THE WINTER BLUES – Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects millions of Americans each year. Symptoms include depression, fatigue, food cravings and antisocial behavior. Light therapy can be effective in treating this disorder. There is even some preliminary evidence that light therapy can be used as an adjunct to the drug treatment of non seasonal depression, PMS, bipolar disorder and bulimia. More information about SAD and light therapy is available from the Society for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms (www.sltbr.org) . Click the link for Public Information on the home page. Click on the Corporate Members link for a lists of companies marketing various light therapy devices. Light therapy devices are also available at Amazon.com. Another useful site is The Center for Environmental Therapeutics (www.cet.org). They provide therapeutic resources and tools including various self assessment instruments.
FOCUSING – is a body oriented process of self awareness and emotional healing. It is a life skill that you can teach yourself, a rich, empowering process that is a quick way to get to the truth of yourself and live it. Focusing is a tool you can use if you are stuck in your current psychotherapy, if you’d like a way to handle overwhelming emotions, to release action blocks and addictions, if you’d like to make clear and centered decisions and if you would like to release self-criticism and increase self-love and acceptance. Focusing is based on the work of Eugene Gendlin who began researching psychotherapy in the 1960s at the University of Chicago. He discovered that successful therapy could best be predicted by the client’s natural capacity to describe a “felt sense” of their experience that included a certain body awareness. In 1978 Gendlin published a book entitled, “Focusing” and went on to develop a series of workshops to teach this skill. The easiest book to start with is “The Power of Focusing” by Ann Weiser Cornell, PhD., a student of Professor Gendlin. Focusing can be learned from this well written and highly accessible book. Further help is available from the resources section of the book or from her website at www.focusingresources.com. The website provides links for individual sessions, workshops and professional training.
EMOTIONAL BRAIN TRAINING – is likewise, a life skill, self- help tool that helps rewire the emotional part of your brain. EBT corrects the set point of our emotional brain leading to a return of our natural balance and a sense of well being. EBT had its beginnings in the 1980s as a way to help obese children. Since that time the brain training tools of EBT have been researched and applied to other health issues such as anxiety, depression, anger management, high blood pressure, food and other addictions and chronic pain. EBT can be learned quickly to help manage stress for an immediate problem. Continued practice improves the emotional set point, reduces levels of cortisol, a major stress hormone and helps increase the production of positive neurotransmitters which improve our overall health and sense of well being. The EBT website is www.ebt.org. EBT can be learned via self study, telegroups, one-on-one coaching and local group training. For local one-on-one and group training I recommend Ellen Cohen, PhD. She is a fully certified level 6 EBT trainer and provider. Dr. Cohen offers a free introductory session so clients can experience EBT firsthand. She may be reached at 212-496-2292 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE LIFE WE ARE GIVEN – health is best improved when the individual patient designs for him or herself a program of self-transformation involving changes in diet and nutrition, recreational activity, social involvement and psycho-spiritual development. In “The Life We Are Given”, authors George Leonard and Michael Murphy provide a template for a long-term program of personal transformation. It includes sections on diet, exercise, meditation and self-affirmation.