Dr. Erik Peper’s study and paper “Seeing is Believing” quantifies and qualifies the response to learned biofeedback efforts.
Simply, when you, or a client/patient can take a doubt, or even a trusted theory, apply it via a feedback mechanism and get a quantifiable, tested result — you create a new belief and perspective.
From his blog, Dr Peper, summarizes the original study publication, Seeing is Believing: Biofeedback as a Tool to Enhance Motivation for Cognitive Therapy.
Here are the 2 most important snippets:
1. “Therapists and educators can demonstrate the mind/body interaction with physiological monitoring to change their clients’ illness beliefs and demonstrate how ruminating thoughts may affect mental and physical health (Peper, Shumay, Moss, & Sztembis, 2013). When clients see how their body’s physiological responses are affected by thoughts and emotions, they gain a perspective that allows them to KNOW that thoughts affect body—the objective physiological evidence is indisputable.”
2. “When individuals think a negative statement such as “I should not have…………”, they are mentally rehearsing what they should not do and are unintentionally strengthening the negative behavior even more. Instead, whenever people become aware of the beginning of the negative cognition, they can learn to stop and transform their negative cognition to a positive cognition. In this way they can rehearse what they would want to do instead of what they do not want to do (Peper, Gibney, & Holt, 2002).
“The more you rehearse what you want to achieve, the more likely it is to occur. This strategy is useful to change clients’ illness beliefs and motivate them to transform their cognitions from what they do not want to what they want to do. In addition, it offers cognitive behavior therapists documented evidence—the biofeedback recording provides the data which is necessary for evidence based medicine.”
In conclusion, our perspective, once changed, creates a new pathway of health in our minds. By practicing Mindfulness coupled with Biofeedback we can re-write the ‘thought space master control switch’. Once anyone, from elite performer to troubled teen visually, kinesthetically, sees and feels the quantitative and colorful biofeedback response to their thoughts, they KNOW that their minds can access and re-direct their body’s response at any given moment in time.
As Dr. Peper so appropriately quotes a favorite of mine, Victor Frankel (see his book, Search for Meaning)
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom
Biofeedback is an ever-increasingly effective tool to know how, when and why the thought space between moment to moment exists, and what to do with it. Awareness of your ‘thought space’ and partial mastery of the ‘next thought’ alignment yields untold rewards.
The image and the sections in 1 and 2 were directly take from this article in “The Peper Perspective” blog, all credit goes here: The Peper Perspective — ideas on illness, health and well-being from Erik Peper.