The evaluation and treatment model used at the Attention and Learning Clinic is partly inspired by the work of Ken Wilber on Integral Therapy and Ross Greene on Collaborative Problem Solving. This means, in part, that patients and their difficulties are viewed and treated from a number of different angles. Both objective and subjective experience are equally valued. Objective experience includes external events such as the weather, what other people do and say, the school system, traffic jams, etc. A bully harassing a child at school is an example of an external or objective event. Subjective experience includes internal events like thoughts, images, and feelings. The self-talk, mind-pictures, and feelings while being harassed by a bully are internal or subjective events. Physiological processes, including brain chemistry, release of hormones, and metabolism are also important factors in our total experience. A basic assumption at The Attention and Learning Clinic is that all of these factors - external experience, internal experience, and physiological processes - interact in an intricate dance to create our experience in life.
Another important aspect of the Integral Model is its emphasis on growth. All of life involves either growth or decay. Our bodies grow from one cell to trillions in a matter of months. Researchers around the world have identified stages of mental, emotional, and moral growth in individuals. Instead of solving problems by stamping them out, the focus at The Attention and Learning Clinic is to solve problems by growing the patient's capabilities, resources, and flexibility. An Integral approach calls for facilitating this growth also in families and communities.
The Integral Model also recognizes that stages of internal growth can be divided into a number of areas. For example, at one time the profession of psychology focused on the general intelligence of people. Today psychologists generally recognize a number of areas of intelligence including logical/sequential intelligence, verbal intelligence, visual-spatial intelligence, emotional intelligence, kinesthetic intelligence, social intelligence, and musical intelligence, among others. These areas of intelligence usually develop somewhat independently of each other.
Other major influences include cooperative and collaborative approaches, as exemplified by the work of Ross Greene, whose book, The Explosive Child, is in its fifth edition. The field of Solution Oriented Psychotherapy has also inspired our approach. We have minimized the use of specific, adult-contrived behavioral programs and emphasized working together with children and teens to discover solutions to problems. This approach relies on learning how to work with others to generate solutions instead of blindly following orders.