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Messages - Natalie_Gillis

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Browse free online courses from the world’s leading universities & cultural institutions. See what’s starting now and coming up.

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2
Interested in taking part in research?
Interested in preparing yourself and feel more confident to ask questions?
Want to protect your participants and have the best results, and level of trust possible?


Keep an open mind when reading the following documents on how the guidelines of ethics can help protect you while in research, or while you are investigating a phenomenon:


http://www.apa.org/ethics/code/index.aspx

http://www.bps.org.uk/sites/default/files/documents/code_of_human_research_ethics.pdf

References:

American Psychological Association. (2010). Ethical principles of psychologists and codes of conduct. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/ethics/code/index.aspx

British Psychological Society. (2010). Code of human research ethics. Retrieved from http://www.bps.org.uk/sites/default/files/documents/code_of_human_research_ethics.pdf

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Project Base Line / CALL FOR PAPERS CANADIANS AND WAR
« on: October 04, 2015, 01:13:45 PM »
http://lammipublishing.ca/call-for-papers-caw/

Lammi Publishing is pleased to announce a call for papers for the essay collection, Canadians and War, to be published in the second quarter of 2016.

THEMES
We wish to provide the opportunity for the discussion of topics which are rarely covered in larger works, as well as to provide a place for bold analysis of debates and topics. Anything is possible from prior to confederation through the conflict in Afghanistan. We are looking for everything from the most personal, a fighter pilot on a single sortie, to the most broad, the effect of the World Wars on French and English Canadian relations.

We are looking for a broad array of voices. We welcome lay people as well as undergraduates and graduate students as well as PhDs.  Please note, we reserve the right to break the volume into smaller works based upon conflict or topic if the response is overwhelming.

FORMAT
Essays are to be between 5000 and 7000 words using standard manuscript format and the Chicago Manual of Style. End notes to be used for citations and files to be sent in Microsoft Word format.

RIGHTS AND PAYMENT
The work will be published as an e-book. Therefore, we require worldwide English language rights in all e-book formats. Payment to be based upon net royalties proportioned as a percentage of the total work that the essay contains to be paid twice annually.

IMPORTANT DEADLINES
Proposals to be received no later than October 31st at 11:59 PM mountain daylight time. Proposals to be sent via email to info@lammipublishing.ca, subject line: Proposal, Canadians and War. Email should contain a one paragraph description of the proposed work, a paragraph describing the sources to be utilized and, finally, a short biography including previous citations and social media involvement—Twitter, Facebook, blogs, et cetera. Acceptance to be announced around November 15th. First draft of essays due February 1st, 2016 for publication in the second quarter of 2016.

Any questions and comments, please email info@lammipublishing.ca.

4
Project Base Line / Veteran Suicides Increasing After Federal Election?
« on: September 25, 2015, 10:04:00 AM »
Susceptibility of Canadian Military Suicides Increasing Without Re-Instated Health Services

Literature Review

Natalie Gillis, MSc (Cand)
University of Liverpool Online, England
Mental Health Psychology


Introduction

   There is considerable interest in the contributing factors that lead to military Veteran suicide. However, the majority of research appears to materialize from the United States on how service personnel may capitulate under the grip of suicide without health assistance. An advantage is the high number of recruits who were deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001 (Duhart, 2011), but it should be considered that not all studies will sync to leading global research or share other national values. Where there is very little investigative literature from Canada in comparison (Leenaars, 2013), this raises the question for how the country's soldiers may or may not function from services being stripped away. Literature available from the Canadian front expresses similar grief to their American counterparts on how to reduce these rates (Lee, n.d.), but a recurring gap with this topic everywhere is reliability and predictability because suicide is multi-determined (Leenaars, 2013) and inconclusive (Hoffmire, Piegari & Bossarte, 2013). As a result, irrefutable information could be lost (Hoffmire et al., 2013) because not everyone will be predictable, and not all studies show an association between Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and suicide (Kang, Bullman, Smolensk, Skopp, Gahm & Reger, 2015). Additionally, the mainstream recognizes the need to assist those who are coming back from deployments, but the bulk focuses on those returning from more recent theatres (war zones). The following literature review attempts to bring a clearer perspective of the difficulties when measuring a military populace.

Element and National Differentiations

   Kang et al. (2015) found that in 2008 those who served in the United States' Navy and Air Force had lower numbers of suicide than civilians, but those in the Army and Marine Corps had higher numbers than non-militants. One explanation for the Air Force and Navy having lower numbers of suicide in relation to the development and severity of PTSD could be the distance away from witnessing death (Grossman, 2009). Moreover, Duhart (2011) states that there was a 75% increase in mental health services by Army personnel who were deployed to Afghanistan between 2006-2009 alone, and more than 1.5 million soldiers from the United States went to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001; more than 300,000 were diagnosed with PTSD from Operation Iraqi Freedom. These numbers are incomparable to the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), and substantiates the claim that considerable research opportunities are less feasible with the CAF. In contrast, as one facet to increase literature, the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research has partnered with a number of universities across the nation to focus on specific needs unique to Canada (Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research, 2015).

Issues with the Department of Veteran Affairs

   Veteran Affairs (VA) in both Canada and the United States have fragments, significant processing delays, and it is believed that the numbers of actual suicides are greater than what is reported (Duhart, 2014). A major note on the Canadian front is that with the upcoming Federal election many Veterans have not forgiven how pensions were completely taken away alongside unspent budgets for the CAF (Beaver & Clarke, 2015). The closing of more than half a dozen VA offices across the country in 2013 undermines the decrease of plausible suicides (Donnelly, 2014). It could, nonetheless, provide a platform and show how prospective veterans being set up for failure might need these support systems returned.
   
Difficulties in Collecting Data and the Utilization of Services

   Equally, this situation could be studied in opposition as to how other countries already function with either less than, equal to or more help. Unfortunately, there is also a shortage of consistent data from other countries on how soldiers function with, or make do without health services to treat psychiatric injuries. Work done by Basham, Denneson, Millet, Shen, Duckart & Dobscha (2011) expresses that the availability of mortality data has been challenging due to there being no set standard for reporting.

   The Department of Veterans Affairs in the US is presently collecting death certificates from 1999-2015 (Hoffmire et al., 2013), but it is crucial to mention that not every veteran accesses services from VA, so there will be missing prospects. Another factor to consider when collecting data is the potential for resistance because of their programmed "GI Joe" ways of thinking (Duhart, 2011). Consequently, these struggles to collect subsequent data works against being able to reflect a nation's vulnerability scale.

Themes of Military Veteran Suicide

   In light, Kang et al., (2015) were able to find that Veteran suicides in the US doubled in 2005-2009 for persons deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. Their study also found that the highest rates were young, male, unmarried Veterans, and that being deployed to the war zone itself was not a constituent to the rise in suicides. Similarities in overall research suggest that prolonged poor health activities in relation to mental health conditions, adds to the risk of suicide albeit any treatment these individuals might receive (Lee, n.d.).

   Although mental health workers aim to provide the needs of individual cases, a pitfall is that they can also fail to consider the full scope of the Veteran community in how they try to seek help (Matthieu, Gardiner, Ziegemeier & Buxton, 2014). Matthieu et al., (2014) focused on agencies who may contact those Veterans in need of suicide prevention, methods used and the success rates of these recruitment processes. Their overall work highlighted the engagement of both private and public sectors to recognize and refer potential clients to services. A large limitation was the less than 50% response rate from agencies to take part in their sample study.

Rates of Military Veteran Suicide

   In addition, a study done in the US by Basham et al., (2011) reported that 22% of completed suicides between 2000 and 2005 (n=968) were individuals who received assistance from VA. The United States tells of there being roughly 18-22 suicides a day in their Veteran population (Duhart, 2011), but there is no consistent determination how many there are a day in Canada in comparison. The research available on US Veterans has crutched on samples of those who are at-risk of suicide because they were suffering from Depression (Basham et al., 2011).  After studying and observing several clients who visit the Emergency Departments in community settings, Knox (2012) and her colleagues noted that there is a need identify those Veterans at risk for suicide, provide intervention and follow-ups. 

Suggested Intervention Methods

   Social strategies, such as openness and self-awareness are key to prevention and risk of suicide. Being able to function and hold healthy relationships appear to be major constituents for improving health; Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, and Dialectal Behaviour Therapy are encouraged as intervention methods (Knox, Stanley, Currier, Brenner, Ghahramanlou-Holloway & Brown (2012). Other avenues should be explored. Combined intervention strategies might be group retreats and talk-sites because they can be beneficial for creating bonds and sharing information. The possible dangers could be: mixing susceptible subjects with others who have instabilities, heated opinions and bullying tendencies. Management on scales that large could render as exhausting and difficult, especially with susceptibilities in a world of cyber bullying (Myers & Twenge, 2013).

Gaps in Research

   The largest gap is the unbalanced amount of data available between countries. Factors for this can be dependent on government and public interest, funding, cultural norms and the size of militaries around the World. Research does not always consider how men and women interpret trauma and their number of repeated deployments. There needs to be a trend of considering which element they served with (Air, Army, Sea), their exposure to certain events, and proximity to witnessing death on an individual basis; how many forces a country deploys and the individual's job would benefit a hollistic interpretation.

   Not all military veterans should be seen as being unsatisfied with health care they may actually receive. The data from service personnel who obtain benefits may indeed be satisfied with their services, yet in some cases this may be satisfaction of having something rather than nothing at all.  Another factor to consider that is missing is the need for being mindful of their potential for anger, rigid stubbornness and/or lowered tolerance levels; timeframe wise, this may acutely alter their impressions of healthcare and give different information.

   Mutual findings in research studies investigate long term health issues such as tobacco use, hypertension, digestive problems and heart disease, and co-morbid conditions (Lee, n.d.) that could be determinants for suicide which are not related to PTSD. Not all research is reflective of secondary or third party impacts for suicide on individual basis. Documentation of the numbers of Veterans who visit Emergency departments could give an idea of how many use this service. However, this may raise ethical and confidential issues.

   A specific set up with honest and reliable documentation of death by suicide could create legitimate rates for this populace. Medical records and death certificates need to match in order to obtain proper numbers, and it is important to further note that suicide may manifest years later for some people. Pooling every person together during a certain time when they went to war may not provide a hollistic scope of this phenomenon.

Conclusion

   There are several constituents that influence a person to take their own life. The listed gaps and overlooked features mentioned above, and similarly the at times exaggerated claims due to anger can negatively impact data. This report convolutes how difficult it may be to get a precise impression of how the Canadian military is actually suffering. Furthermore, it is still noteworthy to question the rates of suicide changing for Canadian military Veterans if programs are not re-instated after the 2015 Federal Election.
   


References:

Basham, C., Denneson, L., Millet, L., Shen, X., Duckart, J., & Dobscha, S. (2011). Characteristics and VA health care utilization of U.S. Veterans who completed suicide in Oregon between 2000 and 2005. Suicide & Life-Threatening Behavior, 41(3), 287-296. doi:10.1111/j.1943-   278X.2011.00028.x

Beaver, T. & Clarke, R. (2015) Harper forgot about veterans. They haven't forgotten about him. Available at:    http://ipolitics.ca/2015/08/21/harper-forgot-about-veterans-they-havent-forgotten-about-him/ (Accessed: 23/09/2015).

Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research (2015) CIMVHR Publications. Available at: https://cimvhr.ca/cimvhr-publications (Accessed: 23/09/2015).

Donnelly, A. (2014) 'All we get is lip service': Thousands of furious veterans picket offices in battle with Julien Fantino. Available at: http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/protesters-hold-memorials-for-veterans-affairs-offices-slated-to-close-across-canada-   today (Accessed:23/09/2015).

Duhart, O. (2011). SYMPOSIUM ON MORAL AND ETHICAL PERSPECTIVES IN WAR, TERRORISM, AND MILITARY LAW: SOLDIER SUICIDES AND OUTCRIT JURISPRUDENCE: AN ANTI-SUBORDINATION ANALYSIS. Creighton Law Review,44883.

Grossman, D. (2009). On Killing: The psychological costs of learning to kill in war and society. New York: NY: Back Bay Books.

Hoffmire, C. A., Piegari, R. I., & Bossarte, R. M. (2013). Misclassification of veteran status on Washington state death certificates for suicides from 1999 to 2008. Annals Of Epidemiology, 23(5), 298-300. doi:10.1016/j.annepidem.2013.03.007

Kang, H., Bullman, T., Smolensk, D. , Skopp, N., Gahm, G., & Reger, M. (2015). Suicide risk among 1.3 million veterans who were on active duty during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Annals Of Epidemiology, 25(2), 96-100. doi:10.1016/j.annepidem.2014.11.020

Knox, K. L., Stanley, B., Currier, W., Brenner, L., Ghahramanlou-Holloway, M., & Brown, G. (2012). An Emergency Department-Based Brief Intervention for Veterans at Risk for Suicide (SAFE    VET). American Journal Of Public Health, 102(S1), S33-S37. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2011.300501

Lee, E. (n.d). Complex Contribution of Combat-Related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder to Veteran Suicide: Facing an Increasing Challenge. Perspectives In Psychiatric Care, 48(2), 108-115.

Leenaars, A. A. (2013). Suicide among the Armed Forces: Understanding the cost of service. Amityville, NY,US: Baywood Publishing Co.

Matthieu, M. M., Gardiner, G., Ziegemeier, E., & Buxton, M. (2014). Using a Service Sector Segmented Approach to Identify Community Stakeholders Who Can Improve Access to Suicide Prevention Services for Veterans. Military Medicine, 179(4), 388-395. doi:10.7205/MILMED-D-13-00306

Myers, D.G., & Twenge, J.M. (2013). Social Psychology (11th ed). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

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http://megahealth.ca/changed-thinking/

Changed Thinking
December 28, 2014UncategorizedKyle Irwin
Submitted by Natalie Gillis

“A person’s worth is measured by the worth of what he values”

-Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

 

Leading people is not always easy. It is an art that takes practice. When we are talking about dealing with stigma, or educating the public on a topic that they may not know much about, or could use more information on in a holistic sense, I turn to a book by John C. Maxwell. “How Successful People Lead”, gives a very easy to understand outline on how some of the most successful people conduct themselves. He expresses right from the beginning, that when it comes to changed thinking it is not automatic and that it is difficult.

 

Influencing a way of thought can take time, analysis and patience. If you are dealing with a group of individuals who have been traumatized, and/or have lost faith in a lot of previously established security blankets, so to speak, it will take much longer. In becoming a better thinker, Maxwell (2009) explores the realms of how exposing yourself to good input, good thinkers, thinking good thoughts and then acting on them, creates room for one’s emotions to lead to more good thoughts.

 

Repetition, good or bad, will create who someone can be prone to becoming. Seeing the bright side of things can sweeten up a situation that may have left a sour taste in your mouth. What makes you happy? What excites you? Is it your children? Volunteering? What about playing your guitar or doing physical labour? In essence, what makes one feel good about themselves and can be seen or considered as being constructive, without vanity or for ulterior motives, is what separates the happy people from the ones who wear a mask. I wrote a quote about ten years ago, “If someone fools you, you are not the fool. They are, because temporary kicks with deception don’t last long-term to be happy. They’re the ones missing out on what happiness really is – this behaviour is foolish.” Instances that are truthful and honourable will create long term results.

 

This article is a teaser for the online booklet that I will be releasing. A short exercise for you before travelling on through the rest of what I have is from the chapters of Maxwell’s book. If you wish, use the internet to research them more, and be as creative as you like with examples for each. If it seems too much for you right now, you can always come back to it later:

 

A) Cultivate Big-Picture Thinking

B) Engage in Focused Thinking

C) Harness Creative Thinking

D) Employ Realistic Thinking

E) Utilize Strategic Thinking

F) Explore Possibility Thinking

G) Learn from Reflective Thinking

H) Question Popular Thinking

I) Benefit from Shared Thinking

J) Practice Unselfish Thinking

K) Rely on Bottom-Line Thinking

 

The reason I am addressing these listed ways of thinking as being important, is because the information, humour and history I speak of will be more appealing to those already open to what I am saying. To be successful in addressing stigma and educating the public on mental health within a discombobulated society is no easy feat.

Early on in April of 2014, Dr. Laura Hayes released an article, “Mentally ill people aren’t killers. Angry people are”, that touches on relevant and modern clinical operations, actions, and traditional methods of Western society (for this example) and how it perceives the behaviours of angry people. What caught my attention was how she was able to effectively differentiate between individuals who are angry, and who are mentally ill. I have read many articles, both scholastic and news related, in ten years on mental health, yet in my experience this one had captioned the difference perfectly.

As you will come to see throughout my magazine issue (to come), I will talk briefly on the history of how mental health theories and treatments have evolved since the Greeks. Anyone can talk about where theories and practices come from. Anyone can write a paper or news clipping on who said this and who said that. What anyone hardly describes is the bell curves in history where there were years of despair and then years of enlightenment. What I would like to hearten readers with is that although there are new developments in intensities of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder cases (because there are many corners in the ‘boxing ring’), in light of it all, some background should be able to offer encouragement, and with what is to come; we are somewhere in the middle of a despair to an enlightenment bell curve.

 

First, let me explain a few things:

 

Violence, as Ms. Hayes explains, is a “product of anger”, and it is not a product of someone’s mental health diagnosis. She furthermore voices how it is an easy scapegoat to use when societal norms are heavily violated by the actions of someone, or people, and lives are taken, in some instances. For those intimidated by someone with any mental disorder, if they act out, and from my experiences, it could be from anger of how they are: being mistreated; ignored, isolated, neglected; misunderstood; lonely and/ or perhaps angry, etc. with what they have gone through. An important measure is to not judge the behaviour of how someone might be acting out, but rather practice your own behaviour of finding out the root cause of their potential pain. Some people act out sexually, others may drink or take drugs. I’m not going to get into the cases of Anna Nicole Smith, Miley Cyrus, Justin Beiber, or any celebrity that may not have particularly favourable reputations in the masses. At the end of the day, my heavy point is, they are not the same as they once were when we might have known them before.

 

When we look at political leaders in different parts of the World they can share the same kind of negative distinction. We see and hear about disheartening incidents almost daily, in some fashion. In other situations, the soldier suffering in silence who commits suicide may have taken his or her family by surprise. This person had been in the dark long enough for them to consider this unfortunate ending. Their own personal feelings of despair had anchored them to feeling distraught. This became the norm in their life; they, most likely, became a different person than they might have been before, because of experience(s), whether they or others recognize this or not.  Whether the behaviour is silent or outright obvious, it is a justified explanation through my empirical (witness) evidence as becoming NORMAL to THEM.

 

What is normal? Normal is anything that is regular, practiced or seemingly accepted by one’s culture or close social circles, or at length, to them personally. What might be considered normal in the Western side of the World, is not the same as Eastern thinking, or the Middle Eastern ways of thinking. On the flip side, we don’t need to look far to see that there are large similarities in any part of the World; that being anger and violence. When we see domestic abuse situations, whether it be a man overpowering a woman, a woman overpowering a man, or perhaps they are equal in unhealthy behaviours toward the other, we typically tend to focus blame on at least someone. The usual statements/ questions are, “Why doesn’t she leave him?”, “She deserves it”, “He is too good for her”, or even, “They deserve each other”. One or both may come from dysfunctional backgrounds, and where this information is good for understanding where someone’s position is due to their history, what needs focus is on how these two people fused into a situation that has become -normal- to them. Violence and abuse, not power, for this particular debate, is when people are angry.

 

What I mean by this is that no matter if people have a mental illness and/or psychiatry injury, are being abused at home, or there are extremist acts circulating through terrorism and war, violence is a behaviour that can happen when things become normalized, and/or when people “break”. Things become normal when people actively take part in something and it continues over a period of time. “We are a culture awash in anger” (Hayes, 2014), and this is true. Everywhere on Facebook, for example, we see negative comments, hate groups, and tongue lashing sarcasm. Social connecting through the internet and cell phones has not only begun to destroy any in-person connectivity, but it has grown to be one of the most destructive measures of confronting issues, that being behind a screen. In sum, if you brand the cow enough times, or sometimes it just takes one instance, it is most likely going to kick at some point. It’s really not a rocket science experiment if you think about it.

 

One of the reasons that I have chosen my approach in educating people online, the way I have been, is, because of how I work within the historical context and development of psychology, and how we are communicating and behaving in our era. The crucial matters at hand are not only to raise awareness of mental health, anti- stigma/oppressive measures, but also what we need to focus on and how to understand that any person can be angry, and what pro-active strategies are being made effective toward our stage of enlightenment. This, as a whole, continues in my upcoming work with further details and explanations.

 

When I have gone to academic institutions ranging from high school to university levels to give presentations on mental illness, I have crafted my work to best describe mental health terms as simple as possible. Often times I use metaphors, puns and analogies to add some humour and flavour to the information. This, as a result, has made the atmosphere less intimidating for listeners and has opened the door to making the environment more receptive to what I am saying.

 

To break it down there are three descriptions of the unwell mind that, to this day, causes conflict for debate: mental disorder, mental illness and mental disease. When I look at the term mental disorder I use a picturesque way of simply seeing someone who is like a cluttered desk. Their organization may be all over the place, they might be acting out of line and they may be emotionally jumbled. This is a very basic description for those experiencing depression, for instance (I am explaining the wording, and not generalizing or expanding on the details of each individual).

 

Mental illness is as simple as when someone is, again, not feeling well. Due to their mental disorder, which also falls under the psychology umbrella of mood disorders, etc., they can feel physical symptoms of feeling weighted down. The psychological effects of depression and mania does in-fact have significant consequences on energy levels within a person. Miraculously, there are now blood tests being established to confirm depression as being a physical illness, which I will touch on later on (within the booklet).

 

This now leads into the explanation of the term “mental disease”. Of course, you cannot physically acquire a mental illness by being around someone. You can, however, obtain second hand depression if over a period of time you become sad because of the company you keep. Your genes or biology can also play a part in what you may or may not develop at any course of your life time. Much like Alzheimer’s, mental illnesses like depression, bipolar and schizophrenia do not discriminate and its onset can occur at different stages of life.

 

In sum, mental disorder, mental illness and mental disease all culminate within the same definitions to explain someone who is potentially unhappy, very elevated, or not in contact with reality. Again, these are very simple explanations for the terms at hand and should not be seen as a tell all end all. Each case and person should be assessed appropriately. It is important for anyone to ensure that treatment continues. For those who wish to attempt taking control of their lives without, per se, clinical methods I encourage those choices. A structured and predictable environment is very important, consistency is crucial, and setting realistic goals is meaningful. Maintaining positivity and support will help the development of independence. Act on your values.

References:

Hayes, L. (2014) Medical Examiner: Health and Medicine Explained. Available at: http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2014/04/anger_causes_violence_treat_it_rather_than_mental_illness_to_stop_mass_murder.html (Accessed: 11/06/2014).

Maxwell, J.C. (2009). How Successful People Think; Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life. Edition. New York, NY: Hachette Book Group.

7
Project Base Line / 15 Common Cognitive Distortions
« on: December 31, 2014, 08:25:36 AM »
15 Common Cognitive Distortions

What’s a cognitive distortion and why do so many people have them? Cognitive distortions are simply ways that our mind convinces us of something that isn’t really true. These inaccurate thoughts are usually used to reinforce negative thinking or emotions — telling ourselves things that sound rational and accurate, but really only serve to keep us feeling bad about ourselves.

For instance, a person might tell themselves, “I always fail when I try to do something new; I therefore fail at everything I try.” This is an example of “black or white” (or polarized) thinking. The person is only seeing things in absolutes — that if they fail at one thing, they must fail at all things. If they added, “I must be a complete loser and failure” to their thinking, that would also be an example of overgeneralization — taking a failure at one specific task and generalizing it their very self and identity.

Cognitive distortions are at the core of what many cognitive-behavioral and other kinds of therapists try and help a person learn to change in psychotherapy. By learning to correctly identify this kind of “stinkin’ thinkin’,” a person can then answer the negative thinking back, and refute it. By refuting the negative thinking over and over again, it will slowly diminish overtime and be automatically replaced by more rational, balanced thinking.
Cognitive Distortions

Aaron Beck first proposed the theory behind cognitive distortions and David Burns was responsible for popularizing it with common names and examples for the distortions.

1. Filtering.

We take the negative details and magnify them while filtering out all positive aspects of a situation. For instance, a person may pick out a single, unpleasant detail and dwell on it exclusively so that their vision of reality becomes darkened or distorted.

2. Polarized Thinking (or “Black and White” Thinking).

In polarized thinking, things are either “black-or-white.” We have to be perfect or we’re a failure — there is no middle ground. You place people or situations in “either/or” categories, with no shades of gray or allowing for the complexity of most people and situations. If your performance falls short of perfect, you see yourself as a total failure.

3. Overgeneralization.

In this cognitive distortion, we come to a general conclusion based on a single incident or a single piece of evidence. If something bad happens only once, we expect it to happen over and over again. A person may see a single, unpleasant event as part of a never-ending pattern of defeat.

4. Jumping to Conclusions.

Without individuals saying so, we know what they are feeling and why they act the way they do. In particular, we are able to determine how people are feeling toward us.

For example, a person may conclude that someone is reacting negatively toward them but doesn’t actually bother to find out if they are correct. Another example is a person may anticipate that things will turn out badly, and will feel convinced that their prediction is already an established fact.

5. Catastrophizing.

We expect disaster to strike, no matter what. This is also referred to as “magnifying or minimizing.” We hear about a problem and use what if questions (e.g., “What if tragedy strikes?” “What if it happens to me?”).

For example, a person might exaggerate the importance of insignificant events (such as their mistake, or someone else’s achievement). Or they may inappropriately shrink the magnitude of significant events until they appear tiny (for example, a person’s own desirable qualities or someone else’s imperfections).

With practice, you can learn to answer each of these cognitive distortions.

6. Personalization.

Personalization is a distortion where a person believes that everything others do or say is some kind of direct, personal reaction to the person. We also compare ourselves to others trying to determine who is smarter, better looking, etc.

A person engaging in personalization may also see themselves as the cause of some unhealthy external event that they were not responsible for. For example, “We were late to the dinner party and caused the hostess to overcook the meal. If I had only pushed my husband to leave on time, this wouldn’t have happened.”

7. Control Fallacies.

If we feel externally controlled, we see ourselves as helpless a victim of fate. For example, “I can’t help it if the quality of the work is poor, my boss demanded I work overtime on it.” The fallacy of internal control has us assuming responsibility for the pain and happiness of everyone around us. For example, “Why aren’t you happy? Is it because of something I did?”

8. Fallacy of Fairness.

We feel resentful because we think we know what is fair, but other people won’t agree with us. As our parents tell us when we’re growing up and something doesn’t go our way, “Life isn’t always fair.” People who go through life applying a measuring ruler against every situation judging its “fairness” will often feel badly and negative because of it. Because life isn’t “fair” — things will not always work out in your favor, even when you think they should.

9. Blaming.

We hold other people responsible for our pain, or take the other track and blame ourselves for every problem. For example, “Stop making me feel bad about myself!” Nobody can “make” us feel any particular way — only we have control over our own emotions and emotional reactions.

10. Shoulds.

We have a list of ironclad rules about how others and we should behave. People who break the rules make us angry, and we feel guilty when we violate these rules. A person may often believe they are trying to motivate themselves with shoulds and shouldn’ts, as if they have to be punished before they can do anything.

For example, “I really should exercise. I shouldn’t be so lazy.” Musts and oughts are also offenders. The emotional consequence is guilt. When a person directs should statements toward others, they often feel anger, frustration and resentment.

11. Emotional Reasoning.

We believe that what we feel must be true automatically. If we feel stupid and boring, then we must be stupid and boring. You assume that your unhealthy emotions reflect he way things really are — “I feel it, therefore it must be true.”

12. Fallacy of Change.

We expect that other people will change to suit us if we just pressure or cajole them enough. We need to change people because our hopes for happiness seem to depend entirely on them.

13. Global Labeling.

We generalize one or two qualities into a negative global judgment. These are extreme forms of generalizing, and are also referred to as “labeling” and “mislabeling.” Instead of describing an error in context of a specific situation, a person will attach an unhealthy label to themselves.

For example, they may say, “I’m a loser” in a situation where they failed at a specific task. When someone else’s behavior rubs a person the wrong way, they may attach an unhealthy label to him, such as “He’s a real jerk.” Mislabeling involves describing an event with language that is highly colored and emotionally loaded. For example, instead of saying someone drops her children off at daycare every day, a person who is mislabeling might say that “she abandons her children to strangers.”

14. Always Being Right.

We are continually on trial to prove that our opinions and actions are correct. Being wrong is unthinkable and we will go to any length to demonstrate our rightness. For example, “I don’t care how badly arguing with me makes you feel, I’m going to win this argument no matter what because I’m right.” Being right often is more important than the feelings of others around a person who engages in this cognitive distortion, even loved ones.

15. Heaven’s Reward Fallacy.

We expect our sacrifice and self-denial to pay off, as if someone is keeping score. We feel bitter when the reward doesn’t come.


http://psychcentral.com/lib/15-common-cognitive-distortions/0002153

Burns, D. D. (1980). Feeling good: The new mood therapy. New York: New American Library.

8
For anyone interested in higher education:
http://www.getready.liverpool-online.com/who-we-are/succeeding-together

I am currently enrolled in the Masters of Science, Mental Health Psychology degree. This is not a licensing to counsel program. This is typically taken to enhance the performance, education delivery and knowledge to professionals around the globe. Typically, students are in their late 30s and have at roughly a decade of working experience in their profession (of counselling, etc.). I have chosen this Graduate program to anchor the top research and information from an international perspective before a prospective, professional career in facilitation or counselling. It may be something of interest to you.

Cheers

9
Project Base Line / The Evolution of Academia (online slideshow)
« on: November 04, 2014, 07:26:59 PM »
As a part of my teaching tools, I have here something that the University of Liverpool enforces their recently admitted students to take part in before commencing their programs. For those of you who facilitate or provide educational services in any field, topic or training, this slide show offers a simplistic, and easy presentation on how education has developed over time.

http://www.getready.liverpool-online.com/uk-education-model/evolution

-University of Liverpool

10
Project Base Line / Psychology and Mental Health (free online course)
« on: November 04, 2014, 07:23:53 PM »
For anyone interested in some basics:

https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/mental-health-and-well-being/todo/606

-University of Liverpool

12
Project Base Line / University of Liverpool (online course)
« on: August 09, 2014, 05:17:34 PM »
The University is a member of The Russell Group of 24 UK research-led universities and is ranked in the top 1% of higher education institutions worldwide.

http://news.liv.ac.uk/2014/08/06/professor-peter-kinderman-rethinking-mental-health-and-well-being/

Professor of Clinical Psychology and Head of the Institute of Psychology Health and Society at the University of Liverpool, explains here what to expect for the future of mental health care, ahead of the launch of his free online course – ‘Psychology and Mental Health: Beyond Nature and Nurture’:

https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/mental-health-and-well-being

13
http://www.stress.org/10-actions-for-responding-to-a-veteran-in-crisis/

For more than a decade now, our country has been at war in two very different locations, with very different missions. In that time, more than 2.2 million troops have deployed and served in those bloody conflicts. They have endured unimaginable heat, bitter cold, and sand storms that peel the skin off your bones; they’ve missed births of children, weddings of friends, anniversaries of parents, and funerals of fallen brothers; they’ve witnessed the wholesale slaughter of innocents and savage acts of hatred and violence, as well as acts of such immense bravery, honor, and sacrifice as to change forever their version of courage.

But living through all that does something to you.

The civilian world often says with a bewildered shake of its collective heads, “We’ve lost so many young people during these wars.” But in truth, only those who were there, or loved those who were there, have truly suffered the losses. Since only 1% of America puts on a military uniform, the rest of America has remained largely untouched. It is the 2.2 million who bear the greatest burden; most of them lost someone they knew, sometimes right before their eyes. It’s also the 6,500 families who are devastated by the death of their loved one, who welcome home a flag-draped coffin, and who mourn in silence for years afterward.

Living through all that does something to you, too.

Tens of thousands of combat-weary warriors are now being discharged out of the military, often without a game plan as to what they will do next. Many of them entered the military right out of high school, so being a warrior is the only job they’ve ever had. And translating their specific skill set to civilian employment is tricky.

Now, after eight years of service, they take off the uniform that is their identity, turn in the weapon that they feel closer to than their own mother, leave behind a highly structured, mission-driven system with a clear chain of command, and enter into a world that looks utterly insane to them—a place where phenomenally popular “reality TV” is comic book dumb and bears no resemblance to the hard, cold reality they’ve lived.

Many of them are using their GI Bill and entering college, but are quickly learning that school is a different kind of battlefield, fraught with insensitive professors, clueless peers, and (thanks to getting their bell badly rung by an IED or two) new learning difficulties. Most are adapting, growing, and building new lives for themselves that make all of us proud. But some of them are really struggling.

Some don’t know how to handle the disorienting re-entry, not to mention the bad memories that sometimes run in their heads like horror movies they can’t turn off. So they drink, they drug, and they isolate themselves, partly because they are trying to achieve some inner quiet, and partly out of fear that one day they might completely lose control.

If that sad day comes, and the rage gets away from them, they usually rage against the people they love, often because even in their presence, the combat veteran feels misunderstood and very alone. Sometimes they aim their rage at themselves and put a 9mm in their mouths, wanting just to ease the crushing guilt they feel over having survived when their brothers didn’t.

But either way, when a battle-hardened combat veteran is involved, these won’t be your typical 911 calls. These guys are not only trained to kill, they’re desensitized to the sights, sounds, and sensations of killing; the usual hesitation in pulling the trigger has been trained out of them. Imagine your SWAT team being called out twice a day for 365 days in a row. Tactically, that’s the amount of experience you could be up against when you encounter a combat veteran.

These situations will require heightened awareness and additional skills to bring the incident to a positive resolution. The following are guidelines to help you navigate your way through the situation and reach the other side safely.

 1. Look for clues that your subject is a veteran. Optimally, your dispatcher should routinely ask callers if they know whether the subject is a veteran. That will give you a leg up. The next obvious cues are things like dog tags, a military tattoo, combat uniform, desert boots, or a distinct military bearing. Also listen to what the subject says. Use of military words or phrases (e.g., “weapon” for gun, “squared away” for things being OK, “Groundhog’s Day” for the sameness of every day, etc.) are hard to stop saying after eight years. If the situation allows you to actually talk with the subject, ask him directly, “Have you ever served in the military?” If yes, see if you can get any additional information from him without escalating him, such as which branch he served in, where he deployed to, and how long ago he got home. The more information you obtain, the more leverage you’ll have to work with.

2. Once you’ve determined the subject is a combat veteran, take extra safety precautions. Most veterans I know carry a weapon on them all the time—usually a knife, sometimes a Ka-Bar. But some of them will also have a firearm in a gym bag or in their vehicle somewhere. Remember: their M4 was their guardian angel for many years. They feel tremendously vulnerable without something to replace it. If you’ve been called to a veteran’s home for a fight, domestic situation, or suicidal gesture, assume there are weapons and ammo in the house.

3. When a veteran decompensates, the situation can become violent very quickly. If at all possible, establish some distance between the subject and everyone else around him. Phrases such as, “Hey, let’s give him some breathing room, folks, give the guy some air,” can clear some people away without insulting the veteran. This type of non-confrontational response will also decrease the veteran’s sense of threat, which is crucial in helping the veteran to feel safe.

 4. Keep in mind that the veteran’s actions may be somewhat or completely out of his conscious control at that moment. He’s probably in nine kinds of pain and probably hasn’t gotten the help he deserves. So if it is at all appropriate and feasible, thank him for his service. Even if you have to take him down and handcuff him, try to be as respectful as possible. Do what you can to help the veteran save face. Obviously, in a foot chase, you’re not stopping to make nice. If the guy is threatening you, you’re not thanking him for his sacrifice. But if, for instance, it’s a suicide gesture or the guy is in an argument with someone, thanking him changes the tone of the encounter and builds rapport, which is key to de-escalation and resolution.

 5. Combat veterans can have some pretty dramatic responses to being startled. My advice: minimize the surprises. You can’t control noises on the street or what other people do, but if, for instance, you need to pull out a pad and pen, don’t just suddenly reach into your pocket—his warrior brain may kick in and think you’re attacking him. Cue him into what you’re doing by saying, “I’m just going to take some notes.”

6. A corollary to that is to do things that will calm him. For instance, maintain an exterior that looks relaxed and confident. Use supportive language. Control your own voice; he’ll sense anger or disgust in your tone, which he’ll interpret as being disrespectful. If one of his kids is crying or his girlfriend is screaming at him, find a way of separating him from that. Neurologically, he’s torqued up, and additional stressors like that can escalate things unnecessarily.

 7. If you have any ties to the military yourself, or if your family member served in Iraq or Afghanistan, mention it. If you have any ties to New York City, tell him something like, “I personally appreciated you going over there and kicking the crap out of Bin Laden.” The more real you can be with him, the less likely his subconscious is to view you as an enemy when it comes time for you to take action and the more likely he is to drop his defensive posture.

 8. Let him talk, as long as it is helping him wind down. Validate how tough his situation is (whatever that may be). If he’s ranting about something going on in his life, don’t argue with him, just nod your head and say something non-committal like, “Yeah, that sounds like a tough situation.” Time is your friend in these cases. Sometimes, the guy just needs to have a reason (jail) to regain control.

 9. Think of the subject’s behavior as symptoms of an injury, not as a mental illness. I’ve never understood how a soldier witnessing his best friend or battle buddy getting blown apart makes him disordered. Far more empowering (and accurate) is that the soldier has been injured by the experience. An injury requires some care and some time, maybe even some adjustments afterwards, but doesn’t label the person as “broken.” If you approach the subject with the understanding that he is injured vs. emotionally disturbed, he’ll be far more likely to trust and connect with you.

10. If at any point the subject begins saying things that make no sense or are incongruous to the time and place, call the paramedics immediately and clear the area. If he starts shouting something like, “We’re three clicks away and under fire!” or if he starts calling out names of people who are not present, he is most likely experiencing a flashback and is living out a memory. That means he’s unpredictable. He may look straight at your uniform with the U.S. flag on it and, in his state, be absolutely convinced you are a suicide bomber about to detonate. He has no control over this behavior and cannot be “talked out of it,” and attempting to do so may agitate him further. If he appears to be living out a battle scene, create as large of a perimeter for him as possible, let him know that the “medics” are on their way “to help with the wounded” and alert EMS to the situation when they arrive. And remember, be respectful. These are symptoms of a significant injury.

Given what they’ve been through, our veterans deserve our most profound compassion and assistance. Special veteran courts are being established nationwide and are allowing many veterans to receive clinical care instead of getting lost in the legal system. They can, and will, heal, if we as a nation become savvy enough to work toward giving them a leg up instead of a hand out.


Alison Lighthall, RN, BSN, MSN,FIAS  is the editor of The American Institute of Stress’s Combat Stress e-magazine.  She is also president of Hand2Hand Contact, a veteran-owned and operated training and consulting company that helps civilian organizations to better understand, work with, and care for veterans. She served as a captain in the Army Nurse Corps from 2004–2007, and is a member of the ILEETA trainers organization.
- See more at: http://www.stress.org/10-actions-for-responding-to-a-veteran-in-crisis/#sthash.jcAmR1gO.dpuf




14
As suggested in my "books" folder, LCol Dave Grossman mentions Stanford University's Medial School in his revised book 'On Killing'.

"A thousand scholarly studies have proven that if we put media violence in a child's life, we are more likely to get violent behavior. And now Stanford University Medical School has introduced the "SMART" (media turn-off) curriculum, which demonstrates that if we take media violence out of a child's life, we can cut school violence and bullying in half, reduce obesity, and raise test scores by double digits."

http://www.takethechallengenow.net/links.html

USEFUL LINKS

www.cmch.tv — The Center on Media and Child Health at Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health is dedicated to understanding and responding to the effects of media on the physical, mental, and social health of children through research, production, and education.

www.sosparents.org — The Center for Successful Parenting website is designed to provide information about the negative effects of violent video. The site provides over 900 research citations including the breakthrough scientific brain scan research as well as video clips, news updates, and parent tips.

www.mediawise.org — Great site with excellent resources and information.

www.search-institute.org — Search Institute seeks to help families, schools, and communities make the world a better place for kids. Here you will find the tools and research you need—including our framework of Developmental Assets

www.tvturnoff.org — The Center for Screen-Time Awareness (CSTA), formerly TV-Turnoff Network is an international nonprofit organization, providing tools for people to live healthier lives in functional families and vibrant communities by taking control of the electronic media in their lives and not allowing it to control them.

www.med.umich.edu/1libr/yourchild/tv.htm — This website is part of the University of Michigan Health System and has great resources including links to research which is organized by questions, eg. “Does TV affect children’s brain development.

www.media-awareness.ca/english/index.cfm — This is the web site of the Media Awareness Network (MNet), one of the most comprehensive collections of media education and Internet resources. MNet is a Canadian non-profit organization that has been pioneering the development of media literacy programs since 1996.

www.lionlamb.org — This organization was developed by parents for parents, teachers and students. Although the organization no longer exists there are great references on the site.

www.kff.org/entmedia

www.acmecoalition.org

www.youngmedia.org.au/

www.childrennow.org/

www.familymediaguide.com

15
http://www.trueheroesracing.co.uk/

THR Mission
True Heroes Racing aims to use the world of motorsport to give injured Service personnel a new sense of purpose and a focus for them to set and achieve new goals, whilst competing at a national level alongside able bodied counterparts, and hopefully in time create opportunities for them for future careers outside the military.


Keeping British Forces Rehab… ON TRACK

“True Heroes Racing” is the brain child of a serving Royal Navy sailor who has been lucky enough to return from several Tours of Duty in Afghanistan uninjured.  After working with a large number of injured UK Service personnel on motorsport charity events it was decided to try and use competitive motorsport as a way of restoring a sense of direction and focus for our injured UK Service personnel and in 2012 “True Heroes Racing” was formed.


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