine whether stressful events might cause illnesses. Patients were asked to tally a list of 43 life events based on a relative score. A positive correlation of 0.118 was found between their life events and their illnesses.

[2]Family Therapy in Clinical Practice by Murray Bowen, 1978

Could You be in an Emotional Abusive Relationship?

We are in a position of unrest in our Country.  We know it, we feel it and we are all watching and moved by the threats and promises our leaders are making on our behalf.  Many do not trust the ‘politicians’ and many do not trust ‘the rich and their big businesses’ and their agendas.

But let’s explore the underlying thoughts that go into ‘following’ the leader of our choice.  Is it possible we are supporting a candidate that has truly ‘gotten us under their spell’?  Is it possible we are  being manipulated as a group of people in the same way an emotional abuser maintains control over their victim?

The victim that stays with an abuser does so because the abuser uses a consistent pattern of Self Confidence, Dependence, Attachment:

  • BullyingDevaluing/threatening  making bold statements such as “you are worthless”, “you do not belong” – this creates personal insecurities and distrust in your own opinions, judgements or beliefs
  • Instilling fear, scarcity, or distrust in others, or in the process of life  “they will hurt you”, “you can’t make it on your own”, “you don’t have enough smarts/money”- this creates a dependence on the abuser
  • Creating an artificial love, bond or supportive role of “I am here for you and will take care of and protect you like no other can”, “you can’t do it without ME”.- this creates an emotional attachment  

The abuser is verbally offensive, threatening, bullying, and uses constant criticism to make you believe you are unable to function without them.  They use tactics like intimidation, shaming and manipulation to ‘control’ and subjugate the other person.  They end the cycle or pattern with a sense of love and support that solidifies your attachment to them in a way that allows you to believe they care and that they will ‘help’ you, like no other.  Therefore as a victim it is easier to ignore their cruel, degrading  words and instead justify and support the abusers process.

Many abusers have a variety of personality disorders such as narcissistic personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder or borderline personality disorders.

**Here is the kicker, most of the time the victim of emotional abuse does not see themselves as being ‘mistreated’ or abused.  They have developed methods of denial and of minimizing the situation, or even supporting and defending the abuser.  The bully has followers because it is a common fallacy that the bully will protect and not turn against their followers.

However, the long term effects of being emotionally abused are depression, anxiety, and/or PTSD. Plus being controlled leads to a devastating and possibly even life threatening environment.

Here are some of the signs of emotional abuse:

  1. The abuser humiliates, puts down or makes fun of people publicly
  2. They regularly demean or disregard other’s opinions, ideas, suggestions or needs
  3. The abuser uses sarcasm or ‘teasing’ to degrade or create insecurities
  4. They accuse others of being “too sensitive” in order to deflect their abusive remarks
  5. The abuser tries to control by treating individuals like a child
  6. They correct or chastise other’s behavior publicly
  7. The abuser tries to control other’s finances and how money is spent
  8. They try to belittle and trivialize others, their accomplishments or their hopes and dreams
  9. The abuser tries to make others feel as though they are always wrong and the abuser is always right
  10. They give disapproving or contemptuous looks or body language
  11. The abuser regularly points out flaws, mistakes or shortcomings of others
  12. They accuse or blame others of things that are proven untrue
  13. The abuser has an inability to laugh at themselves and can not tolerate others laughing at them
  14. They are intolerant of any seeming lack of respect
  15.  The abuser makes excuses for their behavior, tries to blame others and has difficulty apologizing
  16. They repeatedly cross boundaries and ignore your requests
  17. The abuser blames others for their problems, life difficulties or unhappiness
  18. They call others names, give them unpleasant labels, or makes cutting remarks under their breath
  19. The abuser is emotionally distant or emotionally unavailable most of the time
  20. They resort to pouting or withdrawal to get attention or attain what they want.
  21. The abuser doesn’t show empathy or compassion
  22. They play ‘victim’ and try to deflect blame rather than taking personal responsibility
  23. The abuser disengages or uses neglect or abandonment to punish or frighten
  24. They don’t seem to notice or care about other’s feelings
  25. The abuser views others as an extension of themselves rather than as an individual
  26. They withhold personal contact, sex, money or support as a way to manipulate and control
  27. The abuser shares personal information told in confidence that could prove to be embarrassing or humiliating about individuals he protects publically
  28. They invalidate or deny their emotional abusive behavior when confronted
  29. The abuser makes subtle threats or negative remarks with intent to frighten or control you

30 Signs Of Emotional Abuse In A Relationship

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As a community of Americans we are getting ready to vote for our next leader. It is so important to look at our reasoning for voting for an individual.  We have one candidate that is using these abusive techniques to gain followers:

  • Devaluing entire groups of people
  • Instilling FEAR that the Country is bad and needs reform
  • Developing artificial bonds- ONLY they can save us

Is this a method of mass group control?  When we look at others that have used this technique to gain allegiance within a large group of individuals in history, they are all considered Dictators.  Is this what we want for America?

Do we understand we are being persuaded to believe, follow and support a candidate that is using a psychological method to gain dominance?  Do his followers understand this is form of manipulation?

Is it ethical to use known psychological techniques of manipulation to ‘control’ a large group of individuals?  We’ve made it illegal to use subliminal advertising in marketing because we know this is a form of psychological/emotional dominance.  Should we continue to condone this form of advertising in a political arena?

Is it illegal to harass, threaten or create an unsafe environment for an entire group of individuals?

If an abuser was in a 1:1 relationship and they were proven to be emotionally abusive it is actually covered under our criminal code that if these remarks are violent, threatening or cause the victim to fear for their safety then it is illegal.  Criminal law prohibits someone from uttering threats of death or bodily harm to another person.  Threats could include, “you make me so mad I am going to break your leg” , or “I am going to slit your throat”.  If it is spoken with the intention of intimidating the recipient then a criminal offence, and criminal court can punish the person.  Is it feasible to think a Class action suit could be brought about to protect the safety of all the individuals that are feeling threatened by these remarks?

http://www.springtideresources.org/resources/can-emtional-abuse-be-criminal-act

In the end,  no candidate has a pristine history and it is important to note that what we know and understand about these candidates are mostly presented through the lens of the media.  However, I will ‘vote my conscience’ and remember that every human being is a gift to our world and has the ability to contribute in a positive way when raised in a supportive environment.  How do we want our children, grandchildren and future generations to live, in fear of others or in knowledgement that  each of us brings to this world a uniqueness and diversity?

Just Another Thought by Dr. Lise’