In this article, you will learn about Behavior Architecture, a new form of psychotherapy invented by Daniel Karim.
10 years ago a psychiatrist handed me a box of pills and a paper that said ‘ F 60. 32 G’.
This was the doctor’s code for depression and the box of pills was supposed to “fix” me.
The doctor went on and explained to me that the reason why I was so unhappy was caused by my brain’s inability to produce sufficient Serotonin, the happy hormone.
I felt a tremendous sense of liberation, finally, I knew what was wrong with me.
I wasn’t doing depression, I had a deadly disease for which there was a wonder pill that could heal me.
I began to take the anti-depressives and I was waiting for the “happy hormones” to kick in and make me feel whole again.
I tried them for weeks, but I was still in pain.
I went back to the doctor and he increased my doses and he told me to have faith in the medicine.
I believed him and waited and waited and waited.
I went back and told him that the grief was still there and he gave me a different anti-depressant and I was again sent home to try them for another month.
The second pills I tried had plenty of effects on my mind…
One more gruesome than the other.
Anxiety attacks, suicidal voices, insomnia, and erectile dysfunction were some of my personal highlights.
I went back and told him that the pills not only not work but that his cure was worse than my original disease.
The doctor listened and I left his private practice with pills against my side effects.
From lithium to benzos, I tried them all but no matter how many pills my “happy cocktail” contained, the pain wasn’t going away.
I eventually decided that I needed to enter a clinic in order to beat my depression for good.
I lived in a stationary psychiatric facility for 3 months and there, for the first time I met other people who had the same ” brain disease” and like me, they all were “unhappy” despite being on medication.
I became suspicious.
If the broken brain story that my doctors told me was true then how could it be that nobody on Station 10 was getting better?
I decided to investigate.
I interviewed every patient on Station 10 and most of them had been taking the pills yet they all still lived in a state of permanent grief.
This was strange, if indeed all our brains were broken and we were given a “fix” for our inability to produce enough serotonin, shouldn’t we all have healed by now?
I decided that I needed to learn more and I again interviewed all the patients of station 10, this time I didn’t talk with them only about their medicine but about their lives.
Each story was filled with heartbreak, abandonment, addiction, crisis, financial scarcity, toxic relationships, and an overall lack of meaning and adventure.
I had one thought after each story; ‘If I would be in their shoes, I would be depressed too’.
After 63 of these conversations, I caught myself asking a question that would change my life – ‘What if our pain isn’t caused by our broken brains but by our broken lives?’
What if depression was a natural reaction to an unnatural life?
Maybe I wasn’t insane… Maybe none of us were… maybe it was our life that was insane…
It was that moment where I started to distrust my doctors and stopped taking my medication entirely because I wanted to test if I would feel better if my life and myself would get better.
The Pursuit Of Happiness
This investigation of happiness and depression continued once I was released from station 10 and later escalated into a global therapeutic sojourn that not only brought me all over the world – but also to an answer to the question;
If you change your life, will your emotional reality change with you?
After 100000 miles of traveling, + 10.000 hours of reading, and talking to thousands of psychologists and patients who overcame depression I can answer this question with a clear ‘yes’.
This global pursuit of happiness confirmed my belief that I and most of the other patients of station 10 weren’t having psychological problems but life problems instead.
Country by country, book by book, and story by story I learned that happiness isn’t something that can be found in a box of pills but rather something that ensues when an individual architects a life around itself that attends the real needs of a real human being.
After years of talking to strangers about their lives, I’ve learned that our emotional reality is most commonly dictated by the status of the 8 dimensions of our life which seem to be;
1000 conversations later I came to the conclusion that depression isn’t random, it’s a form of grief where the sufferer mourns his own defeat prematurely.
It’s a signal that informs us that we drifted from our way and that we are in the process of becoming somebody who we weren’t biologically designed to be.
Depression is natures attempt of stepping in and protecting ourselves from the painful totality of our lives and the antidote to it is the invention and architecture of a life from which the individual doesn’t need to escape from.
When I interviewed somebody on my travels, I always asked them a set of life dimension based questions in order to understand their current emotional realities, questions such as;
- Are you in a healthy romantic relationship that is based on truth? (Romance)
- Are you currently pursuing a career that you find meaningful? (Career)
- Are you surrounded by people who bring out the best in you? (Tribe & Family)
- Are you healed from your childhood traumas? (Spirituality)
- Are you financially free? (Finance)
- Are you taking good care of your physical vehicle? (Vitality)
- Are you happy with your life outside of work? (Leisure)
- Are you in the process of mastering the skills that you desire? (Mastery)
Individuals who were experiencing happiness and fulfillment instead of meaningless suffering and grief were usually those who answered the question catalog above with more ‘yes’s’.
Once I learned that our emotional experiences are affected – maybe even dictated by the holistic quality of the lives that we were given I asked myself how I could transform my ‘No’s’ into ‘Yes’s’ and become the architect of my life again.
The 4 Pillars of Change
While interviewing unhappy people from all over the world I noticed another ingredient of the recipe of misery: Many unhappy people I met were fixated on the aspects of their painful lives that they had absolutely no control over.
They told me in great lengths why they thought they ended up where they ended up and I heard all sorts of sad stories about terrible upbringings, disempowering parents, toxic partners, shit jobs, the bad economy, health issues but there weren’t an awful lot of unhappy people that I met who said ‘I’m where I am because of who I am‘.
Over the course of these interviews, it appeared to me that while each life problem is unique and difficult, the solutions for those problems were always the same; If an individual made a conscious effort to fix what they could fix, their character and their lives usually were improved significantly.
Contrary to the depressed people that I ran into who were fixated on the areas of life where they had no control over, the happiest and most successful people that I could find were directing their efforts at 4 things which they had power over;
- Their beliefs
- Their thoughts
- Their behavior
- Their environment
Contrary to unhappy people, fulfilled individuals were more focused on aligning their beliefs, thoughts, behavior, and environment with their vision of how their life should be.
And magically, to those individuals who focused their cognitive powers on controlling what they could control, life would usually manifest itself to them in their desired manner or in simpler words – they got what they want and what they needed.
The level of mastery that an individual has over these 4 aspects of the human condition dictates their potential for goal aligned transformation.
Successful people have these 4 pillars work for them, depressed people have these 4 pillars work against them.
|4 Pillars of Change||Unhappy People||Happy People|
What do you believe about yourself, other people, and the world?
|Disempowering belief systems
Unhappy people have limiting belief patterns and tell themselves stories about themselves and others who aren’t serving them.
|Empowering belief systems
Happy people have belief systems that are working for them and not against them.
What are your thinking patterns?
|Disempowering thinking patterns
Unhappy people don’t think rationally and use their thoughts to limit themselves.
Happy people have more empowering thoughts and are mindful of the quality of their thinking patterns.
What are your behavior patterns?
|Disempowering behavioral patterns
Unhappy people have their habits work against them.
|Empowering behavioral patterns
Happy people use their habits as vehicles to become who they want to be.
What kind of environment and tribe do you have?
|Disempowering living environment
Unhappy people seem to be surrounded by systems and people who are good for the worst of them.
|Empowering living environment
Happy people seem to be surrounded by systems and people who are good for the best of them.
Learning about this felt like a breakthrough because it empowered me to believe that although my 99 problems were all different in nature, I only needed to learn one problem-solving approach in order to change my life.
By aligning the 4 pillars of change with what I wanted, I suddenly found myself in the shoes of somebody who had not only control over himself but also about his life.
And with that, I managed to architect a life around myself from which I no longer needed to hide from.
Hiding from life through drugs or depression wasn’t necessary anymore because each day I had reasons to get out of bed in order to work on my dreams and make my life an expression of the best of me.
Once I was light and free again I realized that with betterment comes responsibility and that I only can feel worthwhile if I manage to create a method that empowers others to empower themselves.
Behavior Architecture – Behavior Your Way Towards Success
In 2019 I started to write a book that nearly drove me towards the brink of insanity – ‘Ultimate Therapy’ was the name of it.
UT was the product of a dream of mine which I had in the same year.
In that dream I was a patient in a beautifully designed private practice and in front of my was a guy with white hair, round glasses, a big nose and a cigar.
I knew that guy – it was Sigmund Freud. Yes, the legendary Sigmund Freud, and he was there to help me to get over my mommy and daddy issues.
Once our session was over, Siggi left the room and another shrink entered, a man with a pipe and white hair who I also knew – it was Carl Jung. Yes, the Carl Gustav Jung and he came all the way to teach me how to become more assertive by integrating my shadow.
The hour went great and he put on his head and went his way.
Before the door closed, another gentleman would come in through the door and sit on the therapist chair – this time it was a man in a white shirt with a black tie and on his shoulder was a pigeon – it was B.F Skinner and he came all the way from Harvard University to teach me behavior mechanics so that I could learn a way to end my bad habits.
The dream went on and on and one after another I was visited by the likes of Carl Rogers, William James, Viktor Frankl, Albert Banduras, Jean Piaget, Albert Ellis… it was a bit of speed dating but with the greatest therapists of all time.
When I woke up I was in a beautiful state of lightheartedness, connectedness and somebodiness, something that I never felt when I ‘received’ therapy in real life.
My dream mentors weren’t so much concerned with repairing a broken commodity that was sitting in front of them, they were trying to teach me their methods and tools so that I could repair myself independently of them.
What a difference, instead of letting myself get healed, they tried to motivate me to become my own healer.
I felt obligated to bring this dream alive and share this feeling of empowerment, self-efficacy, and freedom with as many people as possible.
In order to do so, I ordered the books of all pioneers who I dreamed of in order to create a new, condensed, integrative approach out of all their theories.
A best-of therapy album so to say.
One book at a time, I picked out what I liked and dismissed what I felt was ineffective.
127 books later I had my own first integrative idea of what ‘therapy’ should look like and I called it ‘Behavior Architecture’.
I called it so because similar to real architecture, the practitioners are challenged to create a blueprint for who they want to become and are empowered to collaborate with the counselor to actually build that person by growing new habits, upgrading outdated beliefs, and manipulating their living environment according to the desired needs of the new identity of the client.
Contrary to most therapy systems, Behavior Architecture doesn’t revolve around the idea that an individual should accept themselves for who they are but rather that everybody bears the responsibility to invent and architect an avatar according to their own ideals.
It’s an intimate effort to kill who the individual is today in order to give birth to who they can become tomorrow.
Behavior Architecture doesn’t believe in the classical therapist-patient dynamic instead it’s based on the idea that everybody should possess a therapeutic toolbox so that they can use the behavior technologies of the greatest psychologists of all time to heal themselves independently and without the counselor being present.
This means that anybody who ‘receives’ a behavior architecture intervention of 3-6 months will be subsequently a certified behavior architect by the completion of the program.
Behavior Architecture revolves around a simple and condensed three-step process which is;
Who Are You?
The focus point of the first sessions is to identify where the individual is in their lives and how they got there.
The aim here is to boost the self-awareness of the individual by investigating each life dimension separately in order to identify disempowering beliefs, habits, thinking patterns, and environmental setups.
Who Do You Want To Be?
Once the individual conceptualized their current lives problems and undesired outcomes, its time to answer an important question;
What would their life look like if they could have it their way?
Over a series of interviews and psychological techniques will the individual be challenged to create an ideal future blueprint and a worst-case future blueprint for them.
This phase of the therapy program is crucial because it will help individuals to discover and tame the two biggest motivational drivers there are; hope and fear.
The anticipation of attaining an ideal life combined with the fear of ending up in their personal nightmare scenario drives individuals to orientate themselves in the world and push them forward towards meaning and fulfillment even in times of ultimate struggle.
How Can You Become That Person?
|Once the identification of the desired life destination is completed the individual will be taught how to align their beliefs, habits, cognitive patterns, and their living environment with their vision of themselves so that they become auto corrective entities capable of inventing, building, and reinventing themselves time after time.
Or in simpler words – they will become the architects of their lives.
Contrary to other psychotherapeutic interventions, this wasn’t don’t believe in the dominance hierarchy between counselor and client where one heals the other, instead, Behavior Architecture revolves around the mission of empowering individuals to heal themselves through the application of psychological techniques and challenges that the client does by themselves.
Behavior Architecture so far consists of hundreds of psychological techniques, all available for the client to use in times of struggle.
While most therapists and coaches don’t give out their tools and trade secrets, Behavior Architects make a conscious effort to teach their clients techniques that the clients can use long after the collaboration is over.
Free Behavior Strategy Call
Do you feel stuck? Are you tired of having the same problems in your life? Are you interested in finding out how behavior architecture can help you to produce the desired life results that you are currently longing for?
If so, schedule your exclusive 30 minutes behavior strategy call with me now by clicking this link.
In each call, we will investigate the quality of your lives, analyze your behavior, and articulate a first action step towards your ideal future.
The behavior strategy calls are very limited due to their high demanded and I only have the capacity for 8 strategy calls a week.
My articles and emails are read by thousands of people, so be quick and secure your spot so that I can help you to help yourself.