Holistic Pulsing in
New Zealand Aotearoa

The official website of The New Zealand Holistic Pulsing Guild, Inc (1992) We welcome your questions and comments.

For general information or further enquiries, please email info@holisticpulsing.org.nz

Updated April 2017

This website is administered by The New Zealand Holistic Pulsing Guild, Inc.
The site aims to support and network members and facilitate the wider Mind-Body arena. With integrity we aim to uphold the ethics, standards and policy of the New Zealand Holistic Pulsing Guild, Inc.

Book Reviews

mbraining

Book Review

mBraining. Using your multiple brains to do school stuff.

Grant Soosalu and Marvin Oka, 2012, mBIT International Pty Ltd.

 

Did you know we have multiple brains? Of course you did, as holistic practitioners we are all familiar with the inherent wisdom of the heart and gut as well as the head, but did you know that neuro science is beginning to understand how these work? As the authors of this book say, “Ancient wisdom was and is wise for valid reasons, and science is just beginning to catch up and validate the neuro-structures behind much of the sage advice from past teachings” (Soosalu and Oka, p.11).

 

The authors have woven together the methodologies of NLP, Cognitive Linguistics and Behavioural Modelling with the latest research about multiple brain intelligence to provide “a generative structure and exciting new platform for exploring what’s possible for us as human beings, both individually and collectively as a society.” (p. 10).

 

This book is an easily readable in depth exploration of both the science and practice of using multiple brain intelligence for personal development and behavioural change. It has far-reaching applications from therapy to business to societal change. Specifically using an integration of all three brains (head, heart and gut) brings about deeper wisdom and greater likelihood of lasting behavioural change. Although the notion of using our head, heart and gut to inform decision making or behavioural change is familiar, the authors suggest that other self-sustaining intelligence systems in our bodies, (such as the pelvic) will be discovered in future, hence multiple brain intelligence or mBIT.

 

The authors claim this is not a self-help book, as the purpose is not to help us operate in the current paradigm more effectively. “The main purpose for working with your multiple brains is not so you can ‘do more’ in life, but instead the aim is to live your life from your highest authentic expression and live with greater wisdom in all you decisions and actions” (p.12). Nevertheless, the book is full of practical self-help tools structured around an evolutionary framework they call the ‘mBIT Roadmap’.

 

I look forward to putting their ideas in to practice!

Peta Joyce

 

 

 

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Book review. Peta Joyce

Help for the Helper. The Psychophysiology of Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Trauma. Babette Rothschild with Marjorie E. Rand.

W.W. Norton and Company. New York: London. 2006

 

Primarily a book about self-care for therapists, the author utilizes the latest neurobiological research, literature from social psychology and experience from her own psychotherapy practice to outline the primary causes of burnout, compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma, and offers simple practical exercises to develop the awareness and skills to prevent them.

 

What distinguishes this book from others on the topic is her focus on somatic empathy; how the body absorbs and processes the information we pick up from clients, and how to use that awareness to best advantage to keep healthy in our work.

 

Rothschild believes that “therapist self-care requires the proper functioning of at least three neurophysiological systems” (p.3). These are interpersonal empathy, balance in the autonomic nervous system, and clear thinking. She goes into detail about the functioning of each and offers clear exercises on how to become aware of, and regulate, each of them.

 

Rothschild discusses empathy (“the capacity to experience what others experience”, p.10) not only as a psychological ability, but a physical one. She discusses in detail conscious and unconscious postural mirroring and its affects on us as therapists, and on our clients. For her, body awareness is the key to becoming aware of how to manage those effects and avoid burnout, compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma.

 

There is also a useful section on boundaries and how to pay attention to physical distance, body ‘armour’, developing a ‘thick skin’, using eye contact, being aware of your physical skin, and controlling empathic imagery, as methods for increasing healthy boundaries.

 

The section on clear thinking outlines the processes by which we interpret information (from both internal and external sources) and the functions of the three different parts of the ‘triune’ brain; the reptilian, the limbic system and the neocortex. She explains the ways in which high stress and trauma affect our ability to think clearly (even if we are not experiencing this for ourselves, but hearing it from our clients) and outlines the skills therapists need to develop in order to keep thinking clearly. These are; knowing oneself and ones personal history (especially the unresolved difficulties that may be triggered when working with clients) developing the ‘observer’ self and having dual awareness (the ability to simultaneously attend to and reconcile sensory information from internal and external sources) controlling self-talk (such as overly identifying with a client or self-criticising) nurturing your work space and structured self care.

 

Although this is a book primarily about psychotherapy, I found Rothschild’s emphasis on empathy, and somatic empathy in particular, very useful and thought provoking for us as Holistic Pulsers. As she points out, not only is empathy a key skill in relating to clients, it can also be a major contributor to the negative effects of being a therapist. To counteract the negative impact of somatic empathy, she outlines many useful strategies focussed on ways in which we can ‘keep a distance’ or be securely ‘in our own chair’ (rather than the clients’).

 

How does this work when we pulsers are so physically close with our clients and literally in touch with them? Furthermore, the two-way process involves a kind of attunement, or resonance, which means we are experiencing (consciously or unconsciously) somatic empathy to a high degree. Thinking about this, I found the figure-of-eight or infinity symbol we use as a logo for Holistic Pulsing very helpful. If we think about each loop being client and therapist, we are both connected AND separate, with a mutually resonating energy flow constantly moving between us. This visual image, plus utilising breathing and letting go of any agenda about changing, healing or fixing my client, helps me greatly to use somatic empathy without ‘taking on’ any aspect of my client’s distress.

 

This is an easy to read book full of common sense, useful exercises, and good ideas for developing healthy practice and self-care. Although primarily aimed at therapists, I think it would be equally useful for anyone in the helping professions, and particularly for those doing mentoring or supervision.

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