The evidence-based method we use
Inquiry-Based Stress Reduction (IBSR). An approach to help people safely identify thoughts that cause stress or limit them and then question those thoughts in simple but powerful way.
The work of Byron Katie is at the heart of what we do.
What is IBSR?
IBSR: The Work of Byron Katie is a way of identifying and questioning the thoughts that cause shame, anger, fear and violence. IBSR is an opportunity to discover a new and kinder way of living within oneself and the world - no matter what's happening.
A stressful thought is one perspective of reality - and when it's believed it prevents us from seeing the whole picture. Negative thoughts limit our ability to work with what's happening from an empowered state and hold us back from experiencing openness, creativity and joy - even in the midst of very challenging circumstances.
How does IBSR work?
The beliefs that underlie shame, worthlessness and blame can be questioned with this process; allowing for new perspectives, insights and options that are kinder, more peaceful and empowered.
For example, imagine being newly diagnosed with HIV and immediately feeling scared and ashamed with the belief "People will reject me."
When this is believed it can spiral into a myriad of additional thoughts, "I have no one to talk to" "I can't handle it" "I don't deserve to be loved" "I'm less of a person" (Ferris France et al 2012) ...
But, there's another option: you can question that thought
Is the thought true?
Can I absolutely know the thought is true (100%)?
How do I react when I think that thought?
When I believe the thought 'people will reject me' I feel inferior, ashamed and disgraced. I isolate myself. I don't want to tell anyone about it and keep my diagnosis a secret. I am afraid to be seen in line at the clinic and sometimes don't go to collect my medication. I feel inadequate to friends and family, see myself as dirty and my future as bleak. Memories come to mind of people in the past saying that good people don't get HIV. I hate myself and stop taking good care of myself. I see others as mean, judgmental and unfair
Who would I be without that thought?
If I was unable to think the thought 'people will reject me' I see myself getting the diagnosis and better able to hear what the doctor is saying. Able to hear that there is medication, information and groups available to support me. I feel more peaceful and capable to deal with it; it's still tough news and, without the thought, I'm able to think of people I trust and could confide in. I'm open to asking for help. Without that thought my attention goes to how I can best take care of myself
Turnaround to the Opposite
People will reject me turns around to People won't reject me.
What are three genuine, honest examples that people won't reject me?
I may start to think of specific people in my life that I know will love and support me through this diagnosis - looking through my family, friends, medical professionals, people in support groups, etc. - is there anyone that I think will genuinely accept me the way I am?
Turnaround to the Other
People will reject me turns around to I will reject people.
In the moment I believe people will reject me, and I start feeling ashamed and scared, what are examples that I'm rejecting others? What are three genuine ways, in that moment, that I am rejecting them?
Turnaround to Yourself
People will reject me turns around to I will reject myself.
In the moment I believe people will reject me and start feeling ashamed and inferior, how am I rejecting myself? Am I treating myself with judgment and negativity? What are three genuine ways, in that moment, that I am not accepting myself?