“Clara’s Big Ride”: Watch Online Full Episodes

Watch Online on CTV | Watch Full Episodes.

About “Clara’s Big Ride”

Part catalyst for change and part epic road movie, CLARA’S BIG RIDE is an inspiring new film that tackles the profound conversation about mental health and the stigma that surrounds it.

Latest Videos


  • Clara’s Big Ride

    S0:E | 2015-01-28

    Chronicles an unprecedented 11,000 km bicycle journey across Canada by Olympic medallist and Bell Let’s Talk spokesperson Clara Hughes.


  • Let’s Talk: A Marilyn Denis Special

    S0:E | 2015-01-15

    Joined by Dr. Marla Shapiro & Clara Hughes, Marilyn Denis uncovers the stories of 5 remarkable Canadians who struggle with mental illness.


  • Words Of Hope

    S0:E | 2015-01-15

    Nolan is a student at the University of Waterloo who wrote a column about his struggles with his own mental illness.


  • Coping With Anxiety

    S0:E | 2015-01-15

    Richie from Montreal discusses overcoming anxiety and gets to meet and interview Clara Hughes for his university’s radio show.

VIEW MORE ►

Challenge 1: Deep Listening — Empathy in Action

Challenge 1: Deep Listening — Empathy in Action.

 This is a great resource to learn some communication skills.
Creative Commons copyright.
 
Enjoy,
Rory

Connect More Deeply by Listening More Attentively and Responsively


A chapter in The Seven Challenges Workbook
A Guide to Cooperative Communication Skills for Success at Home and at Work
by Dennis Rivers, MA — 2012 Edition

Printer-friendly PDF Version

SUMMARY (repeated from Introduction) Listen first and acknowledge what you hear, even if you don’t agree with it, before expressing your experience or point of view . In order to get more of your conversation partner’s attention in tense situations, pay attention first: listen and give a brief restatement of what you have heard (especially feelings) before you express your own needs or position. The kind of listening recommended here separates acknowledging from approving or agreeing . Acknowledging another person’s thoughts and feelings does not have to mean that youapprove of or agree with that person’s actions or way of experiencing, or that you will do whatever someone asks.

Challenge One -- Listening More Carefully and ResponsivelyBy listening and then repeating back in your own words the essence and feeling of what you have just heard, from the speaker’s point of view, you allow the speaker to feel the satisfaction of being understood, (a major human need). Listening responsively is always worthwhile as a way of letting people know that you care about them. Our conversation partners do not automatically know how well we have understood them, and they may not be very good at asking for confirmation. When a conversation is tense or difficult it is even more important to listen first and acknowledge what you hear . Otherwise, your chances of being heard by the other person may be very poor.

Listening to others helps others to listen. In learning to better coordinate our life activities with the life activities of others, we would do well to resist two very popular (but terrible) models of communication: arguing a case in court and debating.  In courts and debates, each side tries to make its own points and listens to the other side only to tear down the other side’s points. Since the debaters and attorneys rarely have to reach agreement or get anything done together, it doesn’t seem to matter how much ill will their conversational style generates. But most of us are in a very different situation . We probably spend most of our lives trying to arrange agreement and cooperative action, so we need to be concerned about engaging people, not defeating them. In business (and in family life, too) the person we defeat today will probably be the person whose cooperation we need tomorrow!

As Marshall Rosenberg reported in his book, Nonviolent Communication ,  “studies in labor-management negotiations demonstrate that the time required to reach conflict resolution is cut in half when each negotiator agrees, before responding, to repeat what the previous speaker had said.”  (my emphasis)

When people are upset about something and want to talk about it their capacity to listen is greatly diminished. Trying to get your point across to a person who is trying to express a strong feeling will usually cause the other person to try even harder to get that emotion recognized. On the other hand, once people feel that their messages and feelings have been heard, they start to relax and they have more attention available for listening. For example, in a hospital a nurse might say, after listening to a patient: “I hear that you are very uncomfortable right now, Susan, and you would really like to get out of that bed and move around. But your doctor says your bones won’t heal unless you stay put for another week.”  The patient in this example is much more likely to listen to the nurse than if the nurse simply said: “I’m really sorry, Susan, but you have to stay in bed. Your doctor says your bones won’t heal unless you stay put for another week.”   What is missing in this second version is any acknowledgment of the patient’s present experience.

The power of simple acknowledging. The practice of responsive listening described here separates acknowledging the thoughts and feelings that a person expresses from approving, agreeing, advising, or persuading. Acknowledging another person’s thoughts and feelings…

…still leaves you the option of agreeing or disagreeing with that person’s point of view, actions or way of experiencing.

…still leaves you with the option of saying yes or no to a request.

…still leaves you with the option of saying more about the matter being discussed.

One recurring problem in conflict situations is that many people don’tseparate acknowledging from agreeing. They are joined together in people’s minds, somewhat like a two-boxes-of-soap “package deal” in a supermarket. The effect of this is, let us say, that John feels that any acknowledgment of Fred’s experience implies agreement and approval, therefore John will not acknowledge any of Fred’s experience. Fred tries harder to be heard and John tries harder not to hear. Of course, this is a recipe for stalemate (if not disaster).

People want both: to be understood and acknowledged on the one hand, and to be approved and agreed with, on the other. With practice, you can learn to respond first with a simple acknowledgment. As you do this, you may find that, figuratively speaking, you can give your conversation partners half of what they want, even if you can’t give them all of what they want. In many conflict situations that will be a giant step forward. Your conversation partners will also be more likely to acknowledge your position and experience, even if they don’t sympathize with you. This mutual acknowledgment can create an emotional atmosphere in which it is easier to work toward agreement or more gracefully accommodate disagreements. Here are three examples of acknowledgments that do not imply agreement:

  • Counselor to a drug abuse client:
    “I hear that you are feeling terrible right now and that you really want some drugs. And I want you to know that I’m still concerned this stuff you’re taking is going to kill you.”
  • Mother to seven-year-old: 
    “I know that you want some more cake and ice cream, Jimmy, because it tastes so good, but you’ve already had three pieces and I’m really worried that you’ll get an upset tummy. That’s why I don’t want you to have any more.”
  • Union representative to company owner’s representative: 
    “I understand from your presentation that you see XYZ Company as short of cash, threatened by foreign competition, and not in a position to agree to any wage increases. Now I would like us to explore contract arrangements that would allow my union members to get a wage increase and XYZ Company to advance its organizational goals.”   

In each case a person’s listening to and acknowledgment of his or her conversation partner’s experience or position increases the chance that the conversation partner will be willing to listen in turn. The examples given above are all a bit long and include a declaration of the listener’s position or decision. In many conversations you may simply want to reassure your conversation partner with a word or two that you have heard and understood whatever they are experiencing. For example, saying, “You sound really happy [or sad] about that,” etc.

As you listen to the important people in your life, give very brief summaries of the experiences they are talking about and name the want or feeling that appears to be at the heart of the experience. For example:

“So you were really happy about that…”

“So you drove all the way over there and they didn’t have the part they promised you on the phone. What a let-down…

“Sounds like you wanted a big change in that situation…”

“Wow. Your dog got run over. You must be feeling really terrible…”

The point here is to empathize, not to advise. If you added to that last statement, “That total SLOB!!! You should sue that person who ran over your dog. People need to pay for their mistakes, etc.”, you would be taking over the conversation and also leading the person away from her or his feelings and toward your own.

Other suggestions about listening more responsively:

As a general rule, do not just repeat another person’s exact words.Summarize their experience in your own words . But in cases where people actually scream or shout something, sometimes you may want to repeat a few of their exact words in a quiet tone of voice to let them know that you have heard it just as they said it.

If the emotion is unclear, make a tentative guess, as in “So it sounds like maybe you were a little unhappy about all that…”   The speaker will usually correct your guess if it needs correcting.

Listening is an art and there are very few fixed rules. Pay attention to whether the person speaking accepts your summary by saying things such as “yeah!”, “you got it,” “that’s right,” and similar responses.

If you can identify with what the other person is experiencing, then in your tone of voice (as you summarize what another person is going through), express a little of the feeling that your conversation partner is expressing. (Emotionally flat summaries feel strange and distant.)

Such compassionate listening is a powerful resource for navigating through life, and it also makes significant demands on us as listeners. We may need to learn how to hold our own ground while we restate someone else’s position. That takes practice. We also have to be able to listen to people’s criticisms or complaints without becoming disoriented or totally losing our sense of self worth. That requires cultivating a deeper sense of self worth, which is no small project. In spite of these difficulties, the results of compassion-ate, responsive listening have been so rewarding in my life that I have found it to be worth all the effort required.

Real life examples. Here are two brief, true stories about listening. The first is about listening going well and the second is about the heavy price people sometimes pay for not listening in an empathic way.


John Gottman describes his discovery that listening really works: “I remember the day I first discovered how Emotion Coaching [the author’s approach to empathic listening] might work with my own daughter, Moriah. She was two at the time and we were on a cross-country flight home after visiting with relatives. Bored, tired, and cranky, Moriah asked me for Zebra, her favorite stuffed animal and comfort object. Unfortunately, we had absentmindedly packed the well-worn critter in a suitcase that was checked at the baggage counter.

“I’m sorry, honey, but we can’t get Zebra right now. He’s in the big suitcase in another part of the airplane,” I explained.”I want Zebra,” she whined pitifully.

“I know, sweetheart. But Zebra isn’t here. He’s in the baggage compartment under-neath the plane and Daddy can’t get him until we get off the plane. I’m sorry.”

“I want Zebra! I want Zebra!” she moaned again. Then she started to cry, twisting in her safety seat and reaching futilely toward a bag on the floor where she’d seen me go for snacks.

“I know you want Zebra,” I said, feeling my blood pressure rise. “But he’s not in that bag. He’s not here and I can’t do anything about it. Look, why don’t we read about Ernie,” I said, fumbling for one of her favorite picture books.

“Not Ernie!” she wailed, angry now. “I want Zebra. I want him NOW!”

By now, I was getting “do something” looks from the passengers, from the airline attendants, from my wife, seated across the aisle. I looked at Moriah’s face, red with anger, and imagined how frustrated she must feel. After all, wasn’t I the guy who could whip up a peanut butter sandwich on demand? Make huge purple dinosaurs appear with the flip of a TV switch? Why was I withholding her favorite toy from her? Didn’t I understand how much she wanted it?

I felt bad. Then it dawned on me: I couldn’t get Zebra, but I could offer her the next best thing — a father’s comfort. “You wish you had Zebra now,” I said to her. “Yeah,” she said sadly.

“And you’re angry because we can’t get him for you.”

“Yeah.”

“You wish you could have Zebra right now,” I repeated, as she stared at me, looking rather curious, almost surprised. “Yeah,” she muttered. “I want him now.”

“You’re tired now, and smelling Zebra and cuddling with him would feel real good. I wish we had Zebra here so you could hold him. Even better, I wish we could get out of these seats and find a big, soft bed full of all your animals and pillows where we could just lie down.” “Yeah,” she agreed.

“We can’t get Zebra because he’s in another part of the airplane,” I said. “That makes you feel frustrated.” “Yeah,” she said with a sigh.

“I’m so sorry,” I said, watching the tension leave her face. She rested her head against the back of her safety seat. She continued to complain softly a few more times, but she was growing calmer. Within a few minutes, she was asleep.

Although Moriah was just two years old, she clearly knew what she wanted — her Zebra. Once she began to realize that getting it wasn’t possible, she wasn’t interested in my excuses, my arguments, or my diversions. My validation, however, was another matter. Finding out that I understood how she felt seemed to make her feel better. For me, it was a memorable testament to the power of empathy.”


Sam Keen describes a friend’s lament about the consequences of not listening deeply: “Long ago and far away, I expected love to be light and easy and without failure.

“Before we moved in together, we negotiated a prenuptial agreement. Neither of us had been married before, and we were both involved in our separate careers. So our agreement not to have children suited us both. Until… on the night she announced that her period was late and she was probably pregnant, we both treated the matter as an embarrassing accident with which we would have to deal. Why us? Why now? Without much discussion, we assumed we would do the rational thing — get an abortion. As the time approached, she began to play with hypothetical alternatives, to ask in a plaintive voice with half misty eyes: `Maybe we should keep the baby. Maybe we could get a live-in helper, and it wouldn’t interrupt our lives too much. Maybe I could even quit my job and be a full-time mother for a few years.`  ”

“Maybe . . .“ To each maybe I answered: “Be realistic. Neither of us is willing to make the sacrifices to raise a child.“ She allowed herself to be convinced, silenced the voice of her irrational hopes and dreams, and terminated the pregnancy.

“It has been many years now since our `decision,` and we are still together and busy with our careers and our relationship. Still no children, even though we have recently been trying to get pregnant. I can’t help noticing that she suffers from spells of regret and guilt, and a certain mood of sadness settles over her. At times I know she longs for her missing child and imagines what he or she would be doing now. I reassure her that we did the right thing. But when I see her lingering guilt and pain and her worry that she missed her one chance to become a mother, I feel that I failed an important test of love. Because my mind had been closed to anything that would interrupt my plans for the future, I had listened to her without deep empathy or compassion. I’m no longer sure we made the right decision. I am sure that in refusing to enter into her agony, to share the pain of her ambivalence, I betrayed her.”

“I have asked for and, I think, received forgiveness, but there remains a scar that was caused by my insensitivity and self-absorption.”

Workbook editor’s note: I have not included this real life excerpt to make a point for or against abortion. The lesson I draw from this story is thatwhatever decision this couple made, they would have been able to live with that decision better if the husband had listened in a way that acknowledged all his wife’s feelings rather than listening only to argue her out of her feelings. What lesson do you draw from this story? ]


First exercise for Challenge 1: Active Listening. Find a practice partner. Take turns telling events from your lives. As you listen to your practice partner, sum up your practice partner’s overall experience and feelings in brief responses during the telling:

Your notes on this exercise:











Second exercise for Challenge 1: Learning from the past with the tools of the present. Think of one or more conversations in your life that went badly. Imagine how the conversations might have gone better with more responsive listening. Write down your alternative version of the conversation.











Suggestions for reading on the topic of listening.

The Power of Listening – An Ancient Practice for Our Future: Leon Berg

Free Article:   Tell Me More an essay by Brenda Ueland, explores the transformative power of listening to friends and familiy members:

“I want to write about the great and powerful thing that listening is. And how we forget it. And how we don’t listen to our children, or those we love. And least of all — which is so important too — to those we do not love. But we should. Because listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. Think how the friends that really listen to us are the ones we move toward, and we want to sit in their radius as though it did us good, like ultraviolet rays.”

Free Article:   Positive Deviant  is a magazine article about the transformative power of deep listening, as it occurred in a program to reduce child malnutrition in Vietnam.  It is one of the clearest examples I have ever read of what is now called “appreciative inquiry,” which advocates that helpers pay disciplined and systematic attention to the strengths, capacities and past successes of those people they wish to help.

Free Collection of Articles:   Compassionate Listening: An Exploratory Sourcebook About Conflict Transformation.

[from the editor] Forms of compassionate listening have been practiced among Quakers and Buddhists for centuries, and among psychotherapists for decades. The late Gene Knudsen Hoffman (1919 – 2010) was both a Quaker peace activist and a pastoral counselor, and in my view she achieved two great things over the course of her life. First, she took the practice of compassionate listening out of the quiet environs of the Quaker meeting house, out from behind the closed doors of therapy session, and on to the stage of the world’s greatest conflicts. Her many trips to Russia and the Middle East have made her a legend in the peacemaking community. Second, she popularized compassionate listening in a generous way that invites and encourages other people to take up this practice, develop it and apply it in new areas. This small book is an expression of that generosity. Available for free around the world as an e-book, it includes both her lesson plans for Compassionate Listening Workshops and reports from Leah Green and Cynthia Monroe, two of her co-pioneers and creative colleagues.


Books: The following books can be found around the world, new and used, via the links below provided by the Global Find-A-Book service of Human Development Books, the publsher of this Seven Challenges Workbook. Click on the book titles below to bring up a Global Find-A-Book page for each title.

Are You Really Listening?: Keys to Successful Communication 
By Paul J. Donoghue, PhD, and Mary E. Siegel, PhD.

Listening is an essential skill worth every effort to learn and to master. Listening takes us out of our tendency toward self-absorption and self-protection. It opens us to the world around us and to the persons who matter most to us. When we listen, we learn, we grow, and we are nourished.

Why do we often feel cut off when speaking to the people closest to us? What is it that keeps so many of us from really listening? Practicing psychotherapists, Donoghue and Siegel answer these questions and more in this thoughtful, witty, and helpful look at the reasons why people don’t listen. Filled with vivid examples that clearly demonstrate easy-to-learn listening techniques, Are You Really Listening? is a guide to the secrets and joys of listening and being listened to. [From the publisher, Sorin Books] List price new, appx. $16.  ISBN: 1893732886.

The Zen of Listening:
Mindful Communication in the Age of Distraction 

By Rebecca Z. Shafir.

What do family members, coworkers, and friends want most but seldom get? Your undivided attention. Poor listening can be a cause of divorce, depression, customer dissatisfaction, low grades, and other ills. This Zen-based, practical guide will help you build relationships, sharpen concentration, create loyal clients, strengthen negotiating skills, hear what others miss, and get them to hear.[From the publisher, Quest Books] List price new, appx. $16.  ISBN: 0835608263.

The Wisdom of Listening 
Edited by Mark Brady.

In this thoughtful anthology, eighteen contemporary spiritual teachers explore the transformative effects, and the difficulties, of skillful listening and suggest ways in which becoming a ‘listening warrior’ — someone who listens mindfully with focused attention — can improve relationships.  Free of religious dogma and self-help clichés, the essays are inspiring, intelligent and accessible. [from the back cover]  List price new, appx $17. ISBN: 0861713559.


Permission to make copies granted by author. May be included in course readers.

Parents’ Toolkit | TVO Parents

Parents’ Toolkit | TVO Parents.


    • Homework Zone – Parents’ ultimate homework coach

    • Milestones: Is Your Child Developing Normally?

    • Instructional Videos for Newcomer Parents

    • Is Your Child Reading at the Right Level?

    • How Do Teachers Grade Your Children’s Writing?

    • Gisele’s Get Ready to Learn Activity Book

    • TVOParents Bookclub – Great reads for kids

    • Are You an Overprotective Parent? Take our quiz. And read our tips.

  • The Ontario Curriculum – what your kids are learning

  • Newcomers’ Guide to Elementary School

  • The Storytime Checklist – Reading with Your Preschooler

  • The EQAO Toolkit for Parents – What You Need to Know

  • What You Need to Know About Your Child’s Hearing and Vision

  • Everything You Need to Know About Bullying

  • Homework Help for the Whole Family

What is Attachment and Why is it Important? | TVO Parents

What is Attachment and Why is it Important? | TVO Parents.

Young children need to have a secure relationship with at least one parent or caregiver in order to develop socially, emotionally, and cognitively. In a nutshell, that is the premise of attachment theory.

This should not be confused with attachment parenting. Attachment parenting is a philosophy born out of attachment theory but it is a parenting style, involving baby wearing and co-sleeping.

Instead, attachment theory focuses on child development and how good early experiences with caregivers help children learn, meet developmental milestones, and become secure, independent people. All parents need to do is give love, attention, and protection.

“We know from the newest science that in fact the early experiences that babies have and the quality of those experiences actually has the potential to change the architecture of the brain,” says Chaya Kulkarni, the director of Infant Mental Health Promotion at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. “This is groundbreaking for this field because it really means that those first two years in a child’s life can influence and impact their long-term development. It literally does influence who they become as an adult.”

What does a secure attachment relationship give to a child?

  • The ability to regulate their emotions, behaviour, and attention
  • A sense of self
  • Curiosity and exploration
  • Cognitive development and language development
  • Social skills
  • The ability to parent in the future

So what does a secure attachment relationship look like? According to child psychologist and attachment expert Sonya Vellett, from the Calgary Urban Project Society, a healthy attachment relationship involves:

  • The parent understanding and accurately interpreting what the child is trying to communicate through cues like crying, babbling, gesturing, or behaviour.
  • The parent providing what the child needs, whether that be safety, security, or supporting the child’s exploration.
  • The parent watching over the child, helping when necessary, and providing comfort and empathy when the child is upset.
  • The caregiver taking over when needed and setting appropriate limits.
  • The caregiver coming back later and fixing “ruptures” in the relationship. For instance, if you were rushed making dinner and didn’t allow your child to help, you should go back later on and acknowledge that maybe you didn’t handle the situation well and you will let them help next time.

A lot of what is listed above sounds pretty intuitive and many parents just do those things naturally. But sometimes it doesn’t come easily for parents. Some babies don’t give clear cues so parents don’t know what they want or misinterpret what they want.

“Temperament can play a role in this as well,” says Kulkarni. “If a parent and a child have different temperaments and can’t find a common or comfortable meeting place, that can play a role. And so in those situations, intuition doesn’t always work because you’re doing what you think is intuitively right and that baby is still crying.”

Things like mental illness, postpartum depression, and addiction can also interfere with the establishment of a good attachment relationship. For an example of how important the parent-baby bond is, and what happens when that connection is broken, watch the Still Face Experiment. This experiment, conducted by Dr. Edward Tronic ofHarvard University, is a dramatic example of how things like parental depression can impact a child’s well-being.

“[The purpose] of the Still Face Experiment is to give us information about what happens to children when they have a caregiver who is suffering from significant depression and is unavailable and unresponsive,” says Vellett. “And to see how quickly that is upsetting for the child, often to the point where the child starts to lose postural control and lose the ability to regulate their internal state. Kids will start hiccupping; spitting up… the impact on them is dramatic.”

Postpartum depression affects up to 20 percent of new moms, and severe depression can cause a rupture in the attachment relationship. But, a father or grandparent can fill in and have a nurturing and responsive relationship with the child.

And if a bond isn’t established at the beginning, it isn’t too late. “I know some parents worry if I don’t get it right in the first year or the first three years, it’s all over,” says Nancy Cohen, Director of Research at the Hincks-Dellcrest Centre in Toronto. “In fact, that’s not the case. Children can benefit from their later experiences. But optimally it’s best for a child to have a good secure attachment relationship from the get-go.”

The following videos will give you more about attachment relationships and tips on bonding with baby

Read all of the tips from our partnership with Infant Mental Health Promotion at SickKids to educate parents about the importance of healthy brain development in the early years of a child’s life.

Free Online Yoga Videos – DoYogaWithMe.com

Free Online Yoga Videos – Classes and Poses | DoYogaWithMe.com.

 
NSourish Your oul
62:45
Intermediate

Tracey’s energy comes alive as she teaches this fun, challenging ocean-side flow with two of her students. During cla…

5
Heavenly Hips
68:45
Intermediate

If you want more flexibility around your pelvis, you couldn’t find a better class. In 60 minutes you will improve the…

4.4375
Backbending From The Base - Advanced Class
50:08
Advanced

It takes focus, patience and strength to move the body into the most gentle backbend. In Backbending From The Base, F…

4.95238
Happy Hamstrings
21:50
Intermediate

Whether your hamstrings are stiff or loose, this class will target them like no other. Perfect for athletes, runners,…

4.633335
Power Yoga for Balance
71:46
Intermediate

In Ron’s first class, he shows you why so many students love his style. He’s a dancer, performer and massage practiti…

4.64
Bend and Stretch
34:50
Beginner

As she did in her popular Twist and Stretch class, Melissa guides you gently through a series of lovely, effective po…

4.732395
Kundalini Yoga for Beginners
78:39
Beginner

Dawn’s lovely energy is perfect for this beginner kundalini yoga class. She introduces basic concepts that will help…

4.133335
Deep Release for the Hips, Hamstrings and Lower Back
47:32
Beginner

This class is slow, gentle and offers a deep opening for the muscles around the hips, lower back and legs. Its pace a…

4.85207
Drishti Flow
55:32
Intermediate

Shivani leads this fun, all-levels class using the concept of Drishti – mental focus or eye gazing. How and where we…

4.551725
Prenatal Yoga Flow
58:09
Beginner

This prenatal yoga flow is slow and gentle. Lori offers lots of time to connect with your baby, calm your mind and re…

4
A Flow for Courage
106:29
Intermediate

Tracey’s style is full of enthusiasm, encouragement and challenging pose sequences. Her classes are always fun and s…

4.774195
Mindful Yin Yoga
72:42
Beginner

Jenn’s soft, gentle voice and the rolling waves of the ocean will rock you into a state of deep calm. The gorgeous se…

 

The secret to desire in a long-term relationship | Video on TED.com

Writer of the book, Mating in Captivity.
Very good talk,
 
    Rory
    *****

Esther Perel: The secret to desire in a long-term relationship | Video on TED.com

.

Ted Logo

Speakers Esther Perel: Sex therapist

Esther Perel

In her practice and writing, Esther Perel helps loving couples navigate between the comfort of happy relationships and the thrilling uncertainty of sexual attraction.

Why you should listen to her:

Psychotherapist Esther Perel is changing the conversation on what it means to be in loveand have a fulfilling sex life. For the first time in human history, couples aren’t having sex just to have kids; there’s room for sustained desire, for couples to cultivate long-term sexual relationships. But how? Perel, a licensed marriage and family therapist, travels the world to help people answer this question.

For her research Perel works across cultures and is herself fluent in nine languages. She coaches and consults organizations and families, holds a private psychotherapy practice in New York, and speaks regularly on erotic intelligence, trauma, conflict resolution and infidelity. She is the author of Mating in Captivity: Reconciling the Erotic and the Domestic.

“Perel’s ideas are … instantly familiar because they resonate deeply. It’s all rather terrifying in its intuitiveness and its pure rightness.”

The Observer (UK)

Email to a friend »

Quotes by Esther Perel

  • “The very ingredients that nurture love — mutuality, reciprocity, protection, worry, responsibility for the other — are sometimes the very ingredients that stifle desire.”

    Watch this talk »

  • “What is the relationship between love and desire? How do they relate, and how do they conflict? … Therein lies the mystery of eroticism.”

    Watch this talk »

  • “‘When I look at my partner radiant and confident,’ — [that’s] probably the biggest turn-on across the board.”

    Watch this talk »

Meditation: lasting effects on brain functioning

Meditation may have lasting positive effects on brain functioning – Syracuse natural health | Examiner.com.

 

In a news release on Nov. 12, 2012 Massachusetts General Hospital has reported:Meditation appears to produce enduring changes in emotional processing in the brain.It has been found in a new study that participating in an 8-week meditation training program can have measurable effects on how the brain functions, even when someone is not actively meditating. Researchers have also found differences in those effects based on the specific type of meditation practiced.

Healthy adults with no experience meditating participated in 8-week courses in either mindful attention meditation, which is the most commonly studied form that focuses on developing attention and awareness of breathing, thoughts and emotions, and compassion meditation, which is a less-studied form that includes methods which are designed to develop loving kindness and compassion for oneself and for others. A control group also participated in an 8-week health education course.

Researcher Gaëlle Desbordes, PhD, has said, “The two different types of meditation training our study participants completed yielded some differences in the response of the amygdala – a part of the brain known for decades to be important for emotion – to images with emotional content. This is the first time that meditation training has been shown to affect emotional processing in the brain outside of a meditative state.”

Desbordes has explained, “We think these two forms of meditation cultivate different aspects of mind. Since compassion meditation is designed to enhance compassionate feelings, it makes sense that it could increase amygdala response to seeing people suffer. Increased amygdala activation was also correlated with decreased depression scores in the compassion meditation group, which suggests that having more compassion towards others may also be beneficial for oneself.” Overall, the results of this study have been consistent with the hypothesis that meditation may result in enduring, beneficial changes in brain function, especially in the area of emotional processing.

How to Divorce and Not Wreck the Kids – Doc Zone

how to divorce and not wreck the kidsCelia. Photo credit: Roland Rickus

HOW TO DIVORCE & NOT WRECK THE KIDS

Watch the full episode online.

43:47 minutes 

 

How to Divorce & Not Wreck the Kids takes viewers inside one of life’s most devastating transitions as three Canadian couples, determined to keep the needs of their children first, work through their separations on camera.

The “divorce from hell” stories grab headlines: couples who spend hundreds of thousands of dollars destroying each other and, incidentally, their children. But in this country, there is another reality. Grassroots Canadians are at the heart of a quiet revolution – couples working on “good” divorces, which acknowledge that the end of a marriage isn’t the end of a family. Because research says: separating parents who co-operate can raise children who are as emotionally healthy as kids from intact families.

familyLionel and Sally with children Rhys and and Gareth

As filming begins, the split between Sally and Lionel is still fresh and raw. And cooperating will be a challenge for Sally since she didn’t want the marriage to end. Sally and Lionel were married for 17 years and are parents to three boys, from 11 to 4 years old. They agree to a new and controversial process called Collaborative Divorce, because they believe it will help them focus on what’s best for their children. If only anger and bitterness don’t derail the process.

Roland and Carolye were married for 13 years and have two kids. They transitioned out of their marriage into something of a friendship — but that friendship will be tested as Roland seeks 50-50 custody of their children. Carolye and Roland will try to hammer out an agreement without professional help, using a do-it-yourself divorce kit.

mike and melissaMike and Melissa with their twins.

After five years of marriage and three-year-old twins, Mike and Melissa split shortly after Christmas, the busiest time in the divorce world. They’re each passionate about being there for all the important moments in the children’s lives, even though it’s uncomfortable being in the same room together. When they reach an impasse in their separation negotiations, Mike and Melissa turn to a mediator to break the deadlock.

Three courageous Canadian couples invite you to witness the end of their marriages…as they struggle to overcome their anger and fear and stay focused on How to Divorce & Not Wreck the Kids.

How to Divorce & Not Wreck the Kids is produced by Bountiful Films Inc. in association with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Doc Zone

Take a journey every Thursday night as DOC ZONE explores the major stories of our time. Around the corner, around the world, our cameras bring viewers a sweeping panoramic view of what matters most to Canadians.

Episode Features

NEW: Information for Kids

Want to help your child understand what’s happening as you separate or divorce? 

Take them on a tour of “Changeville,” a pioneering on-line resource for children 6 to 11 – whose families are breaking up. 
It’s fun and it’s FREE. 
Enter here.

Discussion

Talk about this film online with other viewers. Visit our discussion board.

Listen Online

The Current interview a couple trying colloborative divorce and the director of How To Divorce and Not Wreck The Kids. Listen to the interview online.

Facts about Divorce in Canada

  • According to lawyers in Canada and the U.S., January is the busiest month in the divorce business. And in Britain, January 8th is actually called “D Day” because that’s the day when most divorces are initiated.
  • In Canada, one in two unions fails, most before the 14-year mark.
  • Only 5 percent of couples actually sit down and tell their children they are separating, and what it will mean to them.
  • Women initiate approximately two-thirds of separations and divorces.
  • Joint Custody, when there are two loving and interested parents, works best for children.

Problems Divorced Kids Face

  • More problems with authority figures, their peers and their parents.
  • Two times more likely to develop psychological problems like anxiety, depression and self-esteem issues.
  • More marijuana and alcohol use, compared to married family children.
  • Lack of parental monitoring.
  • Divorced kids drop out of school two to three times the rate of married family children.

For suggestions in avoiding these problems read: Dr. Joan Kelly’s Top Ten Ways To Protect Your Kid’s from the Fallout of a High Conflict Break-up

Divorce Toolkit

Find out what a collaborative divorce participation agreement looks like. This is the document couples and their lawyers sign which sets the tone for collaborating, not litigating.

On the night that Sally and Lionel decided they were going to separate, they sat down together and drafted this statement, which became their guide for their own behavior as they worked through their separation. It’s a very good example for other parents.

Download a copy of Dr. Joan Kelly’s Tipsheet and hersuggestions for talking to kids about divorce.

Shared Parenting Calendar Software

Visit our resource section for more links.

About the Producers

 

HOW TO DIVORCE & NOT WRECK THE KIDS

Watch the full episode online.

43:47 minutes 

 

Maureen Palmer and Helen SlingerProducers, Maureen Palmer and Helen Slinger

Writer/Director/Producer:Maureen Palmer has spent the last eight years in the world of independent documentaries and factual entertainment, after two decades in news and current affairs at CBC Radio and Television. As an independent filmmaker she has produced several documentaries alongside How to Divorce & Not Wreck the Kids producer Helen Slinger for their Vancouver-based company,Bountiful Films including – Leaving BountifulPolygamy’s Lost Boys and the Bully’s Mark. Maureen has worked as a story editor, story producer, and series producer for a wide variety of North American broadcasters, including — Making It Big for the Life Network, Glutton For Punishment for the Food Network and The Week the Women Went for CBC. Her work has won several awards, from Bronze and Silver at the New York Festivals, a Jack Webster Award, the B’nai B’rith League of Human Rights Award for Best Documentary, and the Canadian Association of Journalists Award for Best Documentary.

Maureen Palmer & Divorce: Raised in Sudbury, Maureen has lived in Toronto, Edmonton and now Vancouver. She has been divorced for more than a decade. For most of that decade, Maureen flew every 2nd week or so from Vancouver to Edmonton to spend a long weekend in the basement of her old matrimonial home, where she could do the “mom” thing for her two daughters. Ex-husband, journalist Graham Thomson, made many jokes about having the “ex-wife in the basement,” but the reality was: this unorthodox relationship allowed their children to grow up with both parents in their lives as much as possible. Maureen admits to stumbling, making mistakes and acting like an adolescent at times, but her daughters Erin, 27, and Heather, 22, think mistakes were few and far between. They actually suggested this documentary, when they thanked her and their father for allowing them to grow up in a home free of conflict.

Read an interview with Maureen Palmer.

Writer/Producer: Helen Slinger is a master storyteller whose work spans three decades. Recent documentary writer/director credits include the Bully’s MarkEmbracing Bob’s Killer, and Leaving Bountiful. Helen’s written a legion of documentaries for other directors, and is a highly-respected story editor and script doctor. Various projects have won Gemini nominations, Finalist New York festivals, Platinum Award Worldfest Houston, Jury Award Yorkton Short Film & Video Festival, selection Montreal World Film Festival, selection Vancouver International Film Festival, selection Girlfest Hawaii, a Gracie Allen (Foundation of American Women In Radio & TV), RTNDA (Radio & Television News Directors) awards, and several Columbus International Film & Television Awards including the Edgar Dale Award for excellence in non-fiction screenwriting .

Helen Slinger & Divorce: Raised in Saskatoon, Helen Slinger has lived in Toronto, Victoria BC and now North Vancouver. She’s been happily divorced for more than 20 years and is the mother of one bio-daughter from that marriage. Since the divorce, Helen and her daughter’s dad have celebrated together every Christmas, Thanksgiving, birthday (hers, his, their daughter’s and his son’s from an earlier marriage). Knowing her not to be a saint, Helen’s friends initially thought she was nuts. At the time, this was not a fashionable way to divorce … and, to be clear, the divorce was not all lovey-dovey amicable. So this small c collaborative divorce was an active choice to go against the tide. Today Helen’s daughter and step-son express gratitude for the family that remained after the marriage ended and Helen feels very proud of herself and of her daughter’s dad. Tucked in with the old greetings cards around the house is a Mother’s Day card from her then 14-year-old daughter in which she lists the things she appreciates about Mom. High up on the list: “the way you get along with my dad”.

Producer: Sue Ridout chose the life of an independent producer after twenty award-winning years in network news and current affairs at both CTV and CBC Television. During her tenure as the Executive Producer of News & Current Affairs for CBC Television in Vancouver, her team won more than 100 awards. Now Sue produces and directs documentaries for broadcasters including CBC, CTV, History Channel and Knowledge Network. She has produced two other documentaries for CBC’s Doc Zone series: Embracing Bob’s Killer, about a woman who forgives the man who killed her husband; and Desperately Seeking Doctors, about the lack of family physicians in Canada. Sue uses her considerable management skills to coordinate business affairs on documentaries for other companies, like Bountiful Films.

Rewiring the Brain to Ease Pain

Rewiring the Brain to Ease Pain – WSJ.com.

Rewiring the Brain to Ease Pain

Brain Scans Fuel Efforts to Teach Patients How to Short-Circuit Hurtful Signals

How you think about pain can have a major impact on how it feels.

That’s the intriguing conclusion neuroscientists are reaching as scanning technologies let them see how the brain processes pain.

Alternative remedies for relief of chronic pain are getting new attention and respect these days. Melinda Beck has details on Lunch Break.

That’s also the principle behind many mind-body approaches to chronic pain that are proving surprisingly effective in clinical trials.

Some are as old as meditation, hypnosis and tai chi, while others are far more high tech. In studies at Stanford University’s Neuroscience and Pain Lab, subjects can watch their own brains react to pain in real-time and learn to control their response—much like building up a muscle. When subjects focused on something distracting instead of the pain, they had more activity in the higher-thinking parts of their brains. When they “re-evaluated” their pain emotionally—”Yes, my back hurts, but I won’t let that stop me”—they had more activity in the deep brain structures that process emotion. Either way, they were able to ease their own pain significantly, according to a study in the journal Anesthesiology last month.

While some of these therapies have been used successfully for years, “we are only now starting to understand the brain basis of how they work, and how they work differently from each other,” says Sean Mackey, chief of the division of pain management at Stanford.

He and his colleagues were just awarded a $9 million grant to study mind-based therapies for chronic low back pain from the government’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM).

Some 116 million American adults—one-third of the population—struggle with chronic pain, and many are inadequately treated, according to a report by the Institute of Medicine in July.

Yet abuse of pain medication is rampant. Annual deaths due to overdoses of painkillers quadrupled, to 14,800, between 1998 and 2008, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The painkiller Vicodin is now the most prescribed drug in the U.S.

“There is a growing recognition that drugs are only part of the solution and that people who live with chronic pain have to develop a strategy that calls upon some inner resources,” says Josephine Briggs, director of NCCAM, which has funded much of the research into alternative approaches to pain relief.

Already, neuroscientists know that how people perceive pain is highly individual, involving heredity, stress, anxiety, fear, depression, previous experience and general health. Motivation also plays a huge role—and helps explain why a gravely wounded soldier can ignore his own pain to save his buddies while someone who is depressed may feel incapacitated by a minor sprain.

“We are all walking around carrying the baggage, both good and bad, from our past experience and we use that information to make projections about what we expect to happen in the future,” says Robert Coghill, a neuroscientist at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Dr. Coghill gives a personal example: “I’m periodically trying to get into shape—I go to the gym and work out way too much and my muscles are really sore, but I interpret that as a positive. I’m thinking, ‘I’ve really worked hard.’ ” A person with fibromyalgia might be getting similar pain signals, he says, but experience them very differently, particularly if she fears she will never get better.

Dr. Mackey says patients’ emotional states can even predict how they will respond to an illness. For example, people who are anxious are more likely to experience pain after surgery or develop lingering nerve pain after a case of shingles.

That doesn’t mean that the pain is imaginary, experts stress. In fact, brain scans show that chronic pain (defined as pain that lasts at least 12 weeks or a long time after the injury has healed) represents a malfunction in the brain’s pain processing systems. The pain signals take detours into areas of the brain involved with emotion, attention and perception of danger and can cause gray matter to atrophy. That may explain why some chronic pain sufferers lose some cognitive ability, which is often thought to be a side effect of pain medication.

The dysfunction “feeds on itself,” says Dr. Mackey. “You get into a vicious circle of more pain, more anxiety, more fear, more depression. We need to interrupt that cycle.”

One technique is attention distraction, simply directing your mind away from the pain. “It’s like having a flashlight in the dark—you choose what you want to focus on. We have that same power with our mind,” says Ravi Prasad, a pain psychologist at Stanford.

Guided imagery, in which a patient imagines, say, floating on a cloud, also works in part by diverting attention away from pain. So does mindfulness meditation. In a study in the Journal of Neuroscience in April, researchers at Wake Forest taught 15 adults how to meditate for 20 minutes a day for four days and subjected them to painful stimuli (a probe heated to 120 degrees Fahrenheit on the leg).

Brain scans before and after showed that while they were meditating, they had less activity in the primary somatosensory cortex, the part of the brain that registers where pain is coming from, and greater activity in the anterior cingulate cortex, which plays a role in handling unpleasant feelings. Subjects also reported feeling 40% less pain intensity and 57% less unpleasantness while meditating.

“Our subjects really looked at pain differently after meditating. Some said, ‘I didn’t need to say ouch,’ ” says Fadel Zeidan, the lead investigator.

Techniques that help patients “emotionally reappraise” their pain rather than ignore it are particularly helpful when patients are afraid they will suffer further injury and become sedentary, experts say.

Cognitive behavioral therapy, which is offered at many pain-management programs, teaches patients to challenge their negative thoughts about their pain and substitute more positive behaviors.

Even getting therapy by telephone for six months helped British patients with fibromyalgia, according to a study published online this week in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Nearly 30% of patients receiving the therapy reported less pain, compared with 8% of those getting conventional treatments. The study noted that in the U.K., no drugs are approved for use in fibromyalgia and access to therapy or exercise programs is limited, if available at all.

Anticipating relief also seems to make it happen, research into the placebo effect has shown. In another NCCAM-funded study, 48 subjects were given either real or simulated acupuncture and then exposed to heat stimuli.

Both groups reported similar levels of pain relief—but brain scans showed that actual acupuncture interrupted pain signals in the spinal cord while the sham version, which didn’t penetrate the skin, activated parts of the brain associated with mood and expectation, according to a 2009 study in the journal Neuroimage.

One of Dr. Mackey’s favorite pain-relieving techniques is love. He and colleagues recruited 15 Stanford undergraduates and had them bring in photos of their beloved and another friend. Then he scanned their brains while applying pain stimuli from a hot probe. On average, the subject reported feeling 44% less pain while focusing on their loved one than on their friend. Brain images showed they had strong activity in the nucleus accumbens, an area deep in the brain involved with dopamine and reward circuits.

Experts stress that much still isn’t known about pain and the brain, including whom these mind-body therapies are most appropriate for. They also say it’s important that anyone who is in pain get a thorough medical examination. “You can’t just say, ‘Go take a yoga class.’ That’s not a thoughtful approach to pain management,” says Dr. Briggs.

Write to Melinda Beck at HealthJournal@wsj.com

 

YouTube Movie – How Will We Love?

YouTube – How Will We Love?.

 

From the Emmy nominated series, Song of Songs, comes the feature film “How Will We Love?”. This documentary explores romantic love, relationships, and the challenges and rewards of long term commitment.

About Me:

From the Emmy nominated series, Song of Songs, comes the feature film “How Will We Love?”. This documentary explores romantic love, relationships, and the challenges and rewards of long term commitment.

EFT Tapping: How To !

http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/v/n4UWb–KGm0?fs=1&hl=en_US
 
This is a very good set of videos on Tapping.
I have trained since 1999 in EFT and my main teachers used it extensively.
               
Rory

*****

EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUE (“EFT”)

excerpted from piece written by Sandra Lewis, MA

Emotional Freedom Technique is an energy healing technique refined from TFT (Thought Field Therapy) and brought into wide usage by an American named Gary Craig (see http://www.eftuniverse.com/).  In his words, “Even though EFT violates just about every conventional belief out there, the results remain remarkable…My jaw still drops [after 12 years]”. EFT is an emotional form of acupuncture using tapping instead of needles to stimulate key meridian energy points, on the premise that the cause of many negative emotions is a disruption in the body’s energy system. It is a surprisingly fast way to eliminate negative feelings, no matter how entrenched they may seem. Startling relief usually occurs within the first session. As well, this is a method that is easily taught to clients who can use it on their own, whenever they start to feel upset or overwhelmed. It works extremely well with children.

http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/v/n4UWb–KGm0?fs=1&hl=en_US

EFT stands for emotional freedom technique, and it’s meant to give you exactly that, emotional freedom. It’s alarmingly simple, and to many intellectuals, it sounds too good and too easy to be true. But if you can get out of your head for a minute or two and just try it, I think you will be pleasantly surprised. As a psychotherapist, I spent many years practicing conventional talk therapy before discovering there was a much faster and more effective way of helping people release unwanted feelings. You may know people who have spent years in therapy and still feel unhappy. Sure, now they understand why they feel that way, but they feel it, all the same. EFT allows you to understand and release, all at once. Not just temporarily, but in most cases, permanently.

I won’t explain in this short article how to do it. But if you go to the website (link www.emofree.com and see additional information at the end of this article) there is a free downloadable manual that gives the basics, plus a ton of testimonies from doctors, naturopaths, psychiatrists, scientists, psychologists and lay people.

What I will tell you is that using EFT will give you clarity. It will allow you to be passionate about your work, without being angry or judgmental. And it’s easy to teach. It can be used by one person, or a group of people. Imagine a room full of adversaries, each side hanging on tenaciously to its position… what if someone were to do a group EFT clearing… it happens all the time in seminars to wonderful effect. In fact, the more people doing EFT, the more power it seems to have. It requires the suspension of disbelief, as it involves saying affirmations and tapping on key acupuncture meridian points. Some people might feel foolish… but if a few people are on board, the rest often join in. And it’s excellent at moving what seem to be intractable conflicts.

I use it often in my practice with couples. And just spending a few minutes, perhaps five or ten, doing EFT, allows them both to see things more clearly from the other person’s point of view. I see this over and over again. Even with a single client, a few rounds will have them saying things like: I guess he was doing his best; I suppose her own childhood makes it difficult for her to do the right thing; I don’t really feel angry at him now. In fact, I feel a bit sorry for him; I suppose it’s not that big a deal.

The Chinese word for conflict is two symbols: one means danger, the other, opportunity. In order to see the opportunities, however, we have to be clear-headed, we have to be calm, and we have to leave our own needs and emotions out of it. EFT makes that a lot easier to do.

Sandra Lewis, MA, has a psychotherapy practice in Toronto and Newmarket , Ontario , where she works with teens, adults and couples on anxiety, depression, work and relationship conflicts and psychosomatic illnesses. She is a clinical member of the Ontario Soc. Of Psychotherapists, sits on the board of Conflict Resolution Network Canada and is the editor of their headline news service (crnetwork.ca). Her Masters Degree is in Conflict Analysis and Management. She can be reached at slewis@crnetwork.ca or through her website www.artemistherapy.com