BookPDF Available

The Psychology of Irreconcilable Differences: A Guide to Relationship Reactivity

Abstract

The world of relationships and relationship conflict has been an acquaintance by default of Steve Meade in his professional practice as a school psychologist. Psychologists inherit much more than their client’s brief – they inherit generational and contextual elements that go far beyond the referral. Meade has obviously encountered his fair share of relationship challenges in his work with children, and his involvement of parents in every aspect of the intervention process has meant he has had to work closely with all stakeholders, many of whom don’t exactly see eye-to-eye with others in the child’s equation. The dynamic nature of human interaction makes for an intriguing read that taps into much of Meade’s expanding volumes on Reactivity and Executive Function.
A preview of the PDF is not available
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Book
Full-text available
“Psychology is about listening to what clients tell you. Great psychology is about listening to what they don’t tell you!” As the world grapples with the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, Steve Meade delves further into the realms of psychological functioning and reactivity from the ground up. Using the backdrop of 2020’s global crisis, he explains the societal and individual response to environment as he methodically exposes the human response to stress, load, and pressure. Placing the psychiatric fraternity front and centre, he presents the prevailing view of mood disorders, including depression, anxiety, and anger, as being a short term alleviation of presentation symptoms rather than a problem origin view aimed at correcting behavioural foundations. He specifically addresses the contribution of cerebral blood flow ratios to reactivity, and identifies simple methods that enables individuals to ‘switch’ between their cognitive and reactive systems.
Book
Full-text available
The global focus on Executive Function has resulted in large volumes of research and psychological intervention presenting many (often divergent) views of this elusive neural construct. Researchers, Ostrosky and Gurtierrez stated in their 2019 paper, ‘Neurological Assessment of Executive Function’, that the accurate measuring of Executive Function is not drawing unified consensus or definition due to a diversity of conceptual and theoretical approaches. Steve Meade has been addressing the foundations of Executive Function in his private practice since 2011, and in his growing compendium of books on ‘Reactivity’. As he disseminates current explanations of the topic, readers can expect to be challenged on their current views of Executive Function development, as well as the societal and familial contributors necessary for it to effectively control and regulate behaviour.
Book
Full-text available
Steve Meade’s work in schools for over ten years has furnished him with exposure to the challenges faced by students, teachers, and parents. As a practicing psychologist, his focus on reactivity has equipped with insights that have directed his efforts away from more traditional psychological approaches and interventions toward a broader view of human behaviour, particularly the behaviours of students that directs their life efforts. Part of this evolution has been to shift his intervention from problem presentation toward a more ‘origin’ focus of reactive behaviour. Meade’s revealing account opens up a distinctly different view of reactivity, but also challenges those implicated in that endeavour. Despite that uncomfortable dissemination, a trademark of his work, school staff and the broader academic community need to better support parents and their children in the real world challenges that many are desperately trying to retreat from somatically and emotionally. More than a ‘must read’, this latest book in Meade’s growing catalogue provides a template which addresses the foundational issues continuing to plague school settings, and ultimately society.
Book
Full-text available
“Reactivity: An Evolutionary Solution to a Biogeographical Dilemma” synthesises ingredients from Meade’s previous trilogy, The Reactive Alien series. Focussing on reactivity as being merely a symptom of a topological dilemma faced by the neural system for millions of years, enables more detailed insights into reactivity and behaviour. Meade’s writing remains unswerving in addressing society’s biggest social, familial, and academic challenges. Underpinned by a number of theorists and models, his expose on behaviour platforms the inner workings of human reactivity. Unlike his previous works, this book offers a more accessible entry point for the general reader to gain insight into the complexity (and often misunderstood functioning) of the brain, while simultaneously reducing that complexity down to its simplest expressions. His theories on Executive Function continue to challenge traditional views on neural network maturation while offering evolutionary explanations for today’s human experiences and direction.
Article
Full-text available
Better executive functioning may be associated with more adaptive stress responses than worse executive functioning, potentially due to less propensity for rumination. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that better executive functioning would be associated with decreased total cortisol output (AUCg) and cortisol sensitivity with respect to increase/decrease (AUCi) in response to a stressor, and that this association is mediated by stress task rumination. Participants completed measures of inhibition, updating/monitoring, and cognitive flexibility, a social-evaluative stressor, and a self-report measure of rumination about the stressor. Participants provided saliva samples at six time points to measure cortisol output and sensitivity. Cognitive flexibility was negatively associated with stress task rumination (r = -0.30, p < .05); however, this association was no longer significant when adding covariates (i.e., participant age, sex, highest education, and body mass index) to a regression model. Cognitive flexibility was also associated with AUCg (r = -.28, p < .05), while rumination was associated with AUCi in non-adjusted (r = .28, p < .05) and adjusted (b = .81, p < .05) analyses. Furthermore, females demonstrated better cognitive flexibility (r = .26, p < .05) and lower AUCg (r = - .45, p < .05) compared to males. Findings demonstrate the importance of cognitive flexibility and rumination when predicting dynamic measures of stress-induced cortisol over time.
Article
Full-text available
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a very common stress-related mental disorder that carries a huge burden for affected patients and the society. It is associated with a high mortality that derives from suicidality and the development of serious medical conditions such as heart diseases, diabetes, and stroke. Although a range of effective antidepressants are available, more than 50% of the patients do not respond to the first treatment they are prescribed and around 30% fail to respond even after several treatment attempts. The heterogeneous condition of MDD, the lack of biomarkers matching patients with the right treatments and the situation that almost all available drugs are only targeting the serotonin, norepinephrine, or dopamine signaling, without regulating other potentially dysregulated systems may explain the insufficient treatment status. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is one of these other systems, there is numerous and robust evidence that it is implicated in MDD and other stress-related conditions, but up to date there is no specific drug targeting HPA axis components that is approved and no test that is routinely used in the clinical setting identifying patients for such a specific treatment. Is there still hope after these many years for a breakthrough of agents targeting the HPA axis? This review will cover tests detecting altered HPA axis function and the specific treatment options such as glucocorticoid receptor (GR) antagonists, corticotropin-releasing hormone 1 (CRH1) receptor antagonists, tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase (TDO) inhibitors and FK506 binding protein 5 (FKBP5) receptor antagonists.
Article
Full-text available
There are no specific structural neuropathological hallmarks found in the brain of mood disorders. Instead, there are molecular, functional and structural alterations reported in many brain areas. The neurodevelopmental underpinning indicated the presence of various genetic and developmental risk factors. The effect of genetic polymorphisms and developmental sequalae, some of which may start in the womb, result in functional changes in a network mediated by neurotransmitters and neuropeptides, which make the emotion- and stress-related brain systems more vulnerable to stressful events. This network of stress-related neurocircuits consists of, for instance, brainstem nuclei, the amygdala, habenula, prefrontal cortex and hypothalamus. Various nuclei of the hypothalamus form indeed one of the crucial hubs in this network. This structure concerns not only the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis that integrate the neuro-endocrine-immune responses to stress, but also other hypothalamic nuclei and systems that play a key role in the symptoms of depression, such as disordered day-night rhythm, lack of reward feelings, disturbed eating, sex, and disturbed cognitive functions. The present review will focus on the changes in the human hypothalamus in depression, with the HPA axis in the center. We will discuss the inordinate network of neurotransmitters and neuropeptides involved, with the hope to find the most vulnerable neurobiological systems and the possible development of tailor-made treatments for mood disorders in the future.
Chapter
Full-text available
Evolution is the process in which traits such as physiological stress response systems (SRSs) are shaped by natural selection. A full understanding of any trait requires knowing its evolutionary history, how it has given a selective advantage, and the trade-offs and costs involved. Stress-related mechanisms emerged early in the history of life. Like all traits, they have costs as well as benefits. Because the stress response is so often associated with negative events, its utility has often been neglected. This chapter reviews the phylogeny and functional significance of the SRS, with a special focus on how selection has shaped the mechanisms that process environmental information to regulate the stress response, and how the stress response influences other traits such as risk-taking and sexual behavior.
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Uncertainty and instability are the norm of today's work envioronment. .Now-a-days suicidal cases account for more than a million deaths each year. This work has been undertaken to study the Morphological adaptive changes in adrenal gland in such stressful conditions .Aim & Objectives :To correlate the Morphological adaptive changes in adrenal gland in response to chronic stress since it is a stress responding organ common to both the HPA axis & Sympathoadrenomedullary axis. Material & Methods : The study was carried out over a period of two yrs. Right and Left adrenals of hundred suicidal cases and twenty accidental cases (control) were studied. Results : On Morphological Analysis it was found that Adrenal gland increases both in weight & dimensions in suicidal cases as compared to Accidental cases. A normal pattern of Adrenal gland is informative of receipt of sudden violence i.e accident. Conclusion :The present study concludes and supports the idea that chronic stress as in suicide usually induces adrenal growth which may have implications for forensic people in revealing the cause of unknown deaths. 1: INTRODUCTION : The Adrenal gland reflects the functional changes of the stress system which leaves an imprint on the morphology of the gland. The body's reaction to a stressor is part of our survival mechanism. Under stress, the ACTH is released into circulation by the anterior pituitary. ACTH reaches the adrenal cortex where it stimulates the endocrine cells to secrete the steroid hormone cortisol. The Zona fasciculata of adrenal cortex is rich in lipids which acts as the raw material for the synthesis of cortisol. Chronic stress leads to hypertrophy and hyperplsis of zona fasciculata. 1.There is positive correlation between adrenal weight and total cortical thickness in both Right and Left adrenal2.The pro-liferative effect of ACTH on adrenal is due to release of extracellular signal related kinases 3. ACTH also induces expression of genes associated with cell cycle proliferation c-fos and c-jun .4 Thus the bilateral enlargement of adre-nal is mainly due to ACTH .5 Keeping in view of this present day situation where uncertainty and instability are the norm in today's work environment . Suicide is one of the ten leading causes of death in the world accounting for more than a million deaths annually. As per WHO, there is one suicidal death in 40 seconds throughout the world. India and China are responsible for 30% of all cases of suicide worldwide .