About the Institute
The Institute for the Relief of Suffering was founded as a 501(c)3 Nonprofit Corporation for the purposes of Education in September 2022 in the Bay Area in California. Our goal is to relieve suffering by helping to change the minds of individuals with our content and services. We intend to do this directly through educational content and services available to the general public and indirectly through providing specialized training content and services to licensed mental health practitioners around the world.
About Its Specific Purpose
Our Specific Purpose is to provide mental health education and training for licensed mental health practitioners and the general public. We will help relieve suffering by teaching and training others to do so.
About the Founder
Jordan Boehler, LCSW is a psychotherapist, trainer, and clinical supervisor who lives in the Bay Area of California. He is the founder and CEO of the Institute for the Relief of Suffering. He owns a successful telehealth private practice, works with two group clinics, and supervises CA associate mental health practitioners who are currently accruing hours towards clinical licensure.
Jordan founded the Institute for the Relief of Suffering after realizing an unmet need in the licensed mental health practitioner community. Many of his fellow therapists and former supervisees have expressed a longing for that clinical supervision-style relationship after licensure. Find out more about that here.
He has done pioneering work in Mimetic Therapies, a category of clinical approach which includes Rapid Resolution Therapy (RRT), Internal Family Systems therapy (IFS), Somatic Experiencing, and Eye Movement-Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR). Mimetic therapies are designed to use establishment and manipulation of representational and symbolic frameworks to facilitate memory reconsolidation (see 'About Suffering' below) from the inside out, more rapidly and painlessly than traditional or cognitively-based approaches. He has developed innovative methods to address complex problems and facilitated workshops to train other expert practitioners to do so in the field.
Jordan has worked from an entry level clinician to becoming a team lead and then clinical director within 2 years of becoming licensed. He is a graduate of the inaugural cohort of the Emerging Leaders Program. He has supervised hundreds of staff and several clinicians on multi-disciplinary teams in different settings.
His passion for relieving suffering in others and for facilitating the growth of fellow licensed mental health practitioners made the founding of the Institute for the Relief of Suffering (the GOOD IRS ) inevitable. He believes that by helping to relieve the suffering of others and helping others to do the same, mind by mind, the world will change.
To learn more about the Founder, click here.
"Older textbooks explained that the hypothalamus, an evolutionarily ancient structure lodged at the base of the brain, reacts to stress by triggering the secretion of hormones from the pituitary and adrenal glands, which makes the heart race, elevates blood pressure and diminishes appetite. Current research reveals an unexpected role for the prefrontal cortex, the area immediately behind the forehead that serves as the control center that mediates our highest cognitive abilities—among them concentration, planning, decision-making, insight, judgment and the ability to retrieve memories. The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain that evolved most recently, and it can be exquisitely sensitive to even temporary everyday anxieties and worries.
When things are going well, the prefrontal cortex acts as a control center that keeps our baser emotions and impulses in check. Acute, uncontrollable stress sets off a series of chemical events that weaken the influence of the prefrontal cortex while strengthening the dominance of older parts of the brain. In essence, it transfers high-level control over thought and emotion from the prefrontal cortex to the hypothalamus and other earlier evolved structures. As the older parts take over, we may find ourselves either consumed by paralyzing anxiety or subject to impulses usually kept in check: indulgence in excesses of food, drink, drugs or a spending spree at a local specialty store. Quite simply, we lose it."
Taken from: "Neural circuits responsible for conscious self-control are highly ...." https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4774859/. Accessed 17 May. 2018.
Thoughts from stress inducing events can get encoded as a threat to our continuation. When memories from such events are recalled there is a window of opportunity to change their meaning by introducing a new learning and meaning, the process of recalling and updating a memory is called memory reconsolidation.
Taken from: "Memory Reconsolidation Understood and Misunderstood | The ...." 2 Jan. 2015, https://www.neuropsychotherapist.com/memory-reconsolidation-understood-and-misunderstood/.
Without resolution, recalling, thinking, writing, or retelling such events can cause cycles of intrusive and ruminative symptoms (emotional suffering) which inadvertently reinforce the original learning within brain’s neural networks.
Why do the unwanted experiences get so much attention and memory space?
The mind is like Velcro for negative experiences, and Teflon for positive ones.” Our brains are wired to have an affinity for cataloging and comparing any event data that might be considered a threat to our continuation, “negative emotion enhances not only the subjective vividness of a memory but also the likelihood of remembering some (but not all) event details” add to this that:
emotional learning selectively and retroactively strengthens memories for related events
recollections of events are inconsistent with the actual event data
“neural circuits responsible for conscious self-control are highly vulnerable to even mild stress. When they shut down, primal impulses go unchecked and mental paralysis sets in”.
The collective result is that the brain gets stuck in a loop of executing commands to take actions about such events to make the event stop happening then and now, energy builds up to be used for this purpose but since the target does not exist the energy is unable to hit its target and is experienced as stress, anxiety, depression, anger, guilt, shame, regret, grief, etc.
Taken from: "Hooked on a Feeling: intrusive and ruminative symptoms in PTSD ...." 18 Nov. 2014, http://sites.tufts.edu/emotiononthebrain/2014/11/18/hooked-on-a-feeling-intrusive-and-ruminative-symptoms-in-ptsd/.
“Our brain cells communicate with one another via synaptic transmission–one brain cell releases a chemical (neurotransmitter) that the next brain cell absorbs. This communication process is known as “neuronal firing.” When brain cells communicate frequently, the connection between them strengthens. Messages that travel the same pathway in the brain over & over begin to transmit faster & faster. With enough repetition, they become automatic. That’s why we practice things like hitting a golf ball–with enough practice, we can go on automatic pilot.” https://www.dailyshoring.com/neurons-that-fire-together-wire-together/
"The Neuroscience of Happiness | Greater Good Magazine." 22 Sep. 2010, https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/the_neuroscience_of_happiness.
"Negative Emotion Enhances Memory Accuracy - Boston College." https://www2.bc.edu/elizabeth-kensinger/Kensinger_CD07.pdf. Accessed 16 May. 2018.
"Emotional learning selectively and retroactively strengthens memories ...." 21 Jan. 2015, https://www.nature.com/articles/nature14106. Accessed 16 May. 2018.
"You Have No Idea What Happened - The New Yorker." 4 Feb. 2015, https://www.newyorker.com/science/maria-konnikova/idea-happened-memory-recollection.
"Neural circuits responsible for conscious self-control are highly ...." https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4774859/. Accessed 16 May. 2018.
What is experienced as suffering is the brain stuck in a loop of
“Trying to make an event not happen or happen differently than it did”- in past, present, or future.
Suffering is the mind's chronic resistance to
what is, was,
or will be.
About the Relief of Suffering
If suffering is the mind's chronic resistance to what is, was, and will be, then the relief of suffering consists of ceasing to resist.
The relief of suffering is not achieved as a higher state, or as the result of sufficient effort, or by chance.
Effective licensed mental health practitioners and independent certified healers use expedient means to facilitate the stopping of this chronic impulse or activity that we were not even aware we were doing by shifting the way the mind a client's mind processes information. If suffering is only in the mind, then the work to relieve it is in the mind. These healers are trained and certified to do this work with people around the world. Find out more about how the Institute for the Relief of Suffering helps mental health practitioners and healers master the ability to relieve suffering here.
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