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The Life After Series Podcast

The Life After Series Podcast

By Dr. Cameron Staley
In the Life After Series Podcast, we discuss the mission and purpose of the Life After Series. Dr. Cameron Staley, Clinical Psychologist, discusses mental health, how to be kinder to ourselves, and other concerns we struggle with. In upcoming episodes, Dr. Cameron Staley will discuss different concerns we struggle with: anxiety, depression, relationship issues, and overcoming unwanted pornography.
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Exploring The Emotion Of Love And All The Associated Feelings

The Life After Series Podcast

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How Do You Define Healthy Sexuality? Dr. Staley Explores Helpful Ways To Think About Healthy Sexuality
If you want to learn about helpful ways to think about healthy sexuality, watch the entire video to learn more. I was being interviewed for a podcast and was asked: How would you define healthy sexuality? This seems basic. But honestly, I recognized I’m more comfortable defining problems than I am health. When it comes to healthy sexuality: What are the guiding principles? What are the models? What about the behaviors you want? There’s a lot of really good helpful ways to think about healthy sexuality and in this episode I explore the many helpful ways to think and reflect on this topic. #HealthySexuality #Sexuality #MentalHealth ***** The first program The Life After Series launched was the LifeAfterPornography (LAP) online self-directed program. With LAP, we guide people through a 10 week, program based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) shown effective in research to reduce unwanted pornography. The LifeAfterPornography Online Program: www.LifeAfterPornography.com LifeAfterPornography Free Training: http://www.lifeafterpornography.com/LAP-starter-pack Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thelifeafterseries/ Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/48VPP3IwpivWymM1NCnL9p iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-life-after-series-podcast/id1499393371 Google Podcast: https://www.google.com/podcasts?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy8xM2UwNzQ4OC9wb2RjYXN0L3Jzcw== ------------- To Learn More About LifeAferPornography… What Is LifeAfterPornography: https://youtu.be/uRsDRWV22Jc Dr. Staley’s Story: https://youtu.be/1ehv9FFf_yg An Overview Of The Program: https://youtu.be/ZLnW3zx-xrw Free Lesson From The Program: https://youtu.be/W_y5xl_BOW4
15:27
September 17, 2020
Exploring The Emotion Of Love And All The Associated Feelings
Understanding the role of emotions in our lives takes a lot of time. Today we’re going to talk about the emotion of love. This is the last emotion in this series and one of the most common reasons people are coming in for mental health counseling, because they’re not experiencing enough of this emotion in their lives. Let’s review some of the emotions associated with love. Some of those associated feelings are adoration, admiration, affection, attraction, sense of arousal, the feeling of care (one of the most consistent feelings for me), charmed, compassion, desire, enchanted, fondness, infatuation, lust, longing, and passion.  There are many events we can experience that evoke love. So if there’s a person in your life that cares about you, gives you something that you want, need, or desire...you may have felt this emotion. Sometimes it’s people who are thoughtful towards you. They enjoy showing affection toward you. Maybe it’s that person that does something for you who you really admire. What about the interpretations of these events that bring about these feelings of love? If you truly believe the people in your life care about you, this will bring about the emotions of love. On the flipside, if you think people don’t like and don’t want you around, this will diminish those positive feelings of affection. Like with all emotions, love evokes a biological response. We can experience changes in our physiology when we experience love: increased energy, heart race, happiness, sense of invulnerability, relaxation, calmness, feelings of being safe, wanting to share with others, or a feeling of emotional and physical closeness. We also express our love in various ways. We may say “I love you.” You may express other positive emotions towards an individual. You might have more eye contact. You may want to hold each other, hug, be intimate, more smiling, more shared time, or reminiscing on moments and memories. There are also aftereffects from the emotion of love. You may filter out the negative qualities of an individual. You may only want to see the positive in everything they do. You may feel forgetful or distracted with people that you love. Here’s your challenge and invitation: Think about all those associations and words of love discussed here and find ways you can cultivate those more towards yourself. How can you think about your accomplishments and traits about yourself that you could adore or admire? How can you be kinder to yourself? Practice liking yourself. List the things that you like about who you are and what you’ve done. Act with more tenderness towards yourself. Often people can be really critical, but having more tenderness and warmth goes a long way. This is one area where all of us could improve. Improve your relationship with you. #love #emotions #findinglove #mentalhealth #lovingyourself #identifyinglove #caring #affection ***** The first program The Life After Series launched was the LifeAfterPornography (LAP) online self-directed program. With LAP, we guide people through a 10 week, program based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) shown effective in research to reduce unwanted pornography. The LifeAfterPornography Online Program: www.LifeAfterPornography.com LifeAfterPornography Free Training: http://www.lifeafterpornography.com/LAP-starter-pack Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thelifeafterseries/
29:31
May 14, 2020
Developing Helpful and Effective Ways in Responding to The Emotion Of Fear
Understanding the role of emotions in our lives takes a lot of time. Today we’re going to talk about the emotion of fear. This emotion helps us survive and deal with threats. It plays an integral role in our lives. Just saying the word fear can invoke a lot of reactions for many of us. Sometimes I even enjoy the emotion of fear as long as it’s physically safe. Let’s review some of the emotions and variations associated with fear: anxiety, scared, apprehensive, dread, on edge, frightened, sense or horror, hysteria, jumpy, hyper-vigilant, nervous, overwhelm, panic, shock, terror, tense, uneasiness, and worry. Just being able to label these emotions and understand what they are attempting to communicate can help us in many ways. There are many events we experience that evoke fear. Right now, experiencing a pandemic is an event which could spur fear for many of us. Anytime your well-being is being threatened through events such as environmental disasters or disease. Involvement in a dangerous relationship can elicit fear. These fears can really interfere with moments we might enjoy. Getting comfortable with fear when your situation is safe is healthy. There’s also many of our thought patterns that contribute or prompt feelings of fear. What thoughts are you having? And what interpretations are you making that may be contributing to things like anxiety? This plays a major role in fear. Sometimes we have beliefs that we are going to die, be harmed, or hurt. Just having that belief can cause enough fear that we stop ourselves from going any further. Like with many emotions, these are biological responses. We can experience changes in our physiology when we experience fear. Here’s what it might feel like: breathless, hyperventilating, heart race increase, lump in your throat, muscle tenseness, clenched teeth, digestive issues, butterflies, nausea, cold hands, sweaty palms, urge to run, or an urge to fight. We also express our fears in various ways. Running away, avoiding things, hiding, screaming, crying, talking about things in a nervous manner, begging for help, crying, shaky voice, vomiting, becoming silent, speechless, yelling, eyes darting around, state of shock, social isolation, and internal talk are just a handful of ways we express fear. Fear also has aftereffects. We have spent a lot of time talking about emotions. It’s extremely valuable to be able to identify the emotions we are experiencing. One of the first steps is improving our identification of primary emotions and their variations. Increasing our awareness that we are experiencing emotions is vital. Our ability to become more comfortable with these emotions in safe ways is key. With our Life After Pornography we focus on WAVE. And the first part of that is Willingness. This is the first step. Be WILLING to experience the emotions and feelings (even the uncomfortable ones) when it is safe. This empowers us to live the life we really want! ***** The first program The Life After Series launched was the LifeAfterPornography (LAP) online self-directed program. With LAP, we guide people through a 10 week, program based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) shown effective in research to reduce unwanted pornography. The LifeAfterPornography Online Program: www.LifeAfterPornography.com LifeAfterPornography Free Training: http://www.lifeafterpornography.com/LAP-starter-pack Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thelifeafterseries/
39:17
May 7, 2020
Working Through The Emotion Of Anger in Constructive Ways - A Life After Series Special
We’re going to talk about the emotion of anger. This one is loaded with so many associations and judgments. This emotion can be a challenging one to navigate. Let’s review some of the emotions associated with anger: aggravation, agitation, annoyance, bitterness, exasperation, frustration (this is a term I often ban when doing therapy with clients), fury, wrath, rage, vengeful, hostility, and some more milder ones like grouchy, grumpy, and irritated. There are a lot of connotations with anger. That it’s bad and shouldn’t be expressed. Anger is a very activating emotion. Anger compels us to do something. If we’re constantly trying to shut it down, it can contribute to other mental health concerns like depression. I see people confuse anger, disappointment, and agitation with aggression. Remember: violence is different from anger. I can be mad without putting my fist through the wall. It’s okay to feel angry without acting aggressive. Anger can be challenging to understand. How are we supposed to communicate our anger? Finding appropriate ways to communicate this intense emotion is really important. For me, I like to slow down, allow the emotion to settle, take a break, process the feeling and restore balance before I have a chat. What events could potentially prompt feelings of anger? One of the top ones is having something you really want in life blocked. Our careers and relationships are major parts of our lives. Having any significant or meaningful goal in life blocked could trigger anger. For me, feeling like someone you care about be attacked will prompt feelings of anger. What are some expressions of anger? Verbal outbursts, breaking things, slamming doors, swearing, criticizing others, crying, self-loathing, fist clenching, frowning, not smiling, mean expressions, yelling, throwing things, brewding, withdrawal, or being red in the face. Anger can also have a long shelf life. It likes to hang out for a while. Anger is focusing, channeling you. Keeps you stuck. Other aftereffects of anger include imagining future events or profound moments in your life in order to prepare ourselves. Anger can also be so intense that we check out and disassociate from others. Take a step back. Check in. Slow down. Take a break. Realize it’s normal to feel anger. It’s a normal, biological reaction to events in our lives. We’re going to feel it. There are healing ways to express anger. And there can be destructive ways to express it. Take the time to process and express it in a constructive way. ***** The first program The Life After Series launched was the LifeAfterPornography (LAP) online self-directed program. With LAP, we guide people through a 10 week, program based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) shown effective in research to reduce unwanted pornography. The LifeAfterPornography Online Program: www.LifeAfterPornography.com LifeAfterPornography Free Training: http://www.lifeafterpornography.com/LAP-starter-pack Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thelifeafterseries/ Dr. Staley’s Story: https://youtu.be/1ehv9FFf_yg An Overview Of The Program: https://youtu.be/ZLnW3zx-xrw Free Lesson From The Program: https://youtu.be/W_y5xl_BOW4
36:08
May 2, 2020
How To Learn New Ways To Experience Happiness, Joy, Enthusiasm, and Optimism Out Of Life
We’re going to talk about the emotion of happiness and how to learn new ways to experience this positive emotion. I believe it’s important to understand and get comfortable with challenging emotions like shame and sadness. I also believe it’s just as important to understand pleasant emotions like happiness. The field of positive psychology shows how developing our strengths, values, and cultivating positive emotions is good for our mental health. It is important to have an ability to experience both happy and sad emotions. The more we understand happiness the more we can engage in the behaviors and activities that bring that emotion into our lives. What are the emotions associated with happiness? There are a handful of variations of happiness. Strong variations of happiness would include joy, enthrallment, bliss, zest, zeal, rapture. Seeing my kids learn something new, training for a sport, acquiring a new skill...these are things that bring joy. Other more subtle variations include enjoyment, content, satisfaction, relief, amusement, hope, cheerfulness, being silly and jovial, delight, optimism, eagerness, pleasure (from all kinds of activities and practices), gladness, gratitude, and even pride. What are the events which occur outside of us that may prompt these feelings of happiness? As we review these ideas, be thoughtful of ways to engage in activities to bring on these happy emotions as happiness is often a response to those events. Engage in those actions. They are in your control! What about internally? Some of the things we can do to bring on feelings of happiness would include: get out of your way; don’t try to overthink things; being present in these experiences; don’t over analyze those moments of happiness; and don’t try to hang on to happiness for long durations. Express this emotion too. Smile more. Engage. Share the feeling. Be silly. For some, giving a hug is a great way to express happiness and joy (as long as the other person consents). Share positive words and experiences with others. Be enthusiastic. Just like shame and sadness, happiness also has aftereffects. Being courteous, being friendly and out-going, wanting to serve and seeing opportunities to serve, being optimistic, being nice to others, worry less, be less annoyed, feeling eager to go to work, enjoying connection, or being excited about what’s coming next. Strive for balance. Being sad all the time...not the goal. Being happy all the time...not the goal. Being able to experience the spectrum of emotions is mental health. The LifeAfterPornography Online Program: www.LifeAfterPornography.com LifeAfterPornography Free Training: http://www.lifeafterpornography.com/LAP-starter-pack Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thelifeafterseries/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thelifeafterseries/ Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/48VPP3IwpivWymM1NCnL9p iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-life-after-series-podcast/id1499393371 *This video is a self-help presentation and NOT mental health therapy*
35:23
April 24, 2020
Understanding The Emotion of Sadness - What Are The Events That Trigger Sadness, Grief, Loneliness, Despair, and Hopelessness.
What is sadness? There are so many emotions that go along with sadness, from grief to loneliness to despair to hopelessness. So if you’ve experienced any of those types of emotions and want to learn better ways to manage them and how they operate in your life, this is for you! I want to walk you through the emotion of sadness. This is an emotion that all of us can identify with. Sadness is a part of life. In a lot of regards, it’s inescapable. Sadness has something to teach us. For some, sadness can manifest itself as a feeling of despair, which can feel like profound sadness. Like there’s nothing else in the world. I’ve heard people describe the emotion of sadness coming in waves which may be the experience of grief. Grief is an emotion that can hang around for a long time and there are many events that can trigger this. Sometimes it can be difficult to identify grief. For others, they might be feeling disappointment, homesickness, neglected, misery, anguish, or feeling hurt. Alienation. Feeling insecure (this is a strong part of sadness). Other emotions: feeling defeat, distraught, no pleasure, disconnected from yourself and your environment, suffering, gloom, and unhappiness. A clinical term we use to describe a variation of sadness is depression or melancholy. One that I hear quite a bit when leading therapy groups is the emotion of loneliness. What are the events that can bring on this emotion of sadness? One of the most powerful ways is to lose someone close to you. This could be due to death, break up, someone moving away, health deterioration, anytime we lose someone can bring out those emotions of sadness. There are also things that occur internally or inside of us. We may not be able to rekindle a relationship. A relationship may be beyond repair. But we can work on how we interpret these events. Believing we are separated from someone and that the separation will last forever or a really long time, is an example of interpreting an event which may contribute to an increase of sadness. Sadness can fill up our body and compel us. I’ve found that it is one of the more powerful emotions and often we feel like we want to hold it in. But I haven’t found that to be an effective way to allow sadness to do it’s thing. Sadness is trying to communicate to you to get a need met. To connect you to other people. So when you’re feeling these emotions, this might be a time to reflect and find safe people in your life you can share these emotions with. Instead of feeling stuck in these sadness cycles, reach out to someone. ***** The first program The Life After Series launched was the LifeAfterPornography (LAP) online self-directed program. With LAP, we guide people through a 10 week, program based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) shown effective in research to reduce unwanted pornography. The LifeAfterPornography Online Program: www.LifeAfterPornography.com LifeAfterPornography Free Training: http://www.lifeafterpornography.com/LAP-starter-pack Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thelifeafterseries/ iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-life-after-series-podcast/id1499393371
28:04
April 16, 2020
Identifying Shame And The Events That Trigger Shame - Understanding Emotions And Their Relation To Shame
What is shame? What does it feel like? What does it prompt us to do? Let’s talk about identifying shame and the events that trigger this powerful emotion. Let’s walk through a few different emotions so we can understand where they come from, how we experience them, what they compel us to do and what we can do with them. Before we do that, let’s talk about Dialectical Behavioral Therapy or DBT. This mental health treatment was designed to train skills helpful in managing chronic mental health concerns. DBT includes mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, distress tolerance, and emotion regulation skills. I have found these skills to be really helpful in navigating relationships and complex emotions. What is mindfulness? At the core are the three “What’s”: Observe. Describe. Participate (engage, the purpose behind why we observe and describe). These “what” skills are really helpful in breaking down steps for mindfulness. How do we act mindful? Simple. First, do one thing at a time. Our minds are equipped to do one thing really well at one time. Second, do it non-judgmentally. Eliminate evaluations. Just participate fully in the moment. Don’t worry about what others think. Finally, do it effectively. What needs to be done at this moment? Don’t focus on being the best or better. These steps and framework really help us in identifying emotions as well. Mindfulness has helped me slow down so I can actually identify that I’m feeling an emotion and be able to identify what emotion it is. Research shows being able to label that emotion helps us manage it better as well as enabling us to share it with others to improve our social support. There’s many advantages to slowing down, practicing mindfulness and being able to describe the emotions we feel. Now, let’s talk about shame. Shame is a bedrock emotion. It’s a universal emotion that all of us as humans experience. Shame is such an inescapable emotion that can be so powerful. I’ve found that shame oftentimes underlies compulsive behaviors like pornography. A lot of people talk about unwanted pornography viewing as an addiction (neurological or biological), but for me what’s been so profound is the underlying emotion of shame that many people experience who are struggling with trying to change sexual behavior like unwanted pornography. I’ve also found shame underlies many relationship concerns, insecurities, depression, and anxiety concerns. What does shame feel like? What are some of the things which occur physically when we experience shame? It’s different for everybody. For me, shame is the pit in the stomach, nausea, something off, disgusting, uneasy, dark feeling inside, daunting, dread, shrinking, and despair. It can be difficult to look others in the eye. You may curl up in a ball and turn away and want to withdraw and hide from the world. This is how powerful shame can be. The first program The Life After Series launched was the LifeAfterPornography (LAP) online self-directed program. With LAP, we guide people through a 10 week, program based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) shown effective in research to reduce unwanted pornography. The LifeAfterPornography Online Program: www.LifeAfterPornography.com LifeAfterPornography Free Training: http://www.lifeafterpornography.com/LAP-starter-pack Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thelifeafterseries/
37:54
April 8, 2020
Stress And Immune Response - How Stress Affects Your Immune System And What You Can Do About It
Health psychology examines the relationship between how well we manage stress, our immune system, and our recovery with medical illnesses like hypertension, cancer, or even things like HIV. This made me think about the role of stress during this COVID-19 crisis. I've been really careful with social distancing, washing my hands, staying indoors. Trying to protect myself from the actual virus. One thing I haven’t been as thoughtful about is how well I’m managing my stress. Because it might be just as important during these times of pandemic. As I was preparing a lecture about the role of stress and our immune system, I thought it would be helpful to offer this to our LifeAfterSeries audience. At the root of the lecture I talked about the autonomic nervous system, specifically the part on the sympathetic (fight or flight) nervous system. The challenge happens when the sympathetic nervous system is chronically activated, which can actually lead to the suppression of our immune response. It can lead to the promotion of cortisol, which can also contribute to challenges with fighting off infections. This is why it’s vital that we manage our stress properly. Yeah...we’re washing our hands a lot (30 seconds), but are we spending as much time on managing stress? When we’re responding to a stressor, our body reacts in a specific way and goes through changes, at a muscular level, a cardiovascular level, and endocrine level. When a threat is immediate, pressing, then goes away this response is really helpful. The challenge (especially now) is this threat is pervasive and not going away soon. This process puts us in a chronic stress state. When stressors are unpredictable and constant, over time we enter into an exhaustion phase. Our immune system comes down and we are more susceptible to infections and illnesses. ***** The first program The Life After Series launched was the LifeAfterPornography (LAP) online self-directed program. With LAP, we guide people through a 10 week, program based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) shown effective in research to reduce unwanted pornography. The LifeAfterPornography Online Program: www.LifeAfterPornography.com LifeAfterPornography Free Training: http://www.lifeafterpornography.com/LAP-starter-pack Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thelifeafterseries/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thelifeafterseries/ Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/48VPP3IwpivWymM1NCnL9p iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-life-after-series-podcast/id1499393371 Google Podcast: https://www.google.com/podcasts?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy8xM2UwNzQ4OC9wb2RjYXN0L3Jzcw==
22:28
April 4, 2020
Several Ways To Effectively Manage Stress Through Uncertain Times - A COVID 19 Pandemic Special
The purpose of this episode is to just offer some thoughts and strategies to manage stress through this difficult time, through this COVID-19 world-wide pandemic. This is a time when we can come together and show our best selves. And I’ve seen a lot of those experiences recently.  Here are seven ways you can manage stress during this uniquely stressful time. First, there is news coverage on this 24/7. It's helpful to stay informed but also recognize when it's appropriate to take some breaks. Set limits on when you plug in to the news. Maybe only 2-3 times. You’re going to check, but you’re not going to check 3-4 times a day. That’s just going to keep our bodies in a heightened state of hyper-arousal, overly alert. And that’s not optimal to help us function during this difficult and unique time. Second is social distancing. Spending time with family, friends, and colleagues is what I like to do. Being light-hearted is how I cope. Not having that face to face interaction has an impact on me. I do pretty good solo, but I also recognize there has to be balance. Too much is not optimal for me. So I keep reminding myself that social distancing is not the same as social isolation. These are different things. It’s important to recognize that you can practice social distancing (staying at least 6 feet apart), but still remain connected. Finding those ways to maintain social connection when our physical connection may be limited at this time is very important. Third, this is a time where we don’t feel like we have a lot of control. Recognizing that these times aren't in our control, there’s a lot of unknowns, reminding ourselves that we don’t know what’s going to happen next...that’s okay. Just acknowledging that is key. Finding a way to maintain our routines is also important. Holding onto that structure is very helpful. Fourth, take perspective on what’s happening. Many years from now, we’re going to look back at this time and we will have gotten through it. Take a look back on the times you’ve battled through some difficult times. Ask yourself, ‘What did I do to get through that?’ Those same strategies still apply now! Fifth, notice your thoughts. Take inventory of them. Instead of thinking of worst-case scenarios, think of what you can do right now to be helpful. Instead of cowering in fear, focus on being positive. Sixth, Radical acceptance. Sometimes the best way to get through it is to radically accept that this is what is happening. Just accept it. Don’t judge the situation we’re in. Realize it’s temporary and just accept the moment we’re in. Finally, here are some other things you can do to help manage during uncertain times: Be creative. Attend to yourself, but keep others in mind. Practice gratitude. Slow down. Connect with things and people that matter. Be creative in the ways that you exercise. Keep to your normal schedule as much as possible (even if it’s adapted). Write down your plan for the day. Limit screentime for you and your kids. Get adequate nutrition. Get adequate sleep. Find ways to serve others.   ☀️ Here’s the biggest take away: It’s so important we maintain that balance of being cautious and safe, but not fearful and overwhelmed. But be realistic. We’re going to be okay. There’s going to be an impact, but we’re going to get through this. *****   The first program The Life After Series launched was the LifeAfterPornography (LAP) online self-directed program. With LAP, we guide people through a 10 week, program based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) shown effective in research to reduce unwanted pornography.   LifeAfterPornography Online Program: www.LifeAfterPornography.com  LifeAfterPornography Free Training: http://www.lifeafterpornography.com/LAP-starter-pack  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thelifeafterseries/
21:16
March 28, 2020
What Is Behind Our Urges? Dr. Staley Discusses Urges Plus One Simple Hack To Help You Overcome Them
Urges. How do you feel when you hear that word? What is behind our urges? Urges can pop up in just about every aspect of our lives. Often when I wake up early in the morning, I have a strong urge to stay sleeping. Even if right on the other side of an urge, is an opportunity (in my case, playing basketball early in the morning). ☀️ Typically the urges we experience are preceded by some type of physical or emotional state. ☀️ When we are really worn out, exhausted, or drained, we tend to have more urges. Urges to withdraw from other people, or to stay in bed, or eat snacks (that's an urge I noticed throughout the day). So I try to be more thoughtful about those. After I eat, I have a strong urge for something sweet to snack on. For years, I’ve just given in to this urge. Lately, I’ve been doing something different. Instead of just obeying that urge (which is pretty automatic), Now I notice that urge and check in with myself. I ask, “Am I really hungry?” Usually I’m not hungry. And I can have a conversation with myself. So what about urges as it relates to viewing pornography? The same is true when I work with folks with pornography concerns. They’ll have an urge to view sexual images and they just comply with it. There’s no thought to it. It’s a pretty rapid, automatic, mindless approach. What I’ve found makes all the difference is taking a moment and noticing that urge. Take 60 seconds. Count to a minute. Check in with yourself. Ask: “What preceded this urge to view sexual images? What is that emotional state I’m in?” When we’re feeling those emotions, our mind is really trying to help. Your mind is thinking, ‘How do I get you out of this emotion and help you feel better?’ Or ‘If you looked at sexual images you would feel better temporarily.’ Your mind doesn’t understand that after you view, you might end up feeling bad again. The mind doesn’t think that far ahead. It just notices that you are feeling something, let’s get away from it. And that is the compulsive cycle I’ve seen with pornography: just follow the urge and end up feeling bad again. Rinse and repeat. How do we reverse that cycle? Just notice the urge is there. Take a moment to pause. Reflect. And recognize you have a CHOICE. Urges do not need to compel our actions. They don’t dictate our behavior. They do show up, but typically they are in response of an emotion or a physical state. On the other side of that discomfort is an opportunity to connect with another human being. On the other side of that urge to stay in bed is an opportunity to create really meaningful things in your life. To learn new things. To accomplish your pursuits. And it really just takes a small moment. Just notice the urge. Notice the emotion underlying it. Then think about what is it that you really want to do in this moment? Is it to follow this urge? To go further away from the life I want? Or is to take a couple breaths and keep pursuing the things that matter most to me? And that can make all the difference. The first program The Life After Series launched was the LifeAfterPornography (LAP) online self-directed program. With LAP, we guide people through a 10 week, program based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) shown effective in research to reduce unwanted pornography. The LifeAfterPornography Online Program: www.LifeAfterPornography.com LifeAfterPornography Free Training: http://www.lifeafterpornography.com/LAP-starter-pack Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thelifeafterseries/
17:01
March 6, 2020
How Does The Role and Power Of Language Affect Mental Health and Contribute To Our Struggles Like Unwanted Pornography?
How does the role of language affect mental health and contribute to our struggles like unwanted pornography? Humans are unique. One of the largest distinctions is our use of language. No other species has the complexities of language like us. It is quite remarkable how we learn language. As we age, our language develops. Language acquisition almost occurs naturally. How does language develop? One of those theories is based on Relational Frame Theory. We see an image and we begin to make associations. Some of these associations are taught explicitly. But some of these just happen, they’re derived. All of these create a relational frame. It spiders on from that. Language evolves by comparing, contrasting, associating, linking meanings, finding things relating to other things and that’s how words spread and how our vocabulary can really grow. Even though language is a wonderful thing, there’s a downside. This is where ACT comes into play. Relational frame theory is part of the basis for ACT. Isn’t that cool? A mental health therapy based on a linguistic theory? You can research language. Understand it. Measure it. Study it. ACT looks at the formation of language and how it contributes to mental health struggles. This is incredible! This is why mindfulness is so effective with things like anxiety, depression, trauma, and compulsive pornography viewing. Because instead of labelling these constructs or making these things as something we have to battle and fight, we can just understand the human parts, the thought, the emotions, the physical sensations, the urges...and we can do something with that. ☀️ We don’t have to label urges, emotions, thoughts as a major problem. We can understand them as just information. ☀️ People that say they’re addicted to pornography often have more of an addiction to their addiction. They’re stuck in this battle of having an addiction. The first program The Life After Series launched was the LifeAfterPornography (LAP) online self-directed program. With LAP, we guide people through a 10 week, program based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) shown effective in research to reduce unwanted pornography. The LifeAfterPornography Online Program: www.LifeAfterPornography.com LifeAfterPornography Free Training: http://www.lifeafterpornography.com/LAP-starter-pack Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thelifeafterseries/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thelifeafterseries/ Podcast: https://open.spotify.com/show/48VPP3IwpivWymM1NCnL9p iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-life-after-series-podcast/id1499393371 To Learn More About LifeAferPornography… What Is LifeAfterPornography: https://youtu.be/uRsDRWV22Jc Dr. Staley’s Story: https://youtu.be/1ehv9FFf_yg An Overview Of The Program: https://youtu.be/ZLnW3zx-xrw Free Lesson From The Program: https://youtu.be/W_y5xl_BOW4
23:07
February 28, 2020
What Does Psychological Flexibility And Inflexibility Of ACT Have To Do With Unwanted Pornography?
What is psychological flexibility and inflexibility? How does it affect our mental health and dealing with struggles like anxiety, depression, OCD, and even viewing pornography? In this episode of the Life After Series Radio Podcast, Dr. Cameron Staley discusses psychological flexibility AND inflexibility. There are lots of ways to conceptualize mental health. One way ACT views mental health is this idea of psychological flexibility. This is when we are able to respond to the actual demands to our environment in this moment, in the place we are at. Having the flexibility to notice thoughts and emotions and then choosing our own actions is usually a good indication of solid mental health. On the flipside, psychological inflexibility can predict all kinds of mental health concerns one of which is the struggle with pornography. In this episode, we walk you through some of the concepts that go into this idea of psychological inflexibility. Concept #1: How Present We Are In Any Given Moment Are we locked into the past?  Do we dwell on previous failures and regrets? This can lead to lots of experiences with depression. Flip side...people focused on the future and worrying about the  “What If?” experience a little more anxiety. Can you be present in this moment? Worrying about the future or dwelling on the past is partly a product of language. The more we are at present-focused allow us to respond to what the demands are in front of us right now. Concept #2: Not Having A Clear Picture On What You Value Most Out Of Life. Not having purpose to guide our actions. So if you're unsure about what brings you meaning, what you’re working towards your going to have a pretty aimless life and your actions may not lead to the things that you want. Setting the right goals is so vital for this concept. Some of us know these values and have goals, but struggle living up to them. First step, do you know what you value in life? Second, are you living consistent with it? Are you engaging with the activities that help you on that pursuit. Concept #3: Do We Struggle With Our Thoughts, Emotions, And Urges? Think about how often we do that throughout the day.  There's often thought patterns that I don't like that I'm struggling with. Battling with them trying to get rid of them. It’s kind of like wrestling with a pig and where you both get muddy and the pig loves it. Those thoughts don't go away. If anything they get stronger and intensify and you get wrapped up in them. The more we struggle with this concept of struggling with our thoughts, emotions, and urges...that’s inflexibility. And this is what I see often with pornography. We have this thought that we should be able to control these urges. And since we can have that thought, we believe it to be true. We over-believe our thoughts. Concept #4: Do We Allow Those Thoughts, Emotions, And Urges To Dictate Our Actions? This is when we act from that world of reaction. Those who struggle with unwanted pornography are used to this pattern. They have an urge to view, so they view. There’s no space in between that urge and that action. This is where awareness comes into place. We’re able to reflect and notice urges and emotions. As we engage in that process of slowing down and being mindful, unlocks a world. And we are able to respond to urges instead of reacting to them. The LifeAfterPornography Online Program: www.LifeAfterPornography.com LifeAfterPornography Free Training: http://www.lifeafterpornography.com/LAP-starter-pack Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thelifeafterseries/
20:05
February 22, 2020
Effective Ways To Address Mental Health, Emotions, And Behaviors Like Unwanted Pornography Viewing
In this episode of the Life After Series Radio Podcast, we discuss the mission and purpose of the Life After Series podcast. We’ll discuss mental health, how to be kinder to ourselves, and other concerns we struggle with. In upcoming episodes, Dr. Cameron Staley will discuss different concerns we struggle with: anxiety, depression, relationship issues, and overcoming unwanted pornography. The first program The Life After Series launched was the LifeAfterPornography (LAP) online self-directed program. With LAP, we guide people through a 10 week, program based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) shown effective in research to reduce unwanted pornography. Instead of trying to control unwanted thoughts, emotions, or urges, ACT encourages us to get in touch with our values and begin building the life we want instead of trying to continue an unwinnable battle with ourselves. There are over 300 Randomized Clinical Trials on the effectiveness of ACT on addressing many mental health concerns. Importantly, ACT is the only approach I have found with scientific support for reducing unwanted pornography viewing! Often our attempts to fix our challenges, oftentimes becomes part of the reason why we’re struggling and can actually make our problems worse. Sometimes the way we were “taught” to overcome a struggle may not be the best approach and we have to be able to take a step back and evaluate whether or not our efforts are actually working. Through mindfulness, we are able to accomplish just that! Why did Dr. Cameron Staley start LifeAfterPornography.com? He knew it was time to share what he had learned with the world about cutting edge mental health treatments for the concerns that impact us today! The LifeAfterPornography Online Program: www.LifeAfterPornography.com LifeAfterPornography Free Training: http://www.lifeafterpornography.com/LAP-starter-pack Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thelifeafterseries/ To Learn More About LifeAferPornography… What Is LifeAfterPornography: https://youtu.be/uRsDRWV22Jc Dr. Staley’s Story: https://youtu.be/1ehv9FFf_yg An Overview Of The Program: https://youtu.be/ZLnW3zx-xrw Free Lesson From The Program: https://youtu.be/W_y5xl_BOW4 Episode Highlights: Instead of focusing on getting rid of symptoms like depression, anxiety, or maybe unwanted pornography viewing...we could focus more on our values. Building a life we really want. It’s [ACT] an alternative approach to the way our mind typically solves problems. Often our attempts to fix our challenge, whatever that challenge is, often becomes part of the reason why we’re struggling, or maintains the struggle, or sometimes makes it even worse. Step back. And observe our attempts (to stop our problems) a little more. People have really strong beliefs about pornography...and addiction. My only goal is to be helpful. I don’t believe that one approach is best. I’m just most interested in helping overcome challenges and begin living the life they want. And I’ve found this approach to be really helpful in a lot of situations like pornography. It’s hard to have a lot of compassion for differences. People have good reasons to be heated. I care about those who have strong reactions.
16:12
February 12, 2020