My name is Clive Sherlock. In 1974, I founded Adaptation Practice to deal with emotion because there was no other safe and effective way.
After more than forty years of research and clinical practice as a psychiatrist and psychologist in hospitals and university departments in London and Oxford, I have no doubt that Adaptation Practice is the safest and most reliable way of dealing effectively with so-called mental illnesses (such as stress, anxiety, anger, depression and disturbed behaviour), and of coping with other emotional problems we all face from time to time.
The long search
Our ancestors have been searching for a way to deal with these problems since prehistoric times and, despite all the advances in science, drugs and psychology, doctors and psychologists are still searching. Recently, psychiatrists, psychologists and neuroscientists have become interested in mindfulness meditation, but, not knowing what it is, they have taken it out of its proper context and westernised it: exactly what a contemporary Zen Buddhist teacher warned against.
Consequently, they have missed the essential purpose and benefits of meditation and despite all its publicity on the media western mindfulness meditation does nothing more than scratch the surface.
Knowing by doing
We can only know what the Practice is by learning it, just as we can only know the taste of salt by tasting it, and we can only know what it is to ride a bike by learning to ride one. Then we instantly know the taste of all salt, and we instantly know what it is to ride any bike. We learn to do the Practice by working with the emotion that gives rise to our moods and feelings and affects what we say, do and think.
There’s nothing new in Adaptation Practice. The same approach has been developed, tried and tested by many thousands of people over the centuries. It teaches a simple practical way of living and coping with our difficulties. It’s simple, but not always easy: we often have to make an effort, as I’ll discuss in a moment.
The Practice is nothing but common sense, based on what we can all see for ourselves. For example, we all know we become upset when we can’t have what we want. We all know we become upset when we can’t avoid what we don’t want, such as loss or threat. But what to do about our upset, our disappointment, frustration, sadness, anger, anxiety, depression or however else we’re affected? This is what the Practice teaches us to deal with. It does not depend on drugs, psychological therapies, theories, dogmas, beliefs or opinions. Based on undeniable evidence, the Practice is compatible with both science and religions, but, for the same reason, is radically different from psychiatry and clinical psychology – which are based on opinions and theories.
Introduction to Ap Classes
Adaptation Practice is not a quick-fix. But then the cause of suffering, of stress, anxiety, anger, depression and disturbed behaviour, is far too deep for quick-fix ways to reach, let alone deal with.
The Practice is learnt by trying and practising simple practical instructions. Like learning to play any skill, a sport or a musical instrument, for example, the main work is done between classes. Difficulties and mistakes are then corrected during classes. The new skills we develop in the Practice will last the rest of our lives.
Eight classes are usually enough for most people to get started. Some people choose to do more. The more the Practice is done, the deeper it goes. Some people notice profound changes within two or three weeks. Others take longer. But all who learn to do the Practice, soon realise that they’re working towards the cause of their difficulties and problems instead of dealing only with the symptoms, as they had done so far. Most people soon see a light at the end of what might have been a very long and dark tunnel. The Practice gives hope, strengthens their effort and reinforces their determination to continue.
For each of us, The Practice starts with whatever we can already do: not with what we can’t yet do. We might think we can’t do anything, not even get out of bed or keep to a simple commitment, but we soon find that we can do something, because we can move a leg towards the edge of the bed – just that – and this would be a start. Every effort, no matter how small, develops some inner strength in us. As this strength develops we can do more.
How wonderful this is for any of us who has despaired, believing nothing could help us, that we are doomed to suffer, to be as we are, for the rest of our lives. Adaptation Practice gives enormous hope and encouragement. Perhaps most importantly, we soon realise that every improvement is due to our own effort. What could better strengthen our self-confidence and resilience? What could be more encouraging?
I hope you find that the Practice helps you to improve the quality of your life. Please feel free to ask questions.