THERAPIES THAT WORK
There are times in each of our lives when we can benefit from evidence-based therapies that teach us adaptive skills and coping mechanisms. The feeling of overwhelming stress is a common reaction to any natural or man-made disaster. Traumas experienced at any stage of life are often associated with heightened states of anxiety and/or depression. We need safe refuge to discuss issues that cause sadness, pain and suffering.
When emotional distress interferes with normal functioning, the appropriate therapy can help us heal, so that we are able to live our lives not from an open wound, but rather from a scar that represents our strength and resilience to overcome and prevail in the face of adversity.
There are literally hundreds of therapies available. The key is to work with an experienced, qualified clinician who can guide and support you to determine the best strategy or combined strategies that work best for you. Seek referrals from your doctor or a trusted friend. Psychology Today offers an established service of qualified therapists within your locale, visit www.psychologytoday.com.
Some common therapies are described below, however the following link provides a comprehensive list of resources available:
SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) http://www.samhsa.gov/nrepp
Eight Dimensions of Wellness | SAMHSA
If you or a loved one is in distress, prevention and crisis resources are available to you (#BeThe1Tosavealife):
OPEN THE DOOR
TO NEW POSSIBILITIES
IREST YOGA NIDRA
iRest Yoga Nidra is a research-based transformative practice of deep relaxation and meditative inquiry that is designed to help people with extreme stress, PTSD, depression or trauma conditions by rediscovering their essential wholeness and their interconnectedness with others. It provides continuous verbal instruction which keeps attention focused and re-focused on specific body sensations, breathing, emotions, beliefs and images. iRest®Yoga Nidra is a 10-stage meditation practice, adapted by Dr. Richard Miller, a clinical psychologist, and is appropriate for those without a yoga background. It can be performed in any comfortable position.
The practice of iREST teaches the release of negative emotions and thought patterns, how to restore balance to the nervous system and how to increase capacity to meet circumstances you may encounter in life. Research shows it can be effective to reduce anxiety, PTSD, depression, insomnia, chronic pain, and chemical dependency. It has been shown to increase concentration, improve social functioning, enhance self-efficacy, including recognition of the value of self-care to improve health and well-being.
As a mindful mediation technique, iREST effectively targets brain plasticity in the areas of sensory, motor, limbic, and prefrontal cortical functioning as described under Mindfulness Meditation. These neural pathways are essential to facilitate emotional self-regulation, appropriate decision-making, resiliency, enhancement of cognitive and emotional skills, and development of empathy, optimism, and associated well-being.
EYE MOVEMENT DESENSITIZATION AND REPROCESSING (EMDR)
EMDR appears to have a direct effect on the way the brain processes information such that normal information processing can occur following a successful EMDR session. Trauma associated images, sounds, and feelings are perceived with less intensity when the event is brought to mind, though the event is still remembered. An unusual feature of EMDR is that the person seeking treatment does not have to discuss disturbing memories in detail.
EMDR seems to work most similarly to what occurs naturally during dreaming or REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. As a result, EMDR can be thought of as a physiologically based therapy that helps you see disturbing material in a new and less stressful way.
COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) offers effective coping strategies that benefit many individuals experiencing anxiety, stress, panic attacks, and PTSD. Two of the earliest forms of CBT were developed by Albert Ellis in the 1950s and by Aaron T. Beck in the 1960s. CBT is problem focused and action oriented. It is often combined with other techniques to best serve the individual. It examines the relationship between thoughts and feelings that influence behavior. An individual can benefit by learning to identify and change disturbing or destructive thought patterns that have a negative influence on their behaviors.
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