Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Keep your network alive

What should you do if a worksheet isn't helpful enough? Make sure that clients have recorded robust responses in writing (on paper or an index card, in a therapy notearticle, or on a smartphone) or in an audio format (using a recording device or an app) to automatic thoughts you've addressed in session. To respond to other automatic thoughts between sessions, you can teach clients how to use questions from the previous article (Figures 14. Or you can use the Testing Your Thoughts Worksheet (Figures 15. COMPOSING THERAPY NOTES Having evaluated an automatic thought with clients, you'll ask them to summarize. You might pose one of the following questions: Can you summarize what we've just been talking about? Self-Hypnosis Self-hypnosis is a form of direct suggestion therapy where the person guides themself into a trance-like state to achieve inner calm. You can use this method yourself to lower your stress levels. You can practice self-hypnosis almost anywhere; Many people who are well-practiced at self-hypnosis are able to transcend in unlikely places, such as on an airplane or in a busy waiting room. The more they practice, the easier it becomes to swiftly move through the three phases of hypnosis and wake up completely calm and refreshed. For now, if you are just starting self-hypnosis, you'll want to create a peaceful space just like you did for your meditation sessions. As with breathing and basic meditation methods, self-hypnosis begins with deep, slow, and rhythmic breathing to help the mind and body relax. Once the body is calm, the mind will focus more easily and effectively. Here is an example of how you can practice basic self-hypnosis on yourself to gain relief from stress (Garone, 2018): To prevent you from accidentally shocking yourself, the Yellow Jacket has dual safety features--an on/off switch and a protective cover for the electrodes. However, if you hand over your smartphone to your child to pass the time, Yellow Jacket recommends you remove the case first.

Some states ban stun guns so be sure to check your state and local laws before you make a purchase. Yellow Jackets cost around $100. For more information go to www. Kim's Game doesn't have to be limited to your kitchen table. Take your observation skills out to the streets. When you're out and about with your family, take notice of the people you see. How many are men and how many are women? What are they wearing? And you'll soon discover how you can quickly reduce the influence of your negative thoughts, without even trying to get rid of them. There is now a wealth of scientific studies, published in top peer-reviewed psychology journals, that show Acceptance and Commitment Therapy helps people to build rich, meaningful lives even in the face of serious conditions such as depression, schizophrenia, drug addiction and anxiety disorders. And in the worlds of business and sport, Acceptance and Commitment Training gets similar results: reducing stress, increasing fulfilment and enhancing performance. And yet, ACT makes no effort whatsoever to reduce, challenge, eliminate or change negative thoughts. Because ACT starts from the assumption that negative thoughts are not inherently problematic. Now once again, just pause for ten seconds, and notice what your mind is saying. So what did you hear? Something like, `That can't be right', `Is he serious? Or was it more like, `Wow, that's interesting! Just let it chatter away, as if it's a radio playing in the background, and keep on reading. What do you think would be important for you to remember this week? If the situation comes up again, what do you want to tell yourself?

When clients express a strong summary, you might say, That's good. Would you like to write it down or would you like me to? I want to make sure you remember it this week. You will most likely ask their preference in Sessions 1 and 2 and then assume their preference hasn't changed unless they indicate it has. LENNY and I evaluated his thought I can't do it using Socratic questioning. Then I ask him to summarize. PAULINE: Okay, LENNY, if you think about filling out the insurance forms this week and again you have the thought I can't do it, what do you want to remind yourself? LENNY: That it's probably not true. Choose any quiet, comfortable, disturbance-free spot where you can sit and focus without distractions. Breathe slowly, deeply, and rhythmically. Be still and close your eyes. Inhale deeply through your nose for three counts and then hold your breath for a few moments before exhaling slowly through your mouth. Do this slowly and rhythmically several times until you feel relaxed. Imagine yourself in a peaceful and comforting place of your choosing. For example, you might imagine: Put yourself in your special place and be in the moment. Sense the peace and happiness in the atmosphere. Pay attention to the details of your surroundings and use your senses to enjoy the experience. What are they doing? Drinking coffee?

Talking on their phone? Watching you? When you go into a store or restaurant, notice the details. What color are the walls? Where are all the exits? What kind of things could you hide behind? Playing these observations games are a good way to train your mind and before you know it awareness will come naturally. PARKING LOT SAFETY To pick up where we left off: ACT assumes that negative thoughts are not inherently problematic. Negative thoughts only become problematic if we get all caught up in them, give them all our attention, treat them as the gospel truth, allow them to control us, or get into a fight with them. The technical term for responding to our thoughts in this way is `fusion'. Why `fusion'? Well, think of two sheets of metal fused together. If you couldn't use the word `fused' how would you describe them? Stuck, welded, bonded, melded, joined? These words all carry the same message: there is no separation between the sheets of metal. Similarly, when I talk about being fused with your thoughts, I mean there is no separation from them. In a state of fusion, we are completely `entangled' by our thoughts: we are caught up in them, pushed around by them, lost in them, or fighting with them. My concentration was good enough to fill out a couple of job applications so I can probably at least get started on the forms. PAULINE: That's good.

LENNY: I could ask my son for help. PAULINE: (writing) That's important too. And how about that just getting started might be the hardest part? LENNY: Yeah, that's good to remember. To make sure that what LENNY writes down will be most helpful, I first ask him to express his summary verbally. This gives me a chance to add to or suggest changes to his summary. CLINICAL TIPS When clients' responses are superficial, confused, too brief, or too wordy, you might say: Well, I think that's close, but I wonder if it would be more helpful to remember it this way: ___________. See the shooting star above you. Feel the chilly breeze on the mountaintop. Smell your grandma's freshly baked blueberry pie. Select an affirmation that echoes your need. Proclaim what you need to hear at this moment and in this place. Your affirmation only needs to be a few words that suit this situation and can calm or strengthen you in other situations, too. An affirmation can be really simple. For example: Repeat your affirmation several times in your thoughts. Let it take root in your heart and in your mind. A parking garage or lot is an attractive location for bad guys. It's also a place we can't easily avoid, so we need to take extra safety precautions.

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