View Document

“The mind is what the brain does”
 How
we understand our experiences can
promote or prevent the development of
mental health disorders by turning off or on
genes which make us vulnerable to
psychiatric illness.
 We can control how we interpret our life
experiences – to promote healthy
development and build resilience and
 We can learn, develop, and teach specific
skills which protect from disabling emotional
Mind-Body medicine is
identifying key factors
to prevent mental
health disorders. Even
Hippocrates the
ancient Greek father
of medicine noted
Life experiences effect our genetics. We are born
predisposed to certain mental health conditions - our
early life experiences shape how our neural circuitry
develops. We can tip the balance + or Many symptomatic mental health disorders have their
onset or roots in childhood.
Though we debate the amount of the contribution
from genes vs. environment, we do not debate the
scientific fact that the environment influences gene
How do life experiences change the brain? Effects on
- hormones, blood flow, circuitry, neuronal growth
and development, neurotransmitters, etc.
We control our response to negative experiences. Our
perceptions effect our physiology» THREAT or
CHALLENGE. Threat=stress response, impaired
memory, learning, and emotional regulation.
Challenge=opportunity for mastery and resiliency.
Why do some people
develop posttraumatic stress and
others posttraumatic growth
after devastating
Here is the good news coping effectiveness,
resiliency, and optimism can be taught and
learned modifying gene expression.
mediocrity, disappointment, and pain… is
teaching the skills to cope with difficult
experiences in life.
AND WORK. We need to lead the way changing
ourselves and our “explanatory style” for our
 Looking for “islands of competence” (Brooks &
 Seeing challenges as “desirable difficulties”
(Malcolm Gladwell).
 Resilience means learning how to fail.
 Social
Support – teachers, parents, friends
 Locus of Control – not a passive victim
 Optimism – things will work out; positive
emotion is not the inverse of negative
emotion- building a positive mindset occurs
through actively solving problems effectively
 How you think about causes determines your
out look, everyone has an “explanatory
style”- the detrimental P’s (permanence,
pervasiveness, personalization). Children
learn their explanatory style from us
 Self Esteem (feel well) vs. Mastery and
Optimism (do well)
Competence: The ability to handle situations effectively.
Confidence: The solid belief in one's own abilities.
Connection: Close ties to family, friends, school, and
community give children a sense of security and values
that prevent them from seeking destructive alternatives to
love and attention.
Character: A fundamental sense of right and wrong that
helps children make wise choices, contribute to the world,
and become stable adults.
Contribution: When children realize that the world is a
better place because they are in it, they will take actions
and make choices that improve the world. They will also
develop a sense of purpose to carry them through future
Coping: Children who learn to cope effectively with stress
are better prepared to overcome life's challenges.
Control: When children realize that they can control their
decisions and actions, they are more likely to know that
they have what it takes to bounce back.
*Kenneth Ginsburg
What are we
capable of if we
don’t worry about
the outcome ?
LORT by Carver et al.
A = strongly agree (0) B = agree(1)
C=neutral(2) D = disagree (3) E = strongly
1.In uncertain times, I usually expect the best.
2. It’s easy for me to relax.
3. If something can go wrong for me, it will.
4. I'm always optimistic about my future.
5. I enjoy my friends a lot.
6. It’s important for me to keep busy.
7. I hardly ever expect things to go my way.
8. I don't get upset too easily.
9. I rarely count on good things happening to me.
10. Overall, I expect more good things to happen
to me than bad.
 Reverse
3,7,9 i.e. a=4 d=0 3,7,9 and sum
 Sum 1,3,4,7,9,10 that is your total
 Ignore 2, 5, 6, 8 they are filler only
 Lower scores=more optimistic 0-24
Other measures
 The Attributional Style Questionnaire (ASQ),
Peterson et. al
 CES –D Center for Epidemiologic Studies
Depression Scale - NIMH
 Be
in the Moment
 Realistic Goals
 Everyday events – notice and share them
 Acts of Kindness
 Turn Negative into Positive
 Honor Your Strengths
 End the day with GRATITUDE
 Meditation
does not require an ashram it can
be build into daily life with moments of
contemplation, re-experiencing positive
events, being grateful, reappraising
 Good
vs. Bad Stress
 Thoughts # Facts
 Explanatory Style= learned helplessness vs.
agent of change
 High Stress- no prefrontal cortex activity in
the brain – no problem solving-increased
cortisol – increased insulin – increased
inflammation- accelerated aging – decreased
immune function – telomere shortening
 Increased mindfulness – low stress, increased
resiliency, increased telomerase, increased
immune function, increased cerebral blood
 Positive
Psychology News
 The Optimistic Child by Martin Seligman
 Raising Resilient Children by Brooks &
 Building Resilience in Children and Teens,
Kenneth Ginsburg
 David and Goliath, by Malcolm Gladwell
 Osher Center at University of California, San
Francisco -
 Yale Stress Center -
 Parenting Out of Control: Anxious Parents in
Uncertain Times, Margaret Nelson
 Nurture
Shock, by Po Bronson & Ashley
 The Emotional Life of Your Brain, by Richard
 Mindsight, by Daniel Siegal, M.D.
 Mind and Body Health Handbook, by Ornstein
and Sobel
 The Family ADHD Solution, by Mark Bertin