Anatomy of an Online Recovery Workshop

IStock/FatCamera

Personal • Organization • Corporate
Seminars • Workshops • Groups

Dr. Mullen is doing impressive work helping the world. He is the
pioneer of proactive neuroplasticity utilizing DRNI—deliberate,
repetitive, neural information. Alfonso Paredes, CEO, WeVoice.

ReChanneling researches and develops 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.  

Next Social Anxiety Recovery Workshops
Mondays: May 30th – June 30th
Thursdays: June 9th – August 11th
10 consecutive weekday evenings from 7:15-8:30 PM
Maximum 8 participants
For more information, CONTACT US.

Scholarships Available

The suspension of on-site workshops due to pandemic restrictions compelled ReChanneling to focus on online recovery groups and workshops, broadening its outreach from local to national participation. Our social anxiety group, for example, includes persons from SF, Vancouver, NYC, Riverside, Taos, Tracy, Los Angeles, and Houston. Although we will be reinstituting on-site workshops next year, we will continue our online recovery work with persons nationally. 

ReChanneling’s focus on recovery from anxiety and depression has expanded to their comorbidities including PTSD, OCD, ADHD, and substance abuse. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America and other expert organizations report multiple dysfunctions related to social anxiety including major depression, panic disorder, alcohol abuse, PTSD, avoidant personality disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, substance abuse, eating disorders, schizophrenia, ADHD, and agoraphobia. Well over 60% of individuals with anxiety also have depression and both can lead to substance abuse. Anxiety-related comorbid disorders with similar emotional issues are treatable with the same paradigmatic approach that fosters self-reliance, determination, and perseverance. This overview focuses on social anxiety and, by design, its multiple comorbidities.

Cumulative evidence that a toxic childhood leads to psychological complications has been well-established, as has the recognition of early exploitation as a primary causal factor in lifetime emotional instability. It has been determined that the onset of dysfunction ostensibly occurs in adolescence or earlier due to childhood physical, emotional, or sexual disturbance. This disturbance can be real or imagined, intentional or accidental. This causes a disruption in natural human development, negatively impacting the natural development of self-esteem.

The Online Recovery Group

A group provides support and information. It is a confidential space where participants can share experiences in a collegial and healthy environment.

The Online Recovery Workshop.

The ultimate objectives of a Recovery Workshop are:

  • To provide the tools and techniques to replace years of toxic thoughts and behaviors with rational, healthy ones, dramatically alleviating the self-destructive symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other dysfunctions
  • To compel the rediscovery and reinvigoration of the individual’s character strengths, virtues, and attributes.
  • To design a targeted behavioral modification process to help the individual re-engage their social comfort and status.
  • To provide the individual the means to control their dysfunction, rather than allowing it to control them.

Logistics. A targeted Recovery Workshop is most effective with a maximum of 10 on-site participants, and eight online 

YouTube Videos

Proactive neuroplasticity is supported by DRNI – the deliberate, repetitive, neural input of information. What is that information? What goes into manufacturing that information? The objective is to ensure the information is of the highest quality in order to effect change. How do we expedite this? What are the best tools and techniques? There is no one right way to recover or achieve a personal goal or objective. So also, what helps us at one time in our life may not help us at another.

It is myopic of recovery programs to lump us into a single niche. Individually, we are a conglomerate of personalities―distinct phenomena generated by everything and anything experienced in our lifetime. Every teaching, opinion, belief, and influence develops our personality. It is our current and immediate being and the expression of that being. It is formed by core beliefs and developed by social, cultural, and environmental experiences. It is constant and fluid, singular yet multiple. It is our inimitable way of thinking, feeling, and behaving. It is who we are, who we think we are, and who we believe we are destined to become.

The insularity of cognitive-behavioral modification, positive psychologies, and other approaches cannot comprehensively address the complexity of the personality. It requires an integration of multiple traditional and non-traditional approaches, developed through client trust, cultural assimilation, and therapeutic innovation. Environment, heritage, background, and associations reflect an individual’s wants, choices, and aspirations.

An integration of science and east-west psychologies captures the diversity of human thought and experience. Science gives us proactive neuroplasticity; cognitive-behavioral self-modification and positive psychology’s optimal functioning are western-oriented; eastern practices provide the therapeutic benefits of Abhidharma psychology and the overarching truths of ethical behavior. Included are targeted approaches utilized to help the individual rediscover and reinvigorate their self-esteem.

Each integrated approach collaborates with and supports the others.

Proactive Neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is evidence of our brain’s constant adaptation to learning. Scientists refer to the process as structural remodeling of the brain. It is what makes learning and registering new experiences possible. All information notifies our neural network to realign, generating a correlated change in behavior and perspective. 

What is significant is our ability to dramatically accelerate learning by consciously compelling our brain to repattern its neural circuitry. Deliberate, repetitive, neural information (DRNI) empowers us to proactively transform our thoughts and behaviors, creating healthy new mindsets, skills, and abilities. 

Reactive neuroplasticity is our brain’s natural adaption to information. Information includes thought, behavior, experience, and sensation. Active neuroplasticity is cognitive pursuits such as engaging in social interaction, teaching, aerobics, and creating. Proactive neuroplasticity is the most effective means of learning and unlearning because the regimen of deliberate, repetitive neural input of information accelerates and consolidates restructuring. 

Cognitive-Behavioral Self-Modification (CBSM), is an adaptation of cognitive-behavioral therapy, one that reshapes the program, rather than subverts it by emphasizing the self-reliance and personal accountability demanded by proactive neuroplasticity.

Cognitive-behavioral self-modification supports our efforts to recognize and replace our automatic negative thoughts with healthy rational ones (ARTs). It is most effective when used in concert with other approaches. Like its elemental predecessor, CBSM is structured, goal-oriented, and focused on the present solution.

That focus on the individual’s current condition is important because proactive neuroplasticity is a here-and-now solution. This does not devalue psychodynamic or regression therapies, but they are not front and foremost in proactive neuroplasticity.

Roughly 90 percent of therapeutic approaches involve cognitive-behavioral treatments. However, critical studies dispute its 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 behavior modification fostered by Beck in the 1960s is still useful in modifying our irrational thoughts and behaviors when used in concert with other approaches.

Positive psychology emphasizes our inherent and acquired character strengths, virtues, and attributes that help us achieve optimum functioning – in this case, recovery and transformation. PP’s 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’s objective is to encourage us to shift our negative outlook to a more optimistic view to support the motivation, persistence, and perseverance important to recovery and the pursuit of our goals and objectives. 

Abhidharma psychology explores the essence of perception and experience, and the reasons and methods behind self-analyzation and awareness. It presents a clear system for understanding our psychological dispositions, processes, habits, and challenges. Its emphasis on probity over immorality is evident in the eightfold path of positive and constructive activity.

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 – all things that facilitate the neural input of healthy and productive stimuli. 

Addressing self-esteem is an essential part of recovery and transformation. A fusion of clinically proven exercises helps us appreciate our value and potential – to realize that we are necessary to this life and of incomprehensible worth. Due to our disorder and our life experiences, we are subject to issues of self-esteem and motivation, assets vital for the positive restructuring of our neural network.

To comprehensively address the complexity of the personality, we must create individual-based solutions. Training in prosocial behavior and emotional literacy are useful supplements to typical approaches. Behavioral exercises and exposure consolidate our 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 our neural input of information via proactive neuroplasticity.

Proactive Neuroplasticity YouTube Series

The main components utilized in our Recovery Workshop include psycho-education, cognitive comprehension, roleplay, exposure, and homework.

Psycho-Education involves teaching individuals about the relationship between thoughts, emotions, and physiological reactions. Complementarity is the inherent cooperation of our human system components in maintaining physiological equilibrium. It is mind, body, spirit, and emotions working in concert. The sustainability of our dysfunction, as well as recovery, is supported by simultaneous mutual interaction.

Cognitive Comprehension involves correcting negative or inaccurate cognitions by identifying distorted thoughts and developing rational replies. It is based on the premise that dysfunction compels individuals to avoid the reality of their symptomatic negative self-image and beliefs, generating inaccurate, biased processing while in social situations.

Roleplay. Participants act out various social roles in dramatic situations that, through comprehension and repetition help us learn how to cope with stress and conflicts.

Exposure. By utilizing graded exposure, we start with Situations that are easier for us to manage, then work our way up to more challenging tasks. This allows us to build our confidence slowly and to practice learned skills to ease our situational anxiety. By doing this in a structured and repeated way, we reduce our fears and apprehensions. In vivo exposure allows us to confront feared stimuli in real-world conditions.

Homework consists of self-evaluating exercises that help us identify and address our distorted thoughts and irrational behaviors.

Elements of a Recovery Workshop may include:

Positive Personal Affirmations
Character Resume
Diversions
Plan for Exposure Situation
Vertical Arrow Technique
Shame, Blame, and Guilt
Persona
Complementarity
Positive Autobiography

Deliberate conversations
Affirmative Visualization
Slow-talk, slow thinking
Cognitive Distortions
Negative, pressure, conditional words
ANTs (automatic negative thoughts)
Moderating Exposure Situations
Coping skills

These are active, structured Recovery Workshops for people who are willing and motivated to address the symptoms of their dysfunction. This means we can only work with self-motivated and committed individuals. We cannot accept people or continue to support them unless they are willing to participate in the discussions and exercises. While progress is exponential, goals are not met overnight. Recovery is a lifelong work-in-progress.

On-site workshops will resume post-pandemic. Individual short and long-term recovery support is also available to a select few. 

For further information or to request an interview, please fill out the following form.

Testimonials

Michael Z. – “I have lived with Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) for as long as I can remember. It has overwhelmed me many times throughout my life, especially in avoiding crowds of people such as meet ‘n greets, conferences, picnics in the park, etc. I have always made the excuse that I cannot attend an event because my SAD would go into overdrive, fearing the upcoming event, always feeling “less” than others that will be there. Especially if my brain thinks the event will be “clicky.”

Our recovery workshop focuses on neuroplasticity (reprogramming the brain). The work brings up a lot of SAD feelings about the past and present. There are several straightforward assignments to complete while in recovery. It’s amazing what feelings come up when I’m assigned these exercises. I’ve learned:

  • My SAD does not rule me nor is it my fault that I have it.
  • How to transform any SAD negative thoughts into nurturing myself through daily affirmations

I feel more confident about attending a social gathering. Sure, I still have SAD, but now I have a plan how I can attend an event and feel more comfortable mingling with others. I like Robert’s SAD recovery program, especially how it’s taking many of my negative thoughts away and replacing them with positive ones. I also appreciate the others that are in our recovery workshop, as we all mingle quite well. And, of course, Robert is always there as nurturing and positive friend.”     

Matty S. – “It doesn’t come easy. Having the tools is just the start. Really understanding them all is still a challenge and the constant, long-term repetitiveness of DRNI is brutal. I’m not perfect by any means and I fall back a lot. I remember you said to consider projected failure as a process of learning, and setbacks are only possible with progress. Life is much better. I came into the program registering about a 9 out of 10 on the Richter scale of anxiety and depression. I’m now between 3 and 5 and working to get even more in control. I would give the practicum the most credit, but it taught me that I’m the captain of my ship, so I take credit and pride for hanging in there …                                                                   

Jose Garcia Silva, Ph.D.“I have never encountered such an efficient professional … His work transpires dedication, care, and love for what he does.”                                                                            

Leon V. – “I love his classes because the only pressure comes from within, not from the instructor, who clearly loves and knows what he is doing.                                                                                         

Janice Parker, Ph.D.“I am simply in awe at the writing, an individual’s insights, an individual’s deep knowing of transcendence, an individual’s intuitive understanding of psychic-physical pain, an individual’s connection of the pain to healing, an individual’s concept/title, and above all, an individual’s innate compassion …”                                                             

David C – “I’ve been unhappy and angry for as long as I can remember.  I hated my life and I was unhappy at work. I didn’t have anyone to confide in. When you kept pushing that cognitive stuff I was ready to walk, but you persuaded me that that was my social anxiety looking for an excuse to quit on myself. I don’t do as much of the positive repetitions as I should, but I do see the light at the end of the tunnel and that’s something I didn’t have before you. As far as I am concerned, that pretty much says it all.”              

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 our personal goals and objectives—eliminating a bad habit, self-transformation. Our paradigmatic approach targets the personality through empathy, collaboration, and program integration utilizing scientific and clinically practical methods including proactive neuroplasticity, cognitive-behavioral modification, positive psychology, and techniques designed to reinvigorate self-esteem. All donations support scholarships for groups, workshops, and practicums.

1 thought on “Anatomy of an Online Recovery Workshop

  1. A note to those of you who are fed up with your social anxiety and depression. I attended two on-site recovery programs hosted by Dr. Mullen. He is considered a leading expert on anxiety and depression, etc. If you want to regain your sense of self-worth and competence, you may want to consider recovery. It’s a bit of work but the self-reliance and self-confidence (and even joy) you will rediscover is well worth the effort.

    Like

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s