There are many optional ways available to work on your concerns and issues. In fact, there is no "one right way" of accomplishing this. Because you are a person with your own unique needs, desires, likes and dislikes, because you learn in your own way, and because it is really your own journey, we will work together to find what is right for you in order to make the kinds of changes you want to make in your life. Here are some ways that I work with people, and you can decide what is right for you:
EYE MOVEMENT DESENSITIZATION AND REPROCESSING (EMDR):
When someone experiences a trauma, such as a car accident, a series of medical procedures, or any catastrophic event, their brain is often not able to process the experience the way the brain normally would. Sometimes it is as though a negative experience becomes "frozen in time." The information that is acquired at the time of the trauma, such as, what the person recalls seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling in their body kinesthetically, feeling emotionally, etc, gets locked into the nervous system in its disturbing state. The person may then experience all of this in the form of flashbacks, nightmares, or other symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. These symptoms can then get triggered by anything in the present that reminds the person of the trauma, such as when they attempt to drive a car after being in an accident. EMDR is a neurologically based therapy that helps someone process a trauma in such a way that it no longer holds its negative charge physically or emotionally. EMDR involves the alternating stimulations of the left and right brain through either a visual, tactile or auditory component. It is often a faster and more thorough way of processing a trauma than traditional "talk" therapy, although EMDR can also be used as adjunctive to more traditional therapy. In additon to helping people process trauma, EMDR also works well in helping people who struggle with anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, chronic pain, grief, eating disorders, and managing stress. For more information about this tool, go to www.emdr.com.
EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUE (EFT):
EFT is a tool that falls under the umbrella of Energy Psychology, which is based on the idea that everything is made up of energy, including our thoughts and emotions. When someone has experienced a major trauma, such as having been assaulted, to a smaller trauma, such as your big brother having laughed at you and told you to, "Stop acting like a baby," the flow of energy in our bodies can become blocked or stuck. EFT is a tool that can help release blocked energy from your body. It involves tapping at various points on the body known as acupoints. It has been likened to doing acupuncture without the needles. It can be easily learned, and can be something you do in a session or on your own outside of a counseling or coaching session.
HOLOGRAPHIC MEMORY RESOLUTION (HMR):
HMR is a body-centered tool you can learn to use in order to "go back in time" to a painful memory. It helps people gain access to "frozen" feelings the bodymind carries as a result of a trauma, and then release them. Trauma can result in blockages in energy in the body and mind, but HMR is a very gentle, non-traumatizing way of releasing those blockages without requiring a "re-live" of a traumatic event. For more information about HMR, go to www.healingdimensions.com.
HEART-CENTERED HYPNOTHERAPY (HCH):
HCH is a powerful tool that helps someone find the root/s of why they have a negative reaction to something or someone in their current life, where and how an addiction began, or what memories could be contributing to emotional or physical pain. The process involves: (1.) Getting into a state of relaxed concentration; (2.) Focusing on the physical or emotional stress you are currently experiencing; (3.) Using that to "go back in time" to memories that may have influenced how you currently feel; (4.) Expressing the feelings you experienced at the time of the memories, that perhaps were not fully released and so have contained a negative emotional charge; (5.) Having a Corrective Experience that involves using the wise, strong, compassionate Part of yourself to help heal the Part of you that has carried the emotional or physcial weight or pain. For more information about HCH, go to www.wellness-institute.org.
COGNITiVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY (CBT):
CBT helps people to unhook from unproductive cycles of thinking and feeling by learning how to step back and analyze their thought processes, which may be contributing to negative feelings and behaviors. People often engage in making assumptions about what someone else intends or what something may mean. Their assumptions may or may not be accurate, but if they don't question or analyze those assumptions, they may then engage in negative self-talk that affects how they feel emotionally, and what actions they choose in their interactions with that person. The assumptions are based on their core beliefs that may be at an unconscious level. For example, if someone works extra hard in their job, going above and beyond the call of duty at work because they are trying to gain the approval of their boss and they feel insecure about that, then if they don't gain that approval, anything that happens in their interactions with their boss that seems as though he or she is not approving of them, they will likely make assumptions, such as, "He doesn't approve of me. He doesn't really appreciate my work," which may come out of core beliefs such as, "I am not good enough. I'm not valued." When those thoughts are activated, people generally feel badly, and may then engage in behaviors that do not benefit themselves. CBT helps people to interrupt that sequnce of negative thoughts, feelings and behaviors.
All of us have various parts of ourselves that serve a purpose in our lives. Sometimes they work together cooperatively, and sometimes they are at odds with each other. (And I'm not referring to Multiple Personality Disorder, now known as Dissociative Identity Disorder, here). Think of a "part" as a state of being. One part of your personality may want to do something, while another part of you wants the opposite. For example, one part of you may desire to diet and lose weight, while another part of you isn't yet ready to change the chocolate habit. What is great about learning to do Parts work is that you can learn how to find the wise, strong, compassionate part of yourself, and to use that part to accept, comfort, guide and take care of the parts of yourself that experience anxiety, depression, shame or anger (rather than turning to food, shopping, alcohol, TV, or any other mind-numbing substance or activity), which then ultimately results in you feeling better.
This is a very versatile tool that can be useful for many different concerns. It involves going into a state of relaxed concentration, something you probably have done many times without even realizing it. For example, if you have ever gotten so caught up in a book or movie that you briefly lost a connection with being present in the moment, then you have experienced hypnosis that was self-induced. I can teach you how to use Self-Hypnosis in which you program into your mind something you decide will be helpful to you. I can also do more traditional Hypnosis, leading you through some exercises in which I give suggestions to you, while you are in a state of relaxed concentration, that match up with your goals. Hypnosis can be adjunctive to more traditional medical treatments for such things as cancer treatment, for labor and delivery, with dental procedures, and as preparation for surgery. Hypnosis can be used to gain control over phobias, such as a fear of flying. It is also helpful in reaching your goals regarding such things as losing weight, or learning something new. It is very beneficial for enhancing your performance for job interviews, public speaking, performing arts, sports competition, and in a variety of other ways. Last, it can help you to take a "vacation" when you are stuck at home. It is possible to make a hypnosis recording on your phone during a session, to help you make the changes or reach a goal that you are desiring, or even to just feel more calm and relaxed. You can then listen to this recording every day to help you develop at an unconscious level what you are consciously wanting to happen in your life.
In this age of multi-tasking and busyness, it is easy to disconnect from the present moment and from yourself. Mindfulness is about being present moment by moment, with an awareness of your thoughts, feelings and the sensations in your body, as well as the environment around you. Even more than paying attention and concentrating on the present, though, it also involves an acceptance and non-judgement of what you are experiencing. Mindfulness strategies have been shown to positively impact physical and mental health, and have even been found to be an important factor in cultivating happiness.
No one is immune from stress these days, but there are many tools under the umbrella of stress management you can learn that will help you deal more effectively with it. Diaphramatic Breathing, Imagery, Encouraging Self-Talk, are just a few of the strategies you can learn. Research indicates that regularly using such tools can help lower blood pressure and heart rate, can improve sleep and weight loss, and can increase your sense of well-being.
This is a computerized program that has an element similar to Biofeedback. As you watch the screen on a computer and practice a particular method of rhythmic breathing, while being connected to the computer via a light clip attached to your earlobe, you can begin to bring greater synchronicity between your heart, brain and autonomic nervous system. Incorporating positive thoughts and feelings not only increases that synchronicity, but also teaches your body and mind how to work together more effectively, and to manage life stresses more easily.