I spent some time trying to figure out the proper phrasing for what it is we are trying to accomplish with the combination of Post-Modern Narrative Therapy, the emerging science of Neural Plasticity development and my own predilection for Motivational Interviewing techniques for engagement. What I came up with was a mishmash of words, all that I felt needed to be crammed into the modality name. It would be something like:
Heroic Targeted Intentional Revisionist Cognitive Neural Preferred Story Reconstruction. I'm open to suggestions.
But here is the problem and the opportunity. I believe that people, when presented with the overwhelming information regarding our own self-creation of the world around us, will choose to work towards a creation of their preferred reality instead of continuing a problem-saturated reality. But introducing this in therapy is a bit clumsy, much like telling a story and getting kids to come along with you in a game of make-believe. Only in this story the hero is you and it's not make believe, it's self-revision.
Self-revision is the key component in real cognitive change. It is the result of retelling the stories of your life in a way that reframes them to come in-line with the person you want to be. Our histories structure our future by forming our beliefs about what we are and what we can accomplish. We see this technique starting to change the paradigm of treatment in domestic violence and child abuse, as people affected by these problems are called survivors instead of victims. What are some of the titles you carry? If these titles are the name tags we wear tightly pinned to our chests, how would you like them to be re-visioned to more accurately reflect who you want to be.
So-here is where it gets important. How do we free up the activity of the limbic system (blog post for clarification) to allow for more pre-frontal activity, which is what we need for self-recreation. We need to practice with our active mind in order to convert the new belief into our durable self-concept. So instead of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, we are in effect doing Cognitive Identity Therapy.
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