Client Experience: Using Equilateral EMDR – Adolescent client with PTSD

Client Experience: Using Equilateral EMDR – Adolescent client with PTSD

This writing is part of a collection of My Clients’ Experiences.  You may see yourself in these experiences or you may have other issues you feel the techniques I use may help you with.

Below is a counseling experience in which Dr. Timothy Test and I had use Equilateral EMDR with an adolescent client with PTSD beginning with early childhood trauma.

Client Experience Utilizing Equilateral EMDR

Tim and Lauren

Dr. Timothy Test and Lauren

“John” is a senior in high school who has suffered from chronic anxiety, PTSD, and behavioral problems since he was a young child.  He finds it difficult to go to school in the morning and misses school frequently.  He often feels isolated, finding it difficult to relate to his peers.  John had experienced abuse, physically and emotionally, and witnessed things growing up in an abusive environment that he feels most kids his age could never imagine.

During the counseling session [1] John was asked to focus on what concerned him at the present time, which was stigma associated with a mental health diagnosis.  [2] When asked what feelings he felt currently about this concern and the thoughts he has about them, he described his frustration, however was happy with the way he handles this since beginning therapy with us.  [3] This information was used to install a positive resource (a coping skill).  [4] Lauren, one of our mules we use for therapy, was utilized to help install the resource.  [5] John was able to practice using this resource at the end of his session and was encouraged to use it throughout the week.

Session Outcome

This was a very successful session that helped our client learn how to process stressful situations differently and learn a new coping skill.  This session, in addition to many others in which we utilize the mules, demonstrated how Equilateral EMDR is a great approach in helping clients with trauma develop coping skills and resources to help them deal with daily stress.

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Client Experience: Using Free Association in Therapy Sessions

This writing is part of a collection of My Clients’ Experiences.  You may see yourself in these experiences or you may have other issues you feel the techniques I use may help you with.

Below is an actual counseling experience in which I had used Free Association with a client.

Client Experience Utilizing Free AssociationFairyTree

A female client presented with chronic anxiety and panic attacks.  [1] The client was asked to focus on what concerned her at the present time.  [2] When asked what feelings she felt currently about this concern and the thoughts she has about them, she replied that she felt extreme sadness and also guilt.  [3] As she allowed her mind to drift into the past the client recounted the memory she most feels guilty about.  Within a few seconds after sharing this memory, a long forgotten memory surfaced that she actually felt greater guilt over.  [4] We discussed how the past and present are connected.  [5] Her feelings toward a man who did not feel the same about her, was not freely associated but was discussed.

Session Outcome

This was a very enlightening and successful session.  It demonstrated how Free Association is a good method to uncover some of the root causes of a person’s mental status.  That said, therapists should be prepared as I am, for what may be revealed.  In this case, the information provided material for desensitization and reprocessing utilizing EMDR.

Mindfulness in Therapy

Mindfulness meditation is a practice that was developed in the ancient Buddhist tradition and continues to be practiced today.  Itmeditation1 involves obtaining a calm and conscious awareness of one’s body functions and feelings.  Currently, many therapists are incorporating this practice of mindfulness meditation with cognitive behavioral therapy to form a treatment for a variety of mental and physical conditions including substance use disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and pain.  Some of the mindfulness-based therapy techniques currently in use include Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR).  Many books, DVDs, and Internet websites are available for any person interested in learning about this practice.  In addition there are many studies available for review that reveal the many uses and benefits of mindfulness meditation techniques, demonstrating this is evidence-based therapy we can incorporate with confidence for a variety of therapeutic needs.

Additional value in mindfulness meditation is that it is a non-drug treatment.  For those battling drug addictions, drug treatments may not be an option to treat co-occurring PTSD and pain.  Drug dependence theories posit that drug dependence is a disease state, in which physical dependency on the substance eventually leads to the compulsive and repetitive use of the substance despite the negative consequences to the user’s health, mental state, or social life (Shen, Orson, & Kosten, 2012).   This drug dependence is often a result of prescription drugs.  Research has revealed that individuals prescribed opioid drugs, used for the treatment of chronic pain, had a significantly higher rate of misuse than those with a history of drug abuse who were not prescribed opioids (Pohl & Smith, 2012).   This has become a serious problem in the United States with the overuse, abuse, and addiction to opioid medications.  Opioid dependence is considered to be a lifelong, chronic, and relapsing disorder for the individual (Shen, Orson, & Kosten, 2012).  Therefore, in patients who have a history of addiction or other risk factors for developing addiction, opioids should be prescribed with consideration of their tendency.  The need to explore alternatives is obvious.  Mindfulness techniques that address even complex co-occurring disorders such as substance use disorder with PTSD and pain are worthy of exploration.  At dohi Center for Well-being we utilize mindfulness techniques in counseling as well as teach Mindfulness Meditation to the clients we see, and we are very pleased with the results.

References:

Pohl, M., & Smith, L. (2012). Chronic pain and addiction: challenging co-occurring disorders. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs44(2), 119-124. doi:10.1080/02791072.2012.684621

Shen, X., Orson, F., & Kosten, T. (2012). Vaccines against drug abuse. Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics91(1), 60-70. doi:10.1038/clpt.2011.281

Can herbs help addiction? (part 1)

Alcohol

An estimated 17.6 million American adults (8.5 percent) meet standard diagnostic criteria for an alcohol use disorder according to results from the 2001-2002 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) reported in the current Archives of General Psychiatry [Volume 61, August 2004: 807-816].

Conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health, the NESARC is a representative survey of the U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population aged 18 years and older. With more than 43,000 adult Americans participating, the NESARC is the largest study ever conducted of the co-occurrence of psychiatric disorders among U.S. adults.

Alcoholism is a serious issue that not only impacts the well-being of the sufferer but also each and every family member, friends, employers, all persons that interact with this person.

Aside from interventions and counseling that should be provided to help a person overcome their addiction, herbs show promise and can be very effectively utilized:

A Combination of Kudzu and St. John’s Wort

This is a formula that was originally combined to help alcoholics overcome the stress of their addiction.  It does have other uses that include cooling inflammation in the gut and helping leaky gut syndrome.  It can be used for neck pain, mild depression, anxiety, and headaches. (source: Tree of Lite Publishing)

Kudzu: In Traditional Chinese Medicine, kudzu root is used in prescriptions for the treatment of wei, or “superficial,” syndrome (a disease that manifests just under the surface—mild, but with fever), thirst, headache, and stiff neck with pain due to high blood pressure. It is also recommended for allergies, migraine headaches, and diarrhea. The historical application for hangover and alcohol craving has become a major focal point of modern research on kudzu. There is evidence that links diadzin, a constituent of Kudzu, to the potential reduction in alcohol consumption.  A person who takes kudzu, may still drink alcohol, however, they will consume less than if they had not taken kudzu.   Kudzu is also used in modern Chinese medicine as a treatment for angina pectoris.  Its leaves are high in vitamins A and C, as well as calcium and protein.

Common Names: Ge Gen (Mandarin), Kakkon (Japanese), Kalgun (Korean), Japanese Arrowroot, Pueraria Root.

Common Uses: Antioxidant; alcohol cravings; allergies; angina,; soothing digestive aid; diarrhea; headaches and migraines; fever; muscular tension; minor aches & pain; blood pressure support; culinary food starch thickener (powder).

St. John’s Wort: Long before the standardized extract of St. John’s Wort became popular, the whole herb has been used in traditional herbal medicine for more than 2,000 years as a potent anti-viral, calming and pain relieving herb.  The compound Hypericin was isolated in St. John’s Wort in 1942 and has been used as an antidepressant.  The whole herb is primarily used to help rebuild and repair nerve damage, relieve pain, remove phlegm from chest and lung area, reduce inflammation, and can be applied topically for scrapes, burns & pain.

Common use: Sedative; pain; viral infections; colds; chest & lung congestion; menstrual cramps; sciatica; arthritis; gout; diuretic.

Kudzu/St. John’s Wort Combination [Nervous] stock number 975-6

diadzin is a constituent of Kudzu that evidence shows is linked to the potential reduction in alcohol consumption.

“Isoflavone compounds naturally occurring in the root of the kudzu plant have been used historically to treat alcohol-related problems” (Penetar et al., 2012).  A pilot study by researchers Penetar et al. (2012) was conducted to assess the effects of one primary isoflavone – puerarin- for its ability to modify alcohol intake in humans. This study is the first to demonstrate that a single isoflavone found in the kudzu root can alter alcohol drinking in humans.

hypericin is the compound in St. John’s Wort which has been shown to reduce stress and depression.

Each capsule of Kudzu/St. John’s Wort Combination contains 1 mg of daidzin and 1 mg hypericin.

NOTE: While taking this product, avoid exposure to strong sunshine and tanning rays (tanning salons). Consult your health care provider before using this product if you are taking prescription anti-depressive drugs, including selective serotonin uptake inhibitors, as well as any MAO inhibitors.

Reference:  Penetar, D. M., Toto, L. H., Farmer, S. L., Lee, D. Y. W., Ma, Z., Liu, Y., & Lukas, S. E. (2012). The isoflavone puerarin reduces alcohol intake in heavy drinkers: A pilot study. Drug and alcohol dependence126(1), 251-256.

To order Kudzu/St. John’s Wort Combination, please visit www.mynsp.com/herbalhour
The item number is 975-6.

Or visit CLICK HERE for a direct link to the product.

We also have both Kudzu and St. John’s Wort in loose herb tea available for purchase online or at The Herb Peddler located in dohi Center for Well-being.

The information on herbs and supplements has not been evaluated by the FDA.  Information on herbs and supplements provided on this site is not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure disease. We are not responsible for the results of your decisions in using this information, including, but not limited to, your choosing to seek or not to seek professional medical care, or from choosing or not choosing specific treatment based on the information.
If you have any medical health care questions, please consult a professional medical provider.  If you need treatment, please see a licensed provider.

Peace and good health,

Charlotte Test, ND, MH, BAPSY

– See more at: http://theherbpeddler.com/herbalhour