therapy

  • Book Excerpt: Impact of Fear on Recollection of Experience Book Excerpt: Impact of Fear on Recollection of Experience

    Book Excerpt: Impact of Fear on Recollection of Experience

Book Excerpt: Impact of Fear on Recollection of Experience

The following is a very brief excerpt from my book, “This is Not That” due to be completed in 2048, based on the current pace. Let me know what you think. “In a rather complicated study, Professor D.B. Fenker and his colleagues (2005) had subjects view a series of emotionally neutral words on a computer screen. Randomly, some words were preceded by pictures of fearful faces or other disturbing images. The exposure to these images, however, was so quick that the individual was not aware that they had even seen the image, referred to popularly as subliminal images. Participants were later shown lists of words and asked to say whether they recalled seeing a word (had a conscious memory of learning it) or knew they had seen the word (they knew they had seen it before but couldn’t remember where or when). The researchers found that when words were preceded by a frightening or unpleasant image, they were more accurately recognized, though not consciously recalled. The implications of this study, and others like it, are momentous. If the brain is so sensitive to negative stimulation as to react in such a powerful way to such an insignificant trigger, imagine its […]

By |July 9th, 2015|Blog, Education, snippets|Comments Off on Book Excerpt: Impact of Fear on Recollection of Experience
  • 5 Simple Ways to Get More Out of Counselling 5 Simple Ways to Get More Out of Counselling

    5 Simple Ways to Get More Out of Counselling

5 Simple Ways to Get More Out of Counselling

  Many times over the years, I have heard clients tell me, “While I was driving here, I thought, ‘what am I going to talk about?’” Often, we are able to find something to focus on but I wonder how useful these appointments are. Sometimes we end up discussing issues that we have covered previously and there is a feeling of dragging out the appointment just to fill the time. This is difficult for both of us. With that in mind, I thought I would offer some suggestions as to how to get the most out of your appointment and counselling in general.  1. Schedule It at the Right Time Counselling appointments are not your average conversation. As such, it might not be a good idea to try to fit a session in over lunchtime. It is generally a good idea to try to avoid, if possible, scheduling other activities immediately following the appointment. Even if someone is slightly late for their appointment, my preference is for them to sit in the waiting room for a few minutes to gather themselves and their thoughts together before beginning. When we are feeling rushed, stress hormones interfere with our learning, on a […]

By |February 5th, 2014|Blog, Uncategorized|Comments Off on 5 Simple Ways to Get More Out of Counselling
  • Playing Dead Emotionally: How Numbing Your Pain Can Be a Curse (and a Blessing) Playing Dead Emotionally: How Numbing Your Pain Can Be a Curse (and a Blessing)

    Playing Dead Emotionally: How Numbing Your Pain Can Be a Curse (and a Blessing)

Playing Dead Emotionally: How Numbing Your Pain Can Be a Curse (and a Blessing)

Fight, Flight and … Freeze? Most people have heard of the “fight or flight” response. It is the body’s naturally hard-wired way of dealing with threats to one’s safety. I have written about it before, a few times, so I won’t go into it again but today I’m going to mention the third part of this response: freeze. In nature, animals typically go to flight first, since they are free of ego and have nothing to prove, only to enhance their own chances of survival. If they can’t go to flight and escape danger, they will go to fight, posturing and growling in hopes of scaring off the threat. If this fails, they will actually engage in aggressive behavior, albeit defensive aggression. Once these two options are unsuccessful, or if they are unavailable, most species have a form of reflexive behavior that could be termed “playing dead”. Playing Dead Emotionally Since most of the threats people face in our neck of the woods are social or emotional (although many do face actual physical threats in many forms), the freeze response may look a bit different than it does for a possum or cat. In our case, we tend to play […]

  • Complex Trauma: When the Whole is More Painful than the Sum of its Parts (PART 2) Complex Trauma: When the Whole is More Painful than the Sum of its Parts (PART 2)

    Complex Trauma: When the Whole is More Painful than the Sum of its Parts (PART 2)

Complex Trauma: When the Whole is More Painful than the Sum of its Parts (PART 2)

Attachment Injuries Now that we have a rudimentary understanding of the necessity for, and basis of attachment behavior, we can begin to discuss attachment injuries and their effects. The term “attachment injury” refers to trauma that occurs within the context of a relationship. In order to understand the impact of relational trauma, consider an analogy from the field of physiology. Lessons From Physiology Proprioception is the body’s sense of where it is in space. It is the cumulative interpretation of the body’s various internal and external sensory systems that allow it to have an accurate assessment of the external enivronment. In layman’s terms, it is the body’s sense that allows a person to walk up the stairs or type at a keyboard without the necessity of visual information. When areas of the body are damaged or injured, this vital sensory ability is one of the first casualties. Musculoskeletal injuries result in impaired functioning of this vital sensory feedback system. This results in the increased likelihood of future injury, as the body has a reduced kinesthetic (body movement) awareness of the injured limb or joint. The parallels between this sensory system and the attachment system are easy to see. Attachment theorists […]

By |September 24th, 2013|Blog, Education|1 Comment
  • Validating Your Brain (Part 2) Validating Your Brain (Part 2)

    Validating Your Brain (Part 2)

Validating Your Brain (Part 2)

Read Part 1 here Keep in mind that your brain’s task is to survive the moment, not the long-term. Without fail, the automatic behaviors that our brain engages in are accomplishing this task. However, due to its lack of perspective, the brain does not have the ability to coordinate momentary survival with long-term survival. So when your brain is acting, thinking, and feeling on your behalf, what does it think is happening? When we experience automatic behavioral responses, what is the brain trying to tell us? Think of the following example. The next time you feel an itch on your skin (which will be fairly soon, given that I have now invited you to think about it), try to physically look at the area of your skin that is itchy but DO NOT ITCH IT! Just look at the itchy place. If you can’t physically see it, try to visualize it in your mind as vividly as possible. You may even want to visualize yourself itching it. I can almost guarantee that devoid of any foreign substance interference, if the itch is generated by your brain, looking at it alone will be sufficient intervention to remove it. Give it a […]

By |March 30th, 2012|Blog|Comments Off on Validating Your Brain (Part 2)