Saturday, April 18, 2009

Dance Movement Therapy

Dance Movement Therapy is the psychotherapeutic use of movement and dance through which a person can engage creatively in a process to further their emotional, cognitive, physical and social integration. It is founded on the principle that movement reflects an individual’s patterns of thinking and feeling. Through acknowledging and supporting clients’ movements the therapist encourages development and integration of new adaptive movement patterns together with the emotional experiences that accompany such changes. Dance Movement Therapy is practised as both individual and group therapy in health, education and social service settings and in private practice.

Dance Movement Therapists work with a wide variety of clients including people who are emotionally distressed, people with learning difficulties, those with physical or mental illness and people who want to use the medium for personal growth.

While the origins of dance as a healing art lie in ancient history, the contemporary profession incorporates dance, movement & psychological theories and therapeutic practices developed primarily in Europe and the U.S.A. In eastern societies, as like in Indian Subcontinent, dance has always been practiced as a medium to unleash the emotions and execute the emotiojns for the therapeutic build up. Lord Shiva is reffered as Natyaswor ( the god of dancing).The profession is also informed by continuing international research.

Who is DMT for?
1) for anyone experiencing difficulties or concerns with emotional problems, conflict or distress.
2) for people who want to enhance personal communication skills, self-exploration or self-understanding.
3) for people who may find some feelings or experiences too overwhelming or difficult to communicate by words alone, or for those who may avoid feelings or confuse issues in their use of words.
4) for people whose problems are bound up in bodily form; in distortions or concern about body image, in actual movement difficulties such as tension or blocked areas of the body, impaired movements or in anxieties about proximity, physical contact or trust.
5) for people where impairment or trauma may hinder the capacity for them or others to acknowledge and understand personal areas of strength and weakness.
6) for people during particular periods of distress such as those associated with loss, transition or change.
7) for people concerned that problems they feel have gone on for too long, or who have a general sense that "things are not right" for them, their relationships or their family.
8) for those for whom verbal communication is less available

Benefits of DMT

1)increasing self-awareness, self-esteem and personal autonomy.
2)experiencing links between thought, feelings and actions.
3)increasing and rehearsing adaptive coping behaviours.
4)expressing and managing overwhelming feelings or thoughts.
5)maximising resources of communication.
6)contacting inner resources through contained creative movement play.
7)testing the impact of self on others.
8)testing inner with outer reality.
9)initiating physical, emotional and/or cognitive shifts.
10)developing a trusting relationship.
11)manage feelings that interrupt learning.
12)enhancing social interaction skills.


Dance Movement Therapy may be recommended as a primary service or as a complement to other forms of on-going treatment, rehabilitation or education. The therapy can be short or long term and is available for adults and children.

Sources: American Dance Movement Therapy Association

Friday, April 17, 2009

Reverse Brainstorming

A different approach to brainstorming
Related variant: "Negative Brainstorming"

Reverse brainstorming helps you solve problems by combining brainstorming and reversal techniques. By combining these, you can extend your use of brainstorming to draw out even more creative ideas. Brainstorming is a solution oriented approach but in reverse brainstorming we first collect information about problem, how it is caused or how can we create it and then only we go to solution.

To use this technique, you start with one of two "reverse" questions:

Instead of asking, "How do I solve or prevent this problem?" ask, "How could I possibly cause the problem?"

Instead of asking "how do I achieve these results?" ask,
"how could I possibly achieve the opposite effect?"

How To Use The Tool?

1. Clearly identify the problem or challenge, and write it down.

2. Reverse the problem or challenge by asking:
"How could I possibly cause the problem?", or
"How could I possibly achieve the opposite effect?"

3. Brainstorm to reverse the problem so as to generate reverse solution ideas. Allow the brainstorm ideas to flow freely. Do not reject anything at this stage.

4. Once you have brainstormed all the ideas about the problem, now reverse these into solution ideas for the original problem or challenge.

5. Evaluate these solution ideas. Can you see a potential solution? Can you see attributes of a potential solution?

Reverse brain-storming is a good technique to try when it is difficult to identify solutions to the problem directly.


Luciana is the manager of a health clinic and she has the task of improving patient satisfaction.

There have been various improvement initiatives in the past and the team members have become rather skeptical about another meeting on the subject. The team is overworked, team members are "trying their best" and there is no appetite to "waste" time talking about this.

So she decides to use some creative problem solving techniques she has learned. This, she hopes, will make the team meeting more interesting and engage people in a new way.

Perhaps it will reveal something more than the usual "good ideas" that no one has time to act on.

To prepare for the team meeting, Luciana thinks carefully about the problem and writes down the problem statement:

• "How do we improve patient satisfaction?"
Then she reverses problem statement:
• "How do we create make more patients dissatisfied?"
Already she starts to see how the new angle could reveal some surprising results.

At the team meeting, everyone gets involved in an enjoyable and productive reverse brainstorming session. They draw on both their work experience with patients and also their personal experience of being patients and customers of other organizations. Luciana helps ideas flow freely, ensuring people to not pass judgment on even the most unlikely suggestions.

Here are just a few of the "reverse" ideas:
• Double book appointments
• Remove the chairs from the waiting room
• Put patients who phone on hold (and forget about them)
• Have patients wait outside in the car park
• Discuss patient's problems in public
• . and so on
When the brainstorming session runs dry, the team has a long list of the "reverse" solutions. Now it's time to look at each one in reverse into a potential solution. Well resulting discussions are quite revealing. For example:
"Well of course we don't leave patients outside in the car park - we already don't do that."
"But what about in the morning, there are often patients waiting outside until opening time?"
"Mmm, true. Pretty annoying for people on first appointments."
"So why don't we open the waiting room 10 minutes earlier so it doesn't happen?"
"Right, we'll do that from tomorrow. There are 2 or 3 staff working already, so it's no problem".
And so it went on. The reverse brainstorming session revealed tens of improvement ideas that the team could implement swiftly and easily.

Luciana concluded: "It was enlightening and fun to looking at the problem in reverse. The amazing thing is, it's helped us become more patient-friendly by stopping doing things rather than creating more work".

Key points:
Reverse brain-storming is a good technique for creative problem solving, and can lead to robust solutions. Be sure to follow the basic rules of brainstorming to explore possible solutions to the full.

Vairous sources

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Generating many radical and useful ideas

Brainstorming is a useful and popular tool that you can use to develop highly creative solutions to a problem.

It is particularly helpful when you need to break out of stale, established patterns of thinking, so that you can develop new ways of looking at things. This can be when you need to develop new opportunities, where you want to improve the service that you offer, or when existing approaches just aren't giving you the results you want.
Used with your team, it helps you bring the experience of all team members into play during problem solving.

This increases the richness of solutions explored (meaning that you can find better solutions to the problems you face, and make better decisions.) It can also help you get buy in from team members for the solution chosen - after all, they have helped create that solution.

Brainstorming and Lateral Thinking

Brainstorming is a lateral thinking process, in a sense that it helps you to use and exchange the resources existing in both side of the brain. It asks that people come up with ideas and thoughts that seem at first to be a bit shocking or crazy. You can then change and improve them into ideas that are useful, and often stunningly original.

During brainstorming sessions there should therefore be no criticism of ideas: You are trying to open up possibilities and break down wrong assumptions about the limits of the problem. Judgments and analysis at this stage will stunt idea generation.

Ideas should only be evaluated at the end of the brainstorming session - you can then explore solutions further using conventional approaches.
If your ideas begin to dry up, you can 'seed' the session with, for example, a random words and cues as words defining- a situation at the moment, context and purpose of the work being done.

Individual Brainstorming

When you brainstorm on your own you will tend to produce a wider range of ideas than with group brainstorming - you do not have to worry about other people's egos or opinions, and can therefore be more freely creative. You may not, however, develop ideas as effectively as you do not have the experience of a group to help you.
When Brainstorming on your own, it can be helpful to use Mind Maps to arrange and develop ideas.

Group Brainstorming

Group brainstorming can be very effective as it uses the experience and creativity of all members of the group. When individual members reach their limit on an idea, another member's creativity and experience can take the idea to the next stage. Therefore, group brainstorming tends to develop ideas in more depth than individual brainstorming.

Brainstorming in a group can be risky for individuals. Valuable but strange suggestions may appear stupid at first sight. Because of this, you need to chair sessions tightly so that uncreative people do not crush these ideas and leave group members feeling humiliated.

How to Use the Tool:

To run a group brainstorming session effectively, do the following:
• Define the problem you want solved clearly, and lay out any criteria to be met.
• Keep the session focused on the problem.
• Ensure that no one criticizes or evaluates ideas during the session. Criticism introduces an element of risk for group members when putting forward an idea. This stifles creativity and cripples the free running nature of a good brainstorming session.
• Encourage an enthusiastic, uncritical attitude among members of the group. Try to get everyone to contribute and develop ideas, including the quietest members of the group.
• Let people have fun brainstorming. Encourage them to come up with as many ideas as possible, from solidly practical ones to wildly impractical ones. Welcome creativity.
• Ensure that no train of thought is followed for too long.
• Encourage people to develop other people's ideas, or to use other ideas to create new ones.
• Appoint one person to note down ideas that come out of the session. A good way of doing this is to use a flip chart. This should be studied and evaluated after the session.

Where possible, participants in the brainstorming process should come from as wide a range of disciplines as possible. This brings a broad range of experience to the session and helps to make it more creative.
And again, it's worth exploring the use of computer-based tools for group brainstorming. As long as you're reasonably quick with keyboard and mouse, these significantly improve the quality and effectiveness of a brainstorming session.

Key Points:

Brainstorming is a great way of generating radical ideas. During the brainstorming process there is no criticism of ideas, as free rein is given to people's creativity (criticism and judgment cramp creativity.)

This often makes group brainstorming sessions enjoyable experiences, which are great for bringing team members together.

Individual brainstorming is best for generating many ideas, but tends to be less effective at developing them. Group brainstorming tends to develop fewer ideas, but takes each idea further. Group brainstorming needs formal rules for it to work smoothly.

Vaiours resources

Why Do Stressors Affect People Differently?

Here Is What Makes The Effects of Stress Unique

Have you ever noticed that some people seem to thrive in chaos, while others get overwhelmed by even positive changes in their lives? Stress is a highly subjective experience. While many of us are stressed by roughly the same things — jobs, money, being overscheduled, relationship conflict — different people may react more or less strongly to the same situation for several reasons:

Differences in Resources
One widely-accepted definition of stress is that it’s what occurs when the perceived demands of a situation outweigh one’s available resources. This leads people to perceive themselves threatened, which triggers the body’s stress response and the experience of "being stressed." Therefore, the level of resources one has available can make a significant difference in whether someone experiences stress in a given situation. It’s also important to note that "resources" refer to external factors such as physical and emotional assistance from others, money and other physical resources, as well as internal factors such as knowledge, experience, and courage. The differences in available resources is a major factor in why two people may face the same situation and experience it differently.

Differences in Physiology
Some people are naturally more sensitive and reactive to stress. Differences in temperament, a collection of inborn personality traits that can be observed as early as infancy, can cause some people to be naturally more resilient in the face of stress while others can feel more threatened and less able to cope. While we can’t change the temperament we were born with (or the temperament we were reared with as the insecurity that is acquired from our parents and especially mother is the chief source of temperament outbrust), we can become more aware of our predispositions and work around them by building up skills that may compensate for certain sensitivities, or structure our lifestyles to minimize certain stress triggers.

Differences in Meaning Associated with Circumstances
Another factor that affects whether a situation is perceived as "stressful" is the meaning that people find in the situations. Having a sense of control in a situation, for example, can make it feel much less threatening and more empowering. (Think of people with very few possessions because they are choosing a lifestyle of voluntary simplicity versus those who have very little because they’ve lost most of their assets in a poor economy.) Looking at the same situation as a "challenge" instead of a "threat" can make a potentially stressful experience feel invigorating instead of overwhelming. (Think of doing work that utilizes your talents and abilities versus work that’s monotonous or just too hard — doesn’t it feel different?) And cultivating an attitude of gratitude can help you see the potential gains of a situation rather than only the difficulties. (Many people talk about "looking for the gift" in a crisis.)

What does this mean for you, especially if you're someone who gets stressed more easily? For one thing, you can approach stress management from all different angles. For example:

• Build Your Resources

1. Create strong friendships, so you'll have greater social support in times of stress.
2. Plan ahead in terms of time and money, so you'll have some reserves in case of emergency.
3. Try to have a 'Plan B' in case things go wrong.

• Build Your Personal Resilience

1. Talk to a trusted friend in times of crisis, to gain support and perspective.
2. Give yourself time to process what's going on in your life (through journaling and maintaining log book about your daily life, for example) before immediately reacting. It's helpful (but not completely essential) to have a spiritual focus that works for you.
3. Certain stress management techniques (like meditation and exercise, for example) can build your resilience in the face of future stressors. Try them.

• Change The Way You Look At Life

1. Work on cultivating a sense of humor about things.
2. Practice seeing the world as an optimist.
3. Try other reframing techniques.

By Elizabeth Scott, M.S.,

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Resiliency: An ability to overcome adversity

1) What is resilience?

The process of overcoming adversity.

Resilience is more than positive thinking or finding the silver lining in clouds. Denial is a powerful defense mechanism, but resilient people don't pretend everything is all right. They seize the initiative and do what they can to help themselves and others. When there is hardship, a resilient person will create new meaning from the experience. This means reframing the event -- making the mental shift that allows you to see yourself not as a victim but as a survivor. "Resilience is people having appropriate, immediate reactions to traumas, but then going on with their lives and living more assertively and more purposefully," explains explains Kempler.

2)Who is resilient?


Resilience is a human quality. Every one of us will deal with terrible crises, such as the death of a parent. And each of us has it in us to put our worlds back together again. This does not mean that resilient people don't need help from other people. The ability to draw strength from relationships is one aspect of resilience.

Like other human strengths, some people are more resilient than others. But resilience increases in people who work to integrate their traumatic experiences into their lives. They do this by using these experiences to define their problems, strengths, and possibilities.

3)Who tends to be most resilient?

"So much is made of children's vulnerability, and that is true," says Kempler. "But a point is missed in that often what is traumatic is the sense that our world is coming apart. Something is happening that is completely impossible; the world we took for granted is gone... But young children do not as yet have such fully formed impressions of the world. They can certainly be frightened and feel insecure, but it is not quite on that 'This is not supposed to be happening' level that adults experience."

4)Who tends to be least resilient?
People who are self-focused

Egocentric or self-focused people are more likely to take things personally. And the extent to which people take things personally affects their ability to be resilient. This, explains Kempler, is why people who survive natural disasters tend to recover more quickly than those who survive attacks directed against them personally or as members of a group.

"The person who has the capacity to say this is not directed personally at me has a much better chance of remaining resilient," Kempler says. "They are saying, 'This is not directed at me, this is not my fault. There is nothing about me that deserves this trauma.' It is the kind of meaning we put on events that protects our resilience, that makes us capable of being resilient, that lets us cope and adapt."

5)Which of these attributes is associated with resilience?
Independence and a reliance on relationships

Morality and a sense of humor

Recognizing one's inner wounds and taking charge of them

Wolin identifies seven strengths that together make up resilience:

Independence: Keeping emotional and physical distance from sources of trauma.
Relationships: The ability to attract, connect with, and form meaningful attachments to others.
Insight: Asking yourself hard questions -- about your strengths and weaknesses, for example, or about the role you play in your own problems -- and giving yourself honest answers.
Initiative: Taking charge of your problems.
Morality/spirituality: A firm sense of values and one's own self-worth.
Creativity: Giving meaning to your troubling experiences and painful feelings.
Humor: Finding the comic in the tragic.

6)Resilient people:
Seek help from reliable people in times of stress.

It's not that resilient people don't feel stress, or that they're better trained to deal with it (although more resilient people may be more likely than others to learn stress management). Resilient people recognize that bad things happen to good people, so they aren't overwhelmed by stress when they experience setbacks.

Resilient people have confidence in their ability to deal with bad situations. But they also recruit and form bonds with responsible, helpful adults -- and learn from their support how to withstand pain and disappointment.

"If you lose your job, and you become frightened for the future and you don't believe that things will get any better and you don't have any control, you are making that experience more stressful," Kempler says. "If you say, "Yes, I have lost my job but things haven't always gone my way -- and there are people I can turn to to help me.' That makes it less stressful, and it supports your active response."

7)Are there some experiences for which it is most crucial to be resilient?
Any event traumatic to us, no matter how trivial it may appear to others.

Resilience can indeed help us overcome serious abuses, tragedies, and ordeals we suffered as children or suffer as adults. But seemingly small things can contain a world of trauma. For example, it may seem odd for a boy to be traumatized when his parents fail to show up for his graduation. But that relatively small event may represent a whole childhood of neglect.

"We think of a traumatic event as something obviously horrible, like seeing a loved one killed before our eyes," says Kempler. "But in truth, the real source of trauma is in how a person experiences an event, and the meaning a person puts upon it. And context is important. If a child's sense of security is based on trusting the parent, and the parent does something to shake that foundation, that experience is quite important, even though it is not traumatic in and of itself."

8)When is a traumatic event most likely to rob us of our resilience?
Events connected to an older trauma we were not able to handle at the time.

All traumatic events challenge our resilience. But some come in under our radar.

"A traumatic event robs you of your resilience if it connects with an older trauma, a trauma you were not able to handle, that you didn't have the strength or the ego or the cognitive capacity to deal with," says Kempler. "Then it exists in you like a little poisonous capsule. When that is activated by current adult trauma, that is what robs you of your resilience because it is unconscious and you didn't know it was there."

This is where insight contributes to resilience. Recognizing and naming our trauma is the first step in activating our resiliency. This does not mean falling into what Wolin calls the "victim trap" -- seeing yourself as irreparably damaged and blaming your parents or others. It means seeing your pain as a signal to go out in search of your resilience to exercise the strengths that make us resilient.

9)When something brings back a painful memory, resilient people:
You answered: Shift from seeing themselves as victims to seeing themselves as survivors

Resilient people use their insight to recognize the experiences that caused them emotional and/or physical damage. These experiences, Wolin notes, bring up feelings of grief, anger, loss, fear, and shame.

It's true that these feelings may never go away completely. Ignoring them, nursing them, or pretending they aren't there doesn't help.

"Step back from yourself far enough so that your injuries diminish within a bigger picture that also includes your strengths," Steven and Sybil Wolin write. "Make a mental shift from dwelling on your damage to recognizing the challenges you met and the times you bounced back."

"The meaning that one finds in being a survivor can be enhancing," Kempler says. "You think, 'They threw everything they had at me and I'm still here.' So instead of being traumatic, it adds to my resilience."


Simple ways to be happy

While people have many and varied goals that they pursue, there is an almost universal underlying goal to virtually all pursuits: the goal to be happy. People who spend a lot of time making money generally do so because they believe that the money itself will make them happy, or will guard them against things that will make them unhappy. If the focus isn’t on the money, but on the jobs that bring the money, those jobs are generally thought to make people happy. People strive for that perfect relationship, the perfect house, the beautiful body, the approval of others, all in an attempt to be happy. Sometimes these things make us happy; other times, we stress over not having reached our goals, or we reach them and find that we’re still not happy. Other times, we focus so intensely on one goal that’s thought to bring happiness that we don’t have time for other things in our life that will make us truly happy. This can all be confusing, and begs the question: how does one reach the goal of being happy?

The following is a step-by-step guide that can help you explore the current state of your life, assess how truly happy you are, and find a direction to work toward that will likely bring more happiness. You’ll also find resources and tips for reaching your happiness goals and setting new ones. These pages are the gateway to a life that truly makes you happy.

Positive Psychology experts—those who study human happiness and the factors that contribute to it--have identified several key areas of life that seem to be more related to personal happiness. While it’s not an absolute given that dissatisfaction on one or three areas of life will lead to personal unhappiness or that satisfaction in most areas will automatically lead to bliss, there is a correlation: if you’re more satisfied with these areas of your life, you tend to be more happy in general. So what are the things in life that are correlated with personal happiness? Some of them are the things that you would expect: money, friends, health, living conditions; others are things you may not think of in your daily life, such as your neighborhood, spirituality, community involvement, and sense of meaning in life. (The role that these things play in your life can also impact your happiness, but there’s more on that later.)

Lifestyle, however, is only part of the happiness equation. Your attitude about life and the things that happen to you each day can also greatly impact your overall level of happiness and life satisfaction. Find, if you can, out more about Cultivating an Attitude for Happiness.

As mentioned in the earlier section, lifestyle features have a significant impact on personal happiness levels, but a significant piece of the equation is one’s attitude toward life. It’s probably no secret that optimists tend to be happier people, but you may not realize that there’s more to optimism than ‘putting on a happy face or ‘looking on the bright side’. There are specific traits of optimists, pleasantly distorted ways of thinking, that bring optimists more success, greater health, increased life satisfaction, and other goodies on a regular basis. Cultivating the mind of an optimist can not only mean cultivating happiness, regardless of your circumstance, but it can actually bring more things into your life to be happy about.

In addition to optimism, happy people tend to have an internal locus of control; simply put, they tend to believe that they are the masters of their fate, rather than the victims of circumstance. When you view the stressors of your life as a challenge rather than a threat, you tend to come up with more effective solutions and feel more exhilarated (rather than drained) as you tackle these circumstances. (Read this article for more on cultivating an internal locus of control.)

As previously mentioned, many people pursue goals that they expect will make them happy, but happiness isn’t always the end result. We all know people who have put everything they have into their careers—at the expense of their personal lives—only to wonder why they’re successful and still unhappy. It’s also all too common for people to be surrounded by a beautiful home, expensive cars, designer clothes (and sometimes mounds of debt) and still have less personal satisfaction with life than they had without all the “stuff”. How is one to know which goals will garner personal happiness and which won’t?

Another quick look at the list of factors that promote happiness shows that many things contribute to personal happiness; finding a balanced lifestyle so that you can include social support, personal development, physical health and meaningful pursuits in addition to career success and financial security (features that more often steal the focus) is much more likely to bring happiness than a lifestyle where only one or two of these facets receives the lion’s share of energy and resources, to the exclusion of other important lifestyle factors.

As you set your goals, remember all of the areas of life that are important to you. Map out a detailed description of how you would like your whole life to look. Use a pie chart to represent your life, and put the goals for different areas of your life into the different ‘pieces’. Or, set goals and develop healthy habits for a different area of your life each month. For ideas, see this article onoptimum changes for personal happiness, or this article on healthy habits for a balanced lifestyle. And don’t forget the importance of knowing how to say no to too many activities in your life!

Whether setting goals as New Year’s Resolutions, or as part of a quest for an improved life, many people sabotage themselves from the beginning by expecting too much and setting themselves up to fail. For example, many people expect themselves to immediate change their habits out of sheer willpower; any slip-ups are experienced as ‘failures’, and too often contribute to an abandonment of the goal and feelings of defeat.

If you’re trying to make positive changes in your life, it’s important to set yourself up to succeed:
First, set small, attainable goals. Work your way into a new habit with baby steps, and you’ll feel more successful every step of the way, and be less likely to give up.

Next, reward your progress; for each small goal you reach, allow yourself to feel pride, and perhaps give yourself a small reward.
Don’t forget to enlist social support! Tell the supportive people in your life what you’re attempting to acheive, and tell them of your successes. This will give you added strength, and will make it less appealing to give up (and have to explain yourself to those close to you)!