Evidence of Impact
With over 700 participants, using both randomized and control groups, the results indicate that the SPARK curriculum is effective at producing statistically significant, positive changes in levels of mental wellbeing, decision-making, problem-solving and communication skills, emotional regulation and impulse control, and resilience in relation to bounce-back (during tough circumstance) and compassion toward others (during tough circumstances). Find out more in-depth information here: https://sparkcurriculum.org/spark-evidence-based-curriculum/
This page includes theory papers, journal articles and exploratory research on The Three Principles. This small selection of publications has been taken from over thirty years of applications of Principles-based work in various health, human service and corporate fields. Many of the documents refer to ‘Health Realization’ or ‘Psychology of Mind’. These were historical names for The Three Principles. If you have any questions, comments or would like further information please contact us at: email@example.com
Below is a list of titles, authors, and abstracts for Three Principles research papers either published or forthcoming in respected peer refereed academic journals.
Three Principles Publications in Peer-Reviewed Scholarly Journals
Kelley, T. M., Hollows, J., Lambert, E. G., Savard, D., & Pransky, J. (Forthcoming). Teaching health vs. treating dysfunction: The efficacy of three principles correctional counseling with residents in an English prison. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
Abstract: Three principles correctional counseling (3PCC) posits that people in prison have inner mental health they have innocently obscured to varying degrees with their own thinking. 3PCC further posits that people in prison can rekindle and sustain this inner health via understanding how three psycho-spiritual principles—Universal Mind, consciousness and thought—coalesce to form people’s psychological experience. We review the three principles and explain how exposure to these principles can lead to improved mental health and behavior. Then we describe 3PCC and distinguish it from prevailing correctional counseling methods. Finally, we present a controlled preliminary study that examines the efficacy of 3PCC for improving the mental health and behavior of residents in an English prison. Our findings show that participants exposed to 3PCC showed a significant improvement in mental wellbeing and purpose in life, a significant reduction in depression, anxiety and anger, and improved behavior in the prison community.
Kelley, T. M., & Pransky, J. (Forthcoming) A new principle-based view of intimate partner violence and its prevention. Partner Abuse.
Abstract: At present, no peer reviewed intervention has been shown to clearly and consistently prevent intimate partner violence (IPV), or reduce its recurrence. We propose that the limited effects of current IPV interventions reflect the field’s absence of fundamental principles that account for all psychological experience. We further posit that the principles that explain people’s psychological lives have been uncovered. We briefly describe these principles, and delineate the process from exposure to the principles to improved mental health, and improved behavior. Then we use the logic of these principles to offer a formula to measure people’s propensity for IPV, and provide the missing components in IPV prevention.
Pransky, J., & Kelley, T. M. (2017). How the formless comes into form: A process by which Universal Mind powers consciousness and thought to create people’s psychological lives. Cogent Psychology, DOI:10.1080/23311908.2017. 1307633.
Abstract: In a moment of spiritual enlightenment, Sydney Banks claimed to see” how three psycho-spiritual principles—Universal Mind, Consciousness and Thought —coalesce to create all psychological experience. While considerable literature exists that describes these principles, their spiritual basis, and the intervention grounded in them, little scientific evidence has been offered that might corroborate what Banks professed to understand through his realization. To help fill this gap, the authors propose a process by which formless energy comes into physical form within human beings via Universal Mind powering Consciousness and Thought to create people’s psychological lives. Further, the authors offer a scientific basis for what appear to be the steps or phases in this process. This view distinguishes three levels of thought and posits that thought at each of these levels precedes people’s every psychological experience—their sensations, perceptions, emotions—and their behavior. Ways that people can intervene in or affect this process in their best interests are proposed
Kelley, T. M., Alexander, J., & Pransky, J. (2017). Drawing-out inner resilience in children and high-risk adolescents via exposing them to three psycho-spiritual principles. Journal of Child and Adolescent Behaviour, 5(2), DOI: 10.4172/2375-4494.1000343
Abstract: We propose that resilience is the most natural state for all children and adolescents. We further posit that because most children and adolescents have not been
exposed to the principles that explain how people’s psychological experience is formed, they innocently obscure their inner resilience with their own thinking. We first describe three principles that appear to explain the psychological lives of all children and adolescents. Then we explain the source of natural resilience and how it is accessed. Finally, we present a preliminary study that examines the effects on the resilience of children and adolescents by exposing them to these principles. Compared to their controls, children and adolescents exposed to the principles showed a significant improvement in resilience with “high-risk” adolescents showing the greatest improvement and a significant reduction in risky behavior. Participants related these positive effects to insights regarding thought and innate resilience gained through understanding the three principles.
Kelley, T. M., Pransky, J., & Lambert, E. (2016). Realizing improved mindfulness/flow/ mental health through understanding three spiritual principles. Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19349637.2016.1215855
Abstract: A new spiritual understanding commonly known as the Three Principles proposes that mindfulness/flow/mental health is people’s most natural state and can be realized and sustained by everyone via insights gained through understanding three spiritual principles—Universal Mind, Consciousness, and Thought. We test this proposition for people exposed to the intervention grounded in these principles. The results appear to support our prediction that insight regarding “thought recognition” and/or “innate health via a clear mind” gained through understanding these spiritual principles will show a significant positive relationship with mindful attention, mindful acceptance, flow experience, and mental health.
Kelley, T. M., Pransky, J., & Lambert, E. (2016) Understanding spiritual principles or using techniques to realize and sustain optimal mental health. Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health, 18(3), 217-238.
Abstract: The primary goal of positive psychology is understanding and facilitating optimal mental health. However, absent fundamental causal principles that explain human psychological experience positive psychology is unlikely to achieve this goal. We posit that fundamental causal principles may already have been uncovered and offer a study that tests the process from exposure to these principles to improved mental health. The results appear to support our prediction that insights regarding “thought recognition” and/or “innate mental health via a clear mind” gained through understanding these principles will show a significant positive relationship with hedonic well-being, eudaimonic well-being, social well-being and optimal mental health.
Kelley, T. M., Pransky, J., & Lambert, E. (2015). Realizing improved mental health through understanding three spiritual principles. Spirituality in Clinical Practice, 2(4), 267-281.
Abstract: A new psycho-spiritual understanding commonly known as the Three Principles proposes that people can realize and sustain improved mental health via insights gained through understanding the spiritual principles of Universal Mind, Consciousness, and Thought. We test this proposition for people exposed to the Three Principles as an intervention. The results appear to support our prediction that insights regarding “thought recognition” and/or “innate mental health via a clear mind,” gained through Three Principles understanding, show a significant positive relationship with non-attachment and regulating negative emotions, and a significant inverse relationship with rumination, depression, and anxiety.
Kelley, T. M., Pransky, J. & Lambert, E. A. (2015). Inside-out or outside-in: Understanding spiritual principles versus depending on techniques to realize improved mindfulness/mental health. Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health 17(3), 153-171.
Abstract: We examine the relationship between understanding the spiritual principles of Universal Mind, Consciousness and Thought and perceived dependence on mindfulness techniques to realize improved mindfulness/mental health. Participants exposed to the intervention grounded in these principles also reported practicing meditation and/or mindfulness-based intervention techniques. The results support our prediction that as participant’s understanding of these spiritual principles increases, their perceived dependence on mindfulness techniques to realize mindfulness/mental health will decrease and as participant’s perceived dependence on mindfulness techniques decreases, their ability to maintain well-being during unpleasant mood states will increase.
Kelley, T. M., Pransky, J., & Sedgeman, J. (2014). Realizing resilience in trauma exposed juvenile offenders: A promising new intervention for juvenile justice professionals. Journal of Child and Adolescent Trauma, 7, 143-151.
Abstract: Considerable evidence suggests that untreated childhood trauma is a contributing factor to delinquency and juvenile justice system involvement. This paper describes a promising new intervention for at-risk youth and juvenile offenders with traumatic histories grounded in a model commonly referred to as the three principles. This intervention attempts to draw out the inner mental health and resilience in trauma exposed young offenders and provide them with a new perspective on their past traumas that can prevent them from infecting the present. First, the origin, nature, and logic of the three principles are described. Next, the three principles intervention is described and compared to cognitive and other trauma interventions. Then, several guideposts followed by effective three principles practitioners are described. Finally, empirical evidence is presented in support of the efficacy of this intervention with at-risk youth, juvenile offenders and adults with traumatic histories.
Pransky, J., & Kelley, T. M. (2014). Three principles for realizing mental health: A new psycho-spiritual view. Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, 9, 53-68.
Abstract: We offer a new psycho-spiritual understanding of mental health grounded in the three principles of Universal Mind, Consciousness, and Thought. This understanding proposes that all people have innate mental health they can access and sustain regardless of past or present circumstances. We first describe the three principles; explain how they appear to work within people to create their psychological lives; and present evidence in support of their spiritual basis. We then distinguish the intervention based on these principles from cognitive and other psychotherapies and describe several guideposts followed by practitioners grounded in this understanding. Finally, we offer empirical evidence of the effectiveness of three principles intervention.
Kelley, T. M., and Pransky, J. (2013). Principles for realizing resilience: A new view of trauma and human resilience. Journal of Traumatic Stress Disorders and Treatment, 2, 1, doi.org/10.4172/2324-8947.1000102
Abstract: This paper offers a new view of trauma and human resilience based on three principles for realizing resilience. This view challenges the current perspective of how and why traumatic events appear to induce and sustain painful symptoms from the outside, by explaining how these symptoms are created and maintained from within, regardless of circumstances. It proposes that all people can access innate resilience allowing them to move through loss and trauma with minimal distress, grace, and even positive emotions. It distinguishes between accessing innate resilience from coping with loss and trauma with social supports, personality traits, and management strategies. While more rigorous, controlled research is needed to document the efficacy of interventions based on these principles, existing supportive evidence is compelling and appears to warrant the field’s attention.
Kelley, T. M. (2011) Thought recognition and psychological well-being: An empirical test of principle based correctional counselling, Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 11(2), 140-147.
Abstract: Aims: To determine the relationship between thought recognition, a major construct of principle-based correctional counselling, and psychological wellbeing. Method: Following several weekly group sessions of Principle-Based Correctional Counselling, 54 adult prisoners on probation completed two measures of thought recognition and the Well-Being Inventory. In a follow-up study, 30 participants completed the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale. Results: Significant positive relationships were found between both measures of thought recognition and psychological wellbeing and, in the follow-up study, both measures of thought recognition and mindfulness. Discussion: Possible explanations for the relationship between thought recognition and psychological wellbeing, and thought recognition and mindfulness are discussed. Implications for practice: Teaching correctional clients the principles behind generic human psychological functioning, and the innate design behind human thinking, appears to improve their thinking and draw out their innate healthy functioning.
Kelley, T. M., & Lambert, E. (2012). Mindfulness as a potential means of attenuating anger and aggression for prospective criminal justice professionals. Mindfulness. 3(4), 261-274.
Abstract: This study is the first to examine the potential role of mindfulness for attenuating anger and aggression in prospective criminal justice professionals. The Mindful Attention Awareness Scale, Aggression Questionnaire, Hostile Attribution Bias Scale, and Thought Recognition Inventory were administered to 272 undergraduate criminal justice majors. The results of a multivariate analysis of variance model indicated that dispositional mindfulness related negatively with self-reported aggression and hostile attribution bias and positively with thought recognition. A possible relationship between mindfulness and thought recognition may operate to influence other mechanisms to heighten mental health, as well as reduce anger and aggression. The potential benefits of mindfulness and thought recognition training for criminal justice professionals and prospective criminal justice professionals are discussed.
Halcon, L. L., Robertson, C. L., & Monsen, K. A. (2010). Evaluating health realization for coping among refugee women. Journal of Loss and Trauma, 15, 408-425.
Abstract: Many East African refugee women have experienced torture and trauma while fleeing from their home countries. Many also experience high rates of isolation, depression, and symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder after resettlement. Effective methods are needed for improving the mental well-being of this population. This pilot study (N1/419) tested the feasibility, accessibility, and acceptability of a strengths-based, community-delivered intervention with Somali and Ethiopian women refugees. Feasibility was established through recruitment, retention, participation, and participant response. Accessibility was established through providing meals, transportation, and child-care assistance. Acceptability was established through evaluating translated materials, cultural congruence, and perceived relevance. Results support testing in a full- scale controlled study.
Kelley, T. M. (2008). Principle-based correctional counseling: Teaching health versus treating illness. Applied Psychology in Criminal Justice. 4 (2), 182-202.
Abstract: Principle-based correctional counseling (PBCC) is based on the assumption that all offenders have innate mental health. Thus, the primary goal of PBCC is to teach offenders how to rekindle and experience their natural capacity for psychological well-being. PBCC accomplishes this by teaching offenders: (a) how the principles of Mind, Thought, and Consciousness create their experience from the inside-out, and (b) how to use their thinking agency in accord with its natural design. According to PBCC, as offenders understand these principles and realize how to use thought in their best interest, their overall psychological functioning improves. This paper describes the principles and assumptions behind PBCC and compares this paradigm to other contemporary correctional counseling models on several key dimensions. Finally, it summarizes research findings supporting the effectiveness of PBCC-based interventions with adolescent and adult offenders.
Banerjee, K., Howard, M., Manheim, K., & Beattie, M. (2007). Comparison of health realization and 12-step treatment in women’s residential substance abuse treatment programs. American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 33, 207-215.
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to compare a relatively new therapeutic option for substance abuse treatment, Health Realization, and 12-Step approaches offered in women’s residential programs. The study was sponsored by a large California county’s Department of Alcohol and Drug Services, which had offered Health Realization treatment for a number of years. This study constitutes the first systematic evaluation of Health Realization as a substance abuse treatment program for adult women in a residential treatment setting. This was a randomized study with two observations-admission and 9 months post-admission. The results showed that clients in both Health Realization and 12-Step treatment exhibited comparable outcomes on domains such as substance use, criminal justice involvement, employment, housing, adverse effects of substance use and psychological well-being. Substance use declined significantly between admission and follow-up in both treatment groups, irrespective of duration of treatment. Similarly, adverse effects of substance use declined between admission and 9-month follow-up. Health Realization and 12-Step treatment offered comparable benefits for women in residential substance abuse treatment programs.
Halcon, L. L., Robertson, C. L., Monson, K. A., & Claypatch, C. C. (2007). A theoretical framework for using health realization to reduce stress and improve coping in refugee communities. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 25(3), 186-94.
Abstract: Refugees have faced extraordinarily stressful situations in their past, and many continue to experience stress daily as they cope with the refugee adjustment experience. A strengths-based, community-focused intervention known as Health Realization (HR) is a promising strategy for nurses to promote positive psychological outcomes in these populations. Although similar in some ways to cognitive therapy, the HR intervention emphasizes the role of thought versus the content of thought. It does not promote actively changing intrusive or negative thoughts but rather promotes an understanding that allows a degree of detachment from thoughts–a shift in consciousness that can provide relief and facilitate healing. An adapted stress and coping model provides a theoretical framework to test the effectiveness of using HR with refugees, which in turn provides a solid foundation for research that can support or refute the existing substantial anecdotal evidence for the use of this intervention in holistic nursing practice.
Sedgeman, J. A., & Sarwari, A. (2006). The effect of a health realization/innate health psychoeducational seminar on stress and anxiety in HIV-positive patients. Medical Science Monitor, 12(10), 397–399.
Abstract: Chronic stress and depression have a negative impact on immune functioning and threaten the well-being of HIV-positive patients. Although therapy methods, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, have been shown to reduce stress and depression in such patients, not all patients are willing or able to undergo therapy over time. The Health Realization/Innate Health (HR/IH) psychoeducational approach is a brief intervention alternative that can be presented in a classroom setting. It engages participants’ innate capacity to realize peace of mind. Eight volunteer participants from patients in the Positive Health Clinic at West Virginia University School of Medicine attended a 1-1/2 day HR/IH seminar called “Finding Your Natural Peace of Mind”. Shortly before the seminar started, the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) was administered by a Clinic staff member. The BSI was administered again immediately following the seminar. The BSI was mailed to the participants four weeks following the seminar with a return envelope. Participants’ confidentiality was maintained through a coded ID. Pre-, post- and follow-up results were compared. Each case was evaluated individually. The participant who pre-tested in the “psychiatric inpatient” range of the BSI showed no change after the seminar or at follow-up. The participants who tested in the non-patient normal range before the seminar showed some improvement after and at follow-up. The participants who scored in the “psychiatric outpatient” range entering the seminar all showed improvement that was sustained upon follow-up. The HR/IH psychoeducational approach deserves further study as a brief intervention for stress-reduction in HIV- positive patients.
Sedgeman, J. A. (2005). Health realization/innate health: Can a quiet mind and positive feeling state be accessible over the lifespan without stress relief techniques? Medical Science Monitor, 11, 47 –52.
Abstract: Health Realization/Innate Health (HR/IH) questions long-held assumptions about chronic stress, and challenges current definitions of both stress and resiliency. HR/IH sets forth principles that explain why the experience of psychological stress is not an effect of causal factors beyond people’s control, but is an artifact of the energetic potential of the mind. HR/IH describes the “cognitive factor” in stress not as the content of people’s thinking in response to stressors, but rather as a quality of the way people hold and use their thinking, referred to as state of mind. HR/IH hypothesizes that understanding principles that explain the nature and origin of thinking and experience offers a means to access innate protective processes that are healing and antibiosenescent reliably and consistently, without techniques. HR/IH suggests that the primary effort of mental health care could be to initiate life-long prevention of the state of chronic stress. In addition, HR/IH suggests that addressing mental well-being would have a broad impact on the incidence and course of the many physical illnesses that are known to be stress-related. The brief therapeutic interactions of HR/IH draw upon people’s innate wisdom and recognition of the healthy perspective available to everyone. Anecdotal results suggest that people who gain insight into the principles that explain the nature of thought and experience and who realize how to re-access a natural, positive state of mind can and do experience sustained day-to-day peace of mind, wisdom and well-being, regardless of circumstances. HR/IH deserves rigorous scientific evaluation.
Kelley, T. M. (2005). Mental health and prospective police professionals. Policing. 4, 1, 6-27.
Abstract: Purpose – To assess the mental health of members of the police force and expose any gaps existing at what should be its ideal level, with reference to aspiring policemen of the future. Aims – To explain the health realization model and give a definition of optimal mental health with specific reference to the police force. Design/methodology/approach – Employs the Well-Being Inventory, a survey instrument designed specifically to measure five dimensions of optimal mental health, to assess the mental condition of 179 prospective police professionals. Findings – The results of the survey appear to suggest that future job satisfaction for many prospective police professionals in the study could be less than optimal, with the implication that high notes of mental dysfunction in its various forms could be experienced. Practical implications – It is imperative that sound mental health instruction be incorporated into all future police training programs. However, further research needs to be done in order to advance a process which is at present only experimental. Originality/value – Emphasizes the value of teaching future police officers the nature and source of optimal psychological functioning.
Kelley, T. M. (2004). Positive psychology and adolescent mental health: False promise or true breakthrough? Adolescence. 39, 154, 257-278.
Abstract: The emerging field of positive psychology has pledged to improve the mental health of American adolescents. Yet, without a principle-based conceptual foundation to guide its study of optimal youth functioning, positive psychology will ultimately fail to keep its promise. This paper suggests that the principles of Mind, Thought and Consciousness can provide positive psychology with a clearer understanding of optimal psychological functioning, serve as a unifying conceptual framework to guide its proposed mission, and lead to a true breakthrough in adolescent mental health. It first describes how the logic of these principles accounts for all subjective human experience. It then demonstrates how optimal mental health is generated, and how it can be maintained irrespective of present or past circumstances. Finally, it discusses how several contemporary models of positive psychology (i.e., Csikszentmihalyi’s flow. Seligman’s learned optimism, Goleman’s emotional intelligence, and Buss’s evolutionary perspective) can be simplified and clarified using the logic of the above three principles.
Kelley, T. M. (2003). Preventing youth violence through Health Realization. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice. 1, 4, 369-387.
Abstract: This article proposes that youth violence is primarily a function of the generally poor mental health of American youth. It asserts, therefore, that the optimal solution to this vexing problem is to teach young people how to live in the experience of psychological health that is their birthright. It then suggests that this can be best accomplished by helping youth understand the principles behind Health Realization—a psycho-spiritual model that purports to account for all youthful behavior. The three principles behind Health Realization (i.e., Mind, Consciousness, and Thought) are delineated, contemporary research in support of its major assumptions cited, and the results of applied Health Realization programs with at-risk youth in clinical, educational, and community empowerment settings described.
Kelley, T. M. (2003). Health Realization: A Principle-based psychology of positive youth development. Child and Youth Care Forum. 1, 47-72.
Abstract: While we have numerous research-based programs for youth aimed at curbing drug use, violence, suicide, teen pregnancy, and delinquency, we lack a rigorous principle-based psychology of positive youth development. Instead of focusing on fixing what is assumed to be missing or broken in at-risk youth, we need a psychology grounded in fundamental causal principles that reveal clearly how such children and adolescents can become self-motivated, socially competent, compassionate, and psychologically vigorous adults. While the emerging field of positive psychology has attempted to shift the field’s emphasis from understanding and treating youthful dysfunction to facilitating well-being and resiliency in young people, it lacks a principle-based foundation and continues to mistakenly endorse external causes of positive affect and prosocial behavior. This paper offers a unique, principle-based psychology of positive youth development commonly known as health realization (HR).The underlying principles of HR are delineated, contemporary research that supports its major assumptions cited, and the results of applied HR research with at-risk youth in clinical, educational, and community empowerment
Kelley, T. M., & Stack, S. A. (2000). Thought recognition, locus of control, and adolescent well-being. Adolescence. 25, 139, 531-550.
Abstract: This paper reviews the underlying assumptions and principles of a new psychological paradigm, Psychology of Mind/Health Realization (POM/HR). A core concept of POM/HR, thought recognition, is then compared with locus of control (LOC), a well-known psychological construct. Next, the relationship of LOC to self-reported happiness and satisfaction is examined from the perspective of POM/HR, using a sample of 1,872 at-risk adolescents from 17 nations. The findings support POM/HR predictions that (1) locus of control would account for a slight portion of the variance in adolescent happiness and satisfaction, (2) circumstances that are external in nature would account for additional variance in happiness and satisfaction, and (3) there would be little difference in self-reported happiness and satisfaction between adolescents self-reporting high and low internal LOC. Further, it was conjectured that the adolescents mistook superficial emotions, such as excitement and security, for genuine feelings of well-being. Finally, the implications for prevention and intervention efforts with at-risk adolescents are discussed.
Additional Peer Reviewed Publications/Comments
Kelley, Thomas M. (2005). Natural resilience and innate mental health. (Refereed Comment) American Psychologist, 56, 1, 36-37. American Psychologist. 60, 3, 265.
Kelley, Thomas M. (2001). The need for a principle-based positive psychology. (Refereed Comment) American Psychologist, 56, 1, 36-37.
Kelley, T. M. (1996).A critique of social bonding and control theory of delinquency using the principles of Psychology of Mind. Adolescence. 31, 122, 321-327.
Kelley, T. M. (1993). Neo-cognitive learning theory: Implications for prevention and early intervention strategies with at-risk youth. Adolescence. 28, 110, 439-460.
Kelley, T. M. (1993). An advanced criminology based on Psychology of Mind. Offender Rehabilitation. 19, 173-190.
Kelley, T. M. (1990). A neo-cognitive model of crime. Offender Rehabilitation. 16, 1-26.
Mills, R., Dunham, R., & Alpert, G. (1988). Working with high-risk youth in prevention and early intervention programs: Toward a comprehensive wellness model. Adolescence, 23(91), 643-660.
Spirituality in Clinical Practice
Thomas M. Kelly, Jack Pransky and Eric G. Lambert
Spirituality in Clinical Practice © 2015 American Psychological Association 2015, Vol. 2, No. 4, 267–281 2326-4500/15/$12.00 http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/scp0000077
Realizing Improved Mental Health Through Understanding Three Spiritual Principles Thomas M. Kelley Wayne State University
Center for Inside-Out Understanding, Moretown, Vermont
Eric G. Lambert
The University of Mississippi
A new psychospiritual understanding commonly known as the Three Principles pro- poses that people can realize and sustain improved mental health via insights gained through understanding the spiritual principles of Universal Mind, Consciousness, and Thought. We test this proposition for people exposed to the Three Principles as an intervention. The results appear to support our prediction that insights regarding “thought recognition” and/or “innate mental health via a clear mind,” gained through Three Principles understanding, will show a significant positive relationship with nonattachment, regulating negative emotions, and less rumination, and a significant inverse relationship with depression and anxiety.
Keywords: improved mental health, the three principles, innate mental health, health realization
In 1973, Sydney Banks, an ordinary laborer in British Columbia, experienced a “sponta- neous spiritual transformation” (Klein, 1988, p. 311) in which he ultimately realized that three spiritual principles—Universal Mind, Consciousness, and Thought—account for people’ s entire psychological experience. Banks (1998, 2001, 2005) asserted that these principles are fundamental truths that are al- ways operating in the psychological realm, much as gravity exists as a principle of the physical world and is always present, whether people know of it or not. Banks posited that these principles represent the unifying, under-
This article was published Online First November 2, 2015.
Thomas M. Kelley, Department of Criminal Justice, Wayne State University; Jack Pransky, Center for Inside- Out Understanding, Moretown, Vermont; Eric G. Lam- bert, Department of Legal Studies, The University of Mississippi.
Correspondence concerning this article should be ad- dressed to Thomas M. Kelley, Department of Criminal Justice, 3255 Faculty Administration Building, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202. E-mail: aa5216@ wayne.edu
girding principles for psychology, which Wil- liam James (1981) originally envisioned for the then-emerging field but never realized.1
After learning of Banks’s insights, Mills (1995) and G. S. Pransky (1998) collaborated with him to turn his spiritual realization into a new psychospiritual paradigm (Mills, Blev- ens, & Pransky, 1998), which is typically referred to in the literature as the Three Prin-
1 Prevention pioneer Donald Klein (1988) described Banks’s transformation as follows:
Several years ago, the director of a community mental health center in Oregon . . . suggested that I look into the positive effects on people’s physical and emotional well-being being achieved by a spiritually enlightened man in British Columbia. A few years before, this man . . . had suddenly entered into a vastly different level of awareness, a form of spontaneous spiritual transforma- tion about which William James had written in the early 1900’s. . . . It was obvious that this man had achieved a state of understanding and grace, based on no particular religious philosophy or practice . . . his discoveries . . . were obviously worth exploring from the standpoint of preventive mental health . . . some- thing very important was taking place . . . our most basic assumptions about human behavior were being challenged. (pp. 311–312)
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
268 KELLEY, PRANSKY, AND LAMBERT
ciples (3P). The Three Principles understand- ing (3PU) and how it relates to other spiritual, psychospiritual, and psychological teachings has been described in detail elsewhere (for a review, see Kelley, Lambert, & Pransky, 2015; J. Pransky & Kelley, 2014).2 Here, we briefly describe the 3P and explain how they appear to interact to construct people’s psy- chological experience. Then we propose a process from 3P exposure to improved mental health, and present a study that tests this process.3
The Principle of Universal Mind
Banks (1998) referred to Universal Mind or Mind as formless energy that animates all of life—the intelligent life energy or force that powers human psychological functioning.4 Mind is the source of the other two principles, Consciousness and Thought, which Banks posited are used by all people to construct their psychological lives from the “inside- out.”5
The Principle of Consciousness
Banks (1998) referred to Consciousness as the Mind-powered agency or ability to be conscious, to take in life, to have experience. Consciousness allows people to be aware of the experience they create via Thought. Con- sciousness enlivens people’ s thinking through their physical senses and produces their mo- ment-to-moment psychological experi- ence.6
The Principle of Thought
Banks (1998) referred to Thought as the Mind-powered agency or ability that all people use to create psychological experience from within. Thought does not refer to thought con- tent or what people think, but rather to the power that allows people to create thought con- tent in the first place. This includes thoughts that people are completely unaware they are having but that are still affecting them. Banks viewed the power to create thought as a constant or common denominator used by all people to
2 The authors recognize that the 3P will be seen by many as a psychospiritual theory, philosophy, or model grounded in or derived from other psychological, spiritual, or psychos- piritual perspectives (e.g., Buddhist, biopsychosocial, cogni- tive, emotional, interpersonal neurobiology). We realize that it is both common and expected that new theories and ap- proaches draw from, ground themselves in, and build upon previously existing theories and philosophies. However, the 3P are not meant to be viewed as a theory or philosophy, nor is this understanding (or its intervention) meant to be seen as derived from other theories or philosophies. Rather, these Principles are meant to represent spiritual facts—the essence or core of everything, including all theories, philosophies, and interventions.
3 According to Banks (1998), these Principles are formless and any attempt to describe them therefore must be limiting. Therefore, it would be best to see our description of the Principles as pointing in a direction of their vast meaning.
4 When the terms Mind, Consciousness, and Thought are capitalized, they are meant to depict formless, universal powers, abilities, or faculties. When these terms are not capitalized, they are meant to refer to personal mind, per- sonal consciousness, and personal thought or thoughts.
5 Universal Mind or similar constructs are evident in virtually all spiritual teachings. For example, Sri Arobindo (1990) saw Mind as the power behind Thought and Con- sciousness, and stated, “Our physical organism no more causes or explains thought and consciousness than the con- struction of an engine explains the motive-power of steam or electricity. The force is anterior, not the physical instru- ment” (p. 234). Nisargadatta Maharaj asserted that every- thing is One. Buddhism teaches Master Mind. Vipassana meditation teaches that Mind is everywhere. Hart (1987) stated, “The whole body contains the mind” (p. 29). Walsch (1995) pointed to Mind, stating, “That which you call life . . . is pure energy . . . vibrating constantly, always . . . while objects are different and discrete, the energy, which pro- duces them, is exactly the same” (p. 178). William James (1981) referred to the “spiritual self” as “Absolute Mind.”
6 Consciousness is also a major component of virtually all spiritual teachings. For example, Sri Arobindo (1990) stated, “It is consciousness that . . . determines the form or the evolution of form” (pp. 236–237). Siddha Yoga teaches that life is spirit. The Upanishads propose that prana springs from inner Consciousness and moves through the body enlivening its functions. According to the Pratyabhijnahridayam (Muk- tananda, 1992), “Consciousness is one with the self, so the mind is simply that aspect of the Self which has taken the form of outer objects” (p. 27). A. H. Almaas (2014) stated, “The spiritual and the psychological . . . are two dimensions of the same human consciousness” (p. 1). Neville Goddard (2005) asserted, “Man moves in a world that is nothing more or less than his consciousness objectified” (p. 4). A Course in Mira- cles (Wapnick & Wapnick, 1995) asserted that within each individual soul “is the purest of Consciousness” (p. 16). Wil- liam James (1981) related consciousness to thought stating, “The consciousness of Self involves a changeable stream of thought . . . a thought that at each moment, is different from that of the last moment” (p. 386).
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construct their psychological experience from within.7 The “Inside-Out” Creation of Psychological Experience
The 3P appear to work together in the fol- lowing way: Something happens in the outside world; for instance, people find themselves in various circumstances and situations and are subjected to what other people do to them. Drawing upon all possibilities inherent in Mind, people use their creative power of Thought to generate some thought about what happened, which is instantaneously picked up by Con- sciousness and impinges upon the senses to produce a perception and/or feeling. This un- derstanding explains that Thought is always what makes people see the world the way they do, and Consciousness always makes that way of seeing it look like “reality” to them. People often do not realize this; nor do they often realize that as the “reality” they see (through Thought) shifts, their thinking, feelings, and actions change accordingly; nor do they typi- cally see that when the mind clears from per- sonal or typical thinking they automatically ex- perience improved mental health. According to this understanding, the system is inexorable; the only experience people can have is their own thinking coming into their consciousness and being experienced as “real” at various levels.
Innate Mental Health
The 3P understanding further proposes that, at their core or essence, people have innate mental health/well-being they can realize and sustain throughout life because this is their nat- ural state. This understanding describes this health as follows: At the essence of people’s consciousness, uncontaminated by any thought, is the pure energy of Universal Mind, manifest- ing within each and every human being as a natural state of mental health/well-being. This state of clear mind/natural thought is what this under- standing refers to as innate health. This state can only be contaminated to varying degrees by people’s use of the power of Thought. When people have thoughts that arise from this natural clear mind state, they experience feelings of well-being. This state of mental quietude is also the incubator, so to speak, for new insights of
wisdom to rise from out of the blue. According to this understanding, people can experience only two ways of being: Either they are operat- ing from innate health, which surfaces sponta- neously whenever their mind clears, or this health is being obscured by their own thinking. Finally, people’s feelings serve as a reliable gauge to inform them which of these two states they are experiencing at a given moment. G. S. Pransky (1998) stated,
The Three Principles suggest that innate health/natural thought is available to all people, always, as a way of life. Natural thought is a birthright. This thinking pro- vides the feelings that people want for themselves. It provides a transcendent intelligence for problem- solving. It provides an uncontaminated view of life to enjoy the moment. It even provides people with prompts about when to use analytical thought. Natural thought is free from chronic stress and distress. It enables people’s humanity to come through in their personal relationships. Natural thought is the most undiscovered and unappreciated resource in human existence. (p. 236)
The 3P Intervention
The 3P intervention has been described in detail elsewhere (Kelley & Pransky, 2013; J. Pransky & Kelley, 2014; Kelley, Pransky, & Sedgeman, 2014; J. Pransky & McMillen, 2012), and has been implemented in areas such as prevention (e.g., Halcón, Robertson, & Monsen, 2010), substance abuse treatment (e.g., Ba- nerjee, Howard, Mansheim, & Beattie, 2007), community revitalization (e.g., Pransky, 2011), mental health (Kelley et al., 2015), correctional counseling (e.g., Kelley, 2011), and education (e.g., Kelley, Mills, & Shuford, 2005).
7 Thought is also a prominent teaching in many spiritual traditions. For example, Vipassana meditation posits that all mental events correspond with sensations in the body. Hart (1987) stated, “Thought is pure energy” (p. 91). A Course in Miracles (Wapnick & Wapnick, 1995) proposes that people have a choice to think they are either separate or special or connected to God. Unity (Vahle, 2002) teaches that people create their psychological lives from within using the power of Thought. Filmore (2010) stated, “Every man is king of his own mental domain, and his subjects are his thoughts” (p. 19). Gregg Braden (2012) described thought as “the power to translate the possibilities of our minds into the reality of our world” (p. 17). James (1981) connected the “spiritual self” to Thought, stating, “Our considering the spiritual self at all is a reflective process. . . . We can feel, alongside of the thing known, the thought of it going on as an altogether separate act and operation in the mind” (p. 299).
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270 KELLEY, PRANSKY, AND LAMBERT
Banks (1998) asserted that when people real- ize the 3P at a deep enough level, they experi- ence improved mental health, and that gaining a deep enough understanding of these Principles and how they work is all that is needed to help people live in well-being. This means no skills nor any techniques are needed—only a deep understanding of the 3P, which can only come via new insight.8 As such, the 3P intervention is not a conveying of information so much as a drawing out of an understanding, which people already really know deep within them but are blind to, of the way these Principles interact from within to create everyone’s psychological lives.
The guideposts of this intervention that best allow people to grasp these insights are as fol- lows (G. S. Pransky, 2003): (a) 3P practitioners typically live and model what they are attempt- ing to teach because they understand the 3P at a deep level; (b) Helping learners’ minds relax so their typical or habitual thinking clears and, therefore, they are most open to experiencing new insights; (c) Deep, intuitive listening through a clear mind to sense what learners do not realize about how their psychological expe- rience is created from the “inside- out”; and (d) Conveying or drawing out 3PU in the way a learner can best hear it, as derived from deep listening.
A Proposed Process From the 3P Intervention to Improved Mental Health
The authors posit that people will experience improved mental health through the 3P inter- vention via the following process or path. 3P Exposure
Without exposure to this understanding, peo- ple would likely be in the same position in life as they are, because most people appear to believe that their experience of life comes to them from the “outside-in.” With exposure to the 3P, people have the opportunity to see that life really operates from the “inside-out,” from their own thinking no matter what happens to them “out there.” Before exposure, people know nothing or extremely little about the ex- istence of these 3P, even though they already exist within them.
Because people are exposed to the 3P does not mean they gain the understanding. By un- derstanding, we mean the knowledge of how these Principles actually work in every human being psychologically to create their own expe- rience of life, not on an intellectual level but actually seeing them in operation in their own and others’ lives. In other words, someone could be exposed to the Principles but not grasp how life works from the “inside-out.” Without the understanding, mere exposure would be meaningless in terms of affecting their mental health.
An understanding can occur at many levels, from cursory to a deep grasp through insight that affects entire lives. It is posited that only when people who have gained an understanding of these Principles have powerful insights that give them a deep grasp of the following two simultaneous realms to which 3PU points will it lead to improved mental health.
Thought recognition (TR), here, does not mean what most people think it means— recognizing one’s thoughts as they occur. In- stead, it means the recognition that thought, in its interaction with consciousness, is the only reality people can ever experience, and the cause of perceptions and feelings. People who grasp TR know that what looks real is only one’s own, usually inadvertent, creation—an illusion of thought that appears real brought to life by consciousness. Furthermore, people can recognize such thinking occurring in the mo- ment, creating a changed “reality” with each new thought and yielding resultant feelings. In other words, insights within this realm are about seeing that thought is the only “reality” people
8 We are in no way saying that techniques such as med- itation and/or activities such as those that induce flow are a bad idea or should not be practiced. We are simply offering an alternative view of what is behind what makes tech- niques, interventions, and activities work for some, which might lead to a deeper understanding. The 3P simply posits that a more leveraged way for people to realize improved mental health during their day-to-day waking moments may be through understanding how their psychological lives are created by their use of the spiritual principles of Universal Mind, Consciousness, and Thought.
Innate Mental Health/Wisdom as a Result of a Clear Mind
The other major realm of insight is about realizing that people already are everything they are looking for in life (e.g., peace of mind, love, innate mental health, and the clear incubator from which all wisdom springs), and the only thing that can create the illusion that people are not this is their own thinking. Another part of this is that people have direct access to this health and wisdom whenever the mind clears, calms, or quiets down from personal or habitual thinking. In other words, insights within this realm are about realizing that mental health already exists within as a natural state.
Some client examples illustrate the kind of change that can take place in people’s emo- tional and spiritual well-being when, through gaining a deep understanding of the 3P, they grasp TR and innate mental health via a clear mind (IH/CM).9 A woman subjected to do- mestic violence carried the hidden thought that she was worthless so she must deserve to be treated this way. After gaining 3PU, she had a realization, something like,
Wait a minute! It’s only my own thinking making me believe I deserve this. That’s just something I picked up from my parents, but that’s them, not me. It’s really not true; it’s an illusion that I made up about myself that has been driving me all these years. Not only that, I’m not worthless at all! My innate health, my spiritual essence, shows me I am completely worthwhile at my core. I do not have to put up with this abuse any more. My wisdom from a clear mind will guide me in how I can protect myself and how to take steps to release myself from this.
This huge insight propelled this woman to a higher level of consciousness. She will never be able to see herself in the same way again, and her thinking, feelings, and actions follow ac- cordingly.
The perpetrator of domestic violence truly believes that he must act this way in life. He does not know any other way to be. He cannot see any other way. He is stuck at that low level of consciousness. It looks and feels and tastes like reality to him. No one can talk him out of it. Whenever he “loses it,” he will go there. He has no controls. If he can see that this way of seeing the world and his woman is not reality, but is really only an illusion created from his own thinking, this insight shocks him out of every- thing he thought was reality. He may still get those thoughts, but he knows he does not have to act on them because they are just habits of thinking that do not mean anything. They loosen their grip on him. What he is left with is more of a feeling of peace and love, and he acts with more wisdom.
For insights in both of these realms to make a difference for improved mental health, they need to be seen in action in one’s own life and generalized to all other lives. It would appear possible for people to have only one of these sets of insights and still have improved mental health, but either of these insights can occur at different levels, and the deeper the level, the greater the change expected in one’s mental health.10
Improved Mental Health
The authors posit that when people gain 3PU, if they have personal insights regarding TR and/or IH/CM, they will experience improved mental health. Although many varying defini- tions of “mental health” exist, a common de- nominator appears to be a state of well-being
9 We submit that mental well-being and spiritual well- being go hand in hand or are one and the same. When one suddenly falls into a feeling of more peace of mind, more love, more natural mindfulness, and more wisdom, that feeling is spiritual. People feel more connected to some- thing greater than themselves, because once the illusion of separateness is revealed for what it is, what is left is a more spiritual feeling.
10 The 3P intervention differs from cognitive, rational- emotive, neurolinguistic programming, and other interven- tions that focus on the content of people’s thinking or “what people think.” This intervention focuses on the “fact of thought” or “that people think” as well as people’s use of the power of thought to create psychological experience. Nor, like cognitively oriented and emotionally oriented in- terventions, does it attempt to supply people with tools, techniques, and strategies (e.g., meditation, prayer, self- schema, spiritual family genograms) to help them recondi- tion dysfunctional beliefs, reframe traumatic events, and cope with painful feelings. Nor, like spiritually integrated interventions (e.g., Christian cognitive therapy), does it in- corporate spiritual/religious concerns into a conventional psychotherapy approach. Finally, this intervention does not suggest that people create their life circumstances, nor that there is a fixed reality externally about which people should attempt to think differently; rather, it suggests that like people use gravity to stay firmly planted on the ground, people use the 3P to create their own reality.
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272 KELLEY, PRANSKY, AND LAMBERT
(American Heritage Dictionary, 2009; World Health Organization, 2004). The 3PU views mental health as (a) the positive psychological experiences that surface spontaneously when the mind clears, and (b) the ability to maintain well-being during stressful/painful states of mind—to get back on track, so to speak, by allowing one’s mind to clear and innate mental health to resurface.
The Present Study Hypotheses
The hypotheses for this study are as follows:
Hypothesis 1: 3PU will show a significant positive relationship with TR.
Hypothesis 2: 3PU will show a significant positive relationship with IH/CM.
Hypothesis 3: TR and/or IH/CM will show a significant positive relationship with nonattachment.
Hypothesis 4: TR and/or IH/CM will show a significant positive relationship with reg- ulating negative emotions. Hypothesis 5: TR and/or IH/CM will show a significant positive relationship with less rumination.
Hypothesis 6: TR and/or IH/CM will show a significant inverse relationship with depression.
Hypothesis 7: TR and/or IH/CM will show a significant inverse relationship with anxiety.
Hypothesis 8: TR and/or IH/CM will show a significant inverse relationship with hostility.
Human subjects’ approval was secured from an institutional review board. Participants were obtained with assistance from organizations that teach the 3P.11 These organizations sent elec- tronic requests to their graduates directing them to the survey site. A total of 196 people com- pleted the survey.
Gender, race, age, and education. Gender and race were measured using a dichotomous variable for female (coded 0) and male (coded 1), and for non-White (coded 0) and White (coded 1). Age was measured in continuous years. Education was measured using a di- chotomous variable for a graduate or profes- sional degree (coded 1) and for less education (coded 0).
3P exposure (years since first 3P exposure). The variable of 3P exposure was measured as the number of years since a partic- ipant was first exposed to the 3P.
3P Inventory (3PI; Kelley, 2011). The 3PI contains 26 items that measure 3PU, TR, and IH/CM. 3PU is measured using 11 3PI items scored on a 6-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 6 (strongly agree). A sample item is, “When people have feelings such as well-being, gratitude and love they can trust their thinking.” Item responses were summed to obtain a total 3PU score. The inter- nal consistency reliability coefficient (i.e., Cronbach’s alpha) is .70.
TR is measured using eight 3PI items scored on a 6-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 6 (strongly agree). A sample item is, “My entire experience of life (my feelings, perceptions) is created by my thinking.” Item responses are summed to obtain a total TR score. The internal consistency reli- ability coefficient (i.e., Cronbach’s alpha) is .87.
IH/CM is measured using seven 3PI items answered using a 6-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 6 (strongly agree). A sample item is, “I am unlikely to experience wisdom unless my mind clears or quiets down.” Item responses are summed to obtain a total IH/CM score. The internal consistency reliabil- ity coefficient is .74.
Nonattachment Scale (NAS; Sahdra, Shaver, & Brown, 2010). The NAS is a 30- item index that measures the degree to which people avoid connecting their self-worth/well-
11 Participants were obtained with assistance from Center for Sustainable Change in Charlotte, North Carolina; 3P Movies in Essex, England; Santa Clara County, California; and Won Institute in Glenside, Pennsylvania.
being to events, circumstances, and other peo- ple. We used six NAS items measured on a 6-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 6 (strongly agree). A sample item is, “I have a hard time appreciating others’ successes when they outperform me” (reverse coded). Item responses were summed to obtain a total NAS score. The internal consistency reliability coefficient is .78.
Rumination Reflection Questionnaire (RRQ; Trapnell & Campbell, 1999). The RRQ measures the tendency of people to dwell on, rehash, or reevaluate past events and expe- riences. We used six items from the RRQ- rumination component. Items were scored on a 6-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 6 (strongly agree). A sample item is, “I always seem to be rehashing in my mind recent things I’ve said or done” (reverse coded). Item responses were summed to obtain a total RRQ-rumination score. The internal consis- tency reliability coefficient is .93.
Difficulties in Emotional Regulation Scale (DERS; Gratz & Roemer, 2004). The DERS is a 36-item self-report questionnaire that as- sesses six components of emotional regulation. We used five items from the DERS-acceptance component, which measures regulation of neg- ative emotions. Items were measured on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (almost never/0–10%) to 5 (almost always/91–100%). A sample item is, “When I’m upset, I become angry with myself for feeling that way (reverse coded).” Item responses were summed to obtain a total DERS-acceptance score. The internal consistency reliability coefficient is .83.
Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI; Derogatis & Melisaratos, 1983). The BSI contains 53 items that measure the extent to which people are bothered by negative emotions. We used 16 items from the BSI components of depression, anxiety, and hostility. Sample items are “feeling fearful” (anxiety; six items), “feelings worth- less” (depression; five items), and “feeling irri- tated” (hostility; five items). Items are measured on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 5 (not at all) to 1 (extremely). Item responses are summed to obtain total BSI-Depression, BSI- Anxiety, and BSI-Hostility scores. The internal consistency reliability coefficients are .76 for BSI-Depression, .82 for BSI-Anxiety, and .82 for BSI-Hostility.
The typical respondent was a woman (63%) and was White (86%). Participants ranged in age from 23 to 82, with a mean of 50 years. Forty- six percent of the participants reported having a graduate or professional degree. The typical participant indicated that he or she had been exposed to the 3P almost 10 years before completing the survey. The descriptive statistics of the variables used in this study are presented in Table 1. There was sufficient variation in all the variables (i.e., none were constants). All the index variables had an internal consistency re- liability coefficient of .70 or higher. An explor- atory principal axis factor analysis was con- ducted for each of the index variables, and all loaded on the predicted factor.
The correlation matrix for the variables is presented in Table 2. As hypothesized, 3PU had a positive statistically significant correla- tion with TR and IH/CM. Also, as postulated, both TR and IH/CM showed a statistically significant positive correlation with nonat- tachment regulating negative emotions and less rumination, and a significant inverse cor- relation with depression and anxiety. Hostil- ity, although in the expected direction, did not reach statistical significance with either TR or IH/CM.
Multivariate analyses using ordinary least squares (OLS) regression were completed. For all regression equations, there was no problem with multicollinearity. The issues of outliers, influential cases, normality, linearity and ho- moscedasticity of residuals, and independence of errors in the regression analysis were tested (Berry, 1993; Tabachnick & Fidell, 1996).
The first OLS regression equation was with TR as the dependent variable, and gender, race, age, education, years since first 3P exposure, and 3PU as predictor variables. The variable of interest is 3PU. The results are presented in Table 3. The predictor variables explained ap- proximately 58% of the observed TR variable. The only variable to have a significant relation- ship with TR was 3PU, and it was a positive relationship.
The second OLS regression equation was with IH/CM as the dependent variable, and gen- der, race, age, educational level, years since first 3P exposure, and 3PU as predictor variables. The variable of interest is IH/CM (see Table 3).
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274 KELLEY, PRANSKY, AND LAMBERT Table 1
Descriptive Statistics for Study Variables
Variable Coding Mean SD .37 .48 .86 .35
50.98 12.43 .46 .50 3.78 .82
53.32 7.61 39.93 5.94 34.28 4.53 30.98 4.75 22.93 2.70 24.56 6.11 7.10 2.63 9.24 2.95 7.04 2.55
Mdn Mn Mx — — —
50.00 23 82 .50 0 1
4.00 1 5
5.00 1 5
6.00 0 40
56.00 30 61 42.00 14 45 35.00 19 40 32.00 14 36 24.00 10 25 26.00 5 30 6.00 5 19 9.00 6 24 6.00 5 24
SR-3P Understanding- Experience SR-3P Understanding-No Experience Years since first 3P exposure
RRQ BSI-Depression BSI-Anxiety BSI-Hostility
63% female (coded 0)
37% male (coded 1)
14% Non-White (coded 0)
86% White (coded 1)
Measured in continuous years
54% bachelor’s degree or lower (coded
0); 46% graduate degree or higher
Self-rated level of understanding the
three principles compared with others who have been exposed to the 3P: coded as 1 very low/poor; 2 below average; 3 average;
4 high; 5 very high.
Self-rated level of understanding on the 3P compared to others who have not been exposed to the 3P: coded as
1 very low/poor; 2 below average; 3 average; 4 high; 5 very high.
The number of years since first
exposed to the 3P (measured in
11-item additive index, .70 8-item additive index, .87 7-item additive index, .74 6-item additive index, .78 5-item additive index, .83 5-item additive index, .93 5-item additive index, .76 6-item additive index, .82 6-item additive index, .82
Note. The number of participants who completed the survey was 196. SD standard deviation; Mdn median value; Mn minimum value; Mx maximum value; SR self-rated; 3P Three Principles; 3PU Three Principles understanding; TR thought recognition; IH/CM innate mental health via a clear mind; NAS Nonattachment Scale; DERS Difficulties in Emotional Regulation Scale; RRQ Rumination Reflection Questionnaire; BSI-Depression Brief Symptom Inventory-Depression; BSI-Anxiety Brief Symptom Inventory-Anxiety; BSI-Hostility Brief Symptom Inventory-Hostility; Cronbach’s alpha.
The predictor variables accounted for approxi- mately 47% of the variance in the IH/CM vari- able. The only variable to reach significance was 3PU, which had a positive association with IH/CM.
A series of OLS regression equations were estimated, with NAS, RRQ, DERS, BSI- Depression, BSI-Anxiety, and BSI-Hostility as the dependent variables. The predictor variables were gender, race, age, education, TR, and IH/ CM. The results are presented in Table 4. For NAS (nonattachment), about 50% of the vari- ance was accounted for in the regression anal- ysis. The only variable to have a significant relationship with NAS was IH/CM, and it was a positive relationship. Although TR had a posi- tive association with NAS, it did not reach statistical significance.
For DERS (regulating negative emotions), approximately 38% of the observed variance was accounted for in the multivariate analysis. TR, IH/CM, and education had significant pos- itive relationships. Based on the standardized regression coefficients ( s), IH/CM had the largest effect, at least triple of that of TR and education.
For RRQ (rumination), about 43% of the variance was explained, and only IH/CM had a statistically significant positive relationship with less rumination. Although TR had a posi-
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SR-3P Understanding-Exp SR-3P Understanding-No Exp Years since first 3P exposure Three Principles understanding F value (degrees of freedom) R2/Adjusted R2
.92 .65 .82 .01 .50
23.39 (8,134) .58/.56
Note. Three Principles understanding, thought recognition, and innate mental health via a clear mind were measured using the Three
Principles Inventory. B represents the unstandard- ized regression coefficient, and represents the standardized regression coefficient. Table 1 provides the descriptive statistics for the variables. 3P Three Principles; SR self-rated; Exp exposure.
tive relationship with rumination, it failed to reach statistical significance.
For BSI-Depression, approximately 42% of the variance was explained in the multivariate equation. Gender, race, age, TR and IH/CM had significant relationships with depression. Males, on average, self-reported higher levels of de- pression compared with females. White partic-
ipants, in general, reported higher levels of de- pression than non-White respondents. Age, IH/CM, and TR showed significant inverse re- lationships with depression. Older respondents, on average, reported lower levels of depression than their younger counterparts. Both TR and IH/CM showed a significant inverse relation- ship with depression. Overall, IH/CM had the
Regression Results for the Improved Mental Health Dependent Variables
NAS DERS RRQ BSI-DEP BSI-ANX BSI-HOS Predictors
Note. B represents the unstandardized regression coefficient, and
the descriptive statistics for the variables. Predictors predictor variables; NAS Nonattachment Scale; DERS Difficulties in Emotional Regulation Scale; RRQ Rumination Reflection Questionnaire; BSI-DEP Brief Symptom Inventory-Depression; BSI-ANX Brief Symptom Inventory-Anxiety; BSI-HOS Brief Symptom Inventory- Hostility; Education educational level; TR thought recognition; IH/CM innate mental health via a clear mind; df degrees of freedom.
p .05. p .01.
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. largest effect on depression, almost twice that of the other significant variables.
For BSI-Anxiety, approximately 31% of the variance was explained in the OLS regression equation. Age, TR, and IH/CM had significant associations with anxiety. Increases in age were associated with less anxiety. Likewise, in- creases in both TR and IH/CM related to lower levels of anxiety. Again, IH/CM had the largest effect on anxiety, followed closely by TR. Age had the smallest effect.
For BSI-Hostility, none of the predictor vari- ables had a statistically significant effect. Al- though both TR and IH/CM had positive asso- ciations with hostility, neither reached statistical significance at a probability level of 0.05 or less. IH/CM did have a significant negative associa- tion with hostility at the probably level of 0.10 or less.
The results appear to support seven of our eight predictions. First, 3PU showed a signif- icant positive relationship with both TR and IH/CM, and was the only independent vari- able to do so. On average, participants report- ing higher levels of 3PU also reported higher levels of TR and IH/CM supporting Hypoth- eses 1 and 2.
Hypothesis 3 was also supported—IH/CM showed a significant positive relationship with nonattachment. In general, participants report- ing higher IH/CM also reported higher nonat- tachment. This finding was expected because when people realize that they have all the men- tal health they need already inside of them, they “see” that self-esteem is not attached to external factors, and does not have to be earned, main- tained, or strengthened. They also realize that ego or self-image is ostensibly a thought-created illusion.
Hypothesis 4 was also supported—IH/CM showed a significant inverse relationship with rumination. On average, participants reporting higher IH/CM also reported less rumination. This finding was predicted because when people realize that innate mental health is realized via a clear mind, they “see” that rethinking stress- ful thoughts is senseless because it sustains their psychological pain and obscures their innate health/well-being.
Regulating Negative Emotions
Both TR and IH/CM showed a significant positive relationship with regulating negative emotions, supporting Hypothesis 5. In general, participants reporting higher TR or IH/CM also reported better regulation of negative emotions. This result was expected because as people’s TR and/or IH/CM increase, they realize that negative feelings signal less healthy thinking, and avoid taking these feelings and the thoughts that spawn them to heart. Education also showed a significant positive relationship with regulating negative emotions. On average, par- ticipants with more education reported better regulation of negative emotions than partici- pants with less education. Although this result was unexpected, a possible explanation is that, on average, participants reporting more educa- tion also reported more time since their first exposure to the 3P, and a better understanding the Principles, than participants with less edu- cation. It is also possible that participants with more education have learned more effective ways to regulate negative emotions that their less educated counterparts. Overall, IH/CM had the largest effect, more than triple that of TR and education.
The regression results also supported Hy- potheses 6—both TR and IH/CM showed a significant inverse relationship with depression. In general, participants reporting higher TR and IH/CM also reported less depression. This result was expected because as people’s TR and/or IH/CM increase, they “see” that depressive feel- ings signal less healthy thoughts, which, if taken to heart and entertained, will sustain these pain- ful emotions and obscure their innate health.
Gender and race were also significantly re- lated to depression. On average, White partici- pants reported higher depression than non- White participants. Although this finding was unexpected, some studies have reported that White individuals have a higher rate of depres- sion than non-Whites, or at least are more will-
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278 KELLEY, PRANSKY, AND LAMBERT
ing to report depressive symptoms and seek assistance (e.g., Akincigil et al., 2012; Riolo, Nguyen, Greden, & King, 2005). It is possible that White participants, compared with non- White participants, were more willing to self- report symptoms associated with depression. The finding that male participants, on average, reported higher depression that females was also unexpected. Generally, women are more likely than men to report suffering from depres- sion. This interesting finding could be because of random error and/or selection bias. This study used a nonrandom design with individuals who had participated in a 3P intervention. Com- pared with the general population, these partic- ipants may be better able to recognize depres- sive symptoms and more willing to report them in a survey. In addition, the depression measure used in this study may play a role in this finding. Finally, older participants, on average, reported higher depression than younger participants. Overall, IH/CM had the strongest relationship with depression, followed by TR.
The regression results also supported Hy- potheses 7. Both TR and IH/CM showed a significant inverse relationship with anxiety. In general, participants who reported higher TR or IH/CM also reported less anxiety. Again, this result was expected because as people’s TR and/or IH/CM increase, they realize that anx- ious feelings, like depressive feelings, signal less healthy thinking, and that these feelings will pass through if the thoughts that form them are not taken seriously and entertained. Older participant’s, on average, reported less anxiety than younger participants. Overall, IH/CM had the largest effect, followed closely by TR. Age had the smallest effect.
The findings did not support Hypothesis 8, that TR and/or IH/CM would show a significant inverse relationship with hostility. Although both TR and IH/CM displayed inverse correla- tions with hostility, neither reached statistical significance at a probability level of 0.05 or less. IH/CM, however, did reach a significant inverse association with hostility at the probability level of 0.10 or less.
Overall, IH/CM appears to have a stronger association with the mental health variables used in this study than TR. This finding may indicate that IH/CM represents a deeper level of understanding of the 3P than that realized from a comparable level of TR. This speculation, however, needs further study.
We would be remiss not to offer possible alternative explanations for our findings. For example, 50% of the participants reported earn- ing a graduate or professional degree. Higher education level is often linked to higher socio- economic status. Those with higher education levels and higher socioeconomic status tend to have greater resources to overcome negative challenges and obstacles they encounter; there- fore, this may account for improved mental health. Furthermore, less than half of the vari- ance for rumination, regulating negative emo- tions, depression, and anxiety was accounted for in the current multivariate analysis. This means that factors other than insights regarding TR and IH/CM gained through 3PU account for the remaining variance in these outcome mea- sures. These variables may include other types of positive psychological training and interven- tions to which participants may have been ex- posed prior to and following their exposure to the 3P. It is also possible that participants who were less anxious or depressed prior to 3P ex- posure may have experienced a deeper level of understanding of TR and/or IH/CM, rather than 3P exposure producing less depression and anx- iety. Finally, several studies and meta-analyses of psychotherapy outcomes (e.g., Lambert, 1992; Lambert & Barley, 2001; Sperry, 2010, 2012) have concluded that factors other than the specific intervention appear to explain substan- tially more variance in therapeutic outcome. For example, factors related to the therapeutic rela- tionship (e.g., therapeutic bond between client and therapist), “client elements” (e.g.,motiva- tion, readiness for change), and various thera- pist factors (e.g., genuineness, acceptance) may have contributed to the outcomes in this study.
To date, scientific research evidence on 3P efficacy has lagged behind promising anecdotal evidence. To this end, this study represents an- other empirical research step to test whether the 3PU uncovered by Banks (1998) and commu-
nicated to others affects mental health out- comes. However, because this is a single ex- ploratory study based on a convenience sample of people exposed to the 3P, additional studies are needed to determine whether the results can be replicated.
The current study utilized a nonrandom ex- perimental design, which means that other vari- ables may account for the associations ob- served. In addition, there may be the issue of response bias. Study participants were recruited with the assistance of four organizations that teach the 3P. Not all of those contacted com- pleted the survey, and as such, it is unknown whether those who responded were different from those who did not respond to a degree sufficient enough to influence the results. In addition, the current design does not allow the issue of demand characteristics to be ruled out; participants may have formed an interpretation of the purpose of the study and then subcon- sciously altered their responses to conform to what they thought was expected. Previous ex- posure to the 3P, likely involving a considerable time and monetary investment, may have influ- enced participants to report a positive mental health impact that possibly could have exagger- ated its accuracy. Future studies may wish to use a double-blind method to attempt to control for this and other similar issues.
Moreover, future studies should examine the relationships between the variables using a ran- dom experimental design. Using an experimen- tal design would address the issues of confound- ing factors and influences. Shared method variance (i.e., variance may be because of the method of measurement rather than the under- lying construct) may have also been a problem that needs to be addressed in future research. Future research should explore the validity and reliability of different measures for the con- structs used in the current study. With addi- tional studies, a clearer and more conclusive picture of the associations of the 3P with vari- ous mental health outcomes will be possible. Furthermore, longitudinal studies are needed to determine causality and show how the effects of exposure to the 3P occur across time. In addi- tion, future research regarding this intervention should include qualitative items to help illumi- nate the process or experience of people’s intu- itive grasping of the 3P. Finally, five BSI items were used to measure depression, and six BSI
items were used to measure anxiety and hostil- ity. This was done to shorten the overall length of the survey. In future studies, scales like the Beck Depression Inventory and the Burns Anx- iety Inventory may be better measures of these variables.
This study provides a test of the author’s proposed process from 3P exposure to im- proved mental health. We predicted that under- standing the 3P via 3P exposure would relate positively and significantly with insights regard- ing TR and/or IH/CM. In turn, we predicted that insight regarding TR and/or IH/CM would show a significant positive relationship with nonattach- ment, regulating negative emotions and less ru- mination, and a significant inverse relationship with depression, anxiety and hostility. The find- ings appear to support seven of our eight hy- potheses.
What appears evident from this study is that 3PU gained through exposure to the 3P may be a significant approach to improving people’s mental health, particularly their ability to realize that when the mind clears, a feeling of mental health appears naturally, and to distinguish how less healthy thinking obscures this health. Al- though further research is needed to confirm our findings, these results appear to warrant consid- eration of the 3P as a possible component of mental health promotion and the prevention of problem behaviors.
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Received January 7, 2015 Revision received June 27, 2015
Accepted July 6, 2015
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Three Principles Research Breakthrough!!!!!!
3PGC is thrilled to announce a major breakthrough in Three Principles research. Three studies offering empirical support for the path from Three Principles exposure to improved mental health proposed by Thomas Kelley and Jack Pransky have been accepted for publication in highly respected academic journals! This transpired through a lot of back and forth communication between the reviewers and authors, answering their questions and concerns and submitting revisions, accordingly.
The first article entitled, “Realizing Improved Mental Health through Understanding Three Spiritual Principles,” has been accepted for publication in the American Psychological Association (APA) sponsored Journal of Spirituality in Clinical Practice. This is the first Three Principles research article published in an APA sponsored journal! The Journal’s Editor, Dr. Len Sperry, stated, “We are delighted to publish your groundbreaking work.” For the Editor to call this article “groundbreaking” is, we believe, especially significant. The abstractfor this article follows.
Kelley, T. M., Pransky, J., & Lambert, E. (In Press). Realizing improved mental health through understanding three spiritual principles.
Spirituality in Clinical Practice.
ABSTRACT: A new psycho-spiritual understanding commonly known as the Three Principles proposes that people can realize and sustain improved mental health via insights gained through understanding the spiritual principles of Universal Mind, Consciousness, and Thought. We test this proposition for people exposed to the Three Principles as an intervention. The results appear to support our prediction that insights regarding “thought recognition” and/or “innate mental health via a clear mind,” gained through Three Principles understanding, will show a significant positive relationship with non-attachment and regulating negative emotions, and a significant inverse relationship with rumination, depression, and anxiety.
The second and third articles, entitled “Understanding Spiritual Principles or Using Techniques to Realize and Sustain Optimal Mental Health,” and “Inside-Out or Outside In: Understanding Spiritual Principles or Depending on Techniques to Realize Improved Mindfulness/Mental Health,” have both been accepted for publication in the Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health. The abstracts for these articles follow.
Kelley, T. M., Pransky, J., & Lambert, E. (In Press). Understanding spiritual principles or using techniques to realize and sustain optimal Mental Health. Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health.
ABSTRACT: The primary goal of positive psychology is understanding and facilitating optimal mental health. However, absent fundamental causal principles that explain human psychological experience positive psychology is unlikely to achieve this goal. We posit that fundamental causal principles may already have been uncovered and offer a study that tests the process from exposure to these principles to improved mental health. The results appear to support our prediction that insights regarding “thought recognition” and/or “innate mental health via a clear mind” gained through understanding these principles will show a significant positive relationship with hedonic well-being, eudaimonic well-being, social well-being and optimal mental health.
A noteworthy finding in this study is that 88% of participants exposed to the Three Principles understanding were diagnosed as having “flourishing” mental health. Compared to positive psychology’s finding Keyes’s (2007) that less than 18% of adults self-report as flourishing, this finding is compelling.
Kelley, T. M., Lambert, E., & Pransky, J. (2015). Inside-out or outside-in: Understanding spiritual principles or depending on techniques to realize improved mindfulness/mental health. Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health. 17, 3, 153-171. DOI 10.1080/19349637.2014.998752
ABSTRACT: We examine the relationship between understanding the psycho-spiritual principles of Universal Mind, Consciousness, and Thought, and perceived dependence on mindfulness techniques to realize improved mindfulness/mental health. Participants exposed to the intervention grounded in these principles also reported practicing meditation and/or mindfulness-based intervention techniques. The results from this preliminary study appear to support our prediction that as participant’s understanding of these principles increases, their perceived dependence on mindfulness techniques to realize improved mindfulness/mental health will decrease, and as participant’s perceived dependence on mindfulness techniques decreases, their ability to maintain well-being during unpleasant mood states will increase.
A noteworthy finding of these three studies is that while insights regarding Thought Recognition (TR) and/or Innate Health via a Clear Mind (IH/CM) showed a significant positive relationship with improved mental health—on average, IH/CM showed a stronger relationship with most mental health variables compared to TR.
Future Three Principles Research
These studies are just the beginning. They will have to be replicated with similar results to be fully accepted within the psychological research community; there will have to be studies measuring results against a control group and, ultimately, longitudinally. However, as a result of the publication of these studies, Three Principles practitioners and researchers are now encouraged to use the Three Principles Inventory (3PI) for both research and program evaluation, along with whatever other accepted psychological scales or behavioral measures would best suit what the program intends to measure, so we can build a consistent body of evidence. The most up to date version of the Three Principles Inventory is posted on this website, as well as the Three Principles Movies website.
Three Principles Research in Progress
The following Three Principles research projects have either been completed and are presently undergoing peer review, or are in progress: 1. Kelley, T. M., Pransky, J., & Lambert, E. “Realizing Improved Mindfulness/Flow/Mental Health through Understanding Three
Principles.” Under review at Journal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied.
1. Kelley, T. M., Alexander, J., & Pransky, J. “Realizing Improved Resilience through Understanding the Three Principles.” Under
review at Journal of Creativity in Mental Health.
1. Kelley, T. M., Hollows, J., & Pransky, J. “The Efficacy of the Three Principles Intervention for Improving the Mental Health of Prison
Inmates in England.” (A treatment-control group longitudinal study)
1. Kelley, T. M., Pettit, W. F., Sedgeman, J., & Pransky, J. “The Efficacy of the Three Principles Intervention with Returning Veterans Diagnosed with PTSD.” (A preliminary pilot study and follow-up controlled study)
1. Kelley, T. M. “The Efficacy of the Three Principles Intervention with At-Risk Youth.”
1. Prekopa, C., & Kelley, T. M. “Realizing Reduced Job Stress and Improved Job Performance through Understanding the Three Principles.”
1. Kelley, T. M., Bora, R., & Pransky, J “The Efficacy of the Three Principles Intervention with Psychiatric Patients and Psychiatric Treatment Staff.”
Additional Three Principles Publications
For those interested in Three Principles research and evaluation 3PGC recommends that Three Principles researchers and practitioners review the following published journal articles regarding the Three Principles and the Three Principles Intervention:
Pransky, J., & Kelley, T. M. (2014). Three principles for realizing mental health: A new psycho-spiritual view. Journal of Creativity in Mental Health. 9, 53-68.
ABSTRACT: We offer a new psycho-spiritual understanding of mental health grounded in the three principles of Universal Mind, Consciousness, and Thought. This understanding proposes that all people have innate mental health they can access and sustain regardless of past or present circumstances. We first describe the three principles, explain how they appear to work within people to create their psychological lives, and present evidence in support of their spiritual
basis. We then distinguish the intervention based on these principles from cognitive and other psychotherapies and describe several guideposts followed by practitioners grounded in this understanding. Finally, we offer empirical evidence of the effectiveness of the three principles intervention
Kelley, T. M., Pransky, J., & Sedgeman, J. (2014). Principles for realizing resilience in trauma exposed young offenders: A promising new intervention for juvenile justice professionals. Journal of Child and Adolescent Trauma.7, 143-151.
ABSTRACT: Considerable evidence suggests that untreated childhood trauma is a contributing factor to delinquency and juvenile justice system involvement. This paper describes a promising new intervention for juvenile offenders with traumatic histories grounded in principles for realizing resilience. This intervention attempts to draw out the inner health/resilience in young offenders, and provide them with a new perspective on their past traumas that prevents them from infecting the present. The origin and logic of the principles behind this intervention are described followed by several guideposts used by effective teachers of this intervention. Research is presented in support of the logic of this principle-based understanding and its intervention with trauma exposed young offenders.
Kelley, T. M., & Pransky, J. (2013). Principles for realizing health: A new view of trauma and human resilience.” Journal of Traumatic Stress Disorders and Treatment, 2, 1, doi.org/10.4172/2324-8947.1000102
ABSTRACT: This paper offers a new view of trauma and human resilience based on three principles for realizing resilience. This view challenges the current perspective of how and why traumatic events appear to induce and sustain painful symptoms from the outside, by explaining how these symptoms are created and maintained from within, regardless of circumstances. It proposes that all people can access innate resilience allowing them to move through loss and trauma with minimal distress, grace, and even positive emotions. It distinguishes between accessing innate resilience from coping with loss and trauma with social supports, personality traits, and management strategies. While more rigorous, controlled research is needed to document the efficacy of interventions based on these principles, existing supportive evidence is compelling and appears to warrant the field’s attention.
Three Principles Inventory (3PI)
Directions: For each statement below please circle the number that best represents your answer or position on the statement.
For information regarding scoring for those who research or evaluate the responses to the Three Principles Inventory, please contact Dr. Tom Kelley at
Journal of Health Psychology
The Avalon Gardens Men’s Association: A Community Health Psychology Case Study
Journal of Holistic Nursing
A Thoeretical Framework for Using Health Realization to Reduce Stress and Improve Coping in Refugee Communities
Journal of Primary Prevention
A Transforming View of Mental Health
National Civic Review 1
Sustainable Community Change: A New Paradigm for Leadership in Community Revitalization Efforts
National Civic Review 2
Toward a Peaceable Paradigm: Seeking Innate Wellness in Communities and Impacts on Urban Violence and Crime