What makes a therapist good at their job? The most important, after having empathy, is to be able to execute a line of questioning that directs a client/patient to their own understanding of themselves. This is what is designed into Third-I, the ability to direct the line of questioning to help users understand self, teach each user to be kind to self, and then modify perceptions to create core identity resilience.
In addition to the process itself, Third-I contains education, teaching users why we do what we do, why we feel what we feel, and then offers hands-on permanent change tools, modifying old beliefs that just don’t work in our current lives.
Maybe in childhood it was what we had to do to be accepted by a parent, like “Be seen and not heard,” but it will never work as a leader of a team. In fact, what actually causes stress is when we fail to conform to our programming. Yes, “programming,” because we are indeed, just like a computer program! In fact, computer programming must have been reverse-engineered from human programming.
We are designed to follow our programming and when we follow it, our lives can be limited, and if we violate it, we are stressed out. Again, there are MANY helpful, positive and wonderful attributes we all have from “programming.” However, when they don’t work in your life, and you want to excel at your job, be a better mom, or avoid turning out like someone who negatively influenced you, then a person can change their programming to align with the life desired.
Third-I provides the guidance to kick out that old programming and design exactly what you want to be, want to feel, and remove the roadblocks to where you want your goals to take you.
The Adaptive Therapy process is very methodical, lending it the possibility of writing it in code, hence Third-I was born.
How is the human brain programmed?
All mammals are primitively programmed to react to threats, real or imagined. We are also programmed to learn from experience. We want to repeat pleasant experiences and avoid unpleasant ones. Humans have something extra that animals don’t: Aspirations which are beyond just existence and search for sustenance. This is why we seek more than what we have, often mistaken for what is even best for us, but we are driven seekers of more. Animals do not have that program. Dogs don’t want to win at the dog show. The owner does and the dog learns to do the tricks required. But the dog only cares about the treats, not the ribbons.
As mentioned, we learn from experience. Our brains file our analysis of an experience as a perception, tagging each with an emotion, a negative one to avoid it and a positive one to repeat it. When we are confronted by a similar situation in the future, our brain pulls that file and executes the response, eliciting consciously the feeling tagged to it. We respond automatically, believing our feelings are driving it, but it’s actually the opposite. The perception is. Let’s look at an example.
Perception: “Never drive down in the center lane of a street going downhill,” tagged with the feeling of terror.
Where did it come from? A near-death experience going down a hill where a vehicle swerved into the person’s lane, and after the collision, the perpetrator fled the scene. The brain will now push the feeling of terror, whenever put into that situation again, going down a hill in the center lane. The original experience was so traumatic that the program to avoid it at all costs is the result. And if this person dares drive down the hill in the center lane, they will be having a stress response, including sweaty palms, racing heart, etc. The brain does this to protect us from harm and using emotions to motivate us to get back to conforming to the program: “Never drive down a hill in the center lane!”
This seems obvious, of course, but let’s now move to a previous experience that was in childhood that limits one’s ability to function, say in conversation, and not even remembered consciously.
Perception: Unknown when one starts to drill down.
The feeling that comes to consciousness is being ignored or dismissed when wanting to communicate something to someone. Consciously, the reason why is long forgotten but not less forceful.
The first event may have been in an early childhood experience where a child would demonstrate his/her prowess at learning something new and being ignored by parents or even shooed away, denying the pronouncement of being good at something. Then reinforcement occurs the next time a similar event is experienced, with the brain deciding to try again but with the same expected outcome, being ignored or dismissed. Finally, the person in adulthood doesn’t even try because they know the outcome already. And, if anyone does try to recognize their greatness, they can’t accept it and in fact, they dismiss it as an aberration.
What perception was developed out of feeling dismissed by parents when one wants to communicate? Probably, “I’m not really good at anything,” or “I think more of myself that is really there,” or any other number of beliefs but the point is, it is clear how limiting it is. This is why we reprogram our brains, to rid it of the limiting perceptions we adopted in experiences that do not serve us; does not support our dreams and aspirations. And we create our own, write our own perceptions that we want to act upon instead. That’s power.
Perception-development is not limited to childhood or from young adulthood. The process continues throughout life and is reinforced each time the same event occurs with the same response by us, to it. This programming limits the cognitive decision-making part of our brains.
Media is a big programmer of the brain. One only needs to listen to the consequences of teens on Instagram to understand how powerful it is. In fact, advertisers have learned the “brain reprogramming,” model. It only requires four (4) things to do it, 1) a trusted source (why brands work so hard to earn your trust and use images and actors to influence you, knowing that trust is required to get your buy-in, 2) repetition, why they each have a mantra or a jingle that reminds you of them, 3) emotion – they need to get you to emote so they tug at your heartstrings, ping your pain or promise to save you, and 4) will I still be accepted by my peers if I adopt? So, it’s happening to you without even really being able to guard your brain from programming. Of course, this is the exact method, reverse-engineered, that Adaptive Therapy uses to change your own programming. At least now we have it in our hands to reprogram any messaging we want.