Stress Effectiveness Training How and Why I Developed the Eight Steps to Love
Dr. Stephen Royal Jackson, Ph.D. - America's Premier Stress Doctor
How & Why I developed the method I call 8 Steps to Love: The Core of Stress Effectiveness Training
Over the years, I came to see that there is far too much needless suffering in the world. I saw the same ineffective ways of dealing with stress and conflict being passed on from one generation to the next. Something had to be done. I developed a method that I call 8 Steps to Love to help people avoid the kind of pain and heartbreak that destroy so many lives. These steps are grounded in my clinical experience and research and they are also forged in the fire of my own healing journey as well.
From my previous work as a clinical and child psychologist, I found that any truly effective approach to stress and conflict had to be grounded in the essence of what it means to be human. It had to be based in the reality of who we are in the core of our being. The spiritual reality of who we are most essentially as human beings is love, that is, the capacity to care and to value anything. Anger, fear, sadness and depression are in one sense the bane of our existence. At the basis of negative emotions resulting from stress and conflict is love. Without love we do not value anything. When we value nothing we then are not going to feel fear, anger, or sadness. SET draws upon the prisoner of war survivors. Their triumph over the horror of their experiences points to the effectiveness of focusing on who and what we love to transform stress.
The 8 Steps to Love method is comprehensive and transformative. The essence of the training is expressed in the timeless symbol of transformation, the butterfly. It is unique in its emphasis on providing individuals with quick effective physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual steps to TRANSFORM stress and resolve conflict in the heat of the moment. The spiritual component helps an individual draw from his or her personal belief system. The health benefits of turning to a higher power, however that power is conceived has been highlighted in Dr. Bensonís research at Harvard Medical School. It also includes anger management as well as managing any negative emotion. In addition, it combines stress management and conflict resolution training instead of teaching them separately. However, the emphasis is on managing the stress of conflict and does not go into advanced negotiating skills. Interpersonal conflict at work and home constitute the underlying source of most of the referrals made to mental health professionals.
I use athletic analogies from my sport, basketball, and from golf, to demonstrate the effectiveness of focusing on the outcome we would love to have happen and not on what we donít want to happen. As I will demonstrate there is a cognitive behavioral value to using the word love. By saying what we would love to have happen we put more passion in our actions and we can truly focus better on achieving what we would love to have happen in any given situation, that is, on the desired (what we would love to have happen) versus the feared outcome (what we would hate to have happen).