Dear Readers, thank you for your patience during my long, unanticipated hiatus. I have a new respect for those who are able to provide new content to a regular publication!
I’ve been busy over the last year: I have completed training in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) Therapy, including being well on my way to being one of the few certified EMDR Therapists in Dane County. And, I MOVED! Yes, my office (see picture, above) is now on Monona Dr, in the beautiful and unique Water Tower Place (AKA “The Glass Trapezoid”), across from Swad and La Rosita’s.
I’m starting a new series with this entry called “Pro Tips.” What I mean by this, is that I want to share with you secrets from the trade, things that only a small percentage of people know about and practice, intentionally or not. People in the know see therapy as advanced teachings for those looking to level-up.
Today’s Pro Tip (and they are in no particular order) is: “Allow allow allow.” Katie Byron stated this in the title of her book as “Loving what is,” and Tara Brach captured this in the title of her excellent and well-known book “Radical Self-Compassion.” The basic rule here is, don’t push away any of your feelings, thoughts, or behaviors. As one professor told me: appropriateness is context based. For example, if you’re a soldier in enemy territory, a heightened state of vigilance is adaptive. Bring that same vigilance into your hometown shopping mall during peacetime, and you may be seen as hyper-vigilant or “paranoid.”
The first thing is to see how your thoughts and feelings are very understandable. Try it yourself. The next time you surprise yourself with a thought, feeling or behavior, instead of beating yourself up for it, ask yourself, “What’s good about this? How might this be helpful or adaptive for me now? Was it adaptative in the past?” Once you’ve really understood what it is that the behavior (Called “The Answer” in EMDR) wants, you can begin to make some real-time decisions about it. And you might even feel some genuine compassion for yourself (as you might if you learned that that really anxious person in the store yesterday was a war vet).
Of course, it can be much easier to do this with a compassionate and objective other. If you’d like to ask a question or schedule an appointment, feel free to contact me here. Stay tuned for more Pro Tips, soon!
Be good to you, and don’t forget to breathe!