Geoff Danes works with many individuals from all walks of life using a variety of techniques to reframe negative ideas, thought processes and emotions to alleviate and remove various mental blocks and persistent ways of thinking that create problems in your career or relationships.
What do we deal with? Honestly, it would be easier to list what we don’t: verified neurological conditions like Schizophrenia or medical conditions that are not developed through or exacerbated by stress, and that’s about it. If it involves the MIND we deal with it. We approach it that way to prevent someone from NOT finding help because they weren’t on a list – here’s a short one but it’s not inclusive: Depression, Relationship issues, Anxiety, Phobias, Guilt, Shame, Substance Abuse, PTSD & Hypervigilance, Lack of Motivation, Malaise, Career Blocks, Teenage Issues & Troubled Children, Dysfunctional Families…
Using methods that directly challenge traditional psychology we have created a methodology that has an amazing success rate. Treating the way the mind ‘actually’ works means we don’t have to arbitrarily decide which problem we have to work on: Career Blocks; Depression; Relationships; Teen & Child Issues; Anxiety; Motivation; Goal Setting; Poverty Mindset; Substance Abuse… and emotional states no one can define! Our Neurology-Mathematical based system works on everything because everything has the same root cause: during its development the brain lays down code (neurons connecting as we learn) and any negative experience could insert negative code which, as each subsequent learning experience incorporates earlier lessons, could infect our entire mental construct. An early negative experience will continue to affect us until it is dealt with.
We are often unclear as to what negative experiences affect us because they were created by an earlier version of us, quite often a child version, and as we no longer think like a child these early experiences don’t stand out when we search our memory and remain hidden, yet still troubling us and hindering our chance of happiness.
So why do we have negative thoughts at all?
Some questions seem so obvious that they don’t require asking, until we think a little deeper, then we often realize we don’t know the answer at all. Why didn’t evolution just give us positive thinking as a baseline.
The brain, like any other calculating machine, must have a set of axioms to begin its task. Axioms are apparently self-evident truths (like those in the Constitution) that may not actually be true, but we accept them in order to proceed. Some, like the Earth being flat or round, are culturally inherited and change with time and this one is a good example of an axiom. If we believe the Earth is flat, then there must be an edge. It then becomes obvious that whatever is over that edge is unlikely to be good, or God would have placed us there. This axiom will change how we approach travel and we start to see how powerful they are.
We have a number of cultural axioms but more importantly we have a myriad of personal ones.
Humans are unique in a number of ways but what’s so powerful about us as a species is not actually our brain size. What makes us the most adaptable creatures on the planet is how we develop our large brains. Evolution produced the Extended Childhood. Our development is slowed down with respect to other animals. For example a 3 month old monkey is able to pass a Persistence of Objects test (the ability to understand that an object still exists even though you can no longer see it) whereas a human baby will fail. Our development has been slowed down so that our environment can influence how we develop – unlike animals who follow a standard template.
An example of the power of this system can be seen in the following hypothetical situation: Imagine we take possession of a new born baby, that baby was born into a family living in the hot desert climate of Arizona. We then take that baby to an Inuit family living on the Arctic ice flows. If we return 20 years later there will be a perfectly adapted Inuit adult absolutely at ease in the Arctic conditions. NO OTHER ANIMAL CAN DO THIS. If that were the case then animals born in zoos would be perfectly adapted to the local conditions, and not their natural habitat. Obviously this is not the case.
However, this powerful system allows everything from our environment in. It can’t distinguish between positive ideas/axioms and negative ones – and negative ones get in. Sometimes in a way that is obvious when we think back on it but many times it is not obvious. Humans are dynamic, non-linear systems, the tiniest change in start conditions can yield dramatic changes. Which is why we are often unaware where our negative beliefs come from.
IT IS NOT OBVIOUS AT ALL.
Your emotional axioms are at the root of all your decision making, so if one or more of them are negative our overall thinking will tend to emerge as negative.
A solution to negative thinking is to identify the original axioms and reframe them as something that will yield the results we want.
This is essentially what we work on at Inspires.
When I’m analyzing someone’s life story for the patterns and clues I need they will sometimes ask: “Why do you make the assumption I would have made something negative out of that?”. The fact is, our default is to see the negative, we might want to change that but it doesn’t change the fact that this is how we’re programmed to see the world. If you don’t know how someone interpreted a difficult event it’s a safe bet to assume negative.
In terms of evolutionary survival positive things are generally less impactive or useful than negative experiences. Rainbows are magical and must have amazed and puzzled our ancestors but seeing one is unfortunately less important to the mind than your memory of someone dying in agony because they ate the wrong berries. Remembering negative aspects of experiences is essential to survival in a hostile world. Evolution wasn’t wrong in that, it’s one of the reasons why we’re the global apex predator but we have altered our environment to the point when this, and many other aspects of mind, are no longer helpful. Evolution, however, has yet to catch up and we have to find our own methods to tailor our thinking until it does.
Why are anxiety and depression uniquely human problems?
They’re not, but issues like these are huge and serious problems for us where animals are only afflicted with these problems at very specific and rare occasions.
Aside from the ability to dwell on things something else is a huge factor in giving us emotional problems.
Evolution was faced with a problem when humans began to develop larger and larger brains, the well practiced act of giving birth was in danger of getting dangerously difficult, a disaster for any species. The evolutionary solution? To find a point at which the baby’s head was viable for the birth canal we had to be born years prematurely, in terms of neurological development. This solution is often referred to as The Extended Childhood
The solution worked and led significantly to the development of human culture but it left us dangerously vulnerable during the mapping and development of deep primal areas of the subconscious. Unlike other mammals we are fully exposed to complex external forces at critical development points. And here lies the source of the incredible diversity in human behavior… (take a moment to think about this, animals owe their success to being ‘cookie-cutter’ and reacting identically to their environment, while we exhibit significant differences in approach from one and other) and, thus our unfortunate propensity for emotional problems.
During our childhood development we go through several stages, the one that is of most concern here is the Preoperational Stage (the neurological developmental stage between ages 2 to 7), critical for our purposes. During this stage children develop many of the brain functions we regard as quintessentially human, like imagination and symbolic reasoning. The large number of new experiences, leading to rapid growth in neural connections, plus the openness of this developing brain to external forces means, in essence, that we are vulnerable to negative behavior patterns becoming embedded at the very earliest development of reasoning – which means all further learning experiences are likely to contain this negative behavior at their core. Viewed in this way it is no surprise why these behaviors are so stubbornly resistant to change and why mechanisms that do not address the environmental matrix in which ideas and behaviors form, is doomed to fail. Luckily we do address it, which is why our system is more successful than others at granting a lasting solution as opposed to a temporary lift.
Another reason for the importance of the Preoperational Stage is the proportionally large amount of neural connectivity. A diagram of our neuron connections representing the development of beliefs and behaviors would look like an inverse pyramid, expanding over time. This development would not be linear, more neuron connections are made when we encounter new experiences, however, most experiences are modifications of existing experiences and not literally ‘new’. When do we encounter most new experiences? This would be early childhood – which places us in the universally recognized critical developmental stage of two years to seven years – which means around 60% of the ‘developmental pyramid’ would be laid down before the age of eight (another reason why the inception point for most negative ideas, blocks and behaviors is likely to be found in this time period). As previously referred to, this influences travel through our development. If we image later neuron connections being laid down in layers, are predicated on those early layers meaning those childhood behaviors continue to influence us throughout our lives, negative experiences contaminate later positive experiences and we find it impossible to escape them.
So what is the solution? We work with you in creating a ‘Behavior Map’ – by looking at your adult life we can identify repeating patterns that tell us ‘what you are doing’, then by looking at your childhood we identify the ‘why’. Your part in this is simply a relaxed recounting of your life story – what we do is apply certain mathematical models like Nonlinear Dynamics (a branch of physics that studies systems governed by equations more complex than the linear, aX+b form, sometimes referred to as Chaos Theory, useful for systems like the weather or neuron connections) and Bayes’ Theorem (probability modeling that can be used to create insights into a wide range of problems involving belief updates).
There is an identifiable goal to the process though insights are gained throughout, most people describe it as an amazing journey of self discovery, where you gain deep insights into the goals your mind is actually seeking as opposed to what you believe its seeking.
Reframing those identified negative/unproductive behavior patterns and thought process involves a combination of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Clinical Hypnotherapy – both highly effective in this regard.
There’s no lengthy process to deciding if we can help you – come in for a consultation and you’ll know in that FIRST contact! About as simple as it gets.
My wife Kelly, deals with contact, booking & admin and is happy to answer any questions you may have.
The Team: Left to Right: Ava, Milo and Shiloh
The other part of the team are our dogs: Milo, Shiloh & Ava.
Geoffrey Ragnarokk Danes is an Englishman who emigrated to the United States over a decade ago. Originally from London, he is a veteran of the British Navy and a behavioral expert and Master of NLP.
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