Lorna Smith Benjamin

The latest in SASB and IRT

IRT for Anger, Anxiety and Depression

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

5 comments on “IRT for Anger, Anxiety and Depression

  1. integraltherapyaustralia
    March 18, 2014

    Dear Lorna,
    I have been very much helped with my practise reading your first two books. Eagerly awaiting this one. Any idea of a launch date?

  2. Lorna Smith Benjamin
    March 19, 2014

    Dear Eric,
    The good news is that i finally send the manuscript to the publisher (American Psychological Association). It is under review. After that,barring unforseen barriers, i will make a final revision and it will be on its way.About 3 months from now, I should have specific information about when the book will be available: Less than a year is unlikely. Hopefully publication will not be much later than Spring 2015.

  3. Dick Eriksson, licensed psychologist,licensed psychotherapist
    November 13, 2015

    Any news? Waiting eagerly!

    • Lorna Smith Benjamin
      November 14, 2015

      It is in the final editing stage. I’ve been struggling with how to write the technical detail in ways that clinicians might read and understand for use in practice. Am hopeful this often revised draft really will be out in the second half of 2016. One piece of good news: other people are starting to say similar things in psychology; and Science magazine and other such appropriate places are publishing more about epigenetics, which I and my expert consultants say clearly is a mechanism by which parenting has such a profound, multi-generational influence on the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems- the “seat” of affective symptoms of mental disorder.
      Many thanks for your continuing interest,

  4. Emiliano
    June 6, 2017

    Any news? :-(***
    The book is in production with American Psychological Association and is due to be released April 24, 2018

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: