WHO'S TALKING NOW, THE OWL OR THE CROCODILE? by Dr. Seymour Boorstein M.D.
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I present a simplified version of our brain’s functioning, using the Crocodile to represent our Reptilian or (survival) Limbic brain. The Owl is used to represent our (Neo-cortical) Wise, and “Higher” more loving brain. Because the Crocodile “moves” about 30 times faster than the Owl and only uses about 5% of the incoming data, it gets to center stage first with 100% of its agenda. Our survival (Limbic) brain is activated by FEAR OF DYING as perceived by the Crocodile. When fear produces the production of adrenalin the person usually goes into the fight or flight (eg: pouting) mode. The Crocodile brain is very good for swerving or avoiding an accident on the highway, but is very poorly suited for interpersonal; relationships.
In my experience all, or almost all fighting, (parent/child, husband/wife, employer/employee, friend/friend) stems from the couples “interpreting” the situation as life threatening and then going in to the fight/flight mode.
The book, using whimsically illustrated clinical vignettes clarifies and shows how to identify Who is talking now, Owl or Crocodile and to see the usual irrational thought pattern leading to anger which is the leading cause of relationship breakup and or damage. Much of the book focuses on strategies to circumvent, prevent or undo the Crocodile’s unloving agenda and substitute the Owl’s wiser, loving, kind and caring approach. What is the most controversial aspect of your message or book, if applicable?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
At the age of 12 he was determined to become a physician and at age 22 while in medical school he decisively decided to become a psychiatrist. After 3 years of training at the Menninger Clinic he went on for the next 10 years to obtain psychoanalytic training at the San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute.
From 1956 until the present he have been involved with a wide variety of psychiatric patients across the entire diagnostic spectrum. For the past 40 years it has been a joy for him to be an Associate Clinical Professor and Teach at the University of California, SF School of Medicine where he supervises and teaches psychiatrists in training.
In 1980 he published a groundbreaking book, “Transpersonal Psychotherapy”, (still in print, revised edition, Suny Press) in which he attempts to ferret out what we can glean and use from spiritual traditions to help in emotional growth and problem solving. This was followed by another book, “Clinical Studies in Transpersonal Psychotherapy”, (Still in print Suny Press) which goes into clinical material. he has also written many other articles in his field for various publications.
His wife Sylvia and him have been together 60 years. In addition having 4 children and 7 grandchildren continue to teach him about all the places I have emotional work to do to become a more loving person than he already is.
Tell us 5 random things about you the person, not the author
1) I like to swim
2) I love my job
3) I like to sail
4) I like to cycle
5) I like improvisational piano
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