0030 Thrive and Connect: Holidays vs Holy Days – Presence vs Presents

Gary discusses a personal transformation with regards to the holiday season – switch from holidays to holy days. Rather Santa-Buddhathan promoting a specific religous approach the value of a secular Buddhist practice for improving everyday living is presented. This has led to greater enjoyment of this time of year.

His story starts over 23 years ago when still suffering 2 years after a divorce and feeling stuck. The desire to get un-stuck merged with the mediation portion of the 11th step in a 12 Step program. The insight gained was this: addiction is associated with expectations. Gary came to call the holiday season, “The Disneyland of Addiction.” A time of high emotionality and expectations where trying to satisfy feelings, similar to a child in the “terrible twos,” takes precedence over principle-based behavior. It can lead to suffering. This is contrasted with healthy emotional responses in line with principle-based behavior.

Consequently, holidays are about expectations while for Gary holy days are about being responsible, living by one’s principles, and treating others in a compassionate, respectful manner. Said more simply, the goal of this work is to:

“Have my butt and my brain in the same place and time zone.”

It’s about being present, which is where secular Buddhism comes into play, i.e., developing daily habits that keep Gary present, aware, and “in” life moment by moment. This leads to loving-kindness for self and others. It puts the “holy” in holy days.

The switch to holy days allowed a breaking out from the trap of expectations. Life got simpler. Pain didn’t necessarily go away but suffering lessened. This led to an increase of acceptance in contrast to just being patient. Life is as it is. Accept and decide.

Acceptance has led to the development of options and better decision-making rather than being hung up on a given expectation.

A not-so-obvious option is being prepared to still take care of self even when plans fail. Take the energy from the disappointment and move it into something construction. And, if a plan does come to fruition move that energy as well into something greater than can be built.

It’s all about abundance and expanding the space in which the abundance can grow. Joy can result!

In contrast, when there is a hanging onto expectations a tightfistedness sets in that is very controlling and leads to misery.

Gary closes with the lifestyle he has now, i.e., having left the Catholic Church but enjoying his Italian-Catholic heritage, Christmas music, cooking,etc., all of which leaves room for others, their beliefs and practices.

The listener is encouraged to have a Merry __________ . (fill in the blank with what is important to you this time of year.)

0029 Thrive and Connect: Majors Jungian Assessments: Foundations – Part 2

For more on the Majors PT Elements and PT Inventory go to www.aureliuspress.com/assessments.Jung

Gary Monti with Aurelius Press continues the interview with Dr. Mark Majors with regards to Carl Jung, his approach to therapy, and the relationship to psychological assessments.

00:48 Review of Jung and Assessments: Foundations – Part 1. The topics discussed in part one are reviewed. This includes the origins of the assessments created by Mark along with the approach that Carl Jung took and Isabel Myers approach. Mark emphasizes how young focused on what was observable and patterns within those observations versus theory. The importance of avoiding what Mark calls “theoretical punishment” is emphasized.

03:33 Avoid the Guru trap: Life of Brian. The review concludes with Mark’s comments on avoiding the “Guru Trap,” which Mark expands upon.

04:45 Theory has its place. While theory has its place, it is important to remember that the unfocused on the observable and associated patterns. The function of theory is to serve those observations rather than replace them and predict what an individual “is about” without making a direct connection. There is a risk of falsify the individuals life.

06:09 Traits vs Motivation: the risk of introducing bias. The discussion turns towards the importance of paying attention to the client’s motivations in order to better understand how to help them improve versus simply observing traits in making judgments as to how best to put those traits to work. The individual interpreting the assessment results needs to connect directly with the client to avoid making erroneous judgments and risk being abusive.

08:25 Trait bias: an example.

09:08 Interpretation bias and ethics. it is important that the client the results and interpretation of the assessment. Traits may in fact be based upon coping mechanisms that are unhealthy for the client.

10:15 Majors PT Elements (PTE)-personality formation scores: empathy & ethics. Mark shares how the personality formation scores in the Majors PT Elements can be used to ensure the client is treated empathetically and fairly.

11:33 Psychometric- and theoretical narcissism. A danger is present when an assessor assumes they can draw conclusions about the client without checking in with them. No serious perfect.

12:09 Advice to practitioners new to assessments. At the center of this work is the individual who is then surrounded with the tools and assessments. It is important for the assessor to develop their own process, which takes time.

14:44 Intentionality. Mark continues with his advice to the new practitioner. The practitioner must consciously decide how the assessment will be used. The individual must always be the focus of attention without the assessor being by theory or the assessor’s own personal experiences. There is a need to continually check with the individual for accuracy.

15:38 MPTE wealth of information/formulating questions/possible pathways. Use the scores from the personality formation portion of the Majors PT Elements to formulate questions that facilitate the client opening up and stating the extent to which they connect with the assessment results as well as what those results mean to them. Our job is to offer possible hypotheses regarding the road they would like to take. Don’t declare, ask questions, be humble.

18:18 Taking your own journey to help your clients. The importance of the assessor going through their own therapeutic process is emphasized.

21:21 The limits of free assessments/“coffee shop” conversations/ discipline. When the connection is established the conversation becomes more personal and may appear to be informal but the reality is the assessor is bringing to bear their discipline in humility to help the client go within and explore himself.

23:01 Discipline/Intentionality/Humility. The discipline of intentionality is expressed through the humility of the professional. All behaviors are focused on the intentionality of helping the client. An authoritarian approach is damaging to the client. Being authoritarian puts the focus on the assessor rather than the client.

26:28 Theory abuse. Putting the theory and assessment before the client adds to the damage done by the authoritarian approach.

27: 21 The business world: change managers, assessments, character traits. The courage required to stay with the intentionality when working in the business world is discussed.

28:33 Transaction-oriented clients vs. the unfolding of understanding. The inherent conflict between the process oriented approach of counseling and the transaction approach typically found in business is discussed.

28:48 The impact of 3rd party payment

 – Payback expectations with limited sessions

– Working with conflicting intentionalities: bottom line vs healthy. The conflict inherent with the transaction approach is exacerbated frequently by limitations placed by third-party payers.

34:30 PTE enhances the brief therapeutic process. The benefits of using the Majors PT Elements in these conflicted situations are explained. In a limited-session environment having not only the type but also the personality formation scores along with real-time measurement of the eight majors-Jungian processes provides information otherwise not available, information which can help the client oriented and decide what direction to take in terms of behavioral changes that are in their best interest.

39:57 Client ownership of issues vs deferring to the therapist. Some clients are able to benefit well from the limited number of sessions when sufficient information has been provided. The important thing is they own their situation and choose to put the information to work. It is critical to the client avoids turning responsibility for their growth over to the therapist.

40:39 Dr. Dick Thomson’s research: work vs home Type.   http://www.hpsys.com/About_DrThompson.htm Individuals can display two distinct types, one at home and want to work. Understanding this and integrating the information is critical for health.

41:22 Advice for neophyte counselors: intellect vs empathy. It is better for people this work to focus on maintaining humility in developing a sense of empathy and not over-focus on intellectual mastery of the theory, assessment, and methods. It is important to use the information to look for opportunities where the information can be used to support the client in the unfolding of their understanding of themselves.

43:16 Transaction-oriented clients vs. the individual’s unfolding of understanding (con’t.). It is important for the assessor to be prepared to offer the benefits of a process-oriented approach in a transactional environment. There is a definite return on investment. Specifically, the process of allowing the clients to develop an understanding of themselves can be brought back to the workplace where it can aid in changing the way work is executed to the betterment of the organization.

45:14 Ipsitive prognoses vs unfolding in team setting. Mark discusses the benefit of using the information to show the need for change by using ipsitive approach, which has to do with dealing with the extremes in the Majors-Jungian processes.

46:45 The power of the MPTE and the eight Majors-Jungian process scores. An example of the ipsitive approach in an organization is provided. Individuals at some level no the changes needed but the information provided by the Majors PT Elements provides a basis to create a healthy challenge. It freezes them in their tracks and gets them to consider changing behaviors. Progress is based on those with the power having the courage to take your hands off the system and allow healthier behavior to unfold.

48:55 Ipsitive defined. Mark provides a formal definition of the ipsitive approach. The two highest and to lowest Majors-Jungian process scores are used for each individual to show the greatest ranks and weaknesses and how, as a team, the organization behaves. It provides a high level of predictability as to what to anticipate behaviorally. This serves as the basis for bringing about change.

50:44 Speak plainly. Avoid getting caught up in theory. Rather than being an evangelist for the theory, which can create confusion, it is important to speak to the individuals in terms of what they are saying about themselves in a manner that the lay person could understand. Most people are not interested in becoming a type-savvy individual.

51:22 Jung, “Use Type to help people rather than teach Type theory.” Jung was not interested in educating people about psychological Type. He was simply interested in helping people help themselves. An example is provided.

53:40 When To You Stop With a Client. When ownership of issues has reached a plateau it is time to take a break and possibly revisit sometime in the future. One sign of needing to take a break is the therapist, change manager, or life coach is experiencing increased stress and a significant drop in energy. One of the best ways to test for this is to bring up a specific issue that needs to be addressed and see whether or not the client will take ownership.


For more on the Majors PT Elements and PT Inventory go to www.aureliuspress.com/assessments.

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0028 Thrive and Connect: Suicide Survivors – LOSSTeam: Dr. Lee LeGrice

National Suicide Prevention Life Line 1-800-273-TALK, that’s 1-800-273-8255.

In the Dallas – Ft. Worth area you can get help at Mental Health of America of Greater Tarrant County’s web site (http://www.mhatc.org/) or call (817) 546-7826.hope-candle-hands11205410_s

LOSSTeam information can be gotten at www.lossteam.com.

02:41 Introduction.

03:08 1-in-4 effected by mental health issues. Dr. Lee LeGrice (DrLeeLeGrice.com) starts by saying 1 in 4 Americans are impacted by mental health issues.

04:11 LOSSTeam formation and being a survivor. She proceeds to discuss how the LOSSTeam came about by the efforts by her and others (Regina Preatorious and Lezlie Culver). She shares the impact of her own story as a suicide survivor who lost a high school friend and how it provided impetus to be involved in creating the LOSSTeam. Similar to other survivors, she still thinks about and feels the loss of that friend and its impact, especially wondering if there was something different she could have done to help that friend. That thinking ranges out to include the lost loved one’s family and other friends.

06:36 Overcoming stigma-being there for others. Dr LeGrice encourages the listener to approach someone they may feel is at risk and get beyond the possible though, “If I bring it up I’ll be putting the idea of suicide in their mind.” If a person is at risk they are already thinking about suicide so push through the discomfort and reach out.

07:40 The LOSSTeam and community. By participating with the LOSSTeam you might just help someone who is suffering mental health issues and/or is at risk for completing suicide. It is this spirit that brought the team members together.

08:53 The importance of survivors to the LOSSTeam. Dr. LeGrice mentions the major contribution made by Lezlie Culver in getting the team started and bringing it to community.

09:54 Shame, confusion, and ambivalence. The signs of suicide may not be that clear. People at risk can be ambivalent and go back and forth between living and wanting to die. One should stay away from blaming self for missing signs of suicide because it may not be that clear.

11:56 The challenge of making sense. The difficult feelings can arise from our desire to make sense of the suicide, an event that turns one’s world upside down. Acceptance and finding a place within oneself for the lost loved one is discussed.

13:14 If at risk…connect…create a space. Having friends and being able to broach difficult topics such as suicide is recommended. It is normal to have periodic thoughts about suicide so the risk of bringing up the topic may be less than anticipated. By broaching the subject the stigma can be reduced. Dr. LeGrice recommends coming up along side the at-risk individual and listen, offer connect. Doing that first will help the person in finding a solution to the problem they are trying to solve.

18:15 LOSSTeam members walk along side. The ability to be with a recent survivor and calmly provide acceptance and understanding, even without speaking, is one of the powers of the LOSSTeam member.

19:38 Mythology – the common experience. The LOSSTeam member brings the universality of the experience of loss to the situation and is able to help the recent survivor, at times starting at eye contact.

20:56 What if they ARE having suicidal thoughts? Training models can be found that help in answering that question. It’s important, though, to be able to talk with an at-risk friend in a simple, direct, supportive manner. In other words, a lot of times it really helps for a friend to just be with the at-risk individual and affirm the sharing of the suicidal thoughts. The importance of finding a mental health professional after a conversation is opened is stressed. The friend just provides friendship. Counseling is for others.

23:59 Professionals and their understanding/training. Dr. LeGrice discusses resources available to professionals in a metropolitan area vs. more sparsely populated areas. The importance of primary care physicians including screening as part of intake interviews as well as periodically is stressed. This is especially true when dealing with a person not showing outward symptoms. Web and phone capabilities are discussed as well. LOSSTeam.com is referenced as a good place to start in looking for resources.

28:24 Personal impact of LOSSTeam work on Dr. LeGrice. Dr. LeGrice shares the growth experiences she has experienced by performing the challenging work associated with being a suicide survivor as well as a mental health professional. She shares the story of being called out in response to a 16 year old having completed suicide and having to be with the parents — the same day she was celebrating her 10 year old son’s birthday and the resulting confluence. Not only did it have a personal impact it influenced her professional practice. She discusses the heightened awareness of life and the fact we don’t know what our tomorrow will bring so enjoy what one has today.

National Suicide Prevention Life Line 1-800-273-TALK, that’s 1-800-273-8255.

In the Dallas – Ft. Worth area you can get help at Mental Health of America of Greater Tarrant County’s web site (http://www.mhatc.org/) or call (817) 546-7826.

LOSSTeam information can be gotten at www.lossteam.com.

Comments or questions? Send and email including your name to comments@thriveandconnect.com or leave a message at 614-664-7650. We will respond in a later episode.

35:45 END

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0027 Thrive and Connect: Suicide Survivors – LOSSTeam: Jennifer Fry

National Suicide Prevention Life Line 1-800-273-TALK, that’s 1-800-273-8255.

Jennifer is a LOSSTeam. More information on the LOSSTeam is available at  (http://www.lossteam.com/hope-candle-hands11205410_s)

Jennifer is the Suicide Outreach Coordinator (OC) for the State of Nebraska as well as being a suicide survivor and can be reached at nebraskalossteam@gmail.com.

We talked about misconceptions regarding suicide and common triggers.

As to the triggers, some common ones include:

  • relationship breakups
  • financial difficulties
  • retirement

With regards to misconceptions: those close to the at-risk individual tend to think the person will be okay with time. Frequently the family dynamic can be broken up because no one knows what to say nor how to respond to the loss of a loved one. In her case, there was no LOSSTeam in Nebraska.

Jennifer spoke of her own journey and how it brought her to her current professional position – she had lost a cousin to whom she was very close. This led her to continue her course work and research into suicide  and connecting with Dr. BeLau. Her position as the OC for Nebraska functions as the central hub for those in Nebraska who need information.

In her work on the LOSSTeam recent survivors can get a sense of understanding and support since Jennifer and others on the team bring their personal experience and, in Jennifer’s case, professional experience.

Part of the outreach work is with county boards of health and clinicians helping raise their awareness and understanding with regards to suicide, at-risk individuals, and responding to situations. This work includes working directly with clinicians, providing training in peer support, signs to watch for, and role-play training.

In determining how to work with those beyond the immediate family and friends there is only anecdotal evidence as to the effectiveness of the outreach program.

Jennifer’s team is working with the Nebraska Work Well Program to provide information for prevention and postvention as to what to do in the work place with potentially at-risk individuals as well as survivors of suicide.

In terms of what has been rewarding for her, she’s found her place in doing work about which she is very passionate.

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0026 Thrive and Connect: APTi President, Maryanne DiMarzo

Maryanne Dimarzo, president of APTi (Association of Psychological Type International) took some time to sit down with us and offer her thoughts about APTi’s history, where it is now, and where she sees it going in the future. This was woven in with aspects of her personal journey, a journey that led to a commit to the organization.

Jung, Carl

00:26 Introduction – What APTi is about.

01:38 Independent of publishers

02:03 Product agnostic

02:07 Dedicated to high quality

03:48 Free assessments, people in a box, and Maryanne’s journey into Type

06:39 Helpers along the way and commitment to APTi

07:41 Product agnostic: The elephant in the room – 2 views

10:24 What about Jung?

11:00 So what’s the controversy?

13:22 Finding a balance as a practitioner

14:42 A constructive view: History and the value of diversity

18:20 Principles, respect, emotionality, and culture

20:48 Isabel, values, and finding common ground

24:03 APTi value statement, chapters, and members

25:43 Leadership, organization, diversity, and resistance

29:18 Membership: Standards in practice and what to offer

35:21 APTi Standards: Reversing the mis-use of type

40:55 Who does APTi want to attract?

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