By Jack Fox, M.A. Resident in Counseling in Northern Virginia
This time of the year is rife with transitions, which can be stressful for everyone. Especially with the pandemic continuing, we are under a lot of pressure as the new school year begins and children start classes online or adults try to figure out childcare.
Here is a simple relaxation technique that can help to center you when things get to be a little too distressing!
Focus on an image that calms you or is a safe place.
Think of an experience you have had, or a place you have been, or imagine being at a place that feels calm or safe. This may be at the beach, in the mountains, or doing an activity you enjoy. Try to think of something that doesn’t involve other people, just you and this calm or safe place. Take a minute to write down what image comes to mind.
Notice the sensations you experience.
While thinking of this image, notice what sensations you are having, what you see, hear, feel, and smell, the emotions you are having, and the body sensations you have. Write down a little bit about what sensations and emotions are coming up for you.
Now, while thinking of your place, take your hands and place them like a butterfly on your chest, and very slowly tap back and forth, 4 to 8 times on each side, while keeping this image in mind. Think about a word or phrase that represents your place or that image, and while thinking about the image and the word or phrase, do the butterfly tapping again to reinforce the connection between the word and the image.
You can keep doing the butterfly tapping until the positive feelings no longer strengthen, but make sure to only do sets of 4-8 taps at a time, in order to notice what feelings come up for you. This Safe or Calm place can be used by just thinking of that cue word, or bringing to mind that image again. The feelings can be strengthened with butterfly tapping if the effects start to wear off over time.
About Jack Fox:
Jack graduated from the College of William and Mary with a B.S. in Psychology and recently finished his graduate work at Regent University with a M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Throughout his studies, Jack has seen and worked with many clients, both adolescents and adults, struggling with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, adjustment issues, and even people with a desire to get to know themselves just a little bit better! The more Jack has worked with people, the more a simple truth has come to light: You are not alone!
Jack believes that success in therapy results from a combination of understanding first what is dysfunctional, then where the dysfunction comes from. Finally, changing a behavior resulting from the thoughts or emotions driving the dysfunction can result in truly powerful changes in life. He mainly uses Cognitive Behavior Therapy, EDMR, and Solution Focused Brief Therapy to help attain the goals of his clients. Through these techniques, Jack enters into relationship with his clients and gets to understand and hear their full story, providing a safe environment for vulnerability.
To learn more about Jack, visit HERE.