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Webinar: Have Hope and Resilience in times of COVID-19

Uploaded 5/18/2020, approx. 1 hour 29 minute read

I live in New York, but I spend some time there.

It's very hard to do that. I mean, well, the one here is pretty strong.

Yeah, don't forget it. Just accept it.

Like somebody's about to talk about acceptance and commitment therapy.

All right.

I'll make sure that I listen carefully. Please do.

Especially if you're a stressed out parent.

And there are millions of parents who are stressed out.

Yeah, we did a bit of, we did a workshop last Thursday on this topic, trying to get parents to be reasonable with themselves and easier on themselves because they're so hard on themselves right now. So much stress and they don't know what they're doing half the time. So that stress is about even more.

So we tried to do some lessons on not only mindfulness, but some lessons on action. This is what you can do with the things you have in the house.

We work with kids that have pretty severe disabilities and so a lot of them are without language without motor control. And so it's, you know, what do you do? 16 hours a day with your kid, you know, when you don't want him just to sit there and you don't want him to be marginalized from what's going on.

You know, I work, I've worked in special ed for over 30 years and it's a lot of work. You know, it's a tremendous amount of work all day long and you can never be down.

So yeah, it's a specialized group of people that I work with, but they tend to have a lot of anxiety and I have a lot of great people around me that helped me run this program. So we work with about 500 families.

Wow. 500. Yeah, it's insane.

Wow. And only about half right now, which means that about half are not getting the support that they need.

Well, well, something interesting just happened. Did that happen everyone?

I think the NSA just got us. I like that it's in French, but I'm going to speak in English though.

I think it's a warning of some kind.

I don't know how to do. I believe if this is an attendee. Yes. Someone shared the screen. I don't know. Down below and you'll see it says stops sharing screen or up above. It's a stop.

I'm seeing who shared the screen. So I don't see nothing.

Yeah. Somebody.

I have full view of your inbox.

Yeah. That's always scary.

Yeah. I'm not going to read the promise.

I give you my word.

Take a screenshot and then there you go. No way. No way. It's better than others days, but how are we going to kind of enter this thing?

Maybe we should start from zero again.

You need to come out of the meeting and come back in.

I think we should start from zero from scratch.

Now it's done.

Yeah. So that's the problem with zoom is that others can control the.

Yeah. So we'll see. We shall. Shabbat.


A quick question.

When you share our PowerPoints, you'll be doing it from your end. That'll work out fine. You can do from your end. It will be good because I didn't have everyone PowerPoint. I have only yours.

Okay.

Cause I'm not quite sure how to do it from my end. I'm just asking if you're able to do it or no.

You the green button there, Karen, that says share screen.

Yeah. Anything on your screen will, will show this green button. You can share your screen while your presentation so that everyone can look your PowerPoint presentation.

Okay. All right. Well, my husband will be somewhere around here. So hopefully the man to the rescue here.

That's great. So we will start now.

First, I need to mute everyone.

Just, I will give a quick introduction and then we will start with Dr. Elia. He will be our first speaker. Okay. So I will start and again, good morning, everyone. The talks media limited would like to welcome everyone who joined this webinar. First, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Shivani Sharma, and I'm working as a conference producer at detox media limited, where our main motto is to build a house of knowledge from the world, most inspired scientists and researcher and offering them a platform to share the development. They are cutting edge ideas and practices with the global communities.

Now I would like to introduce speaker of the day. So first we have a speaker, Dr. Elia Gorgoris. So I will read his a quick biography.

Dr. Elia Gorgoris is a happiness and wellness expert. He is the first best selling author of seven parts to last happiness, which has been translated in Madrid, in Cattonese, Greek, and just recently in Spanish.

Dr. Elia has just co-authored the highly acclaimed book Seven Keys to Navigating a Crisis, a practical guide to emotionally dealing with the pandemic and other disasters. He is an international keynote speaker. Just last year, he spoke in Paris, London, Rome, and Athens.

Dr. Elia is also the founder of Happiness Center, an organization of the world leading expert in the field of positive psychology. Together, they have helped thousands of individuals, both personally and professionally, to achieve happiness, success, and wellness. He is a UCLA graduate and holds a PhD in clinical psychology.

Dr. Elia has been certified by the American Red Cross in disaster mental health and has been a first responder in the natural disaster like the Hiati earthquake and man-made disaster like a Columbine high school mass shooting.

This adds to the credibility for today's topic. So we have Dr. Elia to speak in the duration of 10, 5 to 10, 20. Dr. Elia, can start your speech now.

Thank you, Shivani, for the introduction, and it's a pleasure and an honor to be among such esteemed guests. Look forward to hearing your stories and your wisdom. But let me start with these are the latest numbers and statistics from the World Health Organization as of Thursday.

So that's 48 hours ago, just so we know where the world is when it comes to COVID-19 and the impact on psychological health. There's a high prevalence of mental distress in countries across the globe due to coronavirus pandemic, especially among healthcare workers. This is really important.

And children. So I look forward to hearing Dr. Sean speak about families and children, according to the United Nations and the World Health Organization. And this comes from the WHO director general.

The impact of the pandemic on people's mental health is already extremely concerning. During the pandemic, 47% of healthcare workers in Canada have reported a need for psychological support. 50% of healthcare workers in the Republic of China reported depression. And 42% of healthcare workers in Pakistan reported moderate psychological distress, while 26% of them severe psychological distress.

And I'm sharing this with you just because I know we have a global audience. So whether it's Canada, China, Pakistan, this is to impact the entire world.

In Italy and Spain specifically, parents have reported, while in confinement, being at home with their kids during this pandemic, that an astonishing 77% of kids are having a hard time concentrating. They're restless. They're irritable. They're nervous. They have feelings of loneliness and disconnection.

Now, in the United Kingdom, 32% of people who already suffer from mental health disorders have now shared that their mental health issues have gotten worse. So these are people that had existing disorders and now it's escalated.

And I know these are just numbers, and I know this statistic sometimes can be numbing when we hear them, but these statistics translate into millions and hundreds of millions of people across the world.

We're not talking about five or 10 or 20 people. We're talking about hundreds of millions of people.

In the United States overall, 45% of people have reported distress during the coronavirus pandemic. In the US alone, that means half the population, we're talking about 160, 170 million people are suffering.

And this is only after one month, the month of March and really the month of April when things shut down here.

Secretary General Tedros goes on to say the following in quotes, social isolation, fear of contagion, loss of family members is compounded by the distress caused by loss of income in unemployment.

It is now crystal clear that mental health needs must be treated as a core element of our response to and recovery from COVID-19 pandemic. This is a collective responsibility of governments and civil society with the support of the entire United Nations system.

A failure to take people's emotionally well-being seriously will lead to long-term social and economic costs in our society, end quote.

So that's from the Secretary General.

So having said that, when Shivani approached me to participate in this conference and we went back and forth and we talked about it and I agreed, I had no idea that in the meantime, I co-authored a book. And in the middle of March, I had this very, very strong impression, like, you know, you can call it intuition, whatever you want to call it, your inner wisdom, that Elia, you got to get this book out now, you got to get out in May, not next November, not in 2021, because people are suffering.

And as a result of that, I have a writing partner. I called him up on the phone. He's a fellow Greek. Now, that's a Greek name, right? And I said, Costa, we need to write this book. Are you in or are you out? Because I'm going to write it. And he goes, I'm in. And I said, we got to do it now.

So for the last 45, 60 days, we've been head down and writing this book, which to me, to getting it out in 45 days is pretty incredible. My first book took like three years to write. I'm like, how are we going to get this book out?

But it all was almost like it just flowed out. And we did a lot of research. And a couple of things that I want to share, there's a big difference.

So the book is called, you know, Seven Keys to Navigating a Crisis: A Practical Guide to Emotionally Navigating a Crisis and Really, I feel like my part, I wrote this book from my heart, not as a PhD, I wrote it so anybody can read it across the world. It's simple, you can finish the book in two hours, basically. It's a practical guide hands on.

This is what you do during a pandemic.

One of the things that we discovered is the following. There's a big difference between danger and fear.

So danger is real. If somebody were to come up to you and cough in your face, you're in danger. And you need to protect yourself. There's no question about that.

Fear, on the other hand, is debilitating and paralyzing. Fear is not our friend as we navigate this crisis.

Because fear leads into anxiety, fear leads into stress, fear leads into depression.

You know, that's the genesis, basically, that's the foundation of all these disorders is fear.

And there are so many things out of our control.

Right? I mean, every day, you don't know what tomorrow brings. And there are parts of the world, you know, I have my family, my brother and my sister, my nephew, all live in New York City.

You know, he's a professor at Columbia University. And they got the virus. They all did. Luckily, they survived.

But there are people at ground zero in New York who are dying every single day by the hundreds, if not the thousands.

I happen to live in Colorado. We hardly have any cases here, where at least where we live.

So we go for walks outside. You don't see people, very different. Different parts of the world have.

So as a result of that, and one of the seven keys is that we need to be, you know, we call it flexibility, key number three.

And I'm going to start with that for the following reasons.

We're facing an enemy, often unseen. You can't smell it. You can't feel it until it's too late. You don't even know if you're carrying the virus.

So we need to be flexible in our approach. We need to be adaptable.

And the analogy that we use is, you know, what we like to call the oak tree and the palm tree. So the oak tree basically is this massive tree. It's strong, it's powerful. It's been there for a hundred years.

But guess what happens in a big storm? If you get enough rain, enough saturation, and then the winds come like in a hurricane, guess what happens to the oak tree? It comes crashing down on cars, on homes, on people, kills people.

That's what happens to the, even though the oak tree is so powerful. On the flip side, the palm tree, which is relatively thin, right, during the peak of the storm, it bends, it bends all the way down, almost parallel to the ground.

But when the storm passes, the palm tree rises up again and survives the storm.

So my call to you is let us all be palm trees, not be oak trees, because it's not that the strongest will survive, it's the flexible that will survive better. And I dare say even thrive during this pandemic.

So doing business as usual, like we used to do before COVID-19, will no longer work. This is a whole different world.

So remember that flexibility is the key and adaptability depending on your situation.


Now, there are four, I would call personality types, I guess, when facing a crisis, whether that's a natural disaster, or it is the pandemic, or a financial disaster, or a personal disaster, or personal crisis.

As you know, relationships and marriages and parenting, they're being stretched to the max because of the confinement and because of the financial stress.

So typically during a crisis, you have four ways to respond to it. Four different types of personalities.

The first one is what we call the victim. The victim mode basically says, you know, why is this happening to me? It's all this always happens to me. And it's all about me and poor me and just, you know, just feeling sorry for myself. Even though we're talking about a pandemic, that's pretty much affecting the entire planet.

So let's type number one, the victim.

The second type is what we like to call the critic. And the critic basically, no matter what comes out, whether it's the government at the federal, state or local levels, healthcare experts, and practitioners, you know, the World Health Organization, United Nations, you know, doctors, nurses, whatever they're saying, the critics response is this.

For example, well, you should wear a mask when you go outside. Well, that's stupid. Okay. You know, you have your choice. You shouldn't wear a mask when you go outside. Well, that's stupid. Like no matter what comes up, you know, the response is always, well, this is stupid.

So the critics do nothing. And they don't contribute to the solution. They just criticize everything, you know, and everyone.

So that's group number two.

The third group we'd like to call the bystander.

Now the bystander is a good person, but you think about the deer in the headlights. Look, the bystander is frozen by fear and paralyzed and really doesn't know what to do.

So when the crisis hits, you know, they look to the left, they look to their right. They're frozen. They don't know what to do. They look what their neighbors are doing.

But in essence, they do nothing. And what these three types have all in common is the following.

All three of them do not contribute to the solution because they're not, they're not doing anything positive.

The victim, which all about me, the critic sits there and they, you know, Chris has everybody else in the bystander is frozen in fear.

Now we get to the fourth type. And this is the fourth personality, which we like to call the navigator.

So the navigator begins number one with a positive attitude, which is one of the seven keys to navigating a crisis, begins with the attitude that you know what? Yes. Humanity is injured. It's hurt. We may be down on one knee right now, but we will overcome.

So the navigator has hope, has faith, has a positive attitude and begins to assess the situation.

And the first thing that navigators do is what we call the first key, which is self-care.

In other words, they learn how to take care of themselves physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

So they, because I can't take care of anybody else if I don't take care of myself. And, you know, many, many years ago, when I was certified by the American Red Cross for disaster mental health relief, this was after the big earthquake in Los Angeles. They needed help. So I went through the training.

You know, little did I know, you know, that years later when the earthquake in Haiti came, you know, me and another psychologist friend, we went down to Haiti and worked with first responders, working orphanages, got to see things firsthand.

But I will tell you one thing. The most difficult was the Columbine High School shooting, which was the first high school mass shooting in the United States.

They've been several, unfortunately, since then. But that was unprecedented at the time when it happened.

And the state asked, you know, a few psychologists to go down to the high school the next day after the shooting happened and begin to work with the kids.

And at the time I had a full private practice, I'd cancel all my clients and I'd go down there and I worked with these children who had this amazing courage as a, basically like as a first responder.

And I was going out with another counselor. I remember he and I used to drive down there, would work all day long, hear these horrific stories of what happened and how some of them were shot, some of them were shot, but, you know, were not injured. Some of them were almost died, but they didn't.

And how they scrambled, survived.

Anyway, long story short, the impact was so heavy that I remember driving back home with this other counselor, because, you know, for eight to 10 hours straight, you had to keep your professional demeanor and see how much you can help with empathy and love and compassion towards these young people.

But getting back in the car, he and I would drive for a half an hour. We wouldn't say a word to one another. We had tears rolling down our eyes, tears. I would come home, kiss my wife, say goodnight, go straight to bed, because I couldn't handle it.

And this happened for a whole week. That was the toughest week of my life in my professional career. I have never been taxed so much than during that time. I only bring this up for one, for one reason only.

I only did that for a week.

Our healthcare practitioners and people on the front lines, like doctors, nurses, physicians assistants, paramedics, even, you know, police officers, and other people on the front lines are, by their own account, already are saying, we are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. We just can't deal with that right now.

We're going to have to wait until this pandemic passes. We flatten the curve.

And, but sometime in the next few months, we're going to need serious psychological help. And that comes from the experts.

So in what they're saying is this, I went to medical school, or I went to nursing school, or I want, you know, gotten my certification, and so on. When we knew that we would be dealing with sick people, and that's why we're getting ready to help people, people, people, you know, the Hippocratic oath, do no harm, help others. We knew that some of our patients would die at some point, obviously, but we were never prepared for what we're facing right now, where not only are our patients dying by the thousands, but they have no families around because of COVID-19. They have nobody to hold their hands.

So we have to now play the role of, as a healthcare practitioner, to be there when somebody is dying, to use basically our smartphones, and to call the families so they can have this virtual goodbye, because they can't have a physical goodbye.

And it's taking a toll. We were never trained for that.

So I think part of the psychological response, and even this particular conference, we also need to address the healthcare practitioners, because there's a tsunami of PTSD coming, for them.

And what can we do to help them? And with that in mind, even in our book, Seven Keys to Navigating a Crisis, there's a portion for self-care, for healthcare, what we call, like these are practical things that healthcare practitioners can take in order to be able to fortify themselves. And that's why self-care is number one. That's, it comes first.

I'm not going to go through all the Seven Keys, because I know our time is somewhat limited, but let me say this.

Let me say this.

We need to prepare. I do believe with all my heart, there will be a second wave.

And I hope that humanity and countries in general are better prepared in the fall than we were this time, because we got caught basically with our pants down. Even wealthy countries that have all the means, really, we were unprepared.

And I think we need to maintain a positive attitude, because if we don't model that behavior, especially for our children, you know, during this pandemic, we have to be positive. We have to be calm. We have to be loving. We have to be compassionate and empathetic.

But in the end, and you know, I know we're going to have a discussion later on, but I want to finish with this.


The last key to navigating a crisis is kindness.

Because no matter what your situation is, wherever you are in this world, wherever you are right now, I promise you there's somebody else that's worse off than you are. I promise you that.

So it isn't just enough for us to take care of ourselves, but we have to take care of those who struggle and who struggle a lot.

And the last thing I have to say is that the social distancing, to me, is a misnomer. I think that's the wrong phrase. Social distancing is not accurate.

We're really talking about physical distancing, because we need to be connected socially. That's human nature.

Since the beginning of time, humans have shook hands, hugged one another, kissed one another on the cheek, embraced, held hands. So the fact that we are deprived of that to a large degree is contributing to our psychological disorders.

So I know at some point things are going to change, and we're going to get back to some kind of normalcy, although I think the new normal will be the new normal. Every month we'll have something different.

So be flexible and adaptable. Give to others who are less fortunate than we are with an open heart, and do what we can to help.

I mean, that's basically our role here.

My partner and I work in the corporate world now, and we're in the field of positive psychology, and we help companies, and we will be helping a lot more companies to transition with their employees coming back and basically re-onboard them to this new normal, because everything will be different from a safety standpoint.

You know, there's so many issues. Imagine that an employee had COVID-19, is gone for two or three weeks. Now they come back. How will the other employees treat them?

Like they have leprosy, or are they going to welcome them with compassion and say, you know, brother, sister, man, I'm so glad you're back. I'm sorry that you were sick. Or are they going to be staying away from me because, you know, like it happened 30 years ago with HIV and AIDS.

It's the same exact thing.

So we need to be mindful of how we treat other people.

And again, let's not make any choices out of fear.

Okay, danger is real. Remember that. But fear is not your friend.

So let's make choices from love and acceptance and compassion.

So those are my thoughts. I don't know if I've gone over time, but I think I'm done for now.


But thank you for allowing me this opportunity to share these thoughts with you.

Thank you, Dr. Alia.

So here, if anyone is having any query, any kind of questions, so they can just raise their hand, we have one reaction box there. So if you will just raise your hand or put any reaction, then I will unmute you and you can discuss directly with Dr.

Alia.

I think no, maybe people will discuss in panel discussion.

Dr. Sam, one second. We have so many people.

So here, I did unmute to you.

The numbers, the numbers are staggering. The latest number in the United States is that 20% of people have been diagnosed with clinical depression. It's the latest number.

Yes.

And that is clinical depression. You mentioned, of course, and you are absolutely a wonderful presentation, by the way. Thank you. Absolutely right, of course, to put emphasis on PTSD and possibly complex PTSD, because this is lasting. There's multiple events. These events accumulate.

So complex PTSD is a totally different clinical profile to PTSD.

And I just don't see where we have the infrastructure to cope with this, as far as responders, as far as therapists, as far as psychologists, as far as if every professor of psychology, such as myself, is decommissioned and sent to the field, you know, like in World War II, I still don't see the ratios are mind-boggling. I still don't see.

I think the irony is that the ratio of COVID-19 patients to medical practitioners, like doctors, is still somehow manageable. I'm a medical doctor. It's still somehow manageable.

But the ratio of people with mental health disorders to their two practitioners would be, I don't see.

Do you have any thoughts about what to do?

No, it's staggering.

And so this is where we have to be flexible and adaptable and think outside of the box, because again, what used to work before, like, hey, make an appointment, and I'll see you Wednesday at eight o'clock, no longer works.

A lot of this has to happen virtually right now. In a lot of ways, it has to happen in a form like we're doing right now. Maybe group therapy might be very helpful.

Or, you know, I just feel like we don't know what next month or the fall brings. I'm scared about the fall. We might have a second wave that may be even more powerful than the first wave.

Yes, I believe humanity is going to beat this thing in the end. And we're going to find the drugs to slow it down or at least not kill people. And eventually there will be a vaccine. I mean, you know, hopefully in early 2021.

I'm thrilled to see scientists around the globe working together collaboratively to beat this together.

So there's some good things that have happened, good things in court that have happened. People are spending more quality time together at home and maybe pivoting again and recognizing maybe, you know, being a part of the rat race wasn't so great after all.

Maybe the relationships that we have with one another and the connection that we have with one another is really what matters in life. And that's a big shift, honestly, societally, if you will.

But I don't know if I have an answer to, yeah, if every therapist, coach, whatever, were to even volunteer their times, it's still not going to be enough because we're talking about hundreds and hundreds of millions of people suffering, clinically suffering, not anecdotally, oh, I'm a little stressed out.

No, they are like, you know, depressed because they feel like their lives are so out of control because they don't know what happens next week.

Can we involve laymen, perhaps?

Yes. Can we involve laymen, circus of laymen? You know, can we maybe as professionals give up our prerogative or be less, perhaps, vinglorious and say, okay, let's get laymen involved.

I mean, they didn't study for years or seven years or so, but we have no choice.

But if people have compassion and love and understanding, that's not a doctor thing, that's a human thing. So you're totally right. We have to, we have to recruit basically anyone that's willing to help somebody else.

And people say, well, am I my brother's keeper? I'm like, no, you're not your brother's keeper. You're your sister's keeper and your parents keeper and your grandparents keeper and your children's keeper and the homeless keeper, you know, and somebody who lives halfway across the world who's struggling because they don't have food to eat.

The other horrific statistics, Dr. Sam, is this, that because of the economic stress, according to the United Nations, by the end of 2020, we will have almost half a billion people on the verge of starvation. Think about what I just said, that's 500 million people that may die because they don't have food to eat.

That overwhelmed me.

I can't even comprehend that statistic.

And this is because they're not working. So they, you know, they live paycheck to paycheck, day to day. And so if you go dark, don't work for a month or two, guess what happens to these people?

And it's profoundly sad. We're facing something unprecedented. And I'm a positive person. I'm a happy person by nature, you know, for the most part, but this is all the reality we're facing.

And we don't have all the answers. And the experts don't have all the answers.

So we just, all I know is that we need to work together. That's all I know.

Thank you.

Dr. Shane also want to interact with Dr. Allen.

There's two things, Dr. Lai, that you said. One was this concept of psychological flexibility and the ability to be able to go with the flow, which I'm going to talk a little bit about also.

That's a major variable in this.

But the other variable, and it answers Dr. Sam's question a little bit more also, is that one person is not able to give an answer to the question that was asked.

What needs to occur is an ability for people to understand that they're not alone, that everybody is dealing with this together.

So the idea or the concept of universalism is what is really important to press out there that other people are working through this.

Yes, people have had it worse than you. People have had it better than you. People are dealing with this.

So those two concepts, Dr. Lai, that you brought up, the concept of psychological flexibility and the concepts of universalism, I believe are going to lead to a person being able to handle this themselves.

That's all they have to worry about. They don't have to worry about the 500 billion people. They just have to worry about themselves. And if each person can do that to their ability level, things will get stronger for the group.

So I'll back out at that point. I just wanted to share.

Thank you.

Yeah, no, thank you for that. Thank you, Dr. Shon. And thank you so much, Dr. Lai. It was really a nice presentation and hope people will people will have a knowledgeable information from your speech and hope your book will get so many viewers and so many readers so that people will get to know how they can handle this crisis.

Thank you. Thank you so much for your time.

You're welcome.

We just want to make a difference. That's all. Just want to make a difference. It's an easy read in, you know, as many people can apply practical, you know, at the end of every chapter, for every chapter, for every key, we have points for people to consider and to think about and to meditate on a couple of questions. But then more importantly, it's to take action. This is how you take care of yourself. This is how you show flexibility. This is how you prepare and take initiative. This is how you have a positive attitude and show kindness.

So it's a very hands on. It's a guide, really. It's a practical guide.

That's good. Like this time, really, people need this kind of kindness.

So we will move to next. We have Dr. N. Karen Thomas with us. And she will start and I hope she will take 15 to 20 minutes for her speech.

So I will introduce you first. I will read your biography. And she is a licensed clinical psychologist and graduated with doctorate in clinical psychology in 2005. And she worked private practice setting until 2011. And now she is a founder of Epic Foundation. It's empowering people with invisible chronic illness. That is the epic meaning. It's really good. And the organization seeks to provide advocacy support and tools of empowerment to those living with the chronic illness and their loved ones.

So here she is. Dr. Karen, you can start your speech.

Thank you so much for having me. I have a presentation, a PowerPoint that I'm attempting to share right now. So it's working. It is working.

Yeah. Okay.

So my secret is out. I'm not technologically savvy, but okay. I'm Dr. Karen. Most people call me Dr. Karen. And today I'm going to present on resilience in the midst of this pandemic, COVID-19.

So how does the Webster dictionary define resilience? It defines it as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties.

But I'm going to sort of adjust it a little bit and say that I feel that it's the capacity to recover at all from difficulties.

The term quickly is relative. And as we've already talked about, this is something that is an ongoing crisis. And so it's important to acknowledge people's ability to recover at all.

And then secondly, the ability to thrive despite adversity.

I want to share something personal that I shared with others. It was on April 23rd, and I'll just read it very quickly.

I said, my stay at home order has been in place since 2011. 2006, rather, I ultimately ended up at death's door.

Abruptly, I lost everything. My career, my livelihood, walking, even wiping my own butt. I crawled back to my new normal. Trust me, staying alive is worth it.

And I wrote that during a time where a lot of people were complaining about the stay at home order and, you know, were really restless. And I had a viral response.

But I want to share just a couple of responses with you from others who then talked about their stay at home orders.

My stay at home order began February 2010. Stay safe, stay home, stay alive.

Another person said, my stay at home order began in 2013 with the kidney infection. Little did I know that my body was at war already with itself. Chronic illness warrior, you are seen, you are heard, and most importantly, you're not alone.


And lastly, people don't get that being chronically ill quarantines your whole life.

My stay at home order started April 14th, 2015, with my almost fatal adrenal crisis. Stay safe, stay sane.

Why am I sharing this with you?

Because I run an organization that supports people with chronic illness who essentially have been quarantined. They've had the stay at home experience.

And I want to share resilience with you within the context of drawing a parallel between what we're going through now and the chronic illness warrior experience.

I'm going to share a little bit about my story.

I was diagnosed after five years of being symptomatic with Cushing's disease, which is a form of Cushing syndrome. It's caused by excess cortisol in the body. It's diagnosed in about three of every million people, so it is considered rare.

And as I mentioned before, I was near death's door by the time I got diagnosed. I'm wearing my zebra here. Zebra in the medical community stands for rare.

And Cushing syndrome is an illness that's considered to be rarely seen.

As a result of my treatments, I ended up from one end of the spectrum, which is Cushing's disease, to the other end of the spectrum. It's a very long medical story, but I now live with adrenal insufficiency and am dependent on medical steroids. And it's literally impacted by stress because cortisol is your fight or flight hormone. It helps you compensate for physical and or emotional trauma or stress. And stress literally can kill.

So during my journey, I had brain surgery, and then after a recurrence, I had both of my adrenal glands removed, which resulted in the adrenal insufficiency.

An unexpected path, that's something that we can all relate to now.

Within a blink of an eye, my life changed. Started with gaining 30 pounds in 30 days, which is one of the symptoms of Cushing's unexplained rapid weight gain. I earned my doctorate in 2005, but I went from a doctoral degree, practicing in a thriving group practice, to being completely bedridden.

And in order to save my life, I traveled 3,000 miles to Seattle, Washington from my home in Chicago. And those were the experts that ultimately helped me manage and maintain my life.

So within this context, I know and have learned from both the professional lens and also personal lens, all the emotions and the psychological experience that come up with this, we cannot discuss the physical experience without acknowledging the psychological, the mental, emotional, and we're talking about loneliness, despair, helplessness, hopelessness, fear, anxiety, betrayal, anger, and even confusion.

I want to tell you about our mission statement and how we support others who have essentially been in the stay at home order, as I talked about before.

Our mission statement seeks to empower those living with chronic illness. We provide the emotional support, advocacy, and tools to empower chronically ill patients and caregivers to thrive.

And so I'm telling you about my background because I want you to understand my journey and what led me to feeling the importance of supporting this population of individuals.

So how do we remain resilient during COVID-19?

Why do I talk about chronic illness and chronic illness warriors?

Because I feel that now the whole world relates to the chronic illness experience, which is what I talked about before, being quarantined, staying at home, having to distance.

How do we maintain resilience as defined before? We empower you to thrive.

So what does that mean? To empower means to make someone more confident or stronger in claiming their rights, and to thrive means to flourish or to progress towards goals despite circumstances.

And so right now, I want to tell the world, and as practitioners, it's important for us to tell the people who are seeking help from us, that they can be empowered to continue to grow and to continue to beat this despite the adversity that's going on right now.

So it would take a long time to go over every single psychological issue that is being experienced right now in parallel to the chronic illness experience.

So there are a couple of issues that I wanted to highlight.

We've talked about the loss experience before my presentation. And for those of you who are not familiar, there are five stages of loss.

There are several theories, but I'm going with the Elizabeth Kubler-Ross definition of loss. And the five stages include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

Right now, we know that a lot of people are experiencing denial. They're avoiding facing the issue of the coronavirus. A lot of people, if you've noticed, will say, move on, get over it. Let's move on to something else. Let's talk about the economy. Let's talk about, you know, going back to getting our hair cut and restaurants and things like that.

So they're not necessarily showing empathy towards those who are experiencing a sense of loss. Some people are still saying that COVID-19 is a conspiracy and that it actually does not exist.

I know people personally who have lost loved ones, I myself have lost several people during this pandemic.

And part of the denial is the surreal experience of losing that person and not necessarily believing that they're truly gone. Isolation can happen once the denial can no longer be used.

So once that's exhausted, then you might feel the need to just isolate and disconnect from others.

Anger. Anger can result from a loss of, a feeling of loss of control. Life right now really seems unfair. And it might feel like no one understands, even though there's a lot of people who are sharing this experience, it may still feel like no one understands your personal experience.

Bargaining. Do something, get something. If I'm just good enough, maybe this won't affect me. Maybe if we prayed harder, the coronavirus wouldn't have affected the world.

You feel like you might be rewarded for good behavior.

And then finally, what did we do to deserve this? And what can we do to get past this?

Depression is something that is very prominent right now. And there is loss as it is experienced in various forms right now.

People have a fear of infection. There is a change in functioning for a lot of people, even for people who have not necessarily been inflicted with COVID-19. There are financial losses. Many people can work from home, but there are many people who cannot work from home and they've lost income. Their jobs are careers. I know many people who have been fired. Again, there is no option for them to work from home.

Physical distancing, not being able to touch people and have that human touch experience and not being able to be around others.

And finally, the role change is at home. How many people put out funny memes about remote learning?

All of a sudden people were having to teach their kids at home, whereas before they were sending their children to school, etc.

So that's an example of a role change. Having to be your child's educator now.


Perhaps the partnership roles have changed in order to adjust to what's going on during this pandemic.

And the fifth stage is acceptance. And some people would even say radical acceptance, which is accepting life as it is. It's not necessarily happiness.

So being in a state of acceptance is not being happy about the situation.

Obviously, this is not something that we are joyous or happy about. It just means accepting.

Just want to make a final point about the five stages of loss is that it's not a linear process. And so you don't go from one stage to the next necessarily. You can experience multiple stages at the same time. And you can vacillate between stages. So you may have hit a point of acceptance, but then go back to denial.

Trauma.

Just going to read really quick.

Trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, rape, or natural disaster. Immediately after the event, shock and denial are typical. Longer term reactions include unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, strained relationships, and even physical symptoms like headaches or nausea. While these feelings are normal, some people have difficulty moving on with their lives.

Psychologists, therapists, and healthy individuals find constructive ways of managing their emotions. That's a direct quote from the American Psychological Association.

My observations of chronic illness warriors in relation to trauma and the COVID-19 experience now is that people are experiencing extreme anxiety. They're experiencing feelings of helplessness, hypervigilance, being very cautious and mindful of everything, basically fear of the unknown, and physical symptoms.

So physical symptoms can include either actually being inflicted with the coronavirus or many people are experiencing a physiological response just from the mere stress of this pandemic.

So again, how would I tell the world to maintain resilience in the midst of COVID-19?

I have empowerment principles that I share with chronic illness warriors, and I'd like to share some of those with me today.

True power is internal. It comes from the stance that we can make conscious relevant choices in our lives despite our circumstances, rather than the idea that our circumstances have control over our lives.

So the psychology would call that internal locus of control.

That is very difficult to do, especially when you feel like life is unfair and there's not much that you can do about what's going on right now.

I think earlier we mentioned the numbers of deaths in the U.S., and I believe as of this morning, just in the U.S. alone, we have hit 88,000 deaths in the U.S., and so that can feel very out of control.

But empowerment comes from this idea that I have choices that I can make in order to feel a greater sense of empowerment.

Know your rights. You have the right to receive adequate treatment if you suspect that something is wrong.

I've noticed that there are a lot of articles that are going viral right now. They are devastating about people who are dying because of medical negligence, people who have gone to the ER, the hospital, have called their physicians, have not been tested for the coronavirus or have been turned away time and time again, and that has led to various deaths.

And so it's important as a tool of empowerment to know your rights and to believe that you have the right to be treated.

Stay connected to empowered and empowering people, so stay connected to like-minded people like we're doing right now. Make sure that you attend webinars, and anything that's going to help you feel like you're stronger in claiming your rights to thrive and to flourish.

Focus on what you want. Daily visualization is so important. I myself have a vision board that hangs on my wall, and there are times where I wasn't even able to get out of the bed, but I turned over and would visualize on my vision board every single day. That is extremely important.

I want to note the fact that having optimism does not mean denying your feelings. Empowerment means being able to be mindful of the process and one's feelings. The true opposite of depression is neither dating nor absence of pain, but vitality, the freedom of experience, and spontaneous feelings. It is part of the kaleidoscope of life.

So I want to reiterate that because some people feel that if they're optimistic or they have happy or joyous experiences during this pandemic that they're not acknowledging their loss experience or they're not acknowledging the fact that we as a world are suffering through this experience, but I want to reiterate that being optimistic is not contrary to that, that you can maintain optimism.

Mindfulness is being present in the moment. So again, if you're sad, mindfulness allows you to connect to that feeling. Alternatively, if you're angry or joyous, happy, it's okay to feel those feelings as well.

Continue to be mindful. Again, you can be mindful and positive at the same time.

So if you're having a really bad day and you want to connect to being sad, it's okay to be sad. It's okay to have some of the negative feelings. That is not contrary to having an overall positive outlook on life.

As we talked about having the humanity experience in life. We talked about the vision board. I strongly encourage that.

And for my vision board, I just simply took a cardboard, took a bunch of magazines, cut out images and words, anything from healthy to thriving. At one point I couldn't walk, so walking. And this is again, something that people in the chronic illness community experience in terms of not being able to do something necessarily, but having the option of visualizing every day.

Narrative therapy I feel is a very effective form of therapy, but I'm pointing this out because I believe there's power in your voice and there's power in your story. And telling our stories is what makes a human experience very meaningful. And you'll notice on a lot of these news channels, people come on and they tell the stories of the loved ones that they've lost and continue the legacy of those people. Also, survivors of the coronavirus are telling their stories as well. And I strongly encourage that. Tell anyone who will listen because it's part of being empowered.

I say you have the right to tell your story as many times as you need to and to be listened to. And the reason I say that is because you will sometimes have people who will say, you know what, we're tired of hearing this story over and over and over again. We really don't want to hear it. And it's okay to move on from those people, but it is important to know that there is power in your voice and you have the right to be heard and you deserve to be heard.


So finally, I want to talk about what concrete things we can do during this pandemic in order to remain resilient.

Oprah Rene says, I know for sure the best way to care for others is the first care for yourself. This is extremely important because especially as the mental health practitioners here on this Zoom, we spend so much time taking care of others. And that's really important to us. It's part of our core value system.

But we cannot take care of others unless we first take care of ourselves.

So I believe that the first part of your day, whether it's 30 minutes to an hour and the last part of your day should always be devoted to doing something for you, for yourself.

So maybe that's waking up and writing in your gratitude journal during the first part of your day, meditating. And then during the last part of your day, maybe your guilty pleasure is a Netflix show. Make sure that you engage in something that tells your mind that you are important in this.

You tell the brain that you're the most important part of your life. Again, you can't help someone else with their oxygen mask unless you put yours on first.

As it relates to the COVID-19, in terms of gaining relevant information, you'll have people who ask you a lot of questions. I know for us, the Epic Foundation has, we're inundated with emails and phone calls from people who just want to know how to get through this. And also want to know certain facts about COVID-19. And it can feel overwhelming at times.

But it's important that you're able to keep yourself abreast of relevant information so that you can share that as well.

Again, I talked about mindfulness being present in every moment.

Another key piece is without judgment. That's one of the hardest parts because you may judge yourself for your experience during this pandemic. You might say, oh, I just need to buckle up and stop whining. I've heard people say that.

Or, you know, I'm so angry. Why am I so angry? I must be a bad person.

But the nonjudgmental stance involves being able to have those experiences and accept them as they are. Dissociating does not work. I know that there's a term in psychology dissociation in terms of trauma and people describe it sort of as an out of body experience. And many people are noticing or dissociating or disconnecting as a way to try to cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

And in the long term, it doesn't work. It seems counterintuitive to connect to the pain.

But we know that acknowledging one's own pain actually helps it to have less power in your life. And so stay connected to your feelings, to your emotions, to your physical self during this time.

And if you need to seek professional help or seek support in order to continue being connected, then do that as well.

We talked about reframing the term social distancing, because it has this implication that we're not being social to physical distancing. And I like that reframe, because that's essentially what we're doing in order to stay safe is we're distancing physically.

So I want to make the distinction between now physical distancing and isolation, because those are two different things.

So yes, we do need to physical distance. And again, within the context of having lived with chronic illness and to all my chronic illness warriors out there, we have physically distanced a lot of the time.

But isolation involves cutting yourself off from others socially. And I encourage you not to isolate. You want to stay connected.

So again, staying connected through Zoom meetings and webinars like this, having, you know, Google Hangouts and there's so many other FaceTime, so many other platforms where you can connect with your loved ones and family.

And now therapists who are not seeing clients in the office are doing virtual therapy. Daily breathing is important. Just be mindful of one's own breath and just yesterday was my 42nd birthday. And I woke up and took a deep breath and just having that sensation of breathing and then doing the 10 counts in and out and just acknowledging that I'm still here and we're breathing. Connect to self physically and emotionally.

So body scanning, you can look that up, just really just taking an inventory of the sensation in your body and every part of your body in order to stay connected and to avoid that disconnection of the dissociation.

And I want you to be your greatest self advocate throughout all this. Whatever helps you to feel resilient, you want to advocate in that.

Please take note of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. We know that front-liners are committing suicide, unfortunately. And there are people who have been diagnosed with the coronavirus and as a response, they've committed suicide. People are very depressed right now.

And so you have access to such a great resource and I would like you to take note of that.


And finally, and the great words of when in church Hill, never, never, never give up. And that's my final statement to you guys.

Thank you for listening.

Thank you so much, Dr. Karen. Your speech was nice. Thank you so much for your time and you share your experience with us. I really hope this will be an inspiration for others.

Thank you. Thank you so much.

So we have another speaker. We will move to next.

Dr. Shane surface.

Here, here, Dr. Dr. Sean.

Yes. There it is.

Sean. Yes. Dr.

Sean.

Dr. Sean is a school psychologist, licensed education psychologist and board certifiers, behavior analyst, formally with the Los Angeles County Office of Education, Division of Special Education and in private consultation scenes.

Nineteen ninety five.

Dr. Sir currently is a private practice and work with the school and agencies across the street assisting individuals with developmental delays and autism.

Dr. surface also work closely with the local school district for both direct service and to assist in developing education program to fit the child's need.

So we will quickly move to Dr. surface speech and please Dr. surface.

We should start your speech and please make sure you will finish 15 minutes.

Well, I will do my best.

Everybody has stepped up so nicely. And Dr. Karen, your speech, your talk was so prevalent for this time period. We didn't get a chance to talk with you as we did with Dr. Eli afterwards.

But I did find that what you spoke about was so prudent to what we're dealing with right now because you have seen this as the normal life. This has been what you have dealt with for years. Fifteen years plus and probably much more before that as it was building up.

So this I said to life is not I said to it is life. It is what you have accepted as your being. And that's where we get into mindfulness.

Now I work with a lot of families that work with children with severe disabilities. That's stressful.

What I have found is that over time, as with any parent, we start to understand their children more and moreand we accept them for who they are. But we are always trying to make their life the best it can be. And we're always trying to make them as productive as can be.

So now we're home. We're isolated. We're supposed to be great parents. We're supposed to be great teachers, counselors, physical therapists, doctors, nurses, OTs.

It's an occupational therapist, physical therapist. There's so many roles that we're now playing and you're supposed to stay happy about it all. You're supposed to stay in a good mood and accept what's going on around you.

Well, that's really tough. I had a really funny experience because I'm Mr. Calm and positive. People come to me because they usually want to see my point of view from the other side of the forest as Dr. Karen had pointed out in her presentation.

Well, okay. So it's Wednesday night and Thursday is our trash day. And I look out the window and I see a lovely woman walk by with two dogs and two little orange bags in her hand. And she walks by the recycling bin and drops the orange bags into the recycling bin.

And I think to myself, did she just drop poop into my recycling bin?

Now we're trying to have control over things and make things the way they're supposed to be. And I said, you know what, I'm just going to go check this out. And if that's the case, I'm just going to put it in the black trash can where it goes and I'm not going to bother myself.

Well, I got out there and the stench and the visual of the orange bag. Well, I changed my mind. And instead of being calm and nice and kind, I yelled down the street at this person that they had just dropped this poop into our recycling bin, ruined all the recycling and didn't seem to care at all.

Now you wonder, why did I decide to do that? You know why?

Because I'm a human being. And we have to understand that sometimes we're just going to be stressed out. And it's not our responsibility to make everybody else happy around us all the time. That it's only our responsibility to try and work with our own life and see what we can do.

Now, Dr. Karen talked about present moment. One of the things that I try and teach now, because for years, it was all about behavioral interventions, educational intervention. But one of the things that I really figured out over the years that I've been doing this around 30 years is at 42 sounds really, really good.

Dr. Karen, I just turned 51. So 42 sounds good.

Okay. What I've learned over these years is that it doesn't matter what plan you have in place. It doesn't matter what special education contract is in place at the school, the district. It matters how you approach it and how you decide you're going to dive into it.

Because if you decide you're going to dive into it with all this history of failure, you're really not going to do really well. And if you dive into it with all this future concern and anxiousness around what's going to happen, am I going to do the right thing? Am I not going to do the right thing?

You know, each moment's gone like that. And we so abandon the present day by giving into all of our stresses, by giving into what's going on in the past, which are where all of our depressions lie, where all of our sadness lies, or spending all of our energy towards the future. What's going to happen? When's it going to happen? How's it going to happen? Rather than actually looking at this exact moment.

Now we're in different time periods, but at 908 a.m. in the Pacific Standard Time, Dr. Sean Surface is presenting some information, and everything is cool. Everything is fine. Right this moment, everything is okay. Let's not abandon it.

Most of you, if you were able to come on to this webinar today, you're pretty much doing pretty good. You know, you're struggling, you're having your issues good. I get it.

But for the most part, you're here, and you're present. Are you stressing because you believe you're going to do something wrong? Probably, because you've got it in your head that you're going to make a mistake, and that's going to be the end of all the whole universe. That's going to be the end of your existence, and everybody's going to disapprove of you.

Well, who are you trying to gain that approval from?

You're spending all this time in two time periods, which by the way don't exist. You know, can't we be bold enough to just try something and just totally suck at it? We could just be really bad at it.

Okay, so what? We tried. We were bold enough to try it.

But if we suck at it, we suck at it.

You know, nobody's going to come down with a lightning bolt. Nobody's going to say you're a lousy parent or a lousy person because you couldn't accomplish all these things.

I've got a 13-year-old. Not only has she got all of her school things, she's got all of her 13-year-old things. You know, she's got all of this stuff going on inside of her.

Okay, fine. I'm going to work with the talk and be loving and do what I can, and sometimes I'm going to tell her, get the hell away from me.

You are acting like a crazy person. You know, that's just what you do. Don't try and be some saint. Don't be a martyr because that's what comes from being a saint. You're going to mess up.

Okay, but if your approval is to yourself, you won't really mind so much. If you're seeking it from the outside all the time, that's the opposite of what Dr. Karim was talking about with internal locus.

This is now what we call external locus. You're going to spend all your time with external locus. You're going to miss out on the big life around you.

Dr. Aliyah talked about flexibility, and everybody just talked about things just to work right into my presentation, so thank you very much.

Highly appreciate it.

Psychological flexibility is our ability to cope with stuff that comes up, but cope with it in a new way. Cope with it in a different way because just like, you know, the palm tree that has to bend with the wind, we have to be able to look at all the different variables that are going on and adjust a bit, but it's hard because sometimes it's known as going with the flow, and that sounds great until that damn anxiety comes in and messes it all up.

You know, we're fine with our little plans and our ideas, and then all of a sudden this thing called anxiety comes in and wipes us all out.

Well, it only wipes us out because we aren't focusing on our own psychological flexibility. We're focusing on the thoughts of others.

Now this work that I'm going to quickly show you is the work of Steve Hayes out of University of Nevada Reno. It's called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Training, or ACT, and it's not pronounced ACT, it's pronounced ACT, and with an ACT, you are attempting to accept your world around you based on your value system.

So let me kind of show you.

So when we are psychologically inflexible, when we have difficulty with the problem solving, we're pretty much stuck right here. We're stuck in this cognitive fusion that our brains believe a certain thing, that they believe a certain thing about us, a certain thing's going to happen, and what we tend to do is attach whatever those feelings are to ourselves.

We start to conceptualize who we are based on this thought that got solidified in some way.

Now how did it get solidified?

Well, more than likely we're spending a lot of our time in the past thinking about what did happen and worrying that if we do it again, we're going to have a bad result and so we're future thinking.

Well, believe it or not, these two time periods don't exist. Only thing that actually exists that you can work with is present moment.

So what happens when you try and work with the future or the past is you get totally stressed out and you start to avoid everything. You get into experiential avoidance. You don't want to deal with stuff. You don't want to look at it because you're so solidified in your head that you're going to do a lousy job and be a bad person.

More than likely, this doesn't really have much value to you in your life, whatever it is.

You don't see big reasons to try and problem solve it or try and get into it or try and experience it.

So you don't come up with any workable action around it. You don't come up with anything that you're actually going to do to dive into, well, why do I want to problem solve this? I'll just avoid it, but you're not going to care about it.

Well, when we look at psychological flexibility, we actually look at, okay, first of all, I can look cognitive diffusion. I can look at things different ways. I don't always have to look at this with a failure in mind. I don't always have to look at this with a success in mind. I'm going to look at this as an experience and accept this experience for what is going on in the current moment so that I can look at it myself and say, what can I add to this or what can I gain from this myself?

Because for instance, if this is about, my goal for my kids that I work with is not to get their behaviors up or down, not to stop them from hurting themselves or others.

The big value is social validity. I want them to have a good life. So if I want them to have a good life, I can set up actions, little small things that can do that for them. We can set up supports in the house. We can set up families to have the right training that they need so that they can love their kids and not always feel like they're in therapy with their kids. We can also realize that, hey, as a family, we're all in this together. This kid may have autism or he may have emotional disturbance or he may have another issue that's going on, but we as a family are not going to make him the identified patient. We are going to look at all of us as a family unit and see what value do we have as a family to make everybody successful and what can we do for that?

Okay, now that's a very quick version of Steve Hayes's work. Maybe we'll do another webinar sometime or check it out. Google. Start doing some reading around it, but what it comes down to is what resources do you have in your life to do these things?

For many years, I worked with a mentor, a therapist. I used to call him my Episcopalian papa. He was a Episcopalian priest for 75 years. His name was Clark Oler.

One of the things that he talked about, he actually started Meals on Wheels, the original program in New York. I mean, big, big guy. Actually, a little guy with big, big things in his mind.

He said, you can't do anything in this world, Sean, unless you have the right resources around you to do it. If you go out and you attempt to do something and you don't have the strength, you're just tired.

One of the things about this current COVID situation is that we're always on. Dr. Carey talked about hypervigilance. We're always on. We can't turn it off. We even wake up in the middle of the night thinking about this.

Then we look at people now and we go, you're standing too close together. Why are you guys standing so close together? We're making judgments about people and thinking that they're doing harm to themselves and doing harm to us and worrying about that.

Well, that constant worry, that constant hypervigilance, it turns out a part of the brain. That part of the brain is called the nucleus terminalis.

What it does is it keeps us on high alert. It works with that fight or flight parasympathetic nervous system, but it keeps us on all the time so that you're always ready to run from the tiger.

Well, my book's going to be, stop running. The tiger's gone because we're so worked up inside and can never bring it down to a level that we can never rest.

To have that inability to build strength will probably lead to a lack of resiliency on your part.

Karen defined it very well. It's that ability to get through stuff and have the strength still to do it.

Well, you may not be able to. You may not have the resilience in you right now. So build it up for yourself before you start, as Karen again said, putting the oxygen mask on somebody else.

That perseverance, that ability to keep going, keep going.

Hey, choose some things for yourself. Know that you can't do everything. And if you're the only parent around or you're the only adult around, you can't do this. You've depended on teachers, therapists, medical people, all sorts of people, your whole life now it's all on you.

So be reasonable with yourself. If there's not another adult around, take a time out. Go into the bathroom, close the door and sit down on that toilet and it's called a restroom. So let's rest in there for once.

You know, that's not, let's just try and find a spot in your house that you can be calmer. And do you have the things available to you to even do all these things you're being asked to do? Do you have the right materials in place? Do you have the equipment? Do you have the education to know what the heck to do when your kid's asking you about how to do this or that or when you're trying to get your kid to talk or to move from one side of the room to the other? Do you have the right resources?

And if you don't, you can't do the work. You have to go easy on yourself.

The way that we have done this is by introducing some topics to parents and all of these topics are available. If you just email me, purposeful teaching, ways of working with your kids so that they feel good about the work and you do too, visual supports, things that keep us consistent and also use when language is low. And by the way, language is low when we're anxious. So sometimes we just need to visually see it and reinforcement strategies.

How do we reinforce the right things? How do we work through things that might be aversive or punishing to us?

And again, I believe that Karen brought this up, the punishing towards us. Nobody's punishing you. Nobody is set out to hurt you. The bigger forces out there are not punishing you. These are things that are occurring in our life and we all are working with.

That concept of universalism will save the day for you when you know that you're not alone in this work. You're not alone in what you're trying to do and do what you can because it is impossible to run a car without gasoline. It's impossible to run a home without energy, without resiliency.

So give yourself the opportunity to be the student in this and learn from what's going on around you rather than I've got to be the master and totally understand and know what, know the answers to all.

So that's, you know, I think I did it in 15 minutes. I don't know if I did or not, but yes, I have done anything in my whole life and I've been giving talks for 25 years and that was probably five talks in one. Yes. That's great. Well, you did it in 21 minutes. I'm keeping count, but that's okay.


Well, and let me say something to you, Dr. Sam Vaknin. I love, I don't know if you were serious or if you're joking.

First of all, I love your sense of humor.

Number two, if you're serious about the title of the book, stop running. The tiger's not anymore. That's a great title. I've been working on it for a while. Seriously, I think you got a great title and it's true.

We're so hypervigilant. It's almost like running a car at 6,000 RPM all the time. The engine's going to bust.

So we have to take, you know, that psychological flexibility that you and I talked about and the resiliency, we have to like pull back a little bit and do some mindfulness and do some quiet time and recharge our batteries.

That wave is coming. The wave of PTSD is coming. It is coming. It's here. People already exist within it.

So the first thing is know it, know that other people are experiencing that.

And secondly, be easier on yourself.

Yes. You know, it's a very simple thing that's really hard to do.

What is, excuse me, sorry.

One of the things I talk about in our business is that I talk about my staff as being Bodhisattva. They are warrior helpers. They go in every day knowing that their job's going to be really hard and really tough, but they keep going back and they are helpers. They aren't fixers. They're not change agents. They're helpers, but they're warrior helpers and you have to be a warrior helper towards yourself.

So with that.

Yeah, very nice. Thank you for your presentation. Great, great information.

Thank you.

You bet.

Thank you so much for your time and presentation, sir. It was, I think it was really helpful for people and especially for the children.

So we will move to Dr. Sam Vaknin.

Dr. Sam Vaknin is the author of Malignant Self-Love and he is a visiting professor of psychology in Southern Federal University, Russia, and he is a professor of finance and psychology in center for international advanced and professional studies. And he is an editorial board member of many journals and he is really a good YouTuber. I found his videos are really useful.

This is personally, I'm saying I saw your videos, your lectures. It's really useful for the people and for the people who are suffering from addiction disorders and other mental disorders.

So we will not waste time and we will listen to Dr Vaknin lecture. Here you can start, sir.

I think I muted. I muted.

Okay.

So my name is Sam, Sam Vaknin. And there is extremely little I can add to practitioners with your range of experience and exposure. Nor do I wish to actually.

I would like instead to be a bit of an enfant terrible and a clastic and to suggest a different point of view, perhaps.


First of all, let's start with the basic fact that we have been doing psychotherapy for 150 years and we have been failing for 150 years.

Psychotherapy is an abysmal failure, the discipline. It's easy to prove. The prevalence and the incidence of mental health disorders in the population at large has been growing exponentially over the past few decades.

And so a discipline that is intended to heal and fails to heal, which is its main goal, supposedly, this discipline is a failure.

If we were to have a cancer therapy aimed at a group of cancers and the result would have been an explosion in the prevalence and incidence of these cancers, we would never say that this discipline, sub-discipline, is a success.

We must be humble and we are not as practitioners, as therapists, as psychologists, as psychiatrists, as miserable professors of psychology, such as myself.

What we lack in dollops is humility. We are not humble. We refuse to accept that we had failed. We had failed our patients and clients, of course, on a mass scale.

I'm not talking about individual cases. And we have failed for two reasons.

First of all, we keep pretending that psychology is an exact science when it is neither exact nor a science.

And the second reason is that we have established guilds, professional guilds and monopolies and cartels of practitioners. And we exclude, forcibly by force of law, on pain of punishment, on pain of imprisonment.

We exclude huge groups of people who can be as helpful as we are and very often more helpful than we are.

Now, this pandemic, psychology, I don't know who will survive this pandemic, but psychology will not.

Psychology, the way it had been practiced until today, will not survive this pandemic simply because two billion people, rough estimate, are going to have mental health problems. These are two billion new patients, not the existing ones. They are on top of the existing ones.

It is estimated that anywhere between 40 and 50 percent of the global population will suffer mental health disorders that require intervention.

We are not equipped numerically. We are not equipped in any other way, logistically, strategically, as a profession to cope with this tsunami.

We are not.

We will have to open up our ranks. We will have to introduce other groups of responders, practitioners and helpers. We will have to incorporate family members, neighbors, good friends, the neighborhood clown. I don't know who. We are going to have to include the government. We are going to have to cooperate rather than monopolize, as we had been doing until now.

And this is part of a bigger picture.

This pandemic teaches us that we need to rethink and probably discard the organizing principle of society, at least Western society.

And the organizing principles were narcissism, grandiose narcissism, and malignant individualism. These were the organizing principles that had prevailed over the last 200 years.

And look at the mess we are in, directly attributable to these two principles, grandiosity, malignant individualism, the rule of the jungle.

And so we will need to rethink these things and probably discard them.

There is, of course, place for individual therapy. There is place for resilience, principles of resilience. There is place for mindfulness and many, many other wonderful things.

But I think we need a society-wide solution. I don't think individual therapy will be of great use, honestly. No offense to anyone on this screen. I don't believe you can do a lot of good, simply because you are individuals, you are one.

So you can have 10 people, 20 people. We need each one of you to help a million people. It cannot be done unless we change society itself, the way it's structured, the organizing principle, the hermeneutic and exegetic and explanatory principle, the principle that imbues society and social interactions with meaning.

We need to change the meaning, not the techniques, not the way to cope.

The problem is a problem of lack of meaning. The virus reifies this lack of meaning, of course, because it slaps us in the face and tells us you are meaningless. It kills us randomly and meaninglessly.

In this sense, it's only a reification.


So I think there are two solutions that we would need to implement on top of the foundation of therapy.

We need to find agendas, new agendas, new projects, global projects, global agendas to give meaning to life. People need to belong to these movements.

And of course, at the beginning, as long as physical distancing takes place, these movements have to be virtual or digital. But it's been done before. Arab Spring was organized through Twitter. We have social media, we are geared, we have the infrastructure. Look what's happening with environmentalism where teenagers took over the movement.

So we need new projects, new agendas, new secular religions, new ideologies in the good sense of the word. We need to mobilize people. We need to make them belong. We need to give them meaning again. No amount of mindfulness will do this.

And their resilience critically depends on their collaboration with other people.

And the second thing we would need to do, we would need to go back to the African village. It takes a village to raise a child. We all know this.

And yet we had forgotten this. We had abandoned the village. We had abandoned our village. We are atomized. We are alienated. We are isolated.

Long before the virus had struck.

This virus is nothing if not the accentuation, the reification of trends that started decades ago. This virus just put a mirror to our face. It has done nothing. It has killed 300,000 people. And that is horrible. But in itself, it's not the kind of medical threat, for example, that other diseases are. It's not the medical issue. It's the psychological issue.

This virus has shown us who we are.


And now there's a concept in my field. I teach personality disorders. It's called narcissistic mortification. Narcissistic mortification is a big narcissistic injury. Narcissistic injury or narcissistic wound is when your grandiosity is challenged. Narcissistic mortification is when your self-perception is challenged, when your self-identity is challenged, the way you perceive yourself.

And then you have mortification. We have been mortified by this virus. Our very core identity, values, organizations, institutions, everything has been challenged by this virus.

And I regret to say, we didn't come out with flying colors.

The crisis hasn't started yet. And we have all disintegrated and fell to pieces.

As individuals, as institutions, as nation states, you name it. We did not excel.

Yet it is, of course, not too late.


I would like to end by mentioning what this virus had done to us.

This virus, as I said, was a mass of collective narcissistic injury or mortification. As a species, the virus showed us that nature matters, that we are an integral part of nature.

There was a philosopher by the name of Descartes, and he created the Cartesian view of the world. He broke the world apart, observed and observed we and nature.

That is, of course, a fallacious dichotomy.

We are small.

We are interdependent.

I'm sorry, there's a problem with the...

Can you hear me now? Yes, I can hear you now. Can you hear me? Yes. Okay.

Now, had I been conspiracyminded, I would have thought someone silenced me on purpose. But I'm not. I'm not.

No, I'm kidding. I'm not. Two more minutes. You can take your time.

Yeah, you can take your time.

So as a species, we were reminded to be a part of nature. We were humbled. We were humbled by the virus.

What is a virus? It's not even an organism. It's a package. It's a protein envelope, lipids, enveloping an RNA's figment. It's a nothing thing. Nature sent us an agent to humiliate and humble us.

And so we have learned how interdependent we are, how small, how insignificant. And we, perhaps this will teach us to modify and moderate our defiance, our contumaciousness towards nature.

And then the virus challenged our omnipotence, our sense of omnipotence.

So we discovered that there are limits to our growth, to our growth economically. There are limits to our medicine.

We had this notion of medicine as all powerful. We're not omniscient.

There was a failure of our grandiosity on this level too.

We are vulnerable. We're all fallible. We can all die at the moment's notice. We are fragile.

Our social institutions are not good work. They're not a firewall against anything.

So we are very anxious. We're very anxious.

One of the main reasons I think we're very anxious is not because we have lost jobs only. Some of these jobs, many of these jobs will come back. Everyone knows that.

It's not because we have been socially isolated for two months. 11% of the population of the United States are single, and they are isolated for years.

I don't think that's the core reason for the anxiety. I think the core reason for the anxiety is the challenge to our grandiosity, which had grown beyond measure in an increasingly narcissistic society, narcissistic civilization.

I refer you to the studies of Twenge and Campbell. College graduates are five times more grandiose than existing than 10 years ago. We have grown. We have developed, to use a Greek word, if I remember correctly, hubris. We have developed hubris.

And the powers, ironically, it'd be the best thing that has happened to us. It's a reset button. The price is high.

But the price in human affairs is always high. It is not true that the ideogram for crisis is the same ideogram for opportunity in Chinese. That's a myth. It's not true.

But it's a pity, because it should have been. Every crisis is an opportunity. The bigger the crisis, the bigger the opportunity, the more total the crisis, the more total the opportunity.

We have a total opportunity to reboot. If we miss this opportunity, we should grieve. We should grieve much more than we should grieve for the victims of a pandemic.

Their death endows us with a legacy and an obligation to reform and to change or all this sacrifice would have been meaningless and in vain.

That's it. Thank you.

Thank you so much for Dr. Sam.


So now we will move to panel discussion. And before that, I would like to thank you to all our speakers. Your presentation was really uninformative. And I really hope people will learn something and enjoy it. I really appreciate your presentations and your time.

So we will move to panel discussion. And we have people here, if anyone is having any questions.

Yes, Dr. Elia, I will unmute you. Here you are.

I just want to say, Dr. Sam, thank you for your passion. Thank you for challenging all of us to have a paradigm shift, basically, about the way that we view the world in our contributions to this virus and how we respond to it. I've never heard what you said before, but it stretched my mind. And that's always a good thing. When we get older, gray hair, it doesn't happen very often.

So your challenge, I take it to heart and I appreciate it. And we will have to have totally out-of-the-box solutions. Just like you said, your speech really resonated with my heart.

I'm going to think long in heart about it the rest of the day. And the days to come.

And anyway, I hope that you and I can collaborate with neighbors. North Macedonia and Greece were close.

Once it's over, we can even meet. Believe it or not. Not shake hands. Not shake hands, but meet. Six feet apart.

Shivani, is this being taped? The whole webinar, are you taping it?

Yes. Great. That's very good. If you need, we can send you. If you want to listen again.

Yes, I'd be delighted. I would like to upload it to my YouTube channel if there's no objection to the other participants.

Yes, I will send you. I have 30 million views, so you will all benefit.

Yes, I know. Even I'm following your YouTube channel.

Yeah, well, my condolences. My apologies.

For people that are interested, if they can all go to the chat room and if they want to connect with us, you know, they can connect through our LinkedIn profiles. So anybody that's listening, if you click on the chat at the very bottom, you'll open up the screen on the right side of your screen.

And then you can, so I would hope Dr. Kehr and Dr. Sam, Dr. Prashant, just put your LinkedIn if you want to. I did that, but if you want people to connect with us that way, that's an easy way for them. And just let us know that you're part of this conference so we know, you know, kind of where you're coming from. That would help.

I see that there are seven messages in the chapter. Eight, direction eight.

Yes, yes.

Actually, we have Dr. Singh, Dr. Sean, sorry. He would like to say something.

Oh, I was just saying that one concept that you brought up, Dr. Sam, was the idea that this is lessons to be learned from this. And if we miss out on the lesson, that is going to be the worst part of this much more than just the pandemic sicknesses that we are experiencing life in a new way. It is our new normal.

And as we learn how to navigate ourselves through it, we share that information with other people. And eventually, your big picture may happen. Eventually, the concept of lesser levels of narcissism and more value towards working and collaborating may occur just from the understanding of looking around at what life brought us from this experience.

So I agree. I hope so.

Yes.

I don't agree that therapy has been without benefit. I think that when we look at the research, we can see, unfortunately, a negative effect size on certain types of counseling.

But it's usually when it's isolative counseling, like a kid who goes into counseling and he's actually dealing with stuff at home and the parents aren't in the counseling. Or you have a spouse that goes to counseling where they're not working together on something, which leads also to a narcissistic kind of way of approaching the counseling situation and leads to that unfortunate concept that I brought up earlier of the identified patient.

But this kid, the person is the problem versus maybe we're looking at a global situation within the household, within the school setting, within some type of group environment.

My comment, just to clarify, my comment was epidemiological. So it was an epidemiological comment. When you have a discipline in medicine, any discipline, ostensibly psychotherapy is somehow remote cousin of medicine.

But when you have a discipline in medicine where the prevalence and incidence is increasing exponentially, the discipline is doing something wrong. It's exactly the situation we're having with COVID-19 right now. It's been six months already and we've been doing some things probably not right. We'll derive lessons later.

So when you have in the medical field cancer and you have a cancer of the thyroid, you take a radiation and you take certain chemicals to fix that thyroidic cancer.

Now with psychological issues, why you got depressed and why I got depressed and why Karen got depressed and why I got depressed are all four different reasons.

Exactly what I said. It's not a science. It can never be a science.

I agree with you. There's no clinical entity like in medicine.

The concept of clinical entity in psychology is dubious.

I don't want to do this because I'd love to do it.

I think it's important because people are seeking out counseling.

And one of the things that you bring up is like, if you seek it out, but what are you going to do? What are you going to do for yourself and the bigger society out there?

Because I can't fix anybody. I can guide them. I can show them ways that they might look at something differently. I can help them with problem solving, but ultimately as a therapist, as a counselor, I'm not there to change them. I'm there to learn how to change themselves.

When they are changing themselves, then you see the bigger picture.

But right now you do have a whole generation that's grown up with this understanding of somebody's going to support me. Somebody's going to give me something to help me through this. Somebody's going to modify it for me. Somebody's going to accommodate it for me.

I think Dr.

Karen had her hand up. We need to hear from her as well.

Dr. Karen, go ahead. Yes. Thank you so much.

I appreciate that. Thank you, Dr. Sam, for your presentation.

You mentioned earlier.

Thank you. Thank you so much. It feels good to be here. It feels very good to be here.

But you mentioned earlier that a lot of people are seeking individual therapy. Yet you mentioned that in the midst of this time, it's not enough.

The statement was made that each one of us must reach a million people. I'm of that same mindset.

Can you speak to how do we do that? How do we reach a million people?

As a practitioner, we are doing the virtual therapy thing. We're doing as much as we can to help as many people as we can. You have 30 million followers. That's a platform that's very effective.

But overall, how would you say that in addition to providing therapeutic services to people, how do we reach that million people, each one of us?

I will defer to my colleagues here who are actually therapists. Although I do provide counseling, that's not my main thing. My main thing is teaching.

But before I get off the stage, so to speak, there was a message that rather than think how to amplify individual therapy via digital means, rather than think that way, I suggested a totally different agenda.

An agenda of belonging, of community, of the African village, of global projects, of global ideologies, of new secular religions, of global movements.

But I think we can't reach this million people.

But if we give their life a meaning, we have reached them, however indirectly. If we give them a direction, if we give them a purpose, that's logotherapy in a way. Let's call it mass logotherapy, Viktor Frankl.

If we do this, and if we re-establish community as the organizing therapeutic principle, because right now, Dr. Sean aside, because Dr. Sean is a good therapist, a therapist who knows his limitations, a therapist who is an integral part of an organic fabric, a fabric which includes friends, family, community, job, workplace. So he knows his place.

But I regret to say that the majority of therapists are grandiose, and they do not know their place. They are godlike. They act as though they are godlike. And they foster and engender, learn helplessness in the patient. So patients end up going from one therapist to the next, as they would have gone in earlier days, to spellcasters or fortune tellers.

So I think therapy has to be paradigm shifted from the individual therapist as an omniscient, omnipotent figure, which is Freud, by extension, to community, communal therapy, where therapy is just one pretty minimal tool, pretty minimal tool.

Dr. Sam and Dr. Karen too. I was in private practice for 18 years before I exited and changed the course of my career, and I don't practice anymore.

But even at the time, I had a full practice and it was never marketed. It was all word of mouth. It was built organically. When people would come in, I would say the goal of therapy is for you not to be in my office, to go out and live a happy life. And I'm going to give you the tools and hold you accountable, and you go out and do it.

Now, under these circumstances, I think the million people that Dr. Sam talked about can happen in a variety of ways. Certainly, through social media, through the followers that you have and your sphere of influence. Some people's sphere of influence is 300 people, and others is 300,000 people. YouTube, through LinkedIn, obviously, LinkedIn has become now the go-to place in order to do business, honestly, because of the way we are. Any social media platforms, where you get the message out, whether it's Instagram or Twitter or Facebook Live or whatever videos you do, to continue to spread the message of love, hope, and optimism in the midst of this adversity, and to get off our high horse, like Dr. Sam said, we're just people. And yes, Dr. Sean is the one practicing, and you seem to know, I love what Dr. Sam said about you, that there are certain limitations, and it's okay to suck at things from time to time, and to have some form of humility. Just because we have a doctor in front of our name, we're not God. It's just a degree that we got.

But to have compassion, love, and kindness, and to treat one another that way, because we're all interconnected with nature and with one another, regardless of what country we live in, regardless of our socioeconomic status, regardless of our religious affiliation, regardless of our ethnicity and nationality, we are all connected.

And this pandemic has really proven that it came here to humble us and to teach us some very, very important lessons.

So I think that we have an opportunity, and I hope we take it to shift, a major societal shift in the way that we treat one another, the way we treat this world that we live in.

And if we don't take advantage of this opportunity, all the people that have died and are suffering, and the two billion people that Dr. Sam talked about, will have happened in vain.

So I hope people will wake up. And it's our responsibility, I believe, to share that message, just like we did here. Maybe here, we had 210 people listening today, but then we share it, and that becomes 2,000, 20,000. And there's a movement towards compassion, love, kindness, and understanding of one another. So I thank you for your message, Dr. Sam.

Thank you.

I just want to add two sentences.

First of all, I guarantee tens of thousands of viewers, just give me a video. I give you money by guarantee. So I upload the video, we will have massive viewership. I have no doubt about this.

Second thing, social media is social. I mean, I fully agree with you. Social media is the transition from individual one-on-one therapy, which is needed and necessary and should not be discarded, of course, to a more communal form of therapeutic interventions.

Now, therapeutic interventions, it doesn't have to be a structured therapy. If I tell you I love you, that's a therapeutic intervention. If I tell you there's hope, stay strong. That's a therapeutic intervention, of course, and everyone will tell you this.

So social media is exactly this example. We need to mobilize and leverage social media to do mass therapy.

Why?

Because this is a mass crisis, not an individual crisis. It's a mass collective. It's a crisis of the collective, not only of individuals in the collective. The whole collective is threatened.

And we need to administer collective therapy and therapy to the collective. Once the collective heals, usually the cells in this organism also heal.

So this is the power of religion. I'm agnostic. Don't misunderstand. But this is the power of religion.

Religion provides you with a healing message, reified in an organization. So once you belong to the organization, you subsume by osmosis the healing message. Religion is a form of mass therapy to cut a long story short.

Mass therapy with a chief therapist, Jesus Christ, it's a form of mass in the case of Christianity. It's a form of mass therapy.

That's all I'm saying. We need to think big to cut a long story short. We need to think big in order to be humble. We need to think big not to be narcissistic and grant the oath, but we need to think big because we are faced with an unprecedented challenge as far as mental health.

I think one of the things that you're discussing is what we might call a milieu, which is the idea of everybody's kind of on the same page, thinking in the same way, using the same kind of language, same words, same thoughts, they're hearing the same kinds of things.

The milieu's are what we attempt to set up in home situations and schools so that they can take care of each other.

Because a therapist or the school psychologist can come in once a week, even once today, and still not be in that person's existence all the time. So teaching them how to interact with each other and watching how they interact with each other and learning from them, not necessarily teaching them anything, but knowing, okay, this is how this group of people interacts together. Maybe if they have the ability to collaborate more, they might be able to find more peace within themselves.

And we're going to show them how to do some problem solving.

So it's not necessarily about what happened to you and I grew the spirit so I could do this while I'm doing counseling. It's not only a therapeutic intervention, but it's also like, what can you do on your own all the time?

And that's really what the mindfulness, everybody talks mindfulness now. I don't think everybody really gets the concept of mindfulness, but they know that it has something to do with thinking about stuff the way it is right now and trying to be in the present moment. And it's the hardest thing in the world. It's an easy concept and extremely difficult.

So one thing that we can do as mental health providers is just supply that milieu, environment, supply that this is how you guys can work together.

And I learned that from working at a residential treatment center for a number of years where everybody kind of had to be on the same page in order to help that kid.

If I may, just interject or react to Dr. Shaw.

I've got another meeting in like two minutes. I know our time is up so I'm going to have to have to, you know, in a couple of minutes.

I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I just want to say, I just want to say it sounded a bit like you're talking about conformity and that was not my intention, of course. On the contrary, I think we should, you know, I mean, I know I misrepresent what you should, but some people might have understood it this way.

And actually, when we say milieu, when we say this, it also includes protocols for managing dissonance and conflict. So conflict management protocols, dissonance reduction protocols, anxiety reduction protocol, functional, of course, functional, anxiety reduction protocols. All these are the tools that we should give the people and we should give them en masse. We should give them, we should like, in other words, what I'm saying is maybe we should transition from therapy to teaching and education.

Well, you just said, this is where our children do begin to learn this. When they feel safe and secure in their classroom, they can project this and generalize it out to the world.

But when they don't have those environments available to them, if they are right now, yes. And we say, okay, we're on hold right now. We don't attempt to fix the world, but we keep giving the energy. And in my case, it's to our children.

I saw it, I cut myself off because I know that we're out of time.

Yeah, we're out of time.

Very nice. Thank you so much for your contributions and everyone listening in.

I hope it was informative and uplifting.

Thank you so much.

I just wanted to add a comment as a viewer that I've found this all very helpful for all of the speakers that were part of it, because I love the idea of mass therapy as we provide counseling through our counseling agency. And I just, I think we do need to think outside the box and that fits with that psychological flexibility of coping differently and bringing different approaches to the individual therapy, to the individual struggling and the crisis that I think we're going to see after, after this pandemic.

So I personally just very much appreciate all that, that you guys brought.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you so much, everyone. Thank you so much to each and every speaker. A really great meeting to everyone here and I appreciate everyone's time and effort and a huge thanks for every speaker for this informative talks and the experience you have shared with us. I hope this knowledge will help others in this pandemic situations and they can cope with this crisis.

Our team, the Talks Media Limited, would like to say thanks to each and individual who joined us today. We really hope we made this webinar productive here.

Thank you.

Thank you, Shivani.

Appreciate it.

Thank you so much.

Thank you, Dr. Elia and everyone. Thank you.

Thank you.

Everyone. Bye-bye. Bye-bye. Stay connected. Take care of your health.

Thank you.

Thank you. Have a great day.

You too. Bye-bye.

Ciao. Bye-bye.

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Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the issue of cognitive decline in aging political leaders. He argues that leaders in the age range of 60 to 90 are compromised cognitively, and this poses a danger. He delves into concepts such as cognitive reserve, brain maintenance, and brain reserve, and emphasizes the inevitability of cognitive decline with age. Vaknin suggests implementing strict restrictions on the age of politicians and advocates for mental health screening for political leaders. He also highlights the prevalence of cognitive decline and its impact on decision-making and daily functioning.


How to Resolve Your Inner Conflicts? Deceive Yourself!

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the availability of his video transcripts in an Android app and website. He clarifies the difference between parts and self-states in psychology. He then delves into the concept of dissonance and offers five ways to resolve conflicting thoughts and emotions. He also describes various types of dissonance and how they can be resolved using the same five solutions.


BEWARE! Toxic Self-help Myths, Predatory Coaches, Gurus, and “Healers” (Compilation)

Summary of the text: 1. Abusive behavior in relationships can be linked to high levels of love and commitment, as it may indicate a greater motive for controlling or retaliating against a partner. 2. Parents with children at home are generally less happy than childless individuals or those whose children have left home. 3. Stress can have natural benefits, and changing one's mindset about stress may turn it into a positive influence on one's life. However, mindfulness and meditation can sometimes worsen conditions like depression and anxiety. 4. The marshmallow test, which suggested that children who could delay gratification would be more successful later in life, may not account for cultural influences on behavior. Children's ability to delay gratification is heavily influenced by their cultural upbringing and societal conventions.

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