By Charles Linden, CEO, The Linden Centers
The fabric of modern emotional psychology stands on foundations created from research by William James and Carl Lange.
James and Lange’s work shows us that our experience of emotion is dependent on the physical manifestation of that emotion in the physical body; strip away the physical manifestations and the experience of the emotion disappears with them; emotion is then but a concept.
Given that popular treatment options for high anxiety conditions including GAD, panic disorder, OCD, agoraphobia and PTSD are cognitive based therapies, it is no wonder they fail to produce curative results when applied to emotional conditions.
It stands to reason that the autonomic nervous system, which produces emotion in response to sensory data gathered by the sensory organs, can only be manipulated by inputing data which brings about a physical reaction to that data; whether it be the outward, physical expression of the emotion or the creation of brain structures in the form of neural pathways.
In simple terms, as we pass from one environment to the next, this sensory data is collected and delivered to the brain, where it is sorted into short or long term memory silos, where, through further data collection, it is decided whether that data should be stamped for long or short term retention.
Once the decision is made, the neural pathways of learning are either retained or pruned.
Data collected from repeated actions, under the brain’s subconscious assumption that it is repeated because it is important, is rendered as long term memory and added to or deleted as new learning and data becomes available; neuroplasticity is the process used by the brain to store, prune and replace learning in this way.
With regard to high anxiety conditions, data collected by the senses is fed back to the anxiety control mechanism in the brain in order to make accurate and rational risk assessments, even when the subject is in high anxiety or panic.
Once this data is received, the brain sends out risk assessment signals to the sensory organs to assess risk or threat; this is often perceived by the subject as ‘what if’ thoughts which are intended to provoke appropriate responses.
In high anxiety conditions however it is clear that appropriate risk does not exist and it is the physical manifestation of the initial high anxiety, regardless of the external catalyst which is detected during this risk assessment.
Once this perceived risk is detected by the subconscious mind, it responds appropriately by releasing more adrenalin in preparation for fight or flight.
Over the last 12 years, through working with over 130,000 high anxiety sufferers, we have been able to collect data regarding character traits, genetics and environmental factors which has enabled us to characterize the typical profile of a person who has a predisposition to high anxiety conditions.
Typically, these people share a character trait, which can only be predetermined by genetics, which, from the moment they are born, predisposes them to the creation of conditions of the emotions, such as anxiety disorders.
Our data shows us that anxiety sufferers all share a superior level of creative intellect.
This may not be experienced as academic prowess, moreover as a distinct range of both physical and mental attributes effecting creativity, emotional sensitivity and clarity, eccentricity, creative energy and drive which, whilst sometimes misguided, provides the tenacity to move forward, sometimes in the face of extreme adversity.
It is also notable that many sufferers of dyslexia, dyspraxia and autism tend to present these traits with greater regularity.
Given that emotion both manifests physically and also relies on sensory data to regulate emotional response, it is a given that in order to manipulate that response, it is necessary to also manipulate the sensory data received.
Cognitive techniques, used conventionally in the treatment of anxiety conditions, are misguided; any learned responses and behaviors, such as high anxiety conditions, which rely on accurate sensory data, can only be reversed through structured manipulation of environmental factors and behaviors which create more appropriate sensory data feedback to the anxiety control mechanism.
This definitely excludes cognitive techniques such as CBT which cause the sufferer to be constantly reminded of their fears and symptoms or which creates an environment in which their anxious behaviors, thoughts and symptoms are ever present, discussed, analysed, made conscious and endorsed as appropriate by those techniques.
Using the example of the bereavement process, the passage of time, coupled with environmental change and the retargeting of intellectual resources, allows the memory of the loss to be rendered as memory, making their conscious presence regress into long term memory structures, allowing the subject to ‘forget’ their loss and move on through life unhindered by past trauma and loss.
The same is true of anxiety conditions but cognitive behavioural therapy renders the memory of the anxiety conscious and ever present… the sufferer is unable to move on.
The fact that this is happening is underpinned and confirmed by the statistics gleaned from millions of anxiety sufferers who never benefit curatively from CBT or other talking therapies and whose only benefit is experienced through the opportunity to ‘share their thoughts’ with a trusted confident.
In over 130,000 sufferers treated using the resultant treatment methodology created through this experiential research and through test groups during that period, when compliance is ensured, the subject respond immediately with a dramatic reduction in symptoms and expedited, full and permanent recovery from their core high anxiety.
A controlled test by the NHS gave 4 subjects, presenting agoraphobia, OCD and GAD, who had been long term users of resources provided through Child & Family services, provided limited access to programme material and one single compliance session.
The 4 subjects graded ‘the degree of improvement in their symptoms’ experienced after this one session at an average of 7.75 out of 10. Copies of the original reports are available on request.
Subsequent introduction to further subject resulted in a young woman with non-organic blindness being able to see again and resume normal behaviors, including a work placement at our facility within the same week after 2 sessions, following years of treatment by NHS psychologists, drug therapy, counseling services and specialized teaching and treatment by the NHS blindness team.
A breakdown of the working relationship with the NHS staff involved with these cases, due to the results experienced, resulted in our withdrawal from the Linden Method pilot scheme planned for roll out by the PCT.
What these results clearly demonstrate is that the structure and support provided by our treatment methodology produces short and long term curative results unmatched by previous treatment options.
Results experienced are evidence that, with compliance as the only hindrance to recovery, our approach produces permanent, curative results.
[Photos and links added by site author Douglas Eby:]
Actor Edie Falco says she battled a crippling bout with anxiety before achieving stardom in “The Sopranos” …
“There were some horrible years,” she says. “You go to college and you go off and do some plays, and then when the dust clears, you are left alone in your crazy apartment at 4 in the afternoon with no job, no prospects and a waitressing shift to go to.
“And real heavy-duty darkness can set in. I had a little bit of a nervous breakdown, I suppose. Somebody got me a job at a hardware store and I started having terrible anxiety attacks,” she recalls.
“I actually went up to the person in charge and said, ‘I have to leave. Something’s wrong.’ I walked to Penn Station in a full blown [panic] attack and – I didn’t know what else to do – I went home to Long Island. My mother was so great. … Anxiety attacks have been in my family for years. We are sort of a high-strung bunch… I’ve been in therapy a bazillion years.
“[An attack] is like you’re driving and all of sudden you see a Mack truck crossing the divider and coming at you. And you stay like that.” But with the attacks now gone, she says, “I feel more in control of my life than I ever have.” [nypost.com Sep. 9, 2002]
You can get a version of the program on Amazon: The Linden Method.
Stress Anxiety Relief – How The Linden Method Works.
Photo at top is from article: Why are we more emotional as a highly sensitive person?
Third photo: Jessica Chastain from article Working With Our Emotions To Be More Creative – she has talked about being highly sensitive.
More resources :
Articles on relieving anxiety and stress – Therapists and others provide information on how to relieve stress and anxiety, and better manage your emotional health.