Emotive-cognitive-embodied research and development


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Holistic Counselling and Psychotherapy

Promoting awareness of ‘individual humans’ as Socialized-Body-Brain-Mind-Environment-Complexities

Directors: Dr Jim Byrne and Renata Taylor-Byrne


Research – Development – Publications

Coaching – Counselling – Psychotherapy


Our aims and concerns

This institute was created by Dr Jim Byrne and Renata Taylor-Byrne in 2007. In the succeeding thirteen years, we have produced more than twenty books which resulted from our research and development work on models of mind (or body-brain-mind) and approaches to counselling, coaching and psychotherapy. Our major concerns are:

– The development of a comprehensive model of the so-called individual which will serve to optimize counselling, coaching and psychotherapy; and to inform a whole body-mind approach to health coaching. (See Lifestyle Counselling and Coaching for the Whole Person, which explores the roles of diet, exercise and sleep in the maintenance of good physical and mental health; plus a review of our Windows Model for reframing experiences.  See also our new book [2020] on the connection between physical tension and emotional and behavioural problems).

– The recognition of the body and innate emotions (or affects) as the fundamental foundation of the socialised-individual: (Schore, 1994/2003; 2003a, and 2003b, in the Endnotes, below).

– The importance of attachment styles and personality adaptations to the social-emotional competence of socialized individuals: (Wallin, 2007 [in the Endnotes, below]; and Joines and Stewart, 2002[1]).

– The importance of coming to understand the nature of the human brain-mind of the socialized individual, by building a model upwards from the earliest days of babyhood: See Models of Mind for Counsellors; and A Major Critique of REBT)[2].

– And promoting awareness of the importance to the creation and maintenance of physical and mental health of the following factors:

# Diet/nutrition: (Taylor-Byrne and Byrne, 2017)[3].

# Physical exercise: (Taylor-Byrne and Byrne, 2017).

# Quality and quantity of regular sleep: (Taylor-Byrne, 2019)[4].

# Relaxation to overcome illness-inducing physical tension: (Taylor-Byrne, 2020)[5].

# Life-history (especially early childhood): (Byrne, 2018[6], and Byrne, various[7]).

# And philosophy of life (especially resilience promoting philosophies like Moderate Zen Buddhism, and Moderate Stoicism (but not Extreme Stoicism [or REBT]!)[8]

All of those factors (and more) are important in determining the ability of the organism (or person) to manage environmental stimuli, and especially environmental stressors; and in regulating their affects or emotions.


The Holistic SOR Model

In the first few years of our existence, we developed and refined the Holistic SOR Model.


While the simple SOR model was created by an American psychologist, in the functionalist tradition – Robert Woodworth – in 1918 (or earlier – See Woodworth, 1929[9]); our model straddles most of the major schools of psychology and related subjects; including physiological psychology; nutritional science and nutritional psychiatry; sleep science; health coaching; scientific relaxation; attachment theory; personality adaptations theory; affect regulation theory; sports psychology; developmental psychology; neuroscience; and many others.

However, we do agree with Woodworth (1929) that the state of the organism – (or body-brain-mind of the socialized individual) – determines a person’s response to any particular stimulus.

But we then move way beyond Woodworth (1929) by clarifying the fact that there are a multitude of factors that affect the state of the organism, and not just ‘beliefs’, ‘thoughts’, or ‘lusting after mother’. (And there is no point trying to psychoanalyze [or CBT-er-ize] a person who is chronically sleep-deprived, and lacking in sufficient glucose to fuel reasonable mental functioning! [Taylor-Byrne and Byrne, 2017; and Taylor-Byrne, 2019, in the endnotes, below].)


Let us now begin from the simple SOR model, and build up a statement of our more refined thinking.

At its simplest, the SOR model looks like this:

Good and evil are alive and well


Blog Post D2: Theory of trauma impacts on self-criticism

By Jim Byrne, Doctor of Counselling

26th June 2021


The Good and Bad Inner Critic

Copyright (c) Jim Byrne, 2021



Today, I completed Appendix D to my newly updated and expanded book on trauma recovery***, and it struck me just how far I have actually come since the heady (but simplistic) days of attributing the emotional upsets of counselling clients to their “belief systems”.

In Appendix D, I write about the client’s emotions, and various ways of processing their emotional problems through their visual and kinaesthetic channels; and then I move on to look in detail at their “feelings/attitudes/values/beliefs” about themselves – which cannot be boiled down to “mere cognitions”!

So instead of a “mere” belief system, it seems humans have an integrated ‘apparatus’ for perceiving-feeling-thinking, all in one “grasp” of the brain-mind.

Appendix D begins like this:


Trauma victims are often very harsh in their judgements of themselves.  They take this harshness over from their abusers or victimizers.


We each have a legitimate (Good) Inner Critic (or conscience, super-ego, or Parent ego state) which helps us to stay on the moral and legal straight and narrow path through life.

But we each also have an illegitimate, unjustified, and damaging (Bad) Inner Critic, which is based on an excessively harsh conscience; or self-hatred; internalized from others.

I call the legitimate (Good) Inner Critic your “Good Wolf” state, after the traditional view of the Native American Cherokee people.  They believed that we each have a war going on inside of us, between two Wolves; a Good Wolf and a Bad Wolf; and that the Wolf that wins is the one we feed.  So we need to make sure we feed our moral, loving, kind, compassionate, charitable, but also self-assertive Good Wolf; and to starve our immoral, hateful, hurtful and aggressive Bad Wolf.  (This has echoes of the European Christian view of the inner states of (1) sin [the Devil], and (2) the state of grace [or the indwelling Holy Spirit]. It also has echoes of Sigmund Freud’s distinction between the inner urges he called Thanatos [the Death urge] and Eros [the Love/Life urge]).

So our ‘Inner Critic’ ranges from moderate and moral – (which is the Good Wolf state) – to harsh and immoral (which is the Bad Wold state).

Therefore, our Inner Critic can be justified or unjustified.  (The only cases where it is justified all have to do with legitimate transgressions of moral rules or justified laws (or health and safety issues).

The inner critic is not justified in criticizing harshly your efficiency or effectiveness, or general judgements in life.

It also is not justified in blaming you for being victimized; or describing you as worthless or ugly, etc.

When we harshly criticize ourselves, and put ourselves down – especially when the criticism is unjustified, exaggerated or inappropriate – this damages our sense of self-esteem and self-confidence; and makes us miserably unhappy.

… End of extract. …


Later in Appendix D I present a table in which I list the features of the client’s “Bad Inner Critic”; their “Good Inner Critic (or conscience); and their “Inner Coach/Mentor”.

This goes way beyond the amoralism of Albert Ellis, Fritz Perls, Carl Rogers and so many other of the post-war theorists of counselling psychology.


That’s all for now.

Best wishes,


Dr Jim Byrne, Doctor of Counselling

ABC Coaching and Counselling Services

Email: Dr Jim Byrne.***


Covid panic is politically induced


Anti-Anxiety Alert: Please share this with everybody you love. 

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance:

Fear Is Contagious and Used to Control You

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

  • June 18, 2021

Story at-a-glance

  • In a newly released book, members of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviour, a subcommittee that advises the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies in the U.K., admit government is using fear to control and manipulate the population
  • SPI-B, which advocated for the use of fear messaging, now says it was unethical, totalitarian and a regrettable mistake
  • Aside from the barrage of bad-news-only data — which was heavily manipulated in a variety of ways — fear and anxiety are also generated by keeping you confused
  • Giving out contradictory recommendations is being done on purpose, to keep you psychologically vulnerable. By layering confusion and uncertainty on top of fear, you can bring an individual to a state in which they can no longer think rationally. Once driven into an illogical state, you are easily manipulated
  • Government’s reliance on behavioural psychology didn’t just happen as a result of the pandemic. These tactics have been used for years, and are increasing

Governments are using fear to control and manipulate their citizens. That has now been admitted by members of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviour (SPI-B), a subcommittee that advises the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) in the U.K. And they should know, because they advocated for it, and now say it was a regrettable mistake. As reported by The Telegraph, May 14, 2021:1

“Scientists on a committee that encouraged the use of fear to control people’s behaviour during the COVID pandemic have admitted its work was ‘unethical’ and ‘totalitarian.’ Members of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviour (SPI-B) expressed regret about the tactics in a new book about the role of psychology in the Government’s COVID-19 response.

SPI-B warned in March last year that ministers needed to increase ‘the perceived level of personal threat’ from COVID-19 because ‘a substantial number of people still do not feel sufficiently personally threatened.’

Gavin Morgan, a psychologist on the team, said: ‘Clearly, using fear as a means of control is not ethical. Using fear smacks of totalitarianism. It’s not an ethical stance for any modern government. By nature I am an optimistic person, but all this has given me a more pessimistic view of people.’”

Psychological Warfare Is Real

The Telegraph quotes several of the SPI-B members, all of whom are also quoted in the newly released book, “A State of Fear: How the UK Government Weaponised Fear During the Covid-19 Pandemic,” written by Laura Dodsworth:2

“One SPI-B scientist told Ms Dodsworth: ‘In March [2020] the Government was very worried about compliance and they thought people wouldn’t want to be locked down. There were discussions about fear being needed to encourage compliance, and decisions were made about how to ramp up the fear. The way we have used fear is dystopian.

The use of fear has definitely been ethically questionable. It’s been like a weird experiment. Ultimately, it backfired because people became too scared’ …

One warned that ‘people use the pandemic to grab power and drive through things that wouldn’t happen otherwise … We have to be very careful about the authoritarianism that is creeping in’ …

Another member of SPI-B said they were ‘stunned by the weaponization of behavioural psychology’ during the pandemic, and that ‘psychologists didn’t seem to notice when it stopped being altruistic and became manipulative. They have too much power and it intoxicates them.’

Steve Baker, the deputy chairman of the COVID Recovery Group of Tory MPs, said: ‘If it is true that the state took the decision to terrify the public to get compliance with rules, that raises extremely serious questions about the type of society we want to become. If we’re being really honest, do I fear that government policy today is playing into the roots of totalitarianism? Yes, of course it is.’”

The Manufacture of Fear

For nearly a year and a half, governments around the world, with few exceptions, have fed their citizens a steady diet of frightening news. For months on end, you couldn’t turn on the television without facing a tickertape detailing the number of hospitalizations and deaths.

Even when it became clear that people weren’t really dying in excessive numbers, the mainstream media fed us continuous updates on the growing number of “cases,” without ever putting such figures into context or explaining that the vast majority were false positives.

People don’t enjoy being hoodwinked and they don’t want to live in a state of fear. We maybe need to be a bit bolder about standing up more quickly when something is not right. ~ Laura Dodsworth

Information that would have balanced out the bad news — such as recovery rates and just how many so-called “cases” actually weren’t, because they never had a single symptom — were censored and suppressed.

They also refused to put any of the data into context, such as reviewing whether the death toll actually differed significantly from previous years. Instead, each new case was treated as an emergency and a sign of catastrophic doom.

Fear Is Contagious

Fear has long been the tool of tyrants. It’s profoundly effective, in part because it spreads from person to person, just like a virus. The contagion of fear is the topic of the Nova “Gross Science” video above, originally aired in mid-February 2017. Among animals, emotional distress responses are telegraphed through pheromones emitted through various bodily secretions such as sweat and saliva.

As explained in the video, when encountering what is perceived as a serious threat, animals with strong social structures, such as bees and ants, will release alarm pheromone. The scent attracts other members of the hive or colony to collectively address the threat.

Humans appear to have a very similar capability. When scared or stressed, humans produce chemosignals, and while you may not consciously recognize the smell of fear or stress, it can have a subconscious impact, making you feel afraid or stressed too.

Humans also tend to mimic the feelings of those around us, and this is yet another way through which an emotion can spread like wildfire through a community or an entire nation — for better or worse. Behavioural psychologists refer to this as “emotional contagion,” and it works both positive and negative emotions.

For example, if you’re greeted by a smile when meeting someone, you’re likely to smile back, mimicking their facial expression and behaviour. If someone looks at you with an angry scowl, you’re likely to suddenly feel angry too, even if you weren’t before and have no subjective reason to — other than that someone looked at you the “wrong” way.

However, while both positive and negative emotions are contagious, certain emotions spread faster and easier than others. Research cited in the Nova report found that “high arousal” emotions such as awe (high-arousal positive emotion) and anger or anxiety (high-arousal negative emotion) are more “viral” than low-arousal emotions such as happiness or sadness.

The Nova report also points out that researchers have been mining Twitter and other social media data to better understand how emotions are spread, and the types of messages that spread the fastest. However, they ignored the primary culprits, Google and Facebook both of which steal your private data and use it to manipulate your behaviour.

At the time, in 2017, they said this information was being harvested and used to develop ways to avoid public messaging that might incite mass panic. But the COVID-19 pandemic suggests the complete opposite. Clearly, behavioural experts have been busy developing ways to generate maximum fear, anxiety and panic.

How to Inoculate Yourself Against Negative Contagion

At the end of the report, Nova cites research detailing three effective ways to “immunize” yourself against negative emotional contagions.

  1. Distract yourself from the source of the negative contagion — In the case of pandemic fearporn, that might entail not reading or listening to mainstream media news that for the past year have proven themselves incapable of levelheadedness.
  2. Project your own positive emotions back at the source of the negative contagion — If talking to someone who is fearful, they might end up “catching” your optimism rather than the other way around.
  3. Speak up — If someone is unwittingly spreading “negative vibes,” telling them so might help them realize what they’re doing. (This won’t work if the source is knowingly and purposely spreading fear or anxiety though.)


Source: https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2021/06/18/fear-contagious.aspx?