Altered States of Consciousness: Lesson Two Learning Guide Group Track

Altered States of Consciousness Series

Professional Group Track Learning Guide

Lesson Two: Following Signals


-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).

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ACT Step Two: Group Discussion

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

  1. When being with a person who is unable to communicate verbally, remaining present with a sense of curiosity and wonder is essential in order to perceive subtle commination clues.
  • Imagine being with a newborn baby who is not yet able to communicate verbally.
  • Consider the ways you might use your sense of curiosity to decipher what the infant may need. How might that situation inform the ways you could be present with an open mind for an adult who is in an altered state?


  1. Touching a bony part of the body vs. the soft tissue or muscle can elicit a different response because it allows the one being touched to be in control. 
  • Experiment with a partner who is resting in a comfortable position for several minutes before proceeding to make physical contact. Then gently place your thumb and forefingers on either side of the person’s wrist bone for about one minute, then release.
  • Afterwards, gently place your fingers on the person’s soft part of their upper arm for about one minute, then release.
  • Ask your partner to describe how different the change in pressure to those areas felt. Was one place of contact more comfortable than another?  In what way?


  1. Try a visualization practice based on Ann Jacob’s river analogy: 
  • Practice lying quietly for several minutes to clear your mind and relax your body.
  • Imagine looking down on the river’s surface. What does this bring to mind?
  • Then imagine looking upwards from under the water’s surface. What does this bring to mind?
  • Going deeper, imagine sinking gently beneath the water to the bed of the river. What do you observe from this vantage point?
  • Finally, imagine that you are the bubbles in the water slowly and steadily rising to the surface. Imagine that they represent what you might be releasing.   What images and sensations do you perceive in this experience?

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