ReChanneling is dedicated to researching methods to (1) alleviate symptoms of dysfunction (disorder) and discomfort (neurosis) that impact an individual’s emotional wellbeing and quality of life, (2) pursue personal goals and objectives—eliminating a bad habit, self-transformation—harnessing our intrinsic aptitude for extraordinary living. Its paradigmatic approach targets the personality through empathy, collaboration, and program integration utilizing scientific and historically, clinically practical methods including proactive neuroplasticity, cognitive-behavioral therapy, positive psychology, and techniques designed to compel the recovery and reinvigoration of self-esteem disrupted by the adolescent onset of dysfunction.
Impacted by social anxiety disorder, ReChanneling’s director spent his formative years trying to comprehend the source of his emotional and behavioral problems. Years later, studies for his degree revealed severe social anxiety disorder. Armed with that knowledge, Mullen began to research methods to alleviate the symptoms of dysfunctions and discomforts. These efforts developed into groups and workshops for 550+ San Francisco bay area individuals. Recognizing the interrelationship of DSM-defined disorders, Dr. Mullen broadened his research to include the multiple forms of anxiety and depression and their comorbidities, e.g., PTSD, OC-D, substance abuse, self-esteem, and motivational issues, etc. Realizing the approaches utilized in recovery apply to the pursuit of goals and objectives, ReChanneling now facilitates individuals seeking to self-modify and transform. Proactive neuroplasticity through direct, repetitive, neural information (DRNI) is the culmination of these efforts.
Psychological dysfunctions and discomforts. Both conditions can result in functional impairment which interferes with or limits one or more major life activities. Both impact our emotional wellbeing and quality of life. Both are addressed through the same basic processes. The primary distinction between the two is severity. Psychological dysfunction is defined as a mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder of sufficient duration to meet diagnosable criteria. ReChanneling advocates and supports the Wellness Model
over the etiology-driven disease or medical model of mental healthcare. The Wellness Model emphasizes the character strengths and virtues that generate the motivation, persistence, and perseverance to function optimally.
A PARADIGMATIC APPROACH
The Wellness Model.
One of the disadvantages of the etiological perspective is its focus on dysfunction over the individual; traditional psychology has abandoned studying the human experience in favor of focusing on a diagnosis. Evidence suggests that conventional psychiatric diagnoses have outlived their usefulness. The National Institute of Mental Health, for example, is replacing diagnoses with easily understandable descriptions of the issues based on the emerging research data, not on the current symptom-based categories.
The disease model of mental health focuses on the problem; creating a harmful symbiosis of individual and their dysfunction. In other words, the diagnosed becomes the diagnosis. The Wellness Model emphasizes the solution. A battle is not won by focusing on incompetence and weakness; it is won by knowing and utilizing our strengths, and attributes. That is how we positively function―with pride and self-reliance and determination―with the awareness of what we are capable of.
The insularity of cognitive-behavioral modification, positive psychologies, and other approaches cannot comprehensively address the complexity of the personality. We are better served by the integration of multiple traditional and non-traditional approaches, including those defined as new (third) wave (generation) therapies, developed through client trust, cultural assimilation, and therapeutic innovation. Our environment, heritage, background, and associations reflect our wants, choices, and aspirations. If they are not given consideration, then we are not valued.
An integration of science and east-west psychologies is essential to capture the diversity of human thought and experience. Science gives us proactive neuroplasticity; cognitive-behavioral modification and positive psychology’s optimal functioning are western-oriented, and eastern practices provide the therapeutic benefits of Abhidharma psychology and the overarching truths of ethical behavior. Included in this program are targeted approaches utilized to restore self-esteem by correcting maladaptive and self-defeating thoughts and behaviors.
AN INDIVIDUALLY TARGETED APPROACH
Cognitive-Behavioral Modification (CBM).
Lack of motivation and self-esteem stems from negative, irrational thinking and behavior caused by ingrained reactions to situations and conditions. The impediments to achieving a goal or objective are corroborative.
Cognitive-behavioral modification (CBM) trains us to recognize our automatic negative thoughts and behaviors (ANTs), replacing them with healthy rational ones (ARTs) until they become automatic and permanent. The behavioral component of CBM involves activities that reinforce the process. CBM is structured, goal-oriented, and focused on the present and the solution. Almost 90 percent of therapeutic approaches involve cognitive-behavioral treatments. However, critical studies dispute cognitive-behavioral therapy’s efficacy, claiming it fares no better than non-CBT programs. They argue its effectiveness has deteriorated since its introduction, concluding it is no more successful than mindfulness-based therapy for depression and anxiety. Despite these criticisms, the program of thought and behavior therapy modification by Beck in the 1960s is still useful in modifying the irrational thoughts and behaviors that sustain dysfunction and discomfort and prevent us from reaching our goals and objectives when used in concert with other approaches.
While CBM focuses on modifying our negative self-image and beliefs, positive psychology emphasizes our inherent and acquired strengths, virtues, and attributes. PP focuses on the inherent human traits that help us transform and flourish. Its mental health interventions have proved successful in mitigating the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other self-destructive patterns, producing significant improvements in emotional wellbeing. Positive psychology uses scientific understanding to aid in the achievement of a productive and satisfactory life, rather than merely treating mental illness, countering the pathographic focus of established mental healthcare.
Abhidharma Psychology and the Overarching Truths of Ethical Behavior
The Abhidharma explores the essence of perception and experience, and the reasons and methods behind mindfulness and meditation. It presents a clear system for understanding our psychological dispositions, processes, habits, and challenges. Western teachings tell us what to avoid—envy, gluttony, greed, lust, hubris, laziness, and rage. Buddhist psychology tells us what to embrace—a valuable life, good intentions, tolerance, wholesome and kind living, productive livelihood, positive attitude, self-awareness, and integrity.
It’s our belief, the historical revisions and translations of Buddha’s teachings overlooked the most important path to a healthy and productive life—that of right choice. Our self-destructive nature compels us to choose the self-destructive one even when every fiber of our being contradicts this compulsion. We know this because our entire human system revolts at self-destructive choices. Our physiological equilibrium is disrupted, producing changes in our heart rate, metabolism, and respiration. Inertia senses and opposes these changes, negatively impacting our brain’s basal ganglia, delivering mental confusion, emotional instability, and spiritual malaise
The rediscovery and reinvigoration of our self-esteem are achieved through a series of clinically proven exercises to help the individual reinvigorate our positive self-properties (self -reliance, -compassion, -resilience, etc.) disenabled by childhood exploitation, the onset of dysfunction, the subsequent disruption in natural human development, and the general distress brought on by life’s uncertainty.
To fully address the personality, we must create individual-based solutions. Training in prosocial behavior and emotional literacy are useful supplements to typical approaches. Behavioral exercises are utilized to practice the execution of considerate and generous social skills. Positive affirmations have enormous subjective value. Data provide evidence for mindfulness and acceptance-based interventions. Motivational enhancement strategies help overcome resistance to new ideas and concepts.
Each approach provides an integral link to the quality and intention of the information we supply to our neural network via proactive neuroplasticity.
Emotions are associated with mood, temperament, personality, disposition, and motivation. Do they dictate our behavior, or are we able to manage their volatility? Rather than succumbing to emotional instability, awareness of the origins of emotional instability prevents reactionary outbursts and inconsistency due to a lack of foresight, empathy, and perspective.
Recovered-Memory Process is the umbrella term for methods or techniques utilized in recalling memories. We repress certain feelings, thoughts, and desires unacceptable to the conscious mind and store them in the archives of our memory. It is helpful to retrieve and address the emotions felt in those repressed memories that once flashed by like a meteor. Stanislavski developed a method for authentic stage-acting that addresses our volatile emotions to deconstruct and better understand them.
Affective Emotion Management. Emotions are not solitary and exclusive but fluid and mutually interconnected, although we allow one to dominate the others. Love and hate are indistinct and interchangeable extremes of the same instinct as are laughter and tears, resentment and acceptance, and so on. The ability of the film actor to project an emotion when script and schedule demand it, demonstrates they are controllable. Any situation can be experienced through laughter, tears, pride, or anger. We choose the one that suits a psychological need, which exposes its transience and manipulability. Utilizing Stanislavski’s method of emotional management, we assume control of our emotions, rather than allowing them to control us,
PRACTICUM VERSUS THERAPY
ReChanneling is practicum over therapy. A practicum is designed for self-reliance. While therapy often incurs a subordinacy to or dependency on the counselor, a practicum is a program developed in collaboration with the individual that targets her or his unique condition. We design a blueprint and provide the recovery methods, but the responsibility for achieving the goal rests on the individual, who controls the progress with the facilitator’s guidance.
The consequence of DRNI over a long period is obvious. Multiple firings substantially accelerate and consolidate learning. In addition, DRNI activates long-term potentiation, which increases the strength of the nerve impulses along the connecting pathways, generating more energy. Deliberate, repetitive, neural information generates higher levels of BDNF(brain-derived neurotrophic factors) proteins associated with improved cognitive functioning, mental health, and memory.
We know how challenging it is to change, to remove ourselves from hostile environments, to break habits that interfere with our optimum functioning. We’re physiologically hard-wired to resist anything that jeopardizes our status quo. Our brain’s inertia senses and repels changes, and our basal ganglia resist any modification in behavior patterns. DRNI empowers us to assume accountability for our emotional wellbeing and quality of life by proactively controlling the input of information.
Neural restructuring doesn’t happen overnight. Meeting personal goals and objectives takes persistence, perseverance, and patience. Recovery-remission from a mental dysfunction is a year or more in recovery utilizing appropriate tools and techniques. Substance abuse programs recommend nurturing a plant or tropical fish during the first year before contemplating a personal relationship. The successful pursuit of any ambition varies by individual and is subject to multiple factors. However, once we begin the process of DRNI, progress is exponential. Our brain reciprocates our efforts in abundance because every viable input of information engages millions of neurons with their own energy transmission.
DRNI plays a crucial role in reciprocity. The chain reaction generated by a single neural receptor involves millions of neurons that amplify energy on a massive scale. The reciprocating energy from DRNI is vastly more abundant because of the repeated firing by the neuron receptor. Positive energy in, positive energy multiplied millions of times, positive energy reciprocated in abundance.
Conversely, negative energy in, negative energy multiplied millions of times, negative energy reciprocated in abundance.
Our brain doesn’t think; it is an organic reciprocator that provides the means for us to think. Its function is the maintenance of our heartbeat, nervous system, blood flow, etc. It tells us when to breathe, stimulates thirst, and controls our weight and digestion.
Because our brain doesn’t distinguish healthy from toxic information, the natural neurotransmission of pleasurable and motivational hormones happens whether we feed it self-destructive or constructive information. That’s one of the reasons breaking a habit, keeping to a resolution, or recovering is challenging. The power of DRNI is that a regimen of positive, repetitive input can compensate for decades of irrational, self-destructive thoughts and behaviors, and provide the mental and emotional wherewithal to effectively pursue our personal goals and objectives.
Since our brain does not differentiate healthy from toxic information, it automatically responds to the energy of information, transmitting chemicals and hormones to reward it. We receive neurotransmissions of GABA for relaxation, dopamine for pleasure and motivation, endorphins for euphoria, and serotonin for a sense of wellbeing. Acetylcholine supports our positivity, glutamate enhances our memory, and noradrenalin improves concentration. In addition, information impacts the fear and anxiety-provoking hormones, cortisol and adrenaline. When we input negative information, our brain naturally releases neurotransmitters that support that negativity.
Conversely, every time we provide positive information, our brain releases chemicals and hormones that make us feel viable and productive, subverting the negative energy channeled by the things that impede our potential.
Constructing the Information
Deliberate neural information is differentiated by context, content, and intention, which determine the integrity of the information and its correlation to durability and learning efficacy. The most effective information is calculated and specific to our intention. Are we challenging the negative thoughts and behaviors of our dysfunction? Are we reaffirming the character strengths and virtues that support recovery and transformation? Are we focused on a specific challenge? What is our end goal – the personal milestone we want to achieve?
The process is theoretically simple but challenging, due to the commitment and endurance required for the long-term, repetitive process. We don’t don tennis shorts and advance to Wimbledon without decades of practice with racket and balls; philharmonics cater to pianists who have spent years at the keyboard. DRNI requires a calculated regimen of deliberate, repetitive, neural information that is not only tedious but also fails to deliver immediate tangible results, causing us to readily concede defeat and abandon hope in this era of instant gratification. To quote Noble Prize-winning author, André Gide “There are many things that seem impossible only so long as one does not attempt them.”
Why is your support essential? ReChanneling is dedicated to researching methods to (1) alleviate symptoms of dysfunction (disorder) and discomfort (neurosis) that impact an individual’s emotional wellbeing and quality of life, (2) pursue personal goals and objectives—eliminating a bad habit, self-transformation—harnessing our intrinsic aptitude for extraordinary living. Its paradigmatic approach targets the personality through empathy, collaboration, and program integration utilizing scientific and historically, clinically practical methods including proactive neuroplasticity, cognitive-behavioral therapy, positive psychology, and techniques designed to compel the recovery and reinvigoration of self-esteem disrupted by the adolescent onset of dysfunction. All donations support scholarships for groups, workshops, and practicums.