In my youth, I committed (drug-related) crimes equivalent to those committed by the majority of people in prison today. I wasn't criminalized or punished. I was supported. In this man's face, I could see the stark injustice of one American losing decades of his life for stuff that I, another American, got away with and moved on from. It speaks to who they are, rather than something they did. She's impossible would extend to all aspects of dealing with your daughter, since that's how you are characterizing her. She just can't handle criticism is specifically about the cause of her actions in this one scenario. Scenario #3: Your marriage has lost physical intimacy. Everything: We've fallen out of love. Not Everything: Physical intimacy becomes less important over time. Here you'll see, again, that the Everything cause spills out into all aspects of your relationships (how you relate, feel about each other, and so on), whereas the Not Everything explanation pertains to just the physical aspects. The sticking point of settling on an Everything cause is that you're saying the problem is one that exists in many areas of your life. This can lead you to think the problem is too big to manage. It's overwhelming to try to deal with a teenager you deem impossible on all fronts, but likely manageable to work with her on learning to take criticism better or to temper how and when you deliver it. Withall (224, 225) has completed a research which had as its purpose the measurement of classroom climate in terms of its teacher-centeredness or student-centeredness. While his scale leaves much to be desired, since the steps on it were subjectively rather than objectively determined, he has at least shown that qualities such as we are discussing can be measured with the tools of science and subjected to rigorous investigation. Both he and Anderson have also shown that classroom climate is largely a product of the teacher's behavior. The atmosphere which prevails will depend primarily upon what the teacher does and how he does it. When such studies as these have been carried further, it appears very likely that the psychological climate of the educational experience will be shown to have a prominent influence upon the amount and type of learning which takes place. Frequently the teacher who is considering some experimentation along these lines believes that he cannot undertake it, because we must use an assigned test or because my section must pass the same examination as sections taught in a conventional way, or I am held responsible for seeing that my class covers such and such readings each week.

Consideration of these points will perhaps serve to illustrate the primary importance of teacher attitudes. If for example this class must meet the same examination as other sections, the teacher's attitude, as expressed to the class, would take this into account: I would like this course to be, in so far as possible, your course, to meet the purposes you would like to have it meet. There is one limitation which is imposed upon me as well as upon you, and that is the examination which every section of this course must take. With that limitation in mind, what purposes would you like this course to serve? There are many people, perhaps you, who work hard, who have unique talents and dreams for their lives and our world, but don't get supported in developing their talents. People who don't get seen and don't feel valued. Instead, they (you? As a collective, we lose access to others' talents and all the ways they could contribute to our world. It's burdensome economically, too. We all cover the high costs of incarceration and the lost labor--and taxes and purchasing power--of a huge cadre of (mostly male) citizens, since formerly incarcerated people often can't get jobs. We can't go wrong by committing to social and economic justice--they aren't just charitable and good for us economically, but, as we've seen, also a neurobiological fix that can serve to reduce addiction. RETHINKING BAD BEHAVIORS A friend of mine was too angry for rational discussion when her eleven-year-old daughter was caught shoplifting candy, so she asked me to intervene. When I asked her daughter what she did with the candy, she told me she shared it with kids at her school. When Andrew works with children with the Always/Everything style, they often put their academic struggles down to I'm stupid. He is greatly relieved when he hears this, because the broader the explanation (I'm stupid vs. I'm bad at math), the easier it is to disprove and dispel. For instance: Does the child play computer games? What's his favorite game? What level has he made it to on that game?

Ah, super pro expert. Hmm, then, he can't be stupid if he can master something that complex, can he? Neither Andrew nor the child can solve stupid. But they certainly can make some headway on study habits or powers of concentration or even mental blocks to math. We may summarize by saying that every group has some limitations, if only the fact that they meet for a limited, rather than an unlimited number of hours each week. It is not the fact that there are limitations, but the attitude, the permissiveness, the freedom which exists within those limitations, which is important. To be sure, if the limitations are extreme, and result from the wish of the instructor rather than from outside forces, then a student-centered climate may be stifled, but within a very broad range of psychological structuring, a permissive climate may be built. Thus Cantor seems to be more comfortable in demanding that his classes read a prescribed assignment each week. While this may not aid in creating a suitable climate, it is not a barrier to it, as his verbatim excerpts indicate. The essential principle might perhaps be the following: Within the limitations which are imposed by circumstance and authority, or are imposed by the instructor as necessary for his own psychological comfort, an atmosphere of permissiveness, of acceptance, of reliance upon student responsibility, is created. The Development of Individual and Group Purposes It has already been mentioned that a student-centered course begins around the purposes of the students. Throughout the course this should also be true, though the specific methods used will certainly vary. Perhaps the most extreme method is one which has not infrequently been used by the writer. On further questioning, it became clear that the girl was lonely and didn't know how to make friends. The candy made her instantly popular. So, what should you do in that situation? Get to the root. Help the girl develop the skills to get what she's really looking for, which is to feel better connected, all while holding her accountable. My questions helped the girl see that loneliness drove her actions and allowed us to explore her loneliness and discuss more effective strategies to manage it.

We went the transformative justice route, introducing her to the eighteen-year-old store clerk who was called on the carpet when inventory went missing. I was particularly struck that this helped both the victim and the thief heal. The store clerk was not only off the hook for the missing inventory, but also working through the incident resulted in a better understanding of trust, power, and privilege for both the clerk and her boss. Contrast this experience to the criminal justice system, which focuses entirely on the offenders and doesn't help the victims--or system--heal. How to Spot Always and Everything Thoughts Always thoughts typically contain the words never or always, or they are about long-term personality and character flaws or fundamental talents and abilities. For instance, I always order the wrong thing on the menu or I'm hopeless at math. Everything thoughts cut across many avenues in your life, not just the one situation with which you're dealing. For instance, I can't fix this leaking tap because I'm an idiot. The fact is, most problems have a myriad of causes. But in the midst of trying to solve a sticky problem, particularly when we're feeling down or stressed, we tend to see only the Always and Everything, which are the things we can't solve. The trick is to train yourself to recognize the Always and Everything explanations in your head, set them aside, and focus instead on the Not Always and Not Everything causes to unearth more and better solutions. Remember, the more causes you can see, the more resolutions you have available to you. Take Action Each class session is opened with some variant of What do we wish to discuss or do today? Naturally the class then takes its start from some individual question or contribution. This might seem like a most unsatisfactory and haphazard approach, since individual need, or even individual maladjustment may dictate the initial contribution. Yet it is fascinating to watch the process as it occurs. If the issue is one which the group in general has not found of interest, discussion quickly lags, or veers, by most interesting steps, into areas which are of general concern. A listener -- and this includes members of the class and the instructor -- would feel that considerable time is being wasted.

Yet the other side of the picture is that under this procedure the class quickly comes to grips with the deepest issues in the field under consideration. The writer has had the experience of teaching a sequence of courses in somewhat conventional style and also in a student-centered fashion. Issues which he had felt were too advanced for a first course, and must be left until late in the second term for informed consideration, may be reached and intelligently and deeply considered within a few weeks of the beginning of the first term by a group handled in permissive fashion. Hence while there is often an appearance of some confusion and waste of time, the actual learning process appears to proceed at an accelerated rate when the course is built by the students about their own changing purposes. Biology wires us to keep going for the easy, habitual response by default. If dopamine is the juice we all need, how do we get our bodies to produce it in ways that support our health and well-being, rather than depleting them? What promotes our capacity to make independent choices that counter the habitual response? Compassion and connection. The more compassion and care we can show to ourselves and to people in difficult circumstances, the more we enhance our ability to make better choices. If we isolate ourselves--or if we ostracize people who are addicts, further adding to their shame--we are just entrenching ourselves and them in the morass. When we are cut off from others, we lose access to one of the primary healthy sources of dopamine. But we can rewire our brain to get more pleasure out of relationships, to crave human contact instead of unhealthy substitutes. Healing involves reconnecting our dopamine reward system to relationships. With practice, we can teach our brain to stop searching for dopamine in all the wrong places and, instead, to reach out to another safe human being. Okay, let's put this skill to work for you. Follow these steps to get unstuck. Choose one problem in your life that feels unsolvable. That's the one we're going to tackle. Let's say, for instance, that you have an employee who is particularly difficult to deal with. He's making mistakes and generally causing headaches for you.