Sunday 18 August 2019

Exploring ACT training with Leo Hepler, Jaimie Persson & Paul Flaxman - Part 2

Season 3 Episode 5

The conversation continues with a focus on how to introduce the concept of skilfully relating to the content that our minds can produce, which is also known as cognitive defusion. We also how Jaimie uses her experience of the context of the ballet world in a way that is both curious  and cautious - she's keen not to make assumptions based upon her own experience. Paul reflects on the embodied nature of the new protocol, many people we train report feeling quite disconnected with sensations in their body. He also reveals how the Flaxman Manoeuvre was born. Leo, continues to reflect on the impact of the training on his life in his characteristic thoughtful and insightful way.



Show Notes

Images of Leo by Amber Hunt for Photography by Ash

Flaxman Manoeuvre - the note below is our guidance for how to demonstrate this in a workshop.

"...we use two sheets of paper (see photos below). On one sheet we write something like, “Unhelpful thoughts, mood/ emotion, urges/impulses”. On the other sheet we write “Value” or “Personal Values”. To capture the aim of this training we say that these are things have the potential to influence our behaviour. We’ve looked at how personal values can provide a personally meaningful guide to daily behaviour. However, our thoughts and feelings can also influence our behaviour. We may intend to express a value in action, but when opportunities arise we might not feel much like it, or the mind might tell us to put it off until another time.

The trainer then moves the personal values sheet to the front while stating that a basic purpose of this training is to learn how to make personal values a more prominent guide to daily behaviour. Note that the unhelpful thoughts and feelings sheet does not move. The trainer points out that the unhelpful thoughts, feelings, and urges have not gone away. The message is that we will be developing a set of skills designed to help us relate more skilfully to these internal states, to ensure they do have an unhelpful or excessive influence over our behaviour." Flaxman & McIntosh, 2019

A lifetime of gentle returns - here's that quote in full from Kelly G Wilson, 2009.

No one lives in accordance with their values all the time. "Some days, some moments, we will be well oriented within that pattern [of living by our values]. Other days, other moments, we'll find ourselves at odds with our values. In that moment, the moment in which we notice that we're out of alignment with our value, can we pause, notice our dislocation and gently return? It's difficult to imagine a value of any magnitude that will not involve a lifetime of gentle returns."

Kelly G Wilson (2009) Mindfulness for Two

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