Grants for Writing / Release Funding



One of the ways to address the mission of the Control Research Foundation Fund is through research is to provide writing/release time for Writing on Control Therapy: Principles, Practice, Theory. . Seed money of up to $10,000 per project/investigator  is available to outstanding graduate students, postdoctoral students, and faculty at nationally or internationally accredited universities The first heading  below provides EXAMPLES OF FUNDING AMOUNTS AND PRIORITIES;  the second heading provides an APPLICATION FORM.   A  third forth link is offered for those who may wish to peruse some philosophical comments about control and our shared journey on planet earth :)

Writing on Control Therapy: Principles, Practice, Theory

The Founders want there to be an opportunity to encourage scholars, researchers and/or clinicians to write about  Control Therapy (CT) as it evolves and interconnects with other aspects of psychology and  other academic fields. This includes providing funds for book chapters or write-ups on CT in textbooks, updating  research studies.

IDEAS For Fundable Writing Projects:

  • EDITED BOOK. The Founders can imagine that in a couple of decades there will be branches of Control Therapy applied to eating disorders (e.g., depression; anxiety disorders, etc.). A suggested five-part model of an edited book is outlined below. This edited book may be an application to the Foundation and/or invitation by the Advisory Committee to select individuals to write on a relevant topic as discussed below. Up to $10,000 for editors organizing an edited book devoted to Control Theory and Therapy

Edited Book on CT - A suggested model:

  • Part One: An overview of CT including material extracted from the CT book, manual, etc., and updated as appropriate.
  • Part Two: Outstanding researchers and clinicians in each of the above areas contributing a state-of-the-art chapter in terms of the relevance of CT to their current research and clinical work.

    A stipend of $1,000-$2,000 may be offered to each scholar in support of this effort.
  • Part Three: Scholars and academics representing different psycho-therapeutic approaches, building bridges between their orientation and CT, identifying similarities and differences with CT, and exploring its possible application and/or relevance to their approach. This section could also include academics/individuals/clinicians doing important work in areas related to Control Theory and Therapy, self-control and self-regulation. e.g., researchers such as Drs. Linehan, Dialectical Behavior Therapy; Hayes Assertive Commitment Therapy, Seigel Mindfulness based Cognitive Therapy; Taylor and Rodin’s work on sense of control, Wallston’s health locus of control; Beck’s cognitive therapy, Bandura’s self-efficacy; and Seligman’s learned helplessness and optimism. $1,000-$2,000 may be offered in support of this effort.
  • Part Four: Cross-cultural work in CT and the results CT-related research in different countries.
  • Part Five: Future directions for Control Theory and Therapy.. Funds are to be made available to the editor or editors who would spearhead this effort to buy release time, to contact/work with contributors and to shepherd the book to publication.

    Up to $10,000 may be offered in support of this effort
  • Additional book chapters or write-ups in text books: Funds of also be made available for someone who was invited to write a chapter on CT for a textbook or an edited book which included a section or chapter on Control Therapy. Funds up to $2500.
  • Updates of the Control Therapy book and/or Training Manual: It is the Founders’ intention that funds be available to update summaries of research studies on CT and the SCI that have been conducted during certain time intervals (e.g., every 5-10 years depending on need). As appropriate, an effort should be made to publish this update, either as a journal article and/or as an additional article on the website. If further research suggests the need to modify and update the Control Therapy Training Manual, funds should be made available
  • International conferences: The Founders believe it might be helpful at some point to convene a small international conference focused on the theory and practice of CT, inviting leading scholars and academics whose work is relevant to CT. Funding can be made available to provide each speaker with a stipend to discuss the book Control Therapy and the Control Therapy Training Manual (including taking the SCI) and then explore implications for their own work.

This conference would be an opportunity to get the best minds in the field to wrestle with control therapy, theory, and research. Such a conference would be based on a think tank model to stimulate discussion of the ideas and applications of CT, using the book and manual as a basis and with full academic freedom, examining the strengths and limitations of CT, ways in which the theory and/or practice of CT could be improved, setting research priorities, etc.  An additional stipend  may  be given to the conference coordinator. The proceedings of such a conference could be the basis for an edited book of a more preliminary nature than the book outlined above and which would be eligible for additional funding.

FURTHER THEORY BUILDING ON CONTROL THEORY: Control Therapy is based on theory, research, and practice, and bridge building between them.  For example, the SCI was theory based, and then empirically derived. Theory can help inform  assessment and clinical practice. Clinical practice (in the trenches) can help assess the utility of the theory, and further inform it. Research obviously helps to assess the therapy and where needed, to refine it. The Founders believe all these areas are important, and do not want to rule out any proposals exploring such synergistic relationships. For example, although theory building is not mentioned as a potential funding source, the Founders wish to keep open the possibility of funding for  a project on theory building and especially theory refinement. As more understanding regarding the different variance of bio-psycho-social factors in different clinical concerns is achieved, this will lead to ongoing adjustments and reinterpretations of CT theory, which   could in turn effect the practice of Control Therapy. Therefore, continued refinement of theory, research practice is obviously essential.

  • Translations of CT theory, research and practice for the non professional reader: The Founders would like to support proposals focused on applications and implications of CT for the lay public: e.g. a proposal to “translate” CT into lay terms for the general public (e.g., a book that would be an inspirational, sophisticated self-help book).
  • CONTROL AND THE FURTHER REACHES OF HUMAN POTENTIAL The Founders are also interested in research regarding what the nature of optimal healthy control might be  like for humans—in mind, body, emotions, interpersonal, i.e. ,the further reaches of our human potential.

ADDITIONAL TOPICS:   The applications of Control Theory and Practice  regarding societal issues such as conflict resolution  and existential religious/spiritual issues with the goal of promoting increased understanding and interfaith dialogue.

The  SCI gives a “Control Profile” for an individual and can also been  given to groups.” As noted, the Control Profile includes a person’s Overall Sense of Control, their Desire for Control, their  ways of seeking and gaining control (Modes) and their  Agency of Control (self and /or other/Other). Regarding “other” as a positive  source of a sense of control, there are refinements  in the SCI  regarding: family and friends; government and society, and  existential./religious  beliefs.    Because of this information, there are several promising areas where the Founders would encourage study and exploration:

SOCIETAL /CULTURAL /POLITICAL ISSUES. The Founders are interested in applications of CT to social issues (e.g., societal conflicts within nation states, power struggles, warfare between nations, the nature of optimal political leadership, nuclear disarmament, social safety nets and wealth distribution, and how control issues are implicated in all these topics—e.g.  cross cultural issues regarding the nature and understating of  control; SCI profiles of individuals in different political parties).  So, fundable research topics, as noted in  section one,  can encompass many different academic and scholarly areas (e.g., political science, sociology, anthropology conflict and peace studies, etc.).   In terms of funding for writing projects, it is appropriate to consider scholarly proposals from academics from the above-mentioned fields regarding the implications of CT for questions of interest in their respective fields.

INTERFAITH DIALOGUES Finally, the founders are interested in thoughtful, healing explorations of how humans gain a sense of control through beliefs about the nature of the universe: ie. existential, spiritual beliefs and how “control issues” between and among these views might be examined to result in greater tolerance, understanding and healing.

Please see the links below for further discussion.

Links for further information  can be found below.

  1. POLITICAL, SOCIAL/CULTURAL ISSUES-- beliefs about the role if individual agency and control and “other” control.;  see p 287-288
  2. EXISTENTIAL/RELIGIOUS SPIRITUAL. ISSUES Self-control and other/Other control.  see p. 288-291

THE LIMITS OF HUMAN CONTROL, THE IMPORTANCE OF TRYING, COMPASSION AS A CONTEXT.  If we take a few steps back, look at the stars and galaxies, and imagine the earth rotating on its axis around the sun, it’s amazing that we have the chutzpah to believe we have any control at all in the world! It’s important to remember that in the process of therapy—and life itself—we are small creatures on a small planet in a small solar system in a small galaxy. This is not a reason for fatalism and helplessness. But it is a reason to honestly and compassionately face our limits.

On the one hand, we want to “practice what we preach,” striving to become exemplars of optimal control in each of the domains of life. In Zen, as we have discussed, the instruction is “When you walk, walk; when you sit, sit; above all don’t wobble.”  We want to follow Gandhi’s advice to “Be the change you want to see in the world.”  The Gita says, “Let there not be a hair’s breadth between will (what you decide) and action (how you act).” This applies to being centered and calm, and also to acting in the ways of the world. The Gita integrates these two skills by saying that one who can “see action in inaction” (even while calm and centered, as in meditation,  recognizing that blood is coursing through the body, the heart is beating, the mind is awake); and “inaction in action”  (even while we act, we attempt to stay centered and calm), “that person is wise among all.”

This is all sage advice yet, as you have probably experienced for yourself (in other aspects of your life, and perhaps even more consciously during your work with this manual), there is no such thing as “perfect” self-control.  There are limits to our ability to stretch and grow in a positive assertive sense just as there are limits to how much we are able to yield and accept.  We are human, after all! And we do wobble. There are times in life when we simply don’t know the correct course of action. As noted, we think a footnote to the Zen saying might be needed: “When you wobble, wobble well!” (Or as best you can).

FACING SUFFERING—WITHIN AND WITHOUT. Further, as the Buddha pointed out, each of us eventually will have to face the three messengers of aging, illness, and death in our own lives, as well as in the lives of loved ones.  All of us have, or will have wounds, places where we’ve been broken, and at times feel crushed.

We all know the challenges of overcoming our individual selves and connecting with others.  Yet, no matter how well we do the “tai chi dance” of relationship, no matter how well we forgive, and dialogue successfully, from one perspective, in this earthly plane, all such efforts end: marriage ends either in divorce, or, even with the most devoted love, in death. Our bodies, no matter how well we care for them, are doomed to decay and fail. It is the irony recognized by the playwright Chekov, a physician who knew that even as you try to cure a patient, it is only a temporary reprieve. We humans have awareness of the suffering of life. Part of our task is to learn how to cope, deal with, and come to terms with   necessary losses that are part of life.  This involves mourning, grieving, and ultimately trying to come to some kind of peace and equanimity with the “10000 sorrows.”

Yet, it is said “10000 sorrows, 10000 joys.”

We also can have awareness of life’s beauty and preciousness. This is all we have. How can we keep our focus on what is important and valuable in life?  Like the person in the Zen tale faced with the fierce, teeth-baring tiger above and the sharp, jagged rocks below, we have the ability to pause, make a choice, and taste the “sweet” strawberry in the here and now.  We also have the choice to courageously move forward with our lives. We can recall Hemingway’s Old Man saying, “Man can be destroyed, but not defeated.”  We can learn to adapt, to grow, and, as best as possible, learn to find ways to let the “light shine through the cracks” of places where we have been wounded and broken.

We have the opportunity to learn the lesson that Miriam taught, after the Israelites had crossed the Red (Reed) Sea after leaving the slavery of Egypt. Egypt (mitzrayim in Hebrew) means “narrow places.”  Crossing the sea can represent, metaphorically, leaving our internal “narrow places” where we are enslaved, and crossing into a higher sea of consciousness.  Yet, as we know the story, the Israelites still had forty years of wandering in the wilderness to face in order to reach the “Promised Land.”  Miriam’s lesson? She led the Israelites in dance.  We have the choice to take a break from effortful focus on difficulties, hard times, and suffering, to pause and celebrate, to dance in our hearts and minds along our journey.

We also have the capacity to face mindfully and directly difficult and challenging aspects of reality; and, without avoiding or denying, to choose “how we want the story to end.” Recall the story of the parents of a murdered child, shared in Module Three, who didn’t want evil, negative thoughts to have the last word. They model for us how it is possible to face a horrendous event—the meaningless, senseless death of a loved one – with courage, intention, and seeking to find meaning.  Rather than letting their daughter’s terrible murder be the final word, they created a sense of control  by choosing to determine the ending of her story--an  honoring and celebrating of a meaningful  life.

This is not to say that facing such challenges and adversity is easy. Rather, it may be impossible to face all the challenges life sends us with perfect self-control. Sometimes we’ll wobble, but we should try to wobble as well (and compassionately) as we can, and choose as healing and wise a response as we are able.

HEALING THE WORLD. In addition, just as our smallness and vulnerability in the universe can produce feelings of helplessness and being out of control, so too can the pervasiveness of suffering in this world. If we look around at poverty, homelessness, war, and disease, it is impossible not to be aware of the world’s suffering. Once we break through denial, it is understandable that we can become overwhelmed at the enormity of this suffering. There is suffering in this world that is part of the human experience, and no amount of control efforts can ever completely ameliorate that.

However, as many spiritual traditions suggest, while it is not entirely up to us to solve the problems of the world, it is our responsibility to make some contribution toward solving these problems. One way to address this is through the metaphor of yoga stretching. If we do not stay slow and centered in a stretch, we can push too hard and injure ourselves. From a centered place, however, each of us may be able to find ways to stretch toward one or two degrees more involvement with the posture (and with life’s suffering). In dealing with the messengers, each of us may be able to develop one or two degrees more of acceptance.  Each of us has to find the balance between acceptance (quadrant two) and stretch (quadrant one) that feels wisest and most compassionate to us.

Simply because we are limited in our ability to exert positive control in each mode does not mean that the effort is not worthwhile. If we can only improve two, three, or four degrees, that can make a substantial difference in our lives and the lives of others (e.g. Think of the difference a few degrees makes in our body temperature: e.g., 98.6 to 102)

It seems to us, as co-authors,  there must be some part in each of you reading this manual (and in us writing it) that is basically optimistic about our ability as humans to change and grow in positive ways, or else we wouldn’t be in the health and healing professions.  We seek to affect positive control and reduction of suffering in ourselves and others wherever we can.

We are all fellow travelers on a temporary journey through the hourglass. Compassion and love are needed as a context for our efforts to teach, learn, and practice positive control in our lives.