Psychological Self-Help

Navigation bar
  Home Print document View PDF document Start Previous page
 34 of 78 
Next page End Contents 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39  

flying, the dark, bugs, public speaking, taking tests, meeting
people, asserting one's self, being away from home and many
other situations. 
To break the connection between any given situation and an
unwanted emotional response, e.g. to extinguish depression
or anger associated with a certain person or behavior or
situation. For instance, several students have used this method
to reduce their jealousy when a date or spouse attends to
another person. 
STEP ONE: Learn a method of relaxing
Deep-muscle relaxation is recommended, but any method that
works well for you is fine. Some therapists use drugs; self-hypnosis
(chapter 14) might be a good choice. You may find that a certain time
or place relaxes you, e.g. right after awakening, after exercising, or in
bed late at night. Thorough, strong relaxation is necessary because it
must over-ride the fear reaction. 
Recently, a new, rather strange sounding desensitization procedure
has been developed for use by professionals (Shapiro, 1995). Instead
of using relaxation, this method uses rapid eye movements (left and
right), much like what occurs with the eyes closed during dreams. The
therapist quickly moves his/her finger back and forth in front of the
client and the client follows the finger with his/her eyes. While moving
his/her eyes, the client also focuses his/her awareness on the
traumatic memory or scary scene... and he/she should also focus on
the physical bodily sensations associated with the fear or anxiety.
Rapid reduction of the fearful reactions are reported. In addition,
repressed traumas are sometimes uncovered and new positive feelings
about themelves are claimed by some clients after only an hour or two
of this process. More research of this procedure is needed but it is an
interesting finding (I expected it would go the way of Silva Mind
Control, EST Seminars, NLP eye movements, etc. but it hasn't yet; it
has strong supporters and critics.). 
similar to mine. At this page you can also find links to several other
self-help methods, such as Progressive Muscle Relaxation
prayer. We will use deep muscle relaxation in our example. 
STEP TWO: Study your fear response (or other emotional
Every time you have the unwanted emotional response, record
these five things: (a) the antecedents or situation prior to the
emotional response, (b) the feelings you have, e.g. fear or anger,
including the intensity on a scale of 0 to 99, (c) the thoughts you
Previous page Top Next page

« Back