Emotive-cognitive-embodied research and development


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: