The latest in SASB and IRT
Benjamin, L.S. Interpersonal Reconstructive Therapy for Anger, Anxiety and Depression: it’s about broken hearts, not broken brains. American Psychological Association. Draft is nearly finished (November 2012), after having circulated among colleagues for several years. This desscription is Copyright 2012, American Psychological Association.
This book fully develops what I am calling “natural biology;” it has implicitly been the foundation of the IRT case formulation and treatment models. Natural biology is a parsimonious application of basic principles from mainstream life sciences to the problems of how and why psychopathology develops, and exactly how psychotherapy and medications can address mechanisms of change. Natural biology provides vital guidance for clinicians struggling with the vexing problem of how to engage the will to change. Very briefly, the idea is that humans have a small genome relative to plants because in human, flexibility and adaptability requires a genetic system that records tremendous amounts of specific information regarding adaptive responses in a wide variety of situations. Examples: “Don’t play in the busy street (adaptive).” “Don’t leave the yard; it is dangerous to be anywhere but at home (maladaptive).” This implicit, automatic learning from attachment figures (Family in the head) is stored by expression and silencing of genes and by epigenetics. Out of love and loyalty and sometimes bondage to them, we “know what we know” and repeat (copy) patterns based on their rules and values for us even if they are not adaptive in our adult situations. It turns out that patterns of interaction (Behaviors) are directly related to feelings (Affects) and our primitive ways of sensing the envrionment (Apprehension or “old brain” cognition). In other words, what we “sense” affects our feelings, which shape our behaviors (how we act). So if we “sense” danger because of maladaptive signals that make us anxious when there is no real danger, then we have a symptom of anxiety. The normal chain of apprehend, feel, act is activated out of context. That can be countered with drugs, and/or with changing the inappropriate signals about threat and safety from family in the head. More information about these ideas appears in the IRT Pages