Fortress Tutorial 1: New Maps, New Solutions by Richard Grannon


Are you, or someone you know, struggling with mental issues, searching for ways to heal trauma? I want to recommend you the work of Richard Grannon. He’s a Life Coach for victims of narcissistic abuse. On his website, you can sign in for a free copy of his book to heal Emotional Flashback: He also offers two paid courses at 1. Unplug from the Matrix of Narcissism. The Course to help you get out & stay out of abusive relationships. 2. The Iron Rules of Business. All The Practical Information You Need To Build A Successful Business. Nevertheless, today we’ll focus on his YouTube Site dedicated to CPTSD Recovery: Fortress Mental Health. There you can find for free a video series: Richard Grannon’s Fortress Mental Health Protection System: for recovery from trauma, narcissistic abuse, CPTSD, depression, and anxiety.

Fortress Tutorial 1: New Maps, New Solutions by Richard Grannon
Fortress Tutorial 1: New Maps, New Solutions by Richard Grannon

The following text was transcribed from Richard Grannon video: Fortress Tutorial 1: New Maps, New Solutions. I hope you like it.

Fortress Tutorial 1: New Maps, New Solutions by Richard Grannon

R. Grannon: «Hello and welcome to the Fortress Mental Health Protection System the first thing we need to do before we get into the techniques and the tactics and the tools I’m going to be sharing with you, is I need to give you a little bit of an updated definition of what’s going on. So people come usually for help with issues around mental health and they tend to cluster around particular issues we have depression, very very common, depression, anxiety, addiction, disassociation, and anger management. Now, we tend to think of  all these issues as being discrete, as  being separate from each other, but they are not ,they all form part of the same response. Now this is called the Fortress Self-protection System. Self-protection is a very very key issue when we’re discussing mental health. Actually all of these are a description of a cluster of symptoms that sort of vaguely overlap. You know you take something like depression for example, there are at least three different types of  depression, with three different types of causes, that will have three different types of treatment. So we need to think about this in a different way: These are all words that I used to describe how people feel and how they’re interacting with reality. To me it’s all down to self-protection, these are responses to pain. So all the best is an effort by the unconscious those elements of the body, the brain, and the hormonal system that are non-conscious to protect you, they’re all efforts at self-protection.

You might be thinking: «-How is anxiety and depression protecting me? That’s weird, it just it sucks, it actually doesn’t protect me, it’s actually harmful for me.» I agree with you. These are unconscious, so you didn’t consciously choose them, and they are primal. In an evolutionary sense we still have parts of us that are animalistic, that are evolved to respond to very, very harsh and violent environments, and those responses that have been developed over millennia, which are now hardwired into us at the genetic level, are not appropriate. They were appropriate, but they are now not appropriate to the threats that we face as the modern human being. So our responses to stress, there’s a self-protection, it’s an unconscious and primal response to pain, or stress. That’s what these responses are. All of this is a response to pain and distress. Everything that we see in the mental health field, I think pretty much everything, most of the things are malformed or mal adapted, it’s called in the signs of it literature a maladaptive response. So mal means bad as in the root of the word malignant or malign, and then adaptive, how well is it evolving? how well is it adapting to the threat? Well here’s the threat, this isn’t the saber-tooth Tiger, this isn’t an opposing tribe that’s attacking us, this is just generic pain, generic stress. I don’t feel good. I don’t like it. The limbic system kicks in and goes: «-Okay pain bad, pleasure good, pain away, how do I get that away? How do I move towards pleasure?»

Fortress Tutorial 1: New Maps, New Solutions by Richard Grannon. Illustration by Ra’al Ki Victorieux

So, in another sense, we can say that all of the major mental health issues that we can describe, addiction, anxiety, so on… we talk about them like they’re separate, they’re actually all part the same thing as I’ll demonstrate, it is not just a move towards protecting the self, and you need to understand this in order to resolve them, but it’s to move away from pain. All of these are about moving away from pain, including anger management, it’s a move away from pain. Depression can be a response to pain, where pain is overwhelming, so some people become depressed, simply because they’re traumatized by something that happens of them recently, and they don’t know how to process it, or they’ve diminutize, they’ve made their trauma smaller, and they’re not accessing it, and they’re suppressing their feelings. Anxiety typically and very, very… I’m gonna give it to you in simplistic terms right now. Anxiety typically is the desire to flee, or to take an action. So our feelings of anxiety, how does it feel when I’m anxious? Oh! You wanna… You just you feel fearful, and you want to do something, you’re like, it’s like «-I can’t sleep, I can’t relax, I’m anxious.» So the system is giving you a message, if we assume that this message is maladaptive, so it’s not a clever adaptation. It’s a it’s a weak or malformed adaptation. That’s fine, that’s one assumption we can make, but let’s assume positive intent.

This is a major shift when we’re looking at mental health issues. Let’s assume that whatever is going on for us internally… However anger management issues that could destroy a relationship. Disassociating all the time which is like daydreaming, some people now call that maladaptive, some clinicians now call that maladaptive daydreaming, dissociating, daydreaming, you just want to be away from reality, you want to sink into your smartphone, you want to play a video game, you want to do online gambling, sometimes is porn, sometimes it’s just literally just sitting there with your eyes glazed over there unresponsive, you’re coming away from reality to escape it. Anxiety is saying there’s a threat, do something about it. Depression is kind of saying this is too much, let’s give up, or suppress how we feel. The addictive cycle is an effort to deal, I think, with anxiety and isolation, strong feelings of loneliness and loss. So again it’s an inability to deal with pain and stress, and it’s a way of disassociating from anxiety. So straight  off the bat here we have addiction, actually the disassociation from anxiety. So these are not distinct and discrete  issues they’re all interlocking and interrelated. Anger management is an  inability to process sadness and grief and feelings of vulnerability, and isolation, which comes up as emotional dysregulation, which then fires off a primal unconscious response. But all of  these have a positive intent even when they ruin lives, even when it’s ruining your life, it’s ruining your friends life, it’s ruining a client’s life… the positive intent from the unconscious and primal it’s stupid but strong. This is the way to regard the unconscious primal parts of ourselves, that strong but really stupid.

Perhaps like an animal would be, super loyal, but you know your dog is loyal, your dog loves you, but it’s not got a PhD, it can’t do critical thinking, it can’t be like: «-Well Mary, we should weigh all the options here.» It just knows what it knows, and nothing else. The positive intent is always the  move towards safety when you are feeling safe again, or you’ve at least convinced the unconscious and primal part of yourself that you are safe, these will switch off. So, to me these aren’t diseases of the mind, they are no viruses, there’s no bacteria, there’s no neurotransmitters, or hormones that go with, there’s no chemical. To me the these aren’t caused by a chemical imbalance, they create chemical imbalances, but they’re not caused by chemical imbalances. They’re caused by a maladaptive response to pain and to stress.

So from this from this, we need another concept. So, this is our cluster of the… perhaps I’ve missed them out… the mainstream things that people go to counselors and psychotherapists for: depression, anxiety, social anxiety (which is still anxiety), addiction, and anger management… and then everything else is kind of a correlate for all of these. These things, the major mental health issues, that we need to be protecting ourselves against, are all around the issue of self-protection. They’re all there to protect you. When you feel safe, those programs, that not viruses, it’s a program, it’s a learned response, they switch off because they’re not needed anymore. The way the body and the mind works, is if you can demonstrate that you have a more effective method of getting something done, by the laws of efficiency, the brain will give up the older, less effective way of getting it done automatically, without without second thought. Why? Because it’s unconscious and primal. You may have responded with rage up until now, but if we can demonstrate to the unconscious a better way, you’ll stop instantly, because you’re an efficient being, and those neural pathways of rage, they will die. They’ll simply atrophy and die without a second thought, that’s how it will work.

These major mental health issues actually are derivations of a primal response from the unconscious at the animalistic level, they fall into a category of Four F’s. You will have heard of the fight-or-flight response, but you might not have heard of the fawn-freeze response. These are the four apps, you will be a primary responder for one of these, and a secondary responder. So you might be primarily like an angry person and then secondary… that’s your first layer response for dealing with stress, pain, trauma, and then your second layer response might be to freeze and to dissociate. So you might go into a rage, followed by two hours of, or two days even, of just blanking out, just thinking nothing, dissociating, gambling, video games, as I said before, watching TV, just sitting out watching TV, anything. What I’m now about to get into with you, comes from Judith Herman, so if you want to read the literature, she came up with a term that is CPTSD. It’s wonderful these psychologists, they invent these terms, and they’terrifyingly complicated. This actually stands for Complex Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.

Now right now you might be thinking: «-I definitely don’t have CPTSD.» Slow down. You do have pain, you do. You have stress. Pain and stress is traumatic to the system, it is traumatic to you. Life is traumatic for most human beings. All human beings have an element of Post Traumatic Stress Response. So, Post Traumatic Stress Response means: After the event, you have a way of functioning in the world, that relates back in time, to something previous, it isn’t about now. That’s PTSD. When it’s CPTSD, Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, as defined by Judith Herman… is just to make this very, very simple… You all know, most people know what PTSD is: You have a combat veteran, they go to war, and then they will see something awful, one of their friends is killed in front of them. So thereafter, every time they hear a loud noise, or a bang, or they hear the sound of breaking glass… perhaps they’re in a vehicle, one of their friends is a victim of sniper fire, so they heard breaking glass and then their friend was dead. So every time they drive, every time  they hear an engine start, every time  they hit breaking glass, will they smell diesel fuel, you know what I’m saying? These become triggers that evoke flashbacks, that’s standard PTSD. So you have a singular experience, with a singular set of triggers, that will allow you to, that cause the brains to replay the dangerous circumstances. «-Oh, no! Breaking glass means death, the sound of a carriage means death, the sound, the smell of diesel means something awful and traumatic.» And the brain, the unconscious primal, loyal, but stupid animal is going: «-Wake up! Wake up! This is dangerous! This is dangerous! I need to keep you safe! My job is self-protection. This is dangerous!» And you’ll be driving to the supermarket again. «-This isn’t dangerous, we just happen to be in a vehicle, which is, you know, has the sound of an engine and the smell of fuel, the same as the vehicle that was on other set of circumstances. So it’s singular. With CPTSD, complex in this situation just means, instead of it being singular, there’s a multiplicity of scenarios. So throughout a multiplicity of different events in your life you experienced pain and stress: A lot of little traumas. Let’s call them micro traumas.

The example I use from shooting, is PTSD would be when you fire a gun, a target, in your bang you hit the target, because you’re a good shot, and you make one nice neat little hole right in center mass. If you use say a pistol or revolver to do that with. If you take a combat shotgun and you unload at the target from 6 meters away and you unload 6 shots and the target, you’ll cut the target in half. Why? Because the the shells fire out a lot of small bullets for once of a better term, tiny little pellets that cause multiple fractures in the target. That’s the difference between PTSD and CPTSD. It’s like a box shut effect multiple tiny little tear is very hard for you to remember every single tiny little incident, but then I have an accumulative effect, just like they do on the target, and it’s very destructive. When you have a flashback that is from CPTSD you don’t remember visually. You don’t smell the fuel, you don’t hear the engine, you don’t hear the glass break, you don’t remember what you saw, all that is remembered by the body and the brain at its most primal level is how it made you feel. How would you feel? Perhaps our combat veteran in that scenario felt suddenly shocked, then terrified, then overwhelmed, then angry, then whatever they felt in that particular scenario. So they would just experience the emotions, the emotional flashback would come off, and they would go into a primary response.

Everybody uses all four responses, but different people have a preferential response typically. As you progress through your therapy you can actually switch responses, which is not great. We want you to have no primal response. We will need to have a human adult balanced response, not a primal one, but it does show therapeutic progress. Fighting is anger management. So if you have a primary fight response, when stress comes you’ll get very angry very quickly and you’ll be looking for something to break. Flight, very simple, you want to run away either physically run away, or emotionally, you just… well, flight, you’ll run away. Fawning means, you start to plead, to beg, to negotiate, and this is very, very common with people pleaser syndrome and codependency issues, that as a pronounced foreign response, so when stress or pain comes you try and find a way of fawning, of negotiating with it. The primal context, safety tiger jumps out, if you’re a fight responder you crack its head with a rock, if you’re a flight responder you run like hell away from it, if you’re  a fawn responder you would be: «-Don’t kill me mister saber-toothed tiger, eat this other smaller animal instead.» And you take it and throw it in your path. The freeze response, there’s another primal response, which is where you just keep very, very still in the context of a saber-toothed tiger again, or any predator who’s predatory vision is at its best when there is movement, because some animals throughout our evolution, they’re evolved to see prey running away from them, so if the prey gets very still, they actually don’t see it very well, so you have a chance, it’s your last ditch chance in a survival scenario, if you freeze, if you keep completely still, and many of us were walking around with death as a primal response.

This means to recover from depression, anxiety, addiction, anger management issues, maladaptive daydreaming also known as disassociation, what we actually need to do is overcome these things called emotional flashbacks. We do well to figure out what our primary response is, and notice when it’s coming up, but we really need to bring these emotional flashbacks down, which is what I’m going to teach you to do in the next section. Thank you very much for your time, and for your attention, and I speech in the next section, cheers.»

👋 I hope you find this transcription useful to deal with your pain. We think it is great to work for a mental health awareness. If you like this info, please leave a comment, or share it with someone who can need this insight. Greetings, and see you soon.

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