Altered States of Consciousness: Lesson Three Learning Guide Group Track

Altered States of Consciousness Series

Professional Group Track Learning Guide

Lesson Three: Dementia and Relationship

Directions:

-The first step is ACT ONE. This interactive form section will give you an opportunity to delve deeply into the concepts behind our lesson and reflect on how they connect to your life and your role as caregiver. A critical element for the success of an ACT Learning Group is to provide some time and space for personal reflection and journaling.

-After completing this step, ACT TWO is a period of group discussion and reflection. All participants must be given a safe space to express themselves during this time. This portion of the interactive form is filled out with insights gained from your community exploration.

-Next, your group will move on to ACT THREE, the Best Practicesreal-world habits, ways of thinking, or behaving that can increase personal well-being. Goals to incorporate best practice suggestions can be made on the group or individual level and support systems can be developed during this time.

ACT Step One: Individual Reflection

Completed forms may be printed out by pressing CTRL button + P (Windows) or CMD button + P (Mac).

By submitting this form you are agreeing to contribute to our national research project. All information will be used anonymously.

ACT Step Two: Group Discussion

Completed forms may be printed out by pressing CTRL button + P (Windows) or CMD button + P (Mac).

By submitting this form you are agreeing to contribute to our national research project. All information will be used anonymously.

ACT Step Three: Best Practices – (Choose at Least One)

1. “Even the most minimal signals from the comatose person, like a twitch of an eyelid, can be the doorway to communication.”  (Amy Mindell)

 

  • Lie restfully on a flat surface taking deep breaths to help you enter a relaxed state. Keeping your eyes closed, attempt to use minimal, non-verbal signals to communicate with your partner.
  • Notice what you feel while attempting to be understood in this way.
  • How did you expect to feel? Did your feelings change the longer you spent attempting to communicate?

 

2. “One of the most important tools (in coma communication) is the ability to notice the comatose person’s feedback – and his/her response to your communication. Trust that what you do depends on the feedback you receive.” (Amy Mindell)

 

  • Have your partner lie in a prone position, eyes closed.
  • Ask your partner to attempt to use minimal signals to communicate with you.
  • Do you notice changes in your partner that might indicate positive or negative feedback to your presence with them in this state?
  • Notice what you perceive your partner is attempting to communicate. After 15 or 20 minutes, share your experiences with your partner.
  • What did you learn from this exercise?

 

3. Communication can take place through various channels; visual, auditory, sensory. For example, “Looking up usually indicates accessing of the visual channel; looking sideways, the auditory channel; looking down, the body sensation channel.”  (Stan Tomandl)

Experiment with your own visual, auditory and sensory channels in this way with a willing partner:

  • Look up and pause for a moment to notice how and what you are perceiving.
  • Looks sideways and notice the same way.
  • Look down and notice again what you experience.
  • Engage in normal conversation and notice your partner’s eye positions as you talk.
  • Share with your partner what channel they were perceiving and compare their perceptions to your experience. Then try switching roles.

Closing Thought

“Overcoming our resistance to experiencing our pain can become the source of compassion for the world and other beings.” – Joanna Macy

Additional Resources