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

Breaking the myths behind Mindfulness practice for the benefit of Trauma Survivors

1. Don’t need to close your eyes during mindfulness meditation.

2. Don’t need to sit still to do mindfulness meditation.

3. Staying present in the moment non-judgmentally, even while walking, eating or working, is what is truly being mindful.

4. Don’t need to shut off your mind as your brain is always going to be active, especially with a trauma history.

5. Don’t need to focus on your breath. Trauma victims find this especially triggering with unpredictable outcomes.

6. Mindfulness meditation is not for quick turnaround of results.

7. Mindfulness meditation is not for everyone!

DBT part 2

Today was all about understanding the dialectics or doing both the acceptance and change of the client’s target (problem) behavior. Unlike CBT, which is focused on change purely, DBT focuses on finding a solution acceptable to both client and therapist that includes both approaches of solving the target behavior called the synthesis.

Then we dived into behavior therapy, specifically operant and classic conditioning. We did understand the positive & negative reinforcement and punishment concepts.

Following this, we did a case specific behavior chain analysis that is essentially a functional analysis of identifying the target behavior, recognizing the precipitating event or the antecedent in general behavior therapy language, in light of that day’s specific vulnerability factors for that client like lack of sleep or hunger etc. It is to be noted that, when identifying the precipitating event, we also want to know what thought & emotion led the client to do the target behavior- the culminating F it moment! These are the key controlling variables we want to track across chain analyses of various events of such critical nature over time. These will show a pattern, that we can then use to reinforce relevant skills that were used during such crises events , as identified as controlling variables. This is a good way to problem solve, is what I understand.

Well that’s it from me on DBT learnings so far ! Enjoy!

Cheers,

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

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!

Music as a coping strategy 

We all know music soothes our soul. Why not use it to soothe us off sunwanted stress. Here’s how it can work as a great coping skill.

 Music as a coping strategy involves the use of music (either through listening or playing music) in order to reduce many of the psychological and physical manifestations of stress, as well as stress itself. The use of music to cope with stress is an example of an emotion-focused, adaptive coping strategy in that it is typically geared towards the reduction or elimination of perceived feelings that arise in response to stress, rather than the stressor itself. In essence, advocates of this therapy claim that the use of music helps to lower perceived stress levels in patients, as well as lower more biologically measurable quantities such as the levels of epinephrine and cortisol.Additionally, music therapy programs have been repeatedly demonstrated to reduce depression and anxiety symptoms in the long term.
Source: Music as a coping strategy

#CBT IN A NUTSHELL 

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) focuses on exploring relationships among a person’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) focuses on exploring relationships among a person’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors. During CBT a therapist will actively work with a person to uncover unhealthy patterns of thought and how they may be causing self-destructive behaviors and beliefs. By addressing these patterns, the person and therapist can work together to develop constructive ways of thinking that will produce healthier behaviors and beliefs. For instance, CBT can help someone replace thoughts that lead to low self-esteem (“I can’t do anything right”) with positive expectations (“I can do this most of the time, based on my prior experiences”). – See more at: http://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Treatment/Psychotherapy#sthash.2NvfMGyA.dpuf