Taking a step back – Self Awareness

Whenever I reach out inward, by taking a step back for a moment, I see things very differently from what I have in the go-go-go mode.

Just sitting in a chair or couch works best for me to do this mental exercise of self awareness. I then stay in a state of curiosity. This helps me slow down to get into a relaxed mode. Believing in myself helps me in this state, whatever the state I’m in. Then I explore how I feel, what thoughts cross my mind and bring in some kindness to myself to stay gentle in the whole self awareness process. I tend to do this at least twice a week at peak stress days as part of self care to check in with myself and know I can slow down to be aware of my reactions.

What this reveals is a beautiful picture of my day and my reactions to the various happenings. This in turn helps me write out my process recordings with my supervisor in an authentic fashion and process any anomalous reactions in my mind with openness and curiosity. I slowly realized in this field that curiosity about myself and my environment along with critical thinking alone will help me bring a better work – life balance.

Thanks for reading my process for self awareness !

Best,

Shrivi

DBT part 1

This day has been filled with understanding mindfulness in light of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). I understood the difference between reasonable mind, emotional mind (extremes) and the wise mind that sits at the intersection of these extremes. Wise mind as I understand is to come from a deep sense of knowing the truth! It’s definitely a Zen acceptance concept adapted well in therapy.

I really appreciated the importance given to self-validation to be placed in high priority above other validation strategies used in DBT.

Tomorrow we look at behavior therapy side of things along with details on chain analysis!

See you tomorrow!

Cheers,

Shrivi

Affirmations and Summaries

If all that I grasped from Miller and Rollnick’s book was how to do affirmations and summaries , I think my day was well spent! I loved the practice of role playing to summarize and affirm case studies of imaginary clients, and it was totally helpful. It put my senses of reflections in perspective and gave me an extra push to recognize strengths, efforts, values and skills in my clients😅 through these attuned reflections, aka affirmations!

Summaries can be transitional , linking as well as collective and can be rendered merely to fill an awkward pause in the conversation or as we are inundated with too much info and all you need is a break to collect your thoughts so far.

Unjumbled my day through this feat!

Enjoy a wonderful evening!

Cheers,

Shrivi

Cognitive distortions

Cognitive distortions arising from negative core beliefs are something to be deeply analyzed on a daily basis, for the automatic thoughts crossing our minds!

Taking a step back and looking at what just happened in our mind is all it takes to stay present with ourself and really being true to our personality.

Measuring the possibility of our core beliefs to be even slightly incorrect based on the existing evidence shown by the people around us and other environmental factors is very critical!

Here’s to looking closely at our thoughts that sometimes make no sense in hindsight! Lol!

Have a great weekend!

Best,

Srivi

Practice vs research

I’m now at a point where I need to stop and think if am to continue with practice or go onto research. There’s a subtle juxtaposition in my mind of the two concepts and I’ve come up with the idea that there’s some practice experience that will feed the future research experience overall. So in a way I’m building the foundation for effective evidence-based research to happen.

Happy researching everyone! Looking forward to those times in the future once am done with some practice!

Person-centered theory

We know there is this medical model of psychiatry that comes with diagnoses and labels that hurt the client’s experience with an authority of the diagnostician. To help move away from the painful labels of the client, one can rely on what is called the person-centered theory or client-based theory. Person-based theory is that which places focus on the client as the expert in the therapeutic relationship between the psychologist/social worker and the client.

Motivational interviewing at its best

To me Motivational interviewing is the most person centered approach available for a therapist to adapt. I believe I like the rolling with resistance aspect of it the most, knowing there’s nothing worse than entering into an argument with a client or even worse get in to a heated conversation leading into a full blown conflict.

There’s the broader framework of stages of change that helps baseline the approach and introduce the client to a new perspective of what’s ahead of them in this therapeutic alliance.

I am also intrigued by the ability to appreciate and sit with the client during their ambivalence, although there’s a lot of stepping back in progress and sitting in silence of the client through their confusions about why they need to change.

Looking forward to starting a 6-week group therapy curriculum at work based on motivational interviewing soon!

Cbt as I understand it

The premise of cognitive-behavior therapy(CBT) includes the reorganization of an individuals own statements and beliefs to develop a synchronization with his or her behavior.  A relationship exists between thoughts (or cognitions), emotions, and behaviors that create cause and effect in how the individual experiences events and situations.  Human nature, says that individuals have the potential for rational and irrational thinking. This irrational thinking is identified as the basic problem in mental disorders of depression and anxiety where CBT is employed.

The constant rewiring of thoughts using positive rational statements forms the basis of Cognitive behavioral therapy. Examples of rewiring irrational thoughts with positive statements:

Rewire “I’m bad” with “I’m enough”

Rewire “I cant do this” with “I can try this”

Rewire “I’m weak” with “I’m strong enough to go for a walk”

So on and So forth simple translations/rewiring.

Trying to see the goodness in everyday life, when everything seems so gloomy, due to the automatic negative thought script running, is the real deal of cognitive behavioral therapy, as I understand it.

Hope this helps people in actively engaging in the therapy tactics as it is critical for recovery for the client to full engage and involve themselves in this REWIRING process.

Happy thoughts!

How To Walk To Relieve Your Stress

Credits:MAGGIE SPILNER 
What Makes You Want to Walk?
When we posed that question to a number of walkers a few years back, we expected to get answers like “to lose weight” and “to get in shape.” But we were delighted by the number of people who commented on walking’s emotional benefits—in particular, its ability to relieve stress. (Try these 9 exercisese to relieve your stress.)Aerobic exercise of any kind has the power to calm jangled nerves and improve bad moods. And when it’s done every day, it can enhance self-esteem and combat depression. Indeed, research has shown that a brisk 20- to 30-minute walk can have the same calming effect as a mild tranquilizer. (Want to work out more but don’t have the time? Then tryFit in 10, the new workout program that takes only 10 minutes a day.)

Why is walking—or any physical activity, for that matter—such a potent stress reducer? Many experts cite its ability to trigger the release of endorphins, potent brain chemicals that relieve pain and stimulate relaxation. Simply put, the higher your level of endorphins, the greater your sense of calm and well-being. No wonder walking can make you feel so good.

walking to reduce stress

PHOTOGRAPH BY DAVID HANSON/GETTY IMAGES

Stroll Toward Relaxation
To reap the stress-busting benefits of walking, you don’t need to pound the pavement or push yourself really hard. In fact, at least one study has shown that a comfortable stroll can be just as effective as a brisk walk. The key is to use your mind while you’re moving your body. (Here are 5 instant stress soothers.)

For the study, researchers recruited 135 volunteers and divided them into five groups. Three of the groups took up walking—one at a brisk pace, the other two at a low-intensity pace. The fourth group practiced mindfulexercise, which is based on the principles and movements of tai chi. The fifth group served as controls—meaning, they were asked not to change anything about their lives.

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In addition, one of the groups assigned to walk at a low-intensity pace learned a simple meditation technique to practice while exercising. All they had to do was pay attention to their footsteps, counting “one, two, one, two” and visualizing each number in their minds as they went along. If they found their thoughts drifting to other matters, they simply said, “Oh, well” and resumed counting their footsteps.

walking group

PHOTOGRAPH BY SUSAN CHIANG/GETTY IMAGES

The combination of meditating and low-intensity walking produced dramatic results, according to cardiologist James Rippe, MD, who has written several books on the health benefits of walking. (Looking for awalking workout? Here are 3 new walking workouts to choose from.)

During the 16 weeks of the study, the people who meditated while they walked reported decreases in anxiety, along with more positive and fewer negative feelings about themselves. (Are you stressed, or think you have an anxiety disorder? Here is a test to find out.) In fact, the benefits were equal to those associated with brisk walking. Even better, they were evident after just one session, and they lasted for the duration of the study.

MORE: 7 Reasons You’re Tired All The Time

By comparison, the people who walked at a low-intensity pace but didn’t meditate showed no improvements until the 14th week, and even then, the effects weren’t as significant. On the other hand, the people who engaged in mindful exercise experienced results that were very similar to those reported by the walking-plus-meditation group, suggesting that other mental techniques could yield stress-busting benefits.

According to Rippe, one of the most impressive findings from this research is the immediacy with which walking can relieve stress. The study also provided good news for those who aren’t able to engage in high-intensity exercise: They can capitalize on walking’s stress-busting effects just by practicing meditation or another mental technique during their strolls. And for those who find relaxation exercises tedious or boring, the study proved that a brisk walk can do just as good a job of short-circuiting stress.

Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (Book Recommendation)

 

With addiction a widespread and growing problem in our society, Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement could not be more timely or needed. It integrates the latest research on addiction, cognitive neuroscience, positive psychology, and mindfulness into a practice that has garnered empirical support and holds the promise of release and fulfillment for those who suffer from addiction.