Which, how and why memory networks combine: A Plasticity of ...

Which, how and why memory networks combine: A Plasticity of ...

Plasticity of Meaning: A proposed AIP theory extension to explain the totality of psychological change in EMDR Dr. David Blore PhD Research symposium: 13th EMDR Europe Conference: Madrid 2012 1 This presentation on an AIP theory extension was derived from a study (Blore 2012a; 2012b & c awaiting publication) which aimed to investigate Positive Psychological Change (PPC) (including post traumatic growth) amongst road traffic accident survivors who had subsequently undergone EMDR. A Poster presentation expands on this presentation 2 Is Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) useful? (Greenwald & Shapiro 2010)

EMDR is proven. AIP is the hypothesis of psychological change handicapped by a recognised lack of knowledge AIP is not a model of the totality of psychological change (Blore 2012a, pp.43-45) rather AIP explains psychological change process with a heavy emphasis on the reduction of negative psychological changes (rNPC) Why? Creation of evidence base Evidence base requires focus on rNPC AIP and the Maslovian Trap (Blore 2012c awaiting publication) 3 The science of psychology has been far more successful on the negative than on the positive side. It has revealed to

us much about mans shortcomings, his illness, his sins, but little about his potentialities, his virtues, his achievable aspirations, or his full psychological height. It is as if psychology has voluntarily restricted itself to only half its rightful jurisdiction, and that, the darker, meaner half. (Maslow 1954 p.354) 4 Positive psychological change something positively new that signifies a kind of surplus compared to precrisis level (Z (Zellner & Maercker 2006 p.334) rNPC PPC rNPC + PPC = totality of psychological change Why is an understanding of the totality of psychological change so important?

So as not to underestimate the full potential of EMDR So as to open up new fields of research e.g. Intentional change (performance enhancement) Unintentional growth (positive psychology) 5 The current position what does AIP have to say about PPC? Not a lot! forging new associations within and between memory networks. (Shapiro 1995,2001; Item 11 Dworkin 2005, p.224)

metabolised digested. (Solomon & Shapiro 2008 p316) what is useful is made available to guide the person in the future (Ibid, Shapiro 1995; 2001) strengthening positive cognitions until they can be strengthened no more (Shapiro 2001) but nothing about what happens when you do 6 yet the basic the EMDR protocol incorporates, as standard, Installation of a positive cognition (see also McKelvey 2009) So why isnt AIP more explicit about PPC? Crucially, what does it say that we dont know? We dont have the money in Europe to fund research

It is not relevant? EMDR has proved its negative-reducing credentials so we dont need to know? Is PPC occurs well after the clients discharge and probably therefore well after the therapist has lost contact with the client? 7 What do we know about the totality of psychological change following trauma and EMDR? Not a lot! 8 Methodology in a nutshell A cross sectional, post treatment IPA study

RTA EMDR 4/52 9+ years Semi-structured interview schedule Snowball sampling of n=12 participants (survivors of RTAs) Participants recruited over 26/12 via their treating clinicians (all of whom were Accredited EMDR Consultants in the UK) Participants interviewed by researcher,

Interviews transcribed manually so as to avoid 3rd party bias in IPA process Final themes and their phenomenologically-grounded text extracts were selected randomly for independent blind reviewer process 9 Results Psychological change after trauma is not a unitary phenomenon Evidence-based chronological psychological change prediction: T: NPC: RxEMDR: rNPC=min Instead, the study demonstrated a consistent psychological change process: T: NPC+PPC: RxEMDR: NPC PPC: NPC=min, PPC=max What does not kill me, makes me stronger. Friedrich Nietzsche (Twilight of the Idols, 1888) German philosopher (1844 1900)

10 Themes of totality of psychological change Navigation Struggle (=NPC) Network Growth (=PPC) Assumptive world and struggle with assumptions Spirituality to resolve struggle Hankering Secondary traumatic experiences and iatrogenesis Struggles to cope with NPC and to gain control of readjustment

Hindsighting Paradox (NB comments on giggling: van der Kolk 2012) Foresighting Development of success heuristic Expansion of social network Personal and Spiritual development Appreciation of life and Gratitude Aspirations

11 A third theme! Neither NPC nor PPC FLU (figurative language use not Spanish) 346 instances of FLU were identified, of which 89 (25.7%) utilised RTA/driving-related metaphors, similes, synecdoche and other forms of FLU and at least 15 (almost 17%) were directly attributable to the road traffic accident experienced by the participant who used FLU 12

The frequency of FLU throughout the interviews Q1) Understanding of 'traumatic experience' Q2) View s of drivers/driving pre RTA Q3) Description of RTA Q4) Experience of legal proceedings Q5) Ways RTA affected individual An IPA Q6) Setbacks and coping Q7) Coping influences Q8) Important 'things' Q9) Positive outcomes Q10) What made things positive? Q11) Experiences of treatment Q12) Life changes since treatment Q13) View s of drivw ers/driving now adays Q14) Advice on how to cope after an RTA Q15) The future 0

10 20 30 RTA/ driving related 40 50 60 Non-RTA related 13 Neurons that fire together wire together (Lakoff & Johnson 1980/2003, p.256) If agent of change in EMDR (Shapiro 2007) = Reconsolidation of Memory Theory (Cahill & McGaugh 1998) which in turn is founded on Synaptic Plasticity (Frey & Morris 1997) is it possible that a Plasticity of Meaning observable

through FLU - is an indication of acquisition of wisdom and thus networks connecting? Assuming wisdom (the first three themes in PPC) relate to making connections is PoM an indication of rNPC and PPC being generated? In essence, is PoM the missing piece in the AIP jigsaw? 14 Microanalysis of FLUto illustrate PoM (see poster at this conference for detailed explanations ) Its almost like somebody puts a pair of spectacles on you and you go from this half blurred vision and knowing that people are there, to some sort of clarity I think Ive become much more focussed. (Robert: lines 261-3, 279)

Robert is talking about his family, but keeps referring to vision metaphors Something about vision is important to help Robert explain himself The poster shows why Robert may have had to resort to explaining things figuratively Why did Robert select vision? After EMDR, Roberts hobby of archery had became a serious competitive sport. The sport - in Roberts opinion - needs excellent eyesight EMDR for Roberts memories of the RTA had inadvertently created a winning archer! PoM is an explanation of how words, associated with one network, become used in an altered form by another network and PPC results 15 Summary of PoM PoM is built on and is consistent with the foundations of AIP PoM predicts individuals are driven to find meaning and to express that meaning

Expressive difficulties are stored in the body (the expressive default) Expressive defaults trigger concept/word searches The network requiring words is the consumer network The located network with a literally held word is the supplier network Trading words requires a word to be shared between the supplier network (literal usage) and the consumer network (figurative usage) the result is a plasticity of meaning and linking of networks the observable result is FLU

The rules of trading are governed by idiosyncratic usage 16 Finally (to preempt two questions) AIP only uses metaphors such as metabolised and digested. Doesnt PoM merely cover up lack of knowledge further by using a further jungle of metaphors? No to cover up Jungle of metaphors yes Needs sorting out! Could be a much better metaphor Does this mean that all previous EMDR research needs redoing to capture the totality of change? Logically - yes In practice - doubtful 17 Thank you for listening Dr. David Blore can be contacted via: www.linkedin.com (Positive Psychology & EMDR group)

or [email protected] Academic acknowledgements: Professor C. Clifford, Dr. D. Farrell Other acknowledgements: Charles Burdett, Dr. A. Button, Dr. W. Carswell OBE, Dr. M. Holmshaw, Dr. A. Linley, Lynne Mackay, Fokkina McDonnell, Ian Plagaro-Neill, Professor D. Richards, Prof. Martin Seligman, Dr. F. Shapirio, Professor R. Tedeschi, Dr. S. Timson and not forgetting the research participants 18

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