CONCERNS 

ANGER MANAGEMENT

10/15/2007 -

Isn’t it amazing how often people who are easily angered and totally unaware of it?  Maybe they don’t even realize that they are showing anger.

Some of our tolerance level for stress and frustration comes from genetics; some from family modeling, some from too many stressors happening at the same time; and some from not learning how to control our impulses.  Other major causes are physical, verbal or sexual abuse which we have not resolved; unfair treatment in the workplace; adverse effects from medication; or from alcohol and/or drug problems.  Even too much or too little caffeine can cause it.  Hyperactivity, impatience, and inability to concentrate well can cause it.

Toss a little alcohol or drugs into an already angry person and the circuits can blow.  Rationality and problem-solving disappear and fully blown rage erupts.  This is often the situation, the braking system fails, and the person becomes like a fast-moving vehicle with no brakes.  They attack verbally and cruelly and possibly also physically.  Hitting walls or breaking objects are often forerunners of a physical attack.  So get out of the situation if this begins to happen.  People’s spirits and often their bodies are scarred by someone’s explosive outbursts and sometimes lives are lost.  The angry one is often quickly remorseful once they’ve hurtled out of control, but not always. Remorseful or not, sometimes the damage caused cannot be undone.  Physical wounds often heal more quickly than the emotional ones.  Repetitive abuse, of either type, often calls for professional help for us to get past being victimized and to move on with our lives in healthy ways.

Chronic anger is very unhealthy.  It puts too much stress on the body and upon relationships.  It’s a learning process to catch your anger before it goes out of control and damages someone or something.  No matter how limited your time is, this is some of the best time you will ever spend.  Friends, family and co-workers will be greatly appreciative.  You’ll see!

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POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD)

10/15/2007 -

A big mouthful, huh?  Well it IS A BIG UGLY DEAL!  And it’s one we usually need professional help to resolve.  There are often flashbacks (images of the incident triggered by current thoughts or experiences) which can lead to depression, panic disorder, anxiety, paranoia and withdrawal or aggression.

Some examples of PTSD-creating incidents:

Being in an automobile, plane or train crash        
Combat duty
Physical, sexual, verbal, emotional abuse
Anxiety symptoms leading to phobias and panic attacks
Illness or death of a loved one
Being diagnosed with a severe, chronic or terminal illness
Earthquakes, tornadoes, natural disasters
Traumatic divorces, child custody battles
Workplace mistreatment or firing

PTSD is one of my specialties.  I use various methods to resolve it depending upon the unique person and situation I am treating.  Some typical methods I have used successfully include:

Genograms and family history-taking and discussions
EMDR=one of the best and most efficient methods
Journaling
Blind letters to the abuser/joint sessions with the abuser/phone calls or letters to the abuser/legal action (requires hiring an attorney)
Cognitive therapy and rational problem-solving
Family therapy
Psychotherapy
Exposure therapy and desensitization
Mind shifting, self-soothing, calming techniques, music, visualization
Prayer
Positive self talk

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RELAXATION THERAPY

10/15/2007 -

This is often paired with guided imagery.  There are many benefits to learning how to relax well and quickly.  It benefits you by lowering blood pressure and heart rate.  Tension in your muscles is decreased.  Each of these happenings improves not only your health but your general sense of well-being.

Staying tense and “wired up” is a truly unhealthy state for the body.  Irritability often results and that can hamper your ability to interact appropriately and positively with friends, co-workers and family members.  It’s a rather “contagious condition.”  The more time you spend with tense people, the more likely you are to also become tense.

So learn how to relax.  I can teach you to do it.  It’s a gift to yourself and to your loved ones.  Make it a priority.  You’re worth it and so are they!

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GUIDED IMAGERY

10/15/2007 -

I like to do guided imagery with soft, soothing background music or nature sounds.  It’s a great technique for mind-shifting from stressful situations to just give yourself a well-deserved break.  10-15 minutes of ‘flipping that switch in your brain’ and dwelling upon calming mental images can soothe and refresh you.

Slipping into an imagined state of mind and situation becomes easier with practice.  It’s a type of day-dreaming which your allow yourself to be guided into.

Just imagine for a moment warm sand, gentle breezes, rhythmic ocean waves and a magnificent sunset.  At the same time you will be either sitting or lying in a very relaxed position.  Pretty soon, keeping your mind focused upon the images, your tension eases and a peacefulness begins to nudge you into calmness - a very restful place for your thoughts which then eases the tension in your body.

Try to imagine how much more pleasant a person could be if they had just relaxed in this way versus the other optional behaviors of worried, hurried, aggravated, angry, fearful, stressed, etc.

And best of all:  IT’S REALLY FUN TO DO!!!

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