Sunday, February 20, 2011

Stop the Nonsense

The surge of violence in the Middle East has brought to my attention the behavior of frustrated and angry citizens.  I know I already blogged a little about Egypt, but I find the whole thing fascinating, watching history unfold before my very eyes.  Kind of like when the Berlin Wall came down, or when the Soviet Union ended.  Lots of stuff is going on now, but my focus at the moment is on the anger and violence, and how it’s being played out. I see anger and violence in a way that is clear to me and to many of my colleagues in rapid resolution therapy, but perhaps not so clear to others.  What causes anger?  And what causes violence?  The two are related, and I would like to offer a way of understanding them: that violence is an aggressive force, stemming from anger,   used to elicit a response.  That’s my official definition, for now.  And the response that violence is looking for is always the same, to make sense of whatever is going on.

The mind is always trying to make sense of the world.  In the years that I’ve been doing RRT, I’ve learned that you can’t make sense of something that doesn’t make sense.  You just can’t.  And when the mind can’t make sense of what’s going on, the automatic responses are always anger and frustration.  I’ve seen it over and over again.  Anger and frustration is in response to trying to make sense of something that doesn’t make sense.  Now this is the tricky part:  when people accept that their environment doesn’t make sense, and when they (or what they value) do not feel threatened by those around them, they are fine.

But when an illogical, nonsensical environment is no longer tolerable, violence comes in.  In making my previous definition even more exact, I am going to define violence as a forceful attempt to make sense of something that doesn’t make sense.  

When we look at violence like this, it may make be more clear.  Whether or not we agree with violence doesn’t matter.  But when we can understand it as a person’s, or a group’s, attempt to make sense of something, it may shed light on better ways to communicate with others.  Or, as rapid resolution therapy would put it, to connect with others.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Contact Information

My office is located at:

Wildewood Professional Park
3657 Cortez Road W., Suite 130
Bradenton, FL  34210


Monday, February 7, 2011

Symbols that Unify

Someone asked me if Rapid Resolution Therapy (RRT) is “all I do.”  This person had known me years ago, when I was working at a community mental health clinic, when I was trying to help my clients by listening and offering advice.   That was before I even knew about RRT, let alone incorporated it so completely into my life.  I explained that RRT is a technique, yes, but it’s also a way of understanding people’s thoughts, actions and behaviors.  It’s a way of understanding that makes sense, that’s clear.
The mind is always trying to make sense of the world, always trying to understand it in a clear and logical way.  Everything that we do is an attempt to make sense of the world, to create clarity from chaos.

So how does it do that?  How does the mind create order and sense from what appears to be illogical and irrational?  By discarding the nonsense and revealing the wisdom.  By minimizing what doesn't make sense and illuminating what does make sense.  And how is that communicated to others?  Largely by symbols.  Here's an example:

Khaled Said.  How many Americans know his name?  Or his face?  Khaled Said was an ordinary Egyptian businessman who, tired of the corruption in Egyptian law enforcement, videotaped some policemen using drugs.  He posted his video on the internet.  A little while later while sitting in a cafĂ©, he was approached by the police, hauled off and beaten to death.  His name and the picture of his bloody face at the morgue became symbols of what sparked the recent revolution in Egypt—with a little help from Facebook, of course.  He represents, as the Egyptians have said, all of them.  He was just a regular guy who was tired of the corruption which was so common in his society.  The way he was looking at it,  exposing the corruption in such an open way would help to get rid of it, to clean it up.

And he was right.  This present revolution in Egypt is an attempt to create clarity from chaos.

The deeper part of the mind responds so well to symbols.  Meanings are attached to those symbols, so strongly that the meanings themselves don’t even have to be articulated anymore.  The swish mark for Nike, the golden arches for McDonald’s, the cross for Christianity—those are all symbols that need no linguistic explanation.

And for Egyptians, as well as for much of the world, the picture of Khaled Said’s face says it all.