PBT In Action
In the autumn term of 2011, six children with behavioural issues were selected from a large primary school in Birmingham, UK, and trained in how to use the PBT wristband/card to give them more thinking time before choosing how to act/react. The initial results make it clear that there were very swift, obvious and beneficial results.
Educationalist Gay Jones, developed the system as trialed. Her enthusiasm for the PBT method is almost palpable. She describes PBT as really catching her imagination, being deceptively simple and the missing link between NLP techniques, mindfulness and CBT. She says it’s a tool that gets into the right bits of the brain.
Gay feels it has potential outside of mainstream education, too.In a trial with an eight-year-old boy high up on the autistic spectrum, he’s found it really useful if he catches himself at the right time. If he goes into anger or a highly charged emotional state, it’s too late. But if it’s before that time, he’s finding it quite effective. And for every time he does catch it, it’s an improvement for him and everyone around him. And he’s working together with his mum on it.
"I used to get into fights every playtime and at dinnertime as well. I never received any rewards – or if I did, they got taken away again the next time I was naughty. I had lots of incidents recorded in my behaviour book. My Mum was fed up of the school phoning her to have meetings about me. I was fed up and couldn't seem to be good. I'd try but then do the same things again. The teachers asked me if I'd like to try PBT and I thought Why not? I was fed up of being in trouble all the time and not enjoying school. I was also arguing with my brother all the time. Once I started using the band every day, I was amazed at how easy it was to think about what would happen if I did this or that. I soon realised that I could pause and think."
John Taylor, Deputy Headteacher, and Nathan Ross, Head of Pastoral Care, of Twickenham School, both spoke highly of the positive impact that PBT had had on the school. They outlined the benefits the technique had brought for teaching staff, for the children’s peers, for the classroom environment, for the parents and families of the children, as well as for the children themselves. Nathan stated that there had been a “dramatic change” in the behaviour of the children who were using PBT, and said that the school intended to use it more broadly, to help children with milder problems. John spoke of the benefits of a technique that was “so simple” to use and administer yet “so complex” in what it does and how it works. He said that most behavioural modification approaches were complex and time consuming, and therefore difficult to implement. PBT is the reverse, yet remains highly effective.
Interviews, with the children, their parents and the teachers at the school are detailed in Pause Button Therapy, published by Hay House.
Father of three Barry's bad temper meant almost anything could make him 'flip'.
Sometimes he would be aggressive and verbally abusive. His wife and children feared for their lives when one minute he would be normal and the next a raging ball of anger. Barry was introduced to PBT by an anger management counsellor and quickly understood the benefit of getting into the habit of stopping to think, imagining the consequences of his actions and making a choice as an alternative to flying off the handle as he had been. It wasn't long before Barry felt the anger build up inside of him. The children were being particularly loud and his first instinct was to shout but he remembered to press pause and think for a moment about his actions and the consequences. On Rewind, he told us he could see another scenario with the more positive outcome he would prefer. Once ready to choose his action, he pressed Play and turned to the children. "Stop being so loud! Don't forget tomorrow is pocket money day and there's none for loud monsters" he joked, and everyone was quiet – and happy.
No matter how much Lilly tried she could not get any more things in her wardrobe.
It was bursting at the seams. Shopping, finding bargains and bidding online were her favourite pastime. Not rich, she just puts everything on plastic - and four years of that have left her with two major problems. Lack of cupboard space, and a bad credit rating. Lilly heard of PBT whilst online. Using it means she can Pause when she fancies buying yet one more item. She imagines a flat full of unworn clothes, a life spent paying back her debt, a life never being able to afford a holiday. Her second Fast Forward allows her to see how her life could be – a nice selection of clothes to wear, the rest sold on an online auction site to help pay off her debts, more money in her bank at the end of each month - in fact a real future without constant money worries. Returning to the present, she can make her choice of what to do, and press Play.
Mike and Sally have been drifting apart.
When they first got married there was a regular routine when Mike came home from work; they would have their dinner together and sit and talk about the day, before sitting down to enjoy a film or TV programme together. The weekends would be spent shopping, doing DIY or visiting family or friends. The relationship started to break down after Sally was introduced to a group of old friends via social networking sites. Not only was she 'talking' to old friends – and boyfriends, which didn’t go down very well with Mike – but she became wrapped up in her online life and increasingly withdrew from her day to day relationship, going online after dinner and going to bed long after Mike. When Mike heard about PBT from someone at work and suggested they both start working with PBT, Sally learned to press Pause and see the consequences of her 'virtual' life. By Fast Forwarding to how she and Mike could once again be closer, enjoy the things they used to do together, she was able to think of planning for the future without resorting to living an online life.
In all honesty, no one is likely to completely stop making mistakes. Most people will never get perfection. Pause Button Therapy can help you to get closer to it. We need to win the battles that matter and let the other ones roll.
Like Instant Messaging
Who doesn’t have a mobile and send a text daily, possibly hourly? And, with texting and instant messaging, tablets, notebooks, smartphones, Twitter, MSN, Facebook, etc., etc. – all of those text messages present an opportunity to get it wrong, maybe by not pressing Pause.
We no longer get the time to write a letter and check it over before sending it. Instant messaging is maybe a recipe for war and it ruins relationships. People lose their jobs through instant messaging. We say 'Just Pause' first! Type it in if you like, but before you press Send, just Stop. Take two minutes, go for a stroll, walk round the block, go to the toilet, whatever you want to do – then decide whether the tone and the way the message you’ve created looks makes it safe to be sent. Then, and only then, press Send.
How many people have sent a text or an email only to wish the next day (or even the next instant) that we hadn’t? We know everyone reading this will say, ‘Yes, I have.’ We’ve all done it. Well don't do it again, just Press Pause.
Pause Button Therapy/TactileCBT is for anyone who’s ever made a mistake in their life and never wants to make one again. It's for anyone who wants to make a change.
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