3. Organismic Microclimates
In this video we explore how practitioners can improve clinical outcome by simultaneously tracking states, state-specific memory, and the rhythms of the body.
This short video is the third in a sequence of 3 free teaching videos. If you have missed the previous two, start with “The What’s Wrong Attention,” then “Orientation & Stabilization,” and finally “Organismic Microclimates.” Each video contains an exercise to help your clients.
I want to talk about state-specific memory. State-specific memory simply means that there are feelings, and constellations of sensations, feelings and thoughts that create sort of an inner “weather pattern.” It creates states.
This is really key for our work here because these states are going to be modulating, they are going to be changing, and your ability to see these changing states is going to really be the hallmark of working towards biological synchrony.
There are going to be tons of these states, there are tons of systems and rhythms that are happing, but the key for us is to begin to understand that as we are having a conversation with someone, as we are having this free flowing free association conversation, the basic states that we want to be able to track are Red & Blue. Meaning: either positive affect, or negative affect.
Technically these reds and blues indicate when the nervous system itself is going to become more organizing. There are going to be times when it is more organized, more coherent, and more functional, and there are times when it is a bit more disorganized.
The goal is not to create ongoing organization. The goal is to recognize the attempt of the system to create these ongoing oscillations between organization and disorganization. That may have positive affect or negative affect. We are going to try to see the functioning of the body itself.
I want you to observe the body and see it as neutrally as possible. See if you can begin to see if there is a rhythm to the way that system is operating. One of the hallmarks of that will be to watch the breath. By observing the breath we are observing the way the climatic shifts are happening. The modulation happens, which is going to be tied to emotions, but our goal is to see the physiology at work, to see each state, and the shifting of these states.
With each in-breath there should be a certain shift, and with each out-breath there should be certain shift. With in-breath, typically this is called respiratory sinus arrhythmia, there is an acceleration of the heart rate, and with the out-breath there is a deceleration.
For some systems that acceleration can disorganize a system, and there may be a suppression on that process, so watching it is key!
We want to be tracking these various states, thinking of state-specific memory and learning, and the context of the free association conversation, and simultaneously tracking the body and especially the breath.
Put all of those together, plus orientation, and you have a pretty robust package of tracking the modulation-oscillation in the system.
This video is part of the OI Expert Master Class Program. I’m making it public to give you an idea of the teaching format we apply. Develop clinical excellence by mastering the art of Organic Intelligence®. OI Expert is open to all Somatic Experiencing® Practitioners, Sensorimotor, Hakomi, and HEARTraining® graduates. Learn more about OI Expert >