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TIERS of SHAME


“Challenge


anxiety ”


Contents


The Brief Research Concept Testing


The Brief


De sign a way for people t o increas e everyday

not s mok i ng e tc), s o as to b u il d u p re s il ie nce and

be haviours t hat build ment al well-b eing.

lowe r ou r ch ance s of b e comi ng phy s ically u nwe ll , s i mil ar ly, ps ych olog i s ts s ay we s h oul d pr actice

Challenge and Scope

ce r tai n activitie s i n orde r to l e s s e n th e ch ance s of u s de ve lopi ng me ntal ill ne s s e s .

Me ntal healt h is a major is s ue af fect ing t he U K p opulat ion. 2 5% of people in Brit ain will

Activitie s th at b u il d re s il ie nce and promote g ood

e x p e rience ment al healt h problems every

me ntal h e al th i ncl u de :

ye a r. It cos t s t he N H S a great deal and caus e s

— s pe nd i ng ti me with th e pe opl e you love :

billions in los t earnings f rom s ick days ever y

fr ie nd s , family, coll e ag ue s , and ne ig h b ou r s

ye a r. Approximat ely half of ment al healt h

— b e i ng active : doi ng a phy s ical activity you e nj oy

i ssues are ‘common ment al dis orders ’, s uch

— l e ar ni ng s ome th i ng : s tre tch i ng you r s e l f, re d i s -

a s depres s ion and anxiet y, and it is t hes e th i s

cove r i ng an ol d i nte re s t or tr y i ng s ome th i ng ne w

brie f is focus ed on (as oppos ed t o ps ychot ic

— doi ng s ome th i ng for s ome one e l s e : b e i ng

d i sorders s uch as s chizophrenia).Recent t rend s

par t of a te am, h e l pi ng s ome one out, th i nk i ng

i n p s ychology have focus ed not only on t reati ng

of oth e r s

the se illnes s es but als o on prevent ing t hem . Ju s t

— look i ng arou nd you : th i nk i ng b e yond you r

a s we s hould live healt hy lifes t yles even wh e n

i nte r nal th oug hts , appre ci ati ng wh at you ’ re

we a re phys ically well (eat ing well, exercis ing ,

doi ng and notici ng b e auty


W

hen challenging a brief of t his nat u re it i s

hug e ly import ant not t o lead your res earch on as s u mption , primary res earch is t he only way t o ga i n a tr ue un de rs t anding of people wit h ment al healt h d i s orde r s . An x iet y more s pecif ically s ocial anxiet y s ee me d to fas c i n ate me mos t b ecaus e it s huge prominen ce i n tod ay s soc iet y, es pecially wit h t he increas ed us age of s oci al m e d ia which has diminis hed t he prominen ce of face to fa c e communicat ion wit hin relat ions hips . For tu nate ly the i r was a weekly group dedicat ed t o helpi ng pe opl e suffe ring f rom Social anxiet y. The group ru ns we e kly a n d i s f ree and welcomes anyone who wants to atte nd , so I thought t his would be t he bes t place t o b e g i n my p ri mary res earch. I didn’ t want anyone t o fe e l u ncomforta ble wit h my pres ence s o during t he b e g i nni ng of my fi rs t group s es s ion I int roduced mys elf and tol d th e g roup ab out my project , which is t o des ign a prod uct or sup p ort , t ailored t o helping people s uf ferin g with S.A . The y appreciat ed my hones t y and int ens ions , and al lowe d me t o s it in during t heir s es s ions .


Research


The fi rst se s s ion was a new members meet ing wh ich

al mos t e ve r y k nown th e r apy wh ich to h e l p th e d i s orde r

we lc ome d firs t t ime us ers t o t he group. My int ens ions

with no l uck , e ve r y th i ng from C B T to h e r b al re me d ie s .

for the fi rst group was t o s imply lis t en and acknowl e dg e

Al e x s poke ab out h ow much confi de nce h e los t with th e

a s muc h i n format ion ab out t he dis order as pos s ib l e . We

var iou s th e r apie s d ue to th e amou nt of mone y s pe nt for

sat w ithi n a circle for t he f irs t hour lis t ening t o each

e ach . T h e one th e r apy wh ich h e s ai d actu ally made a

i n d iv i d ual s peaks about t heir week and any mome nts

d i ffe re nce to h i s cond ition was a s e r ie s of e xe rci s e s con-

whe n the y felt anxious and why. The group conductor

s tr ucte d by th e A me r ican ps ych olog i s t Al b e r t Ell i s . Al e x

Nic k be g a n t he group dis cus s ion by t elling us ab out h i s

we nt on to e xpl ai n th at th e e xe rci s e i s de s ig ne d to make

p a st e x p e riences wit h S.A . and t he various met ho d s h e

th e i nd ivi d u al comfor tab l e with th e th oug ht of pote nti al

ha s use d to remedy t he s it uat ion.

s h ame or e mb ar r as s me nt by forci ng th e m i nto s itu ations wh e re th i s woul d b e a l i ke ly outcome . “T h e l as t e xe rci s e

The se c on d hour of t he meet ing involved everyon e

I tr ie d was wh e n th e l as t ti me I we nt on th e u nde rg rou nd

sp litti n g off int o s maller, more comfort ab le s peak i ng

i n London, I s e t my s e l f th e ch all e ng e of s h outi ng at

g ro up s. Nic k (group moderat or) als o handed out a s h e e t

th e top of my l u ng s th e name of e ve r y tr ai n s tation we

of c onve rsat ion s t art ers t o help people along. Ever yone

s toppe d at b e fore I h ad to g e t off. Of cou r s e I was mos tly

w a s a ske d to keep t he dis cus s ion focus ed around ou r

anxiou s j u s t b e fore th e fi r s t one , b ut by th e ti me I g e t to

e x p e rie n c e s wit h anxiet y and t he various t reat me nts .

th e th i rd s tation it al mos t b e came fu n�. T h i s g oe s to s h ow

On e of the members wit hin my group was named Al e x

h ow fe ar of e mb ar r as s me nt and anxie ty i s mos t of th e

Pitt who w as a s t udent current ly s t udying mechanics at

ti me compl e te ly s e l f mani fe s te d , as th e outcome al mos t

the C ity of Bris t ol College. I was f as cinat ed wit h Al e x

ne ve r me e ts th e e xpe ctation. A fte r th e s e s s ion h ad fi n-

a s he se e med t o s peak about his condit ion wit h s uch

i s h e d I s poke to Al e x i n more de tail ab out my proj e ct and

c on fi de n c e , I would never have as s umed he s uf fe re d

h e ag re e d to h e l p with wh at e ve r h e coul d .

from so c i al anxiet y. Alex t old us ab out how he had tr ie d


Shame Attack An R EBT st r at e gy of encourag ing p eop le to do th ing s desp ite a fe ar of fe e l ing fo olish or embarrassed. T h e aim of th e exercise is to t e ac h pe opl e t hat th ey can f unction ef fectively even if th ey mig ht be pe rc e ive d as doing foolish acts.

Alb e rt Ell i s September 2 7, 19 13 – July 2 4 , 2 007


Concept


T

h e concept is t o des ign a s cheme b as ed arou nd th e s h ame attack e xe rci s e s th at coul d b e i nte -

g rated and us ed wit hin various groups ded icate d to anxie ty ( more promi ne ntly s oci al anxie ty ). T h i s sc he me would allow part icipant s t o volunt ar ily e ng ag e i n a we e kly d ive r s e r ang e of d i ffe re nt ch al le n g es des igned t o s pecif ically draw pub lic atte ntion to th e m. Hu mor i s a fantas tic me ch ani s m for de ali ng wit h depres s ion and anxiet y, s o I fe l t it coul d only b e ne fit to h ave an e l e me nt of hu mor with i n the e xercis es . I f implement ed t he group mode r ator woul d h and out a s mall e as y to car r y l e afl e t, wh ich would cont ain t he various challenges , and e ach we e k th e par tici pants woul d s e e h ow many th e y fe l t c on fident enough t o achieve. O nce t hey retu r n to th e g rou p th e followi ng we e k th e y can d i s cu s s e ach o the r’s experiences wit h t he dif ferent exerci s e s and h ope fully e ach b ol d par tici pant woul d i nfl ue nce o the r les s willing individuals .

TIER 1

Accessible

TIER 2

Chall e ng ing

TIER 3

Am b it io u s


TIER 1 ( Ac c e s s ib l e )


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Sm ile at a s t ra n g e r Go i nt o a re s t au ra nt ju s t t o u se t h e t oil e t Tr ip on pu rpo s e ( t ry n o t t o hu r t your s e l f ) Stre t ch i n pu b lic Da n ce pu b licly for 3 s e con d s Acci de nt ally pay t he w ron g a m ount for a p urcha s e As k for d i re ct ion s t o a pla ce yo u al re a dy kn ow how t o g e t t o Pu b licly co ug h or cle a r yo u r t h roat for at lea s t 4 s e con d s As k s om e on e for t he t i m e C lap on ce i n a crowde d pla ce Sp i n a full ro t at ion i n pu b lic C lap while w alk i n g for 1 0 s e con d s Pu rpo s e fully d rop s om e t hi n g i n p ub l ic


TIER 2 ( C h all e n g in g )


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Make a pra n k call Say po t at o ve ry s low ly n e xt t o a s t r a n g e r Wi n k at a pa s s e r by Te ll a joke t o a s t ra n g e r We a r a ju mpe r or s hi rt i n s i de o ut i n p ub l ic C omple m e nt a s t ra n g e r on t he i r looks Pre t e n d t o k ick a fo o t b all t o a s t r a n g e r Da n ce pu b licly for 7 s e con d s Say b le s s yo u t o a s t ra n g e r, e ve n i f t h e y h ave n’ t s n e e z e d Ge t a pict u re w it h a s t ra n g e r Ha g g le a price Walk ve ry s low ly a cro s s a pe des t r i a n c ros s i n g C ro uch dow n for a m om e nt i n p ub l ic Pre t e n d t o have a n a rg u m e nt on t h e p h on e i n p ub l ic C all a frie n d t o t e ll t he m yo u c a n’ t t al k r ig ht n ow Sha ke ha n d s w it h a s t ra n g e r


TIER 3 ( Am b it io u s )


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Skip for at le a s t 1 0 m i nut e s i n p ub l ic Laug h at t he t op of yo u r voice Sing t he choru s t o a m e m ora b l e s on g As k a n at t ra ct ive s t ra n g e r for t h e i r numb e r w it h out sayi n g a nyt hi n g e ls e Whils t i n a clo t he s s t ore a s k t o t r y on a p ie c e of clot hi n g m a de for t he oppo s it e s e x As k a s t ra n g e r t o d a n ce As k a s t ra n g e r t o rat e yo u r lo oks Lie dow n i n pu b lic Pre t e n d yo u r s ho e i s a phon e an d h ave a c onve r s a tion i n pu b lic Borrow a phon e from a s t ra n g e r t o c all your ow n p h on e As a s t ra n g e r for a n i nt e rv ie w wh il s t h ol di n g a n i n vi s i b le m icrophon e Mom e nt a rily pre t e n d t o b e a g re at e r for a s h op


Testing


LIE DOWN IN PUBLIC


ASK A STRANGER FOR AN INTERVIEW


WHILST HOLDING AN INVISIBLE MICROPHONE


PRETEND TO KICK A FOOTBALL TO A STRANGER


WEAR A PIECE OF CLOTHING INSIDE OUT IN PUBLIC


LIE DOWN IN PUBLIC


PRETEND YOUR SHOE IS A MOBILE PHONE,


NOW MAKE A CALL


A

ft e r s how i n g t he s che m e t o b ot h Nic k ( S.A . g roup mode r at or ) a n d Alex ( g ro up at t e n de e ) t he y s e e me d ve r y i mp re s s e d w it h t h e e xe c ut ion of the e xe rci s e . Ale x re fle ct e d hi s e nt hus i a s m by s ay i n g h ow h e woul d b e w illi n g t o pa rt icipat e i n t he s ch e m e a s we ll a s p romot e it t o a ny p os s i b l e mem b e rs w it hi n hi s ci rcle . Nick al s o a g re e d t o c on s i de r i nt roduc i n g it into hi s we e kly s e s s ion s on ce all t h e p r i nt s h a d b e e n f i n al i s e d.


“COMEDY IS DEFIAN OF

CONTEMPT

IN

FEAR AND ANXIET

LAUGHTER THAT A

CREEP BACK ON TH


NCE, IT’S A SNORT

N

THE

FACE

OF

Y... AND IT’S THE

ALLOWS HOPE TO

HE INHALE” Will D urst


TIERS of SHAME Ni chola s Hus s a i n


Tiers of Shame