Monday, February 28, 2011

An Interesting Approach to Developing Resilience

A few days ago, I received an intriguing offer, one that's quite relevant to this blog's central subject – resilience in its differing forms. It's for a bestselling book by Dr. Judith Orloff called Emotional Freedom.

Resilience comes in many flavors. What helps one person go on to a fulfilling life despite grief or tragedy may not necessarily work for another. One bereaved parent may find solace in religion and spirituality, while another process her loss by creating art, composing music, or writing stories, a novel, or a memoir. One person who’s experienced trauma such as a terror attack or a violent crime may turn to philosophy to try and make meaning from the horror; another may embrace social action. I’ve been examining here what works for me – including writing this blog! and I’m also very interested in what works for others.

In my psychotherapy practice, I treat people who are facing difficulties such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder, using cognitive-behavioral (CBT) and mindfulness-based therapies. The two approaches are quite different, but complement each other. CBT helps people to break unhelpful patterns of thinking and behaving, and to develop more realistic and helpful ones, while mindfulness teaches people to accept their inner experiences – whether these be thoughts, emotions, or physical sensations – in a curious, non-judgmental way. Some of what these approaches have in common is that both teach their adherents not to dwell on negative thinking, and to pay attention to the positive aspects of their lives. I’ve seen the results over and over – and, in fact, both kinds of therapy have been supported by empirical research – as client after client has developed what might be called their “resilience muscles.”

Dr. Orloff, a well-known psychiatrist who teaches at UCLA, has created her own unique method for developing resilience based on a synthesis of conventional medicine, energy medicine, and spirituality. Although its sounds very different from what I practice, some of its elements are quite similar to those of CBT (such as naming and facing what one fears) and of mindfulness (such as learning to be in the moment).

If such an approach interests you, you can get a taste from several videos that have been posted on YouTube. Here are a few:

Overcoming Negativity – Parts 1 and 3 of 3

Four Questions to Transform Fear

What is Your Emotional Type?

How to Stop Absorbing Others’ Energy

Emotional Freedom lays out Dr. Orloff's method in accessible and clear form and language, and has received very positive reviews in magazines such as Publisher’s Weekly. It’s now coming out in paperback; books may be purchased together with the special offer I received, which I’m reproducing verbatim:


UPLIFTING NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER BY Judith Orloff MD (in paperback now!)

Judith Orloff MD, a UCLA psychiatrist, presents her unique approach for viewing emotions as a path to spiritual and intuitive awakening. You'll learn how to stop absorbing other people's negativity and how to stay calm instead of reacting when your buttons get . Synthesizing neuroscience and intuitive/energy medicine, this book liberates you from fear—and the emotional vampires who suck you dry.

Purchase book plus get your "Embrace Joy" gift collection at

Full disclosure: I haven’t yet read the book, but I have seen the videos, and Dr. Orloff’s approach does look very interesting. So I’m sharing with you the opportunity to check it out.


David said...

I'm not sure if it's the same thing, but up until a couple weeks ago, and series of coincidences, to what I can only describe as entense energy, along with wave of wave information, and knowledge, and then feeling smarter, able find solutions to problems without blinking, and it washing away every bit of doubt, anxiety, and depression, while at the same was able to see how every decision, experience, and everyone I knew, how in minutes, could connect every single one, and that how through the years of repressed emotion, went from , thinking I ok, to heightened sense of purpose , noticing patterns,, and just every bad thing in your life, and was able to see how going through life, and every horrible and bad thing in my life, that I suppressed certain things for so long, and and went from, thinking your ok to metal breakdown, to every piece of everything in your life, completely reversed 20 years of repressed emotion, that transformed me so dramiticaly, immediately changed behavior, motion, and everything just took it's place. I see clearer, and now instead of living day to trying to cope, to having an idea, instantly have step by step solutions. But wouldn't of if there was one decision, that was taken out, it couldn't happen. All in 2 weeks, and has been the best thing that has ever happened to me. Things do happen for a reason, and am living proof.

Nikki said...

Thank you for sharing information about Emotional Freedom with your blog visitors.

David -- I had a very similar experience when I was studying for my relationship coaching. It was amazing how working through the curriculum gave me the nudge and help to face fears, concerns, issues and much more - and to move myself to a much more positive place. Its an awesome feeling and I'm very happy for you :)