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The Art of BART

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The Art of BART (the Bilateral Affective Reprocessing of Thoughts) is a practitioner's introduction to an innovative psychotherapy model that draws on and integrates well-proven therapies (such as EMDR, sensorimotor psychotherapy and CBT) and on the Indian chakra tradition and other historical beliefs. As a therapeutic approach it has particular relevance to those who are living with the consequences of a traumatic event and those who seek after peak performance in fields such as sport and the arts.The book introduces the reader to BART as a psychotherapy that can benefit patients with disorders such as anorexia nervosa and dissociative identity disorder, and those who have suffered a traumatic event. It also looks at the information processing of the mind-body at the levels of the gut heart and the gut brain, and it makes connections between the endocrine and immune systems and the chakras of Indian tradition. The latest theories on the neurobiology of trauma are explained and the application of BART to patients with autism and other conditions is discussed. Included in the book is a step-by-step guide to the five stages of BART and a detailed template for assessment of trauma to the twelve cranial nerves.The final chapters introduce readers to key concepts in neuronal development, with particular reference to the default mode network whose normal maturation is often hijacked by traumatic experiences well into adult life. Novel ways to ensure accurate DNA replication are mentioned, and the value of using BART to help people achieve peak performance in a range of fields (such as sports and the arts) is described. There is also a detailed health questionnaire, which practitioners can use to supplement their practice.

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13 Chapters

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Chapter One: Concept of Intuition and Introduction to BART Psychotherapy for Both Therapy and Peak Performance

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Introduction

During my childhood growing up in the area of Northern Ireland called South Armagh, I was only six when the “Troubles” started. We lived over a drapery shop on the main street in a rural village called Newtownhamilton. Soon, the region became known as bandit country and a large joint RUC–British Army base was established in the heart of the town less than one hundred metres from our house. In 1970, while leaving the kitchen, I was suddenly blown on to the floor by the force of an explosion, which had gone off without warning. What amazed me was the fact that I had no conscious awareness of what had happened. As I gingerly got up and realised the walls were still standing, I gradually came to comprehend what had happened. This was the first of over forty explosions, rocket attacks, shootings, and incendiary devices that the town's residents experienced over the years. The personal nadir for our family was when my parents and some workmen were held hostage while the IRA planted booby-trap explosive devices in our house and hardware shop. The British Army, in a controlled explosion, later razed this to the ground while our whole family were evacuated. One week later, my older brother was over from England on holiday. While walking over the rubble, he spotted a wire. The alarm was raised, as he had just stumbled over an unexploded bomb. We were again evacuated while the army bomb disposal squad made the device safe.

 

Chapter Two: Activation of the Chakras using BART Psychotherapy and Peak Performance

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Another aspect of this multi-user machine is achieving an ascending kaleidoscope of body chakra activation. The following description outlines the nature of the main chakras, both internal to the body itself and external. These are illustrated on the following colour plate: in ascending order, the most well known chakras are root chakra (Figure 10), sacral chakra (Figure 11), solar chakra (Figure 12), heart chakra (Figure 13), throat chakra (Figure 14), third eye chakra (Figure 15), crown chakra (Figure 16), earth star chakra (Figure 17), soul star chakra (Figure 18), stellar gateway chakra (Figure 19), and universal gateway chakra (Figure 20). In ascending order, the pattern starts with the earth star, or subpersonal chakra (Figure 17).

Earth star (or subpersonal chakra

Manifestation centre.

It connects us to earth's life force energy and electromagnetic fields.

This links to both the metatron cube's sacred geometry and the seven-element relaxation exercise for grounding patients or clients (discussed further on p. 154).

 

Chapter Three: Neurodevelopment of the Head-Brain, Heart-Brain, and Gut-Brain

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Development of the embryo and clinical implications

The blastocyst forms soon after fertilisation and retains a memory of the circumstances of conception. There is debate about the moment that this group of cells shows signs of life. There is some evidence that, following two cell divisions (i.e., the eight-cell blastocyst stage), there is pluripotential for life. The question of when the soul enters the body remains open and is hotly debated between those who say there is no scientific evidence and others who have attempted to show that the body is lighter post mortem compared to ante mortem. The heart is often mentioned as the seat of the soul. It is of note that the first heartbeat occurs at eight weeks gestation.

The Ancient Egyptians believed that the soul had five parts:

 

1.    Ren.

2.    Ba.

3.    Ka.

4.    Sheut.

5.    Ib.

The heart was seen as the seat of emotion, thought, will, and intention and was the key to the afterlife. Archaeological remains confirm that, in death, all the body organs were removed except for the Ancient Egyptian's heart. It was believed to be the key to a successful transition to the afterlife. If the heart was lighter than a feather, the person went to heaven. If it weighed more than the goddess Maat's feather, the monster Ammit consumed it. This might have given rise to today's expression, “with a heavy heart”.

 

Chapter Four: Vibrational Frequencies Related to Accelerated Information Processing in Patients or Clients

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Development of vision from initial sensory input to the superior colliculus to movement of eyes scanning the natural environment

Ephrin ligands are a family of proteins that bind on to the ephrin receptors. They are involved in axon guidance, visual mapping from the retina to the superior colliculus. This is analogous to a computer keyboard and mapping in terms of the American Standard Code for Information Interchange, or ASCII, on screen characters. These ephrin molecules ensure that sets of neurons project and connect to other appropriate sets of neurons.

In mammals, seeing is mediated by projections to the thalamus and on to the cortex. The retina senses and transmits light to retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). There are more than twenty types of RGCs projecting from the retina to parts of the brain.

The most important area for eye movements is the superior colliculus. It mediates reflexive eye movements, head turns, and shifts in focus of attention. When RGC mutate and fail to make the appropriate connections, the patients may go on to develop autism, schizophrenia, Tourette's syndrome, and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

 

Chapter Five: Proposals for BART Psychotherapy with Special Populations and Effects of Abuse and Neglect on the Developing Brains of the Patient or Client

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Introduction to the information processing difficulties of children and adults with autism spectrum disorder

Play by children with autism stimulates their mobilisation responses. The fight or flight defensive reaction can be activated. Normally, by looking at one's playmate, these defensive behaviours are down regulated. If someone accidentally hits the other during play, then saying, “I'm sorry” normally diffuses the situation. Neurotypical children use their tone of voice and facial expression to communicate emotions. This prevents their playful behaviour from being interpreted in an aggressive manner by the nervous system of their playmate.

This moment-to-moment facial interaction is difficult for both children with autism and those who have grown up in an unsafe environment through trauma, neglect, or abuse. My clinical experience using BART psychotherapy with traumatised patients leads me to believe it will help patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The goal here is: Bringing Affective Regulation of Tone.

 

Chapter Six: The Mystery of Consciousness

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In his book, Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain (2010), Antonio Damasio discusses this mystery. According to Damasio, when the self meets the mind we experience consciousness. He describes the mind as a flow of images and a conscious mind as one containing a self. The self introduces a mental subjective perspective. We become fully conscious when the self comes to mind.

The unison of mind and self creates auditory, skin, and neural “maps”. The mental experience is closely related to the firing of retinal neurons. Islands of image-making perception provide signals to the association cortex, or memory-holding regions, of the brain, before sending images back for perception. The self is more elusive. Our brains generate “maps” of the body internally that are used as the reference for all other neural “maps”. The “I” in our processing must be stable, so that the reference point is one body. The internal milieu must be maintained in a state of homeostasis, otherwise sickness or death occurs. The brain and body are tightly coupled and the brainstem governs breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure. The brainstem nuclei provide neural “maps” allowing the grounding of self to occur, in terms of primordial feelings. There is a wealth of cognitive and emotional content stored in the cortex.

 

Chapter Seven: Development of Thought and the Role of BART Psychotherapy and Peak Performance in Reprocessing Thoughts

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Conscious thought accounts for about five per cent of brain activity. The first manifestation of thought is its global synthetic form generated by the right hemisphere. Hand and other gestures become integrated with speech production once the LH becomes activated. The words generated from thought patterns are segmented linearly and hierarchically as both hemispheres and gestures combine. These influences reverberate reciprocally in the forebrain. The thought processes that begin in the RH are sent to the LH for processing and re-presentation. This is recycled to the RH, becoming a new synthesis of the original recalled experience. This helps to explain why bilateral cerebellar activation in BART psychotherapy facilitates patient's reprocessing. I would argue that all forms of psychotherapy would benefit from this augmented form of inter-hemispheric communication. It promotes unification between the left hemispheric division of information and the right hemispheric tendency towards wholeness. In other words, thesis and antithesis are combined as a synthesis. The role of individuation from the LH is integrated with that of coherence from the RH. The rationality of the LH is subject to the intuitive wisdom of the RH. Knowledge of the five stages of BART psychotherapy and of peak performance helps to bring these perspectives together. Also, as the therapist seeks to identify and locate anatomically points of maximum distress, this can highlight areas resistant to information reprocessing. They can use this knowledge to hypothesise which hemispheric functions are most compromised and need to be accentuated.

 

Chapter Eight: Guidelines for Practitioners on Conducting a BART Psychotherapy Session

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Procedure

First, specially adapted headphones or glasses with a bilateral sensor are placeed where glasses rest on the ears. The aim is to facilitate bilateral stimulation over the bony protuberances known as the mastoid processes. The frequency is adjusted to the highest level tolerated by the patient. This can range from 0 Hertz to 60 Hertz. It is said that 40 Hertz is the optimum frequency for thalamocortical coherence. This point also achieves maximum cerebellar stimulation, enhancing the reprocessing of thoughts during BART psychotherapy.

Then, after taking a detailed trauma history, the client is asked to describe the issue or traumatic event that they wish to work on and to continue the narrative from the point of the significant event up to the present moment. They are helped to maintain contact with the narrative by allowing them to reflect on their experiences. I pay attention to their body language during this process, through constant feedback and interaction with the patient or client.

 

Chapter Nine: Taking a Trauma and Developmental History

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Assessment template

I have developed an assessment template, which is partly based on the attachment interview of the child by Dr Charles Zeanah (Oppenheim & Goldsmith, 2007) and the Health of the Nation Outcome Scales for children, adolescents, and adults (HoNOS, HoNOSCA, Gowers, Bailey-Rogers, Shore, et al., 2000). In addition, I have added a chronology of stressful life experiences and traumas. This starts at conception and moves through pregnancy and all stages of the patient's life. It is critically important to identify an informant who can relate significant trauma up to age five. I have termed this schedule HoNOSCA-revised. Thus, preverbal traumas can be brought into conscious awareness during BART psychotherapy (Chapter Thirteen). A key point is to identify patients who were born premature, that is, at less than thirty-two weeks gestation. A paper in Archives of General Psychiatry in 2012 describes how they have a much higher incidence of severe mental health problems in adulthood in comparison to those born at term. The lead author, Nosarti (2012), said that the increased risk of severe psychiatric disorder shown in the results was likely to be the result of “subtle alterations of brain development”. This study indicates that of the one in thirteen children born prematurely in the UK, between one and six per cent will go on to develop severe psychiatric disorders. Nosarti recommends that all preterm children should be monitored at the age of five. To fulfil that role, clinicians can use this developmental questionnaire. Early identification of this cohort may lead to prevention of this level of co morbidity.

 

Chapter Ten: Influence of Some Research in Trauma Therapy by Neurobiologists and how this has Affected my Development of the Integrative Approach of BART Psychotherapy and Peak Performance

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There are a number of scientists whose work has had a profound effect on my approach to therapeutic work with patients and clients.

1. Biology of Belief (2011), by Dr Bruce Lipton

Bruce Lipton is a cellular developmental biologist who has proposed that multicellular organisms use the same proteins for multiple functions. The caenorhabditis worm has 1,000 cells, compared to fifty trillion cells in humans. However, it has 24,000 genes compared to 25,500 in the human genome. Thus, genes are only part of the story of perception. Thus, he is suggesting a new biology to describe perception and has co-written a book entitled Spontaneous Evolution (Lipton & Bhaerman, 2011). Dr Lipton's latest work, The Honeymoon Effect (2013a) develops this idea one step further and is an attempt to understand the molecular basis of consciousness. The book introduces the term honeymoon, which refers to the state of married bliss of newly-weds who often go on a romantic holiday. However, the term was used in 1546 as “hony moone”. There are reports that the father of the groom provided mead for a month to the newly-weds. The state was said to wane like the moon in that time. Indeed, today, the twenty-eight day lunar cycle is close to one month. An extract reveals the honeymoon effect in his (Dr Lipton's) own life:

 

Chapter Eleven: Living in a Hypothetical World Dominated by the Left Hemisphere's Perspective, and Summary of the Five Stages of BART Psychotherapy

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Introduction to our current worldview, which is dominated by the perspective of the left hemisphere

In the western world, where the perspective of the left hemisphere dominates, the first aspect of life to suffer is its central coherence. The “bits” of something assumes greater importance than the whole picture. Gathering information “bit by bit” is a poor substitute for knowledge gained from experience. This allows the big picture to be seen. Expertise (Latin, “one who is experienced”) is based on LH theory, or abstraction. Quantity would take preference over quality: the principle of “what” over “how”. People are reduced to the impersonal, that is, to mechanical perspective and number crunching: pure data without context. Societal cohesion is put at risk with lack of trust and paranoia predominating among the populous. This worldview has cascaded from the political and financial elite since time immemorial. Indeed, this cabal has been called the illuminati and has links to the freemasons and other religious groups.

 

Chapter Twelve: Using BART for Peak Performance in Sport, Business, Academia, and any Pursuit where Anticipatory Anxiety Impairs Results

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How to become an expert in your chosen discipline

According to Ericsson and Lehmann (1996) at Florida State University in Tallahassee, it normally takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert in any discipline. The skill-hungry years, from the perspective of neurological development, are from age eight to twelve. Thus, starting at age eight in your chosen discipline, one would require three hours of practice daily for fifty weeks per year until age eighteen. In Russia, China, and other Eastern Bloc countries, children as young as four are often exposed to this level of practice. Theoretically, they would then be at “peak performance” level at age fourteen. However, their adolescent growth spurt and neurological improvements via synaptic pruning are yet to emerge. The long-term consequences for such an athlete could be long-term physical injury and psychological impairment.

Flow is being able to concentrate effortlessly in performing all types of skills appropriate to your chosen discipline, be it chess, football, hockey, or any other sport. Time slows as you concentrate on the activity in hand. Enjoyment in the pursuit is the key to success. There are four essential components to being in a state of flow:

 

Chapter Thirteen: Template for Comprehensive Assessment of the Patient or Client Prior to BART Psychotherapy or Peak Performance, and use of the Hermann Brain Dominance Instrument

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Comprehensive assessment questionnaire of patient or client in preparation for BART psychotherapy and peak performance

This will take approximately two hours to complete. However, invaluable information will be collected to guide further treatment. It is adapted from the Health of the Nation Outcome Scale for Children and Adolescents designed by Professor Simon and the late Professor Richard Harrington (Gowers, Bailey-Rogers, Shore et al., 2000). I have further modified the diagnostic interview of the child. I have created the section on chronology and stresses, which was absent from the HoNOSCA. The genogram section was designed by Barry Litt and is available on www.BLitt.com. It is reprinted with permission from Barry Litt.

Client: Name ...............................................

Address.....................................................................................................................................

Post (Zip) code.......................

 

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