The Butterfly and the Hawk: How “Dual Focus” Can Help You Overcome Pain, Anxiety, and Trauma

Dr. Keith WittIntegral Live, Intrapersonal, Perspectives, Psychology, Video, Witt & Wisdom: Live with Dr. Keith 2 Comments

We all want to survive, thrive, and love well, and are genetically wired to do so. Of course, trauma and distress intrudes and contributes to all our defensive programming. So, we are also wired to worry, be depressed, create conflicts, and get in our own way.

A common element of many trauma treatments, most psychotherapy, and much spiritual practice is something called “dual focus” — our capacity to anchor ourselves in the feeling of being safe, capable, and worthy in the present moment, while simultaneously extending our awareness to distressing feelings, thoughts, memories, impulses, judgments, and events. There is a lot of data supporting the presence of an adaptive information processing system in the brain that, under the right circumstances of dual focus, integrates traumatic memories and helps us grow to be more able, more fluent with complexity, and more at peace with the world.

Join us as Dr. Keith explores dual focus and how to bring it to bear on accelerating our personal and relational evolution.

Dr. Keith Witt

About Keith Witt

Dr. Keith Witt is a Licensed Psychologist, teacher, and author who has lived and worked in Santa Barbara, CA. for over forty years. Dr. Witt is also the founder of The School of Love.

Corey deVos

About Corey deVos

Corey W. deVos is editor and producer of Integral Life. He has worked for Integral Institute/Integal Life since Spring of 2003, and has been a student of integral theory and practice since 1996. Corey is also a professional woodworker, and many of his artworks can be found in his VisionLogix art gallery.


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    Thank you so much dear Cory and Keith. I have enjoyed all of your offerings. They have been so rich with insight and your generous sharing of information.

    Wasn’t Ken’s two elements to acquiring knowledge translation and “transmission“ (as opposed to “acquisition“) ? I have not checked to verify this, and am amazed that this is coming from my usually not so dynamic memory of conversations on Ken Wilber forums about 15- 19 years ago.

    If I understand this correctly, Yoga Nidra might be added to the list of practices which also entail a dual focus.

    Namaste, and in love and appreciation,


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    Great you guys, thanks. I rarely listen all the way through a video, but I did this one ( I was also playing horn the whole time!)

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