IN AN ACCURATE DESCRIPTION OF A PROBLEM LIES AN EMBEDDED SOLUTION
A CALL FOR ACTION
I am a psychoanalyst in private practice in NYC for the past 46 years specializing in substance abuse and crisis intervention. For decades I have been personally and professionally interested in finding an adequate solution to this challenging problem. I believe the key to success is focusing on the important fact that each crisis regardless of the form it takes shares a common structure. Regardless of the specific external issue triggering the onset of a given crisis, people needing crisis intervention initially complain of being overwhelmed by four painful ‘negative affects’-(symptoms.) These four symptoms are anxiety, depression, frustration, and stress. Whereas the literature describes multiple interventions for managing these particular ‘negative states’ their results tend to be short lasting. This is so because most of these interventions focus exclusively on symptom relief rather than on identifying and treating underlying causes which if adopted would lead to long lasting results.
People overwhelmed by negative feelings want, need, and require immediate attention. Regrettably this generally does not happen. Typically it takes weeks before people in crisis can be seen by too few professional care givers. What is needed is a resource manual for potential first responders aimed at providing effective crisis intervention with all those people wanting help in coping with their anxiety, frustration, depression and stress. An E book called Attitude Shifting authored by my brother and me fulfill this pressing need.
The Attitude Shifting™ resource guide offers professionals and lay people a five step method and tools to aid those who wish to effectively cope with anxiety, depression, frustration and stress while in the moment. This guide picks up where most others stop. Most self-help books and tapes are missing a crucial step…a step that must be taken in order to achieve long term mastery of these painful symptoms. People under stress tend to read the latest books, listen to the most popular TV Gurus and often pop the most recently advertised pills endorsed by the pharmaceutical companies, frequently with mixed benefits due to noxious side effects that are often worse than the problem. They will try various methods offering ‘exercises’ designed to reduce the painful symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression, and frustration, many of which do result in positive but short term relief. A common complaint is that underneath is a feeling of overwhelming ‘stuckness’ as the person is trapped in a state of ‘negative inertia.’ These approaches assume that there is a ‘quick fix’ requiring a minimum of effort to rid themselves of psychic pain on the part of the person in crisis.
We are vehemently opposed to the ''quick fix mentality'' in our nation, a mentality that tends to believe that normal feelings like anxiety and depression are ‘pathological’ that should be avoided, masking, or suppressed entirely, instead of viewing them as natural and inevitable responses to human limitations. Instead, our approach is to face them head on by treating them as if they were bullies that must be encountered and mastered. In so doing a person experiences the personal power personal power that results from adopting an attitude of struggling with struggle. In this view, the key to successful crisis intervention is to radically shift ones attitude towards anxiety, frustration, depression and stress from negative to positive. Developmental psychologists know that the key to constructing a solid identity (self) is for the child starting from birth to learn how to tolerate increasing dosages of negative affect (anxiety, depression, frustration, and stress) incrementally. This prescription automatically builds a cohesive psychological infrastructure experienced as a solid self that exudes self-confidence.
In this connection, The "Attitude Shifting" approach is remarkably simple... To obtain long term mastery over the feelings of anxiety, depression, frustration, and stress you have to assume the responsibility of addressing the causes not just the symptoms by making a CHOICE to change your initial negative ATTITUDE about these feelings to one that is positive by shifting one’s attitude towards them from avoidance and masking to actively confronting and mastering them
If this approach were enacted in homes, school rooms, emergency rooms, doctors’ offices I am certain that effective crisis intervention would occur in a relatively short amount of time. (Doing the first exercise once a day for 15 minutes for a week should do the trick). I am passionate in my belief that significant change can occur in this area but it takes persistent effort and a willingness to struggle with struggle to accomplish this worthwhile goal.
Regardless of whether you have an issue or you are in a position to help others acquainting yourself with the ideas and facts in this resource manual will be empowering.
If you would like to discuss this approach further I can be contacted at:
Gibbs A. Williams Ph.D E Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org