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Recent NEWSLETTERS

February 2014

Anger and Shootings
 
shooterShootings in public places are now so frequent in the United States that they are almost commonplace. Last week's shooting of two young store clerks at a skateboard shop in the Columbia Mall in DC is still under investigation. Clearly, the state of mind of the 19-year-old shooter is key to understanding this monstrous violence. As professionals in the field of mental health, we must ask ourselves the role that anger management could play in preventing future shootings.

Let's look at the mid-December attempted murder of high school librarian Tracy Murphy at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado. He was an adult adviser of the speech and debate team. He allegedly demoted or removed one of the students, Karl Pierson, from the team. According to the Daily Mail and Guardian*, "Pierson's friend and fellow debate team member has said that he was upset about being demoted and his anger resulted in an even more serious suspension from the team. 'Karl half-jokingly threatened to kill Mr Murphy, and Mr Murphy got him suspended for saying that,' Pierson's friend and teammate Joe Redmond told The New York Daily News. 'Karl wanted to go to the Air Force Academy and they don't look positively on suspensions so (Karl) felt like Mr Murphy had ruined his life.'" The high school senior was only suspended from the team, not from school. On December 13, he attended classes. At 12:30 PM, he donned a mask and black hoodie, and marched through the school brandishing a shotgun and shouting "Mr. Murphy! Mr. Murphy!" Someone warned Murphy and the librarian hustled out of the school to draw the shooter away. One female student confronted Pierson; she was shot and later died of her injuries. Pierson committed suicide.

The news media gathered facts and quotes in an attempt to comprehend Pierson's motives and state of mind. Here are a few:

From The Denver Channel ABC 7:+ A student named Max Minnie "said the senior had a combative personality. 'He was always the type that wanted to be right. He would always argue with the teacher about scholastic things, whatever we were talking about he always had something to say. Never wanted anyone to tell him he was wrong. I definitely noticed that in the classes I was in with him,' Minne said. 'He spoke intelligently, he's a smart guy, I think he did pretty well in school, he was just kinda weird. ... He wasn't a violent person, he was just verbally aggressive.'

"Pierson's neighbor said he was quiet and seemed like a nice boy but they didn't really know him well. 'It's really sad. It's unfortunate that he'd be so upset about being kicked off the debate team that he'd do something like this and it's unfortunate he'd have access to a weapon to be able to do something like this,' said neighbor Randy Freitik.

"Minee said Pierson had been sent to the administration office earlier this week for yelling at teacher because he thought he got locked out of the class."

From The Huffington Post:** "'Speech and debate was his life, and the fact that he wasn't there crushed him a little bit and made him really tense and angry,' Arapahoe High School debate team co-captain Joe Redmond told NBC News. Redmond said that Pierson and Murphy 'did not get along, and whatever it was escalated to a death threat.' Redmond also said Pierson had been reading The Anarchist Cookbook,' a 1971 bomb-making manual."

Dr Ron Potter-Efron, a NAMA Distinguished Diplomate, CAMS-V and author, has identified various forms of "rage" which is helpful in our developing more effective assessment, treatment, and understanding of this shooting phenomenon. He writes, "Seething Rage - People seethe often without anybody realizing how furious about life they are. Then they sometimes explode in a hail of gunfire, going on mass shooting rampages. The best approach here is to get people to discuss their resentments before they build up into hatreds. Seethers need help learning to let go of the past and get into the present. Forgiveness work helps with some people but it is a long-term process. Also, they need to direct their fury in some effective direction such as politics or advocacy." NAMA has scheduled the 2015 International Conference on 'Anger, Aggression, and Violence' for us to focus on emerging solutions to this pressing societal problem. The dates are March 12-13, 2015. Stay tuned . .

Rich Pfeiffer, President, Board of Directors, NAMA



 
NAMA Responding to Global Demand for Anger Management Services  
globalThe need and demand for anger management services has never been greater in local communities. NAMA's highest priority is to support those members who are working in the trenches, so to speak. At the same time, NAMA is receiving a great deal of interest from people outside of the United States. The Japan Chapter of NAMA is growing quickly and we now have a couple of CAMS-I individuals in China; and other Asian countries have shown interest in affiliation. We have interested Chapter representatives in the Republic of Georgia, West Africa, and Western Europe who are in the process of affiliation with NAMA. We also have certified specialists working in Canada, Curacao, Italy, Mexico, Singapore, the UK, and AE US Military Service around the globe.


 
Domestic Violence Specialist-I Certification (CDVS-I) is Here!Get More Information.  
The NAMA - Certified Domestic Violence Specialist-I credential has been developed in response to the increased call for accessible and effective Domestic Violence services. All NAMA Domestic Violence Specialist certifications will require a minimum pre-requisite of the NAMA Certified Anger Management Specialist-I (CAMS-I) credential.

The NAMA Certified Domestic Violence Specialist standardization offers professionals, schools, hospitals, agencies, community workers and organizations an opportunity to expand their services by including Domestic Violence programs.

Domestic Violence Specialist-I Certification 2-Day Seminar, July 19 & 20, 2014, Toronto, Canada

The initial training event for the CDVS-I credential will take place this summer in delightful Toronto, Canada (Mayor Who?) at the Westin Bristol Place Airport Hotel. Dr. Ron Potter-Efron and Pat Potter-Efron will lead the ground breaking event. This Certification training is open to anyone holding a minimum of the CAMS-I credential. Here are some of the basic content topics to be discussed:
bulletSafety First and Assessment
bulletMotivation and DV Treatment and Approaches
bulletLevels and Types of Aggression and Treatment
bulletBrain Change and DV Treatment
bulletDeveloping Positive Direction for Clients
bulletAdapting Anger Management Techniques to DV Treatment
bulletIncreasing Empathy
bulletAttachment, Jealousy, and Shame as Predictors of DV
bulletAlternatives to Violence and Related Issues of Substance Abuse, Depression

 

January 2014

In with the Horse, Out with the Snake
 
zodiacI am no expert in Chinese astrology, nor sold on its scientific merit. But I have found it a useful framework for understanding the year-to-year changes in or large-scale shifts in our culture. Somehow the shift from Snake to Horse particularly speaks to me now, as I feel the shedding of old skin, and getting ready to gallop ahead in 2014. Perhaps you feel it as well. Or maybe if I describe some its contours in my life, you’ll recognize it in yours and be ready to put the energy of this New Year to the best possible use.

If you look up the Year of the Snake, you’ll read about a quiet year of preparation, laying in plans -- snake-in-the-grass sort of descriptions. But if I look at my own life, its most snake-y quality has been shed, shed, shed. My beloved wife and best friend died this past year. The hollowness of this loss influences me, even as I recognize the new space and potential it has created. Many wonderful things have also happened this year: continued growth in NAMA, and continued work with terrific colleagues and new friends and of course the closeness of family.

Enter the Year of Horse. Technically, the Chinese astrologers would tell us it doesn’t begin until the end of January. But energy doesn’t start and stop on the dime of a date, so much as shift organically and generally a month or two before we’re celebrating it. So, it’s happening right now. If you inquire into the nature of this coming year, you’ll read about spontaneity, sharp, dramatic moves, rags and riches, with good fortune going to those who can ride the wild Horse. NAMA is growing into an influential international force for cultural evolution. But what strikes me about it is just how fast it is happening.

What I remind myself of (and say to you as well) is: pay attention, sense the rhythm, and go with it completely, giving it your best. Renew and repeat. For the other thing you’d read about in the Year of the Horse or the year of any animal, is that it’s fortunate for one person and difficult for another. The animal that is too slow will especially struggle with this year. And what makes us slow? Pointing the finger at myself, it’s when I’m being stuck in old ways, comfortable in old habits, or flat out of energy. And what’s the antidote? Pay attention, sense the rhythm, and go with it, completely giving it your best. Renew and repeat.

In other words, become the Horse. Enjoy the ride!

Happy New Year!

Rich Pfeiffer, President, Board of Directors, NAMA

 
Video & Handouts from Conference Now Only $49  
conferenceVideos and handouts of the "Advances in Anger Management & Domestic Violence" Conference, Oct. 24-25, 2013, Tucson, AZ are now only $49.

Thanks to an anonymous donor, NAMA is able to offer the Conference presentations and handouts for a drastically reduced rate. Don’t miss the opportunity to access online all the significant state-of-the art information on treatments for anger management and domestic violence presented at the Conference in Tucson. Here is what is available:
bulletAnger Management in a New Era: Using Brain Science to Improve Treatment - Ron Potter -Efron, MSW, PhD
bulletDomestic Violence Offender Treatment in a New Era - Ron Potter-Efron, MSW, PhD, Pat Potter-Efron, MSW
bulletBeyond Emotional and Cognitive Intelligence: What is spiritual intelligence? - Rich Pfeiffer, MDiv, PhD
bullet7 Affective Systems: Looking closer at the Primitive Brain - Rich Pfeiffer, MDiv, PhD
bulletNew Mindfulness Techniques for Anger Management - Rich Pfeiffer, MDiv, PhD, Laura Moss, CAMS-III
bulletKeys to Defusing Anger and Hostility in Marriage - Lynette Hoy, , NCC, LCPC, CAMS-IV, Steve Yeschek, LCSW
bulletYield Theory of Anger Management – Christian Conte, PhD
bulletLegal Implications for Anger Management – David Hoy, Attorney at Law

 
How NAMA Supports You and Your Practice  
welcome 2014As we start off the New Year, NAMA is gearing up to be of even more support in your efforts to offer the most effective anger management services in the field of anger management.

Did you know?
bulletNAMA is the largest and most reputable professional association in the field.
bulletNAMA provides you with the most recognized credential in the field.
bulletThe NAMA Anger Management Specialist Directory is a very popular source of referrals and credential checks. The Directory helps people find you when they search for anger management services on Google, etc.
bulletYour profile listing in the NAMA Anger Management Specialist Directory is given priority (listed higher) when you upgrade your active membership to Fellow or Diplomate.
bulletYou can purchase all the videos and handouts from the NAMA 2013 Advances in Anger Management and Domestic Violence Conference for only $49 here.
bulletYou may use your designated NAMA certification and membership level seals for promotional use on business cards, stationary, brochures, or websites. These seals can be saved on your computer: just visit the NAMA download page and right-click on the seal image and choose “save picture as” or “save image as.” Click to download a Certified Anger Management Specialist Level Seal.



Reminder: NAMA Member Questionnaire  
If you haven’t taken the questionnaire yet, please click to take the NAMA Member Questionnaire regarding the future direction of your organization. What are we going to be and do as a united voice? This survey will become the basis of how we impact the evolution of our culture and society and your anger management practice. Click to take the questionnaire now



December 2013

Holiday Message from NAMA
 
angelThe majority of the world’s resources pour into the United States. And as Americans grow more and more wealthy, money is becoming a kind of narcotic for us. We hardly notice our own prosperity or the poverty of so many others. The great contradiction is that we have more and more money and less and less generosity -- less and less public money for the needy, less charity for the neighbor. This has great systemic impact on the ever growing mass mood of anger.

I have been a runner all of my adult life and with this I have a tendency to keep my eye on Nike, the shoe company that has most popularized the sport by being the first to create a running shoe with the rubber soles made from a waffle iron with the intention of creating more shock absorption. As you know, Nike has expanded to become a shining star of global consumerism. You have likely watched some Nike ads recently. The Nike story says that our beginnings are in our achievements; and that we must create ourselves.

According to the Nike story, whoever has the most shoes when he dies - wins. The Nike story says there are no gifts to be given because there is no giver. We end up only with whatever we manage to get for ourselves. This story ends in despair. It gives us a present tense of anxiety, anger, fear, greed, craving and brutality. It produces child and wife abuse, indifference to the poor, the buildup of drones and armaments, divisions between people, and environmental racism. It tells us not to care about anyone but ourselves -- and it is the prevailing creed of our society.

Wouldn’t be wonderful if liberals and conservatives among us, who love to quarrel with each other, could come to the common realization that the real issue is whether there is a loving energy of abundance moving the whole of the universe that can be trusted in the face of the story of scarcity? What we know in the secret recesses of our hearts and minds is that the story of scarcity is a tale of death.

Of course it is easier to talk about these things than to live them. Many people, both members of NAMA and legions of our clients and patients, haven’t a clue about the reality of abundance. We must begin to teach this now. As a growing group of cultural creatives, those of us who work in the trenches of the anger management profession understand that the story of scarcity is not only destroying the fabric of society, but that the simple notion of gratitude flips the states of anger and deprivation like nothing else.

May you have an abundance of realization as we approach this amazing moment in history.

So as we move deeper into the holiday season, Let’s not Just Do It, but also Become and Be it!

Happy Holidays!

Rich Pfeiffer, President Board of Directors

 
Video & Handouts from Conference Now Only $49  
conferenceVideos and handouts of the "Advances in Anger Management & Domestic Violence" Conference, Oct. 24-25, 2013, Tucson, AZ are now only $49.

Thanks to an anonymous donor, NAMA is able to offer the Conference presentations and handouts for a drastically reduced rate. Don’t miss the opportunity to access online all the significant state-of-the art information on treatments for anger management and domestic violence presented at the Conference in Tucson. Here is what is available:
bulletAnger Management in a New Era: Using Brain Science to Improve Treatment - Ron Potter -Efron, MSW, PhD
bulletDomestic Violence Offender Treatment in a New Era - Ron Potter-Efron, MSW, PhD, Pat Potter-Efron, MSW
bulletBeyond Emotional and Cognitive Intelligence: What is spiritual intelligence? - Rich Pfeiffer, MDiv, PhD
bullet7 Affective Systems: Looking closer at the Primitive Brain - Rich Pfeiffer, MDiv, PhD
bulletNew Mindfulness Techniques for Anger Management - Rich Pfeiffer, MDiv, PhD, Laura Moss, CAMS-III
bulletKeys to Defusing Anger and Hostility in Marriage - Lynette Hoy, , NCC, LCPC, CAMS-IV, Steve Yeschek, LCSW
bulletYield Theory of Anger Management – Christian Conte, PhD
bulletLegal Implications for Anger Management – David Hoy, Attorney at Law

 
The Relational Imperative in Anger Management and Domestic Violence Work  
The client/specialist relationship is a critical aspect of Anger Management and Domestic Violence work. As anger management professionals, we bring our own life experiences to this relationship. It is helpful for us to be self-aware of this dynamic.

Studies (see below) clearly suggest that many individuals with anger problems have a history of trauma, especially physical trauma. Research (below) also indicates that the “working relationship” is a vital piece of success in treating individuals with trauma.

NAMA has consistently emphasized the importance of creating a positive working relationship between the client and the specialist. It can be said that anger problems originate in the context of a relationship; and that the healing of these problems will occur in the context of a relationship (with the Specialist) as well. This is one of the primary reasons that NAMA does not endorse anger management or domestic violence programs or trainings that do not include at least one component of human face-to-face relationship.

Charney DS. Psychobiological mechanisms of resilience and vulnerability: implications for successful adaptation to extreme stress. Am J Psychiatry.2004 Feb;161(2):195-216.

Kessler RC, Galea S, Gruber MJ, Sampson NA, Ursano RJ, Wessely S. Trends in mental illness and suicidality after Hurricane Katrina. Mol Psychiatry. 2008 Apr;13(4):374-84. Epub 2008 Jan 8

Watson PJ, Shalev AY. Assessment and treatment of adult acute responses to traumatic stress following traumatic events. CNS Spectr. 2005 Feb;10(2):123-31.

 
Reminder: NAMA Member Questionnaire  
If you haven’t taken the questionnaire yet, please click to take the NAMA Member Questionnaire regarding the future direction of your organization. What are we going to be and do as a united voice? This survey will become the basis of how we impact the evolution of our culture and society and your anger management practice. Click to take the questionnaire now

 
A Domestic Violence Credential from NAMA  
Planning is underway for NAMA endorsed two-day training events for those of you who already hold an Anger Management Specialists Certificate. Completing this training will allow you to obtain an additional Credential in Domestic Violence from NAMA. Dr. Ron and Pat Potter-Efron will be spearheading this project. Dr. Ron is writing a new book and curriculum on the integration of anger management and domestic violence. The primary emphasis will be on the safety of all people involved in the domestic difficulties; and also providing the opportunity for individual growth in dealing with their personal anger management issues. In other words: Safety first; and also growth. The excitement builds around this project. Stay tuned for more info.

 

November 2013

Successful 2013 Conference in Tucson
 
conferenceNAMA's first International Conference brought together dozens of attendees for presentations on the state-of-art treatments, techniques, models, and the inspiration of being together as a community. The sub-theme of the conference this year was " . . because cultural evolution depends on it."
Click to see more photos.

Plans are already in the works for next year's conference to be held in Chicago, Illinois, to be hosted by the Anger Management Institute (AMI) and the NAMA Midwest Chapter. Keep checking your NAMA Newsletter for more information and a "Call for Presentations." If you have suggestions for the next conference please email them to namass@namass.org

conference attendeeHere are some of the positive comments from those who attended the Advances in Anger Management and Domestic Violence Conference in Tucson:

"Well done!!!"; "Enjoyed the new trends in Anger Management i.e. Spirituality, Brain Change, and Yield Theory"; "Appreciated the sharing of practical experiences to drive down the points"; "Excellent overall"; "I like the domestic violence part of the conference"; "It was all good"; Loved the Mindfulness techniques and domestic  violence presentation";  "Yield Theory was great!!"; "Enjoyed being with colleagues"; "All the information and content was great"; "I liked learning about the legalities of anger management work"; "I liked the brain-based focus"; "The presenters were knowledgeable and approachable"; "Liked the stages of adult development"; "It was helpful to hear more of the various models of anger management"; "The content was very good'; "I walked away with something from every presentation"; "The handouts were very helpful."


 
Online Video of "Advances in Anger Management and Domestic Violence Conference" Now Available  
conferenceYou may now purchase access to the conference presentations video and handouts/slides (downloads) athttp://namass.org/Advances in Anger Management and Domestic Violence Online Video.htm.

 
NAMA Member Questionnaire  
Please take a few moments to fill out the NAMA Member Questionnaire regarding the future direction of your organization. What are we going to be and do as a united voice? This survey will become the basis of how we impact the evolution of our culture and society and your anger management practice.  Click to take the questionnaire now.

 
A Domestic Violence Credential from NAMA  
Planning is also underway for NAMA endorsed two-day training events for those of you who already hold an Anger Management Specialists Certificate. Completing this training will allow you to obtain an additional Credential in Domestic Violence from NAMA. Dr. Ron and Pat Potter-Efron will be spearheading this project and Dr. Ron is writing a new book and curriculum on the integration of anger management and domestic violence. The primary emphasis will be on the safety of all people involved in the domestic difficulties; and also provide the providing the opportunity for individual growth in dealing with their personal anger management issues.  In other words - Safety first; and also growth. The excitement builds around this project. Stay tuned for more info.

 
About NAMA
 
The National Anger Management Association is an independent, non-profit, professional organization for the advancement of anger management services, research, and the professional anger management specialist community. All active National Anger Management Association members are listed in the NAMA Online Directory. Fellow members are listed above Members and Diplomate members are listed above Fellows.

If you are not a member, find out more and apply online. If your membership has expired, you can renew your membership on your website.

Membership dues reminder notice goes to your email. If your email address is not correct, please update or send it to us at namass@namass.org.

 

 October 2013 

Domestic Violence Awareness Month – October  
purple ribbonOctober is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic violence thrives when we are silent; but if we take a stand and work together, we can end domestic violence. Throughout the month of October, help NAMA to raise awareness about domestic violence and join in our efforts to end violence.
Domestic Violence Awareness Month evolved from the first Day of Unity observed in October, 1981 by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The Day of Unity soon became a special month when a range of activities were conducted at the local, state, and national levels.
These activities were as varied and diverse as the program sponsors but had common themes: mourning those who have died because of domestic violence, celebrating those who have survived, and connecting those who work to end violence.
NAMA is including Domestic Violence as an integral component of the Advances in Anger Management and Domestic Violence Conference being held at the University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, October 24 & 25. Ron and Pat Efron-Potter are leaders in the inclusion of domestic violence within the context of Anger Management. They will be presenting two major conference topics at the conference: "Anger Management in a New Era: Using Brain Science to Improve Treatment" (Ron Potter-Efron, MSW, PhD) and "Domestic Violence Offender Treatment in a New Era" (Ron Potter-Efron, MSW, PhD, Pat Potter-Efron, MSW)
Advances in Anger Management and Domestic Violence Conference  
There is still time to register for the Advances in Anger Management and Domestic Violence Conference sponsored by NAMA to be held on October 24 & 25, 2013 at the University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.
arizona conferenceThroughout history, pioneering individuals have come together and changed the course of humanity. In fact, historians now think that the Renaissance only involved about 1,000 people--setting in motion the creativity and innovation that eventually launched the Western Enlightenment, the Scientific Revolution, and the sweeping changes of the modern world.
Today, we are approaching the edge of another profound turning point in human civilization. And the question is: who will be the innovators, explorers, and architects of the future? Who will be the contemporary equivalent of those 1,000 men and women who launched the last great shift in human culture?
Come join your colleagues, earn CEUs, and take home the state-of-the-are anger management and domestic violence treatments, skills, concepts, and techniques by participating in the NAMA 2013 Advances in Anger Management and Domestic Violence Conference. It promises to be extraordinary!
 
Conference Schedule:
Thursday, October 24, 2013
8:30 AM – Check-In
8:55 – Welcome
9:00 – Anger Management in a New Era: Using Brain Science to Improve Treatment – Ron Potter-Efron, MSW, PhD
Noon – Lunch (many food choices available in Student Union Memorial Center)
1:00 – 1:50 PM – 7 Affective Systems: Looking closer at the Primitive Brain – Rich Pfeiffer, MDiv, PhD
2:00 – 2:50 PM – Beyond Emotional and Cognitive Intelligence: What is spiritual intelligence? – Rich Pfeiffer, MDiv, PhD
3:00 – 3:50 PM – New Mindfulness Techniques for Anger Management – Rich Pfeiffer, MDiv, PhD
4:00 PM – Socialize
Friday, October 24, 2013
9:00 – 9:50 AM – Legal Implications for Anger Management – David Hoy, Attorney at Law
10:00 – 10:50 AM – Yield Theory of Anger Management: Working with people convicted of violent crimes – Christian Conte, PhD
11:00 –12:00 – Keys to Defusing Anger and Hostility in Marriage – Lynette Hoy, LCPC and Steve Yeschek, LCSW
Noon – Lunch (many food choices available in Student Union Memorial Center)
1:00 PM – Domestic Violence Offender Treatment in a New Era – Ron Potter-Efron, MSW, PhD and Pat Potter-Efron, MSW
4:00 PM – Close
Lodging for the Conference  
Aloft Tucson University Hotel
A block of rooms has been reserved at the Aloft Tucson University hotel which is located right next to the University of Arizona campus and within easy walking distance to the Conference. The brand new Aloft Tucson University hotel is located close to dining and entertainment.
Aloft Tucson University Hotel - 1900 East Speedway, Tucson, AZ. Reserve room
About NAMA
 
The National Anger Management Association is an independent, non-profit, professional organization for the advancement of anger management services, research, and the professional anger management specialist community. All active National Anger Management Association members are listed in the NAMA Online Directory. Fellow members are listed above Members and Diplomate members are listed above Fellows.

If you are not a member, find out more and apply online. If your membership has expired, you can renew your membership on our website.

Membership dues reminder notice goes to your email. If your email address is not correct, please update or send it to us at namass@namass.org.
 

September 2013

 

Advances in Anger Management and Domestic Violence Conference: It's Not Too Late to Register!  
If you have not yet registered for NAMA's Advances in Anger Management and Domestic Violence Conference, there is still time to get a seat. Come join your colleagues!
rich pfeifferConference Presenter – Rich Pfeiffer
Mindfulness Meditation Practice Myths
Rich Pfeiffer will present on the topic "New Mindfulness Techniques for Anger Management" at the upcoming Advances in Anger Management and Domestic Violence (see schedule).
He has practiced mindfulness meditation and contemplative prayer for over 30 years because as he says, "I needed it so much." Dr. Pfeiffer offers us four mindfulness practice myths to consider.
Mindfulness Meditation Practice Myth # 1: Trying To Reach A Fixed Or Static State Of Consciousness
Many meditators seek a specific feeling state or experience that they assume is the goal of meditation. You may seek this state during the meditation, or as a result of the meditation -- or both.
Such privileged states might include a sense of peace, calm, tranquility, openness, joy, or spaciousness.
This is an extremely common approach to mindfulness practice, but the truth is that achieving a particular heightened state of consciousness is not the point of mindfulness practice.
In fact, it can sometimes be counterproductive to mindfulness' real purpose.
The problem with this goal is that feeling and experience states naturally come and go, and always will. Trying to achieve them permanently is a lost cause.
Even IF you achieve one of these "desired" states briefly, you will likely be disappointed when it inevitably passes or "crashes." Then you might also think the meditation, or worse that you, somehow failed.
Many people never achieve such states at all -- and that's fine (it doesn't mean the practice isn't "working"). But that too tends to discourage meditators, who may believe they're not doing it right because they're never reaching some "ideal" meditative feeling.
Too many meditation practices go by the wayside based on this unfortunate notion.
When you learn that it isn't even necessary or desirable to feel a certain way or reach a certain state of consciousness, you can penetrate much further into meditation's profound and infinite possibilities.
Mindfulness meditation is actually about the practice of liberation from all states -- an enlightened relationship to everything that arises or ever could arise -- with no need to feel any particular way at all.
Mindfulness Meditation Practice Myth #2: Spending Months or Years Trying to Get Back to "That One Awesome Experience"
Even though it's a misplaced objective to seek preferred states such as those described above, many people who do happen to have a special experience during meditation get fixated on trying to recreate that experience.
That's especially true if the heightened state was particularly exciting or pleasurable.
Even though it's not the goal or purpose, mindfulness meditation may occasionally and spontaneously involve unusual sensations, visions, or other phenomena.
These experiences certainly don't hurt (and may be pleasant or inspiring), but neither do they help us in any real way on the path or in our lives.
Dramatic experiences are not required, or even a given -- and they can be detrimental if they become a distraction.
Meditators who experience anything remarkable during practice often try to recreate that experience with each subsequent meditation.
But such experiences cannot be "claimed," nor can they regularly be reproduced.
Focusing on them takes you off track from the real value of mindfulness, which is the consistent practice of letting go no matter what kind of experience you're having.
If you're meditating in an attempt to reproduce an experience from the past, you're not letting go at all -- and therefore you're missing the true potential of mindfulness meditation.
Mindfulness Meditation Practice Myth #3: Why You Can't Meditate Your Way to Eternal Peace
Peace and relaxation are widely promoted as the primary purpose of mindfulness meditation. In fact, "calm feelings" are often touted as THE benefit of meditation from a health point of view.
But this narrow emphasis limits the potential for a much more profound experience of meditation.
Because sustained calm is not easily achievable for most of us -- or even the true goal of mindfulness -- it's also a chief cause of disappointment. It leads many people to give up on meditation before they've truly tasted the extraordinary freedom it can bring.
Certainly, meditating can produce positive, relaxed feelings and sensations. It simply won't always do that.
Therefore, you may end up believing you've "failed" simply because your practice doesn't feel calm and peaceful every time, at every moment. And if that happens, you miss the greater opportunity that regular meditation practice offers for transformation and healing.
The good news is, "a peaceful meditation" is not the Holy Grail, because you can experience extraordinary life changes even if not every meditation experience is peaceful. 
Something much bigger -- and more useful -- is possible through mindfulness meditation.
What's possible is the cultivation of steadiness in the face of every changing life experience. This heightened capacity is much more significant than any superficial and fleeting "peace" that may or may not occur in meditation.
This ultimate kind of calm is deeper and more enduring. It is nothing less than liberation itself.
Imagine the freedom in remaining emotionally stable throughout life, no matter how difficult or uncomfortable circumstances become -- a relationship to your feelings that is unconditional.
Mindfulness Meditation Practice Myth #4: The Myth of the Quiet Mind
Many of us have been taught that mindfulness meditation is entirely about having a "still" mind; it's possibly the most pervasive assumption about meditation out there. Countless people have concluded that they're simply "not good at meditation" and given up because they were unable to quiet the mind.
A still mind is something we may experience in moments of mindfulness meditation, but it's not the ultimate goal, and (just as with feelings of calm, peace, or openness) it doesn't necessarily give you better results outside the meditation.
As with other diversions, pursuing this goal can actually distract you from the greater grace that's made possible by a consistent awareness practice.
What does provide results is learning how to "disengage" from your mind regardless of how active it might be.
By doing that, you discover the possibility of being free of your mind no matter what it's doing, which is ultimately much more liberating than merely "shutting it down."
Practically speaking, having a "quiet mind" in mindfulness meditation has limited value once you're back out into life where you need to think, engage, and use your mind.
What's far more valuable is achieving a deep presence of awareness and OK-ness that's stable regardless of what the contents of your mind might be in any moment.
Come to Rich Pfeiffer's lecture and many more at the Advances in Anger Management and Domestic Violence Conference, October 24 & 25, 2013 at the University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.
Looking forward to seeing you there! Please forward this email to your colleagues.
About NAMA
 
The National Anger Management Association is an independent, non-profit, professional organization for the advancement of anger management services, research, and the professional anger management specialist community. All active National Anger Management Association members are listed in the NAMA Online Directory. Fellow members are listed above Members and Diplomate members are listed above Fellows.

If you are not a member, find out more and apply online. If your membership has expired, you can renew your membership on your website.

Membership dues reminder notice goes to your email. If your email address is not correct, please update or send it to us at namass@namass.org.

 

 August 2013

http://nama.memberclicks.net/assets/news/nama-banner-nl.jpg

 NAMA Needs More Authorized Supervisors

 

NAMA Authorized Supervisors (CAMS-III) are important in helping individuals who take the various approved online Anger Management Specialist-I Certification courses. These courses are becoming increasingly popular. More people are choosing to study the basic content components online and take a basic content test. Then, they are required to take four phone supervision sessions to complete the requirements for CAMS-I.

If you are presently at the CAMS-II level and are interested in becoming a NAMA Authorized Supervisor (CAMS-III), you may start the process by completing the Supervision Mentored Program. Please contact the NAMA office at:namass@namass.org

This is a new program in which you will be required to collect 50 NAMA CEUs. By the way, attending all sessions at the Advances in Anger Management and Domestic Violence Conference, October 24 -25, 2013 will provide you with a whopping 25 CEUs from NAMA.

 

 

Advances in Anger Management and Domestic Violence Conference, October 24-25, 2013

 

rich pfeifferKeynote speaker - Ron Potter-Efron

Ronald Potter-Efron, CADCIII, LICSW, Ph.D. is a clinical psychotherapist and Director of the Anger Management Program at First Things First Counseling and Consulting Center in Altoona, WI. He specializes in the treatment of individuals with severe aggressive tendencies and domestic violence issues. Ron is also author of the Handbook of Anger Management (for professional readers); Angry All the Time; Letting Go of Anger and Letting Go of Shame (both with Patricia Potter-Efron). His newest release is Healing the Angry Brain (New Harbinger, 2012), a self-help book intended for chronically angry and aggressive persons. Dr. Potter-Efron is a Distinguished Diplomate of the National Anger Management Association.

Dr. Potter-Efron currently facilitates a 50-session domestic violence prevention program that utilizes the principles of neuroplastic change (long-term potentiation) to help clients devise and implement individualized brain-based behavioral change plans.

Dr. Potter-Efron has facilitated hundreds of professional seminars throughout the United States and abroad. He is known for his ability to make difficult material easier to understand and utilize, as well as for his good sense of humor and practical orientation toward therapeutic change.

Ron's first presentation topic is "Anger Management in a New Era: Using Brain Science to Improve Treatment." 
What does it mean to say that someone has an "angry brain?" What happens inside a person's brain when he or she gets angry? Is anger primarily an unconscious reaction to threat? What are the differences between predatory aggression, defensive rage, and irritable anger? How important is genetic variation in predicting a career of anger or aggression? Which neuromodulator links chemical addiction and angry behavior? How much is domestic violence an anger problem? What is the relationship between anger and anxiety? Is it correct to say "fight or flight" or should we say "fight, flight or freeze?" Perhaps most importantly, how can people with "angry brains" be helped to alter that behavior both at the conscious and unconscious levels? These are a few of the questions that will be asked and answered during this Keynote Presentation.

A few topics also included in Dr. Potter-Efron's Presentation:

bullet Eleven things you should know about the angry brain.
bullet Core information about the brain and its components.
bullet The emotional brain: the limbic system and the intrinsic value of emotions.
bullet The social brain: polyvagal theory and attachment theory; adult attachment and domestic violence.
bullet The angry brain: main brain pathways for defensive aggression and predatory aggression.
bullet Six phases of an anger episode: from activation through action to deactivation.
bullet Changing the angry brain: relevant principles of neuroplasticity.
bullet Rage: the most dangerous kind of anger and its relationship to violence and domestic violence.
bullet The angry/aggressive brain and the substance abuse connection.
bullet Ways to lessen unconscious anger activation.
bullet Ways to increase prefrontal cortex effectiveness with angry clients.
bullet Empathy: the key to long-term brain change for angry clients.

Other Conference Presentation Topics Include:

bullet Anger Management in a New Era: Using Brain Science to Improve Treatment - Ron Potter-Efron, MSW, PhD
bullet Domestic Violence Offender Treatment in a New Era - Ron Potter-Efron, MSW, PhD, Pat Potter-Efron, MSW
bullet Beyond Emotional and Cognitive Intelligence: What is spiritual intelligence? - Rich Pfeiffer, MDiv, PhD
bullet 7 Affective Systems: Looking closer at the Primitive Brain - Rich Pfeiffer, MDiv, PhD
bullet New Mindfulness Techniques for Anger Management - Rich Pfeiffer, MDiv, PhD
bullet Keys to Defusing Anger and Hostility in Marriage - Lynette Hoy, LCPC, CAMS-IV, Steve Yeschek, LCSW
bullet Legal Implications for Anger Management - David Hoy, Attorney at Law
bullet Yield Theory of Anger Management: Working with people convicted of violent crimes - Christian Conte, PhD

Click for a list of presenters, presentations, registration fees, and FAQ's.
Download the conference flyer.
Register by clicking here.

 

About NAMA

 

The National Anger Management Association is an independent, non-profit, professional organization for the advancement of anger management services, research, and the professional anger management specialist community. All active National Anger Management Association members are listed in the NAMA Online Directory. Fellow members are listed above Members and Diplomate members are listed above Fellows.

 

If you are not a member, find out more and apply online. If your membership has expired, you can renew your membership on your website.

 

Membership dues reminder notice goes to your email. If your email address is not correct, please update or send it to us at namass@namass.org.

 

 

 

July 2013

 

 

In Memory of
Anita Bohensky, PhD

 

Anita Bohensky, PhD, NAMA Distinguished Diplomate and CAMS-V, passed away peacefully recently having dealt with  breast cancer for many years. She was the author of the very popular Anger Management Workbook for Kids & Teens and co-author of Manage Your Anger: A Curriculum for Children.

anita bohensky

Anita was born and raised in Greenwich Village, NYC and was a "New Yorker" in every positive sense of the term. She loved culture – movies, theater, new restaurants, and the New York Times. She was sophisticated and social – receiving energy back from her many connections with people and nature. Anita had a special gift of being present to children. She was uniquely drawn to children -- her own daughters, Erin and Megan, as well as her step-daughters, Rebecca and Sara -- and of course her grandchildren, Jerome, Maria, Kevin, Ben and Jane -- and all the children she worked with in psychotherapy.

Professionally, she was a highly regarded and accomplished psychologist. She received her BA, MA, and PhD (Developmental Psychology) from New York University and was trained psychoanalytically at the Post graduate Center for Mental Health in NYC. She also had an abiding interest in Integral theory and its applications in the fields of Anger Management, mental health, and spirituality. Her professional career included: Assistant Professor of Psychology and Education at Teachers College Columbia University Center for Educational and Psychological Services, Consulting and Psychodiagnostic Psychologist SUNY, College of Optometry, Clinical Consultant at the New York Foundling Hospital, Psychoanalyst and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist in Private Practice NYC, Faculty Member and Supervisor of Students at the Contemporary Center for Advanced Psychoanalytic Studies and also the Institute for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy of New Jersey, a Staff Psychotherapist and faculty member and supervisor at the Creative Living Counseling Center NJ, the Clinical Director of Growth Central, and the founder and Director of the Whole Child and Adolescent Center, New York and Tucson, AZ.

She was the author of the highly acclaimed and very popular Anger Management Workbook for Kids and Teens, the Self-Esteem Workbook for Teens, the Binge Eating Workbook for Teens; and co-author of Manage Your Anger: A Curriculum for Children.

The world is a better place from her life and if there is a nirvana or heaven, as she entered, those waiting to greet her were in unison chanting, "Well done, well done, well done indeed."

Anita's Journal Writings -- These are selected journal entries in which she wrote about her reactions to her cancer related events. (PDF)

Remembering Anita Photo Group - A web space to remember Anita with photos of her journey through life has been created (a Snapfish Group Room). You will be asked to join the group roomto view the photos. You may make comments and upload any photos you have of her.

 

 

A Note from Dr. Rich Pfeiffer

 

rich pfeifferAs I work through the loss of Anita and some of how she has impacted me personally I find myself contemplating the paradox of our immense good fortune -- to have been born, in the words of the Chinese curse, "in interesting times".

On one hand, we are the luckiest and wealthiest people who have ever lived -- enjoying unprecedented wealth and ease, with plentiful delicious food, amazing art and technology, and choices -- including almost unlimited information and personal mobility. On the other hand, in the face of this bounty, most of us tend to feel the limitations on our personal options (comparing ourselves with even luckier people). Worse, we, and humanity, really do face unprecedented stresses and threats --we're in a world crisis, with environmental degradation, global warming, extreme weather, and simultaneous real crises in all our institutions and infrastructure -- financial, agricultural, educational, healthcare, political and more.

The bottom line: we face ample reasons to relax and rejoice in gratitude, and to get very serious about multiple "terrifying" challenges. I don't think we do either fully enough; these times ask to go way further -- in both directions, simultaneously. This is not merely a "deep paradox," it's a deep existential invitation to evolve our consciousness and culture.

In his bestselling book, You Must Change Your Life, German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk penned one of the most searing and prophetic paragraphs I've ever read. Please read it carefully:

"The . . global crisis . . as everyone has been noticing for some time, has begun to send out its apostles. Its authority is real because it is based on something unimaginable of which it is the harbinger: the global catastrophe. One need not be religiously musical to understand why the Great Catastrophe had to become the goddess of the century. As it possesses the aura of the monstrous, it bears the primary traits that were previously ascribed to the transcendent powers: it remains concealed, but makes itself known in signs; it is on the way, yet already authentically present in its portents; it reveals itself to individual intelligences in penetrating visions, yet also surpasses human understanding; it takes certain individuals into its service and makes prophets of them; its delegates turn to the people around them in its name, but are fended off as nuisances by most. On the whole, its fate is much like that of the God of monotheism when He entered the stage scarcely three thousand years ago: His mere message was already too great for the world, and only the few were prepared to begin a different life for His sake. In both cases, however, the refusal of the many increases the tension affecting the human collective. Since the global catastrophe began its partial unveiling, a new manifestation of the absolute imperative has come into the world, one that directs itself at everyone and nobody in the form of a sharp admonition: 'Change your life! Otherwise its complete disclosure will demonstrate to you, sooner or later, what you failed to do during the time of portents!'" -- (p. 444, You Must Change Your Lifeby Peter Sloterdijk, tr. Wieland Hoban, 2013, Polity Press, Cambridge, UK.)

On the surface, this might sound like a call for fear and grim austerity. And, appropriately, we don't want to go there. Intuitively, we know terror isn't healthy. Besides, apocalyptic hallucinations have been disproven again and again through history.

Worry is folly; lightheartedness and humor are the soul of true effectiveness. We need to regard this as a developmental crisis, as humanity's growth from adolescence to adulthood, or as a bloody "birthing" process, rather than a "dying" process. Biological evolution and cultural evolution have always proceeded under life-and-death challenges, and again and again, amazing creative novelty has burst forth. I'm an optimist, but it's not based on a rational assessment and a prediction. I am pretty sure that no expert decisively knows our odds of finessing this crisis or being visited by various nightmare scenarios. This makes me very confident that those who think they know we're doomed are wrong.

What to do? Many things, of course. But above all, we're called to do them from a deeper and deeper existential ground. This means constantly awakening from "the consensus trance" into a more and more profoundly awake and joyful seriousness.

I hope to see many of you at the Advances in Anger Management and Domestic Violence Conference in Tucson, AZ in October.

-- Rich Pfeiffer, June 2013

 

 

Seats Still Available at the October Conference

 

If you have not yet registered for NAMA's Advances in Anger Management and Domestic Violence Conference, there is still time to get a seat. Please join us!

Advances in Anger Management and Domestic Violence Conference, October 24 & 25, 2013 -- University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Register Online

Download Conference Flyer & Registration Form

Click for a list of presenters, presentations, registration fees, and FAQ's.

Looking forward to seeing you there! Please forward this email to your colleagues.

 

 

About NAMA

 

The National Anger Management Association is an independent, non-profit, professional organization for the advancement of anger management services, research, and the professional anger management specialist community. All active National Anger Management Association members are listed in the NAMA Online Directory. Fellow members are listed above Members and Diplomate members are listed above Fellows.

 

If you are not a member, find out more and apply online. If your membership has expired, you can renew your membership on your website.

 

Membership dues reminder notice goes to your email. If your email address is not correct, please update or send it to us at namass@namass.org.

 

 

 

 

                         

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