Posts Tagged "health benefits"

Resolving the Traumas of Life

Posted by on Feb 6, 2014 in PathwaysVoice - Blog | 0 comments

Original article by Stephanie Levitt, MA, LPC, NCC [Published in AZ Net News Oct/Nov 2013 and online at  Natural Healing News] Trauma is everywhere.  We bear witness to it on our TV screens as we see the aftermath of a horrendous school shooting and worry about the safety of our own children. We hear stories about wars, people being killed, raped, and tortured. We have friends or family who are in abusive relationships. Then there is the trauma that we may have endured in our childhood or past. Most of us have experienced it in some form, whether we identify it as such or not. Some people have had “big” traumas in their lives that continue to affect them. Others have experienced trauma that flies under the radar so to speak, because it consists of a seemingly minute event, such as the time no one wanted to be your friend in third grade. Most likely, the small traumas that happened in our lives continues to affect us, but those effects are just less obvious. Our past experiences shape many of our present day behaviors, beliefs, and feelings. Therefore, if we have unresolved trauma from our past, it may continue to affect us negatively in our lives today. Depression, anxiety, unhealthy addictive behaviors and eating disorders are among the many symptoms of unresolved trauma. Upon further examination, such life struggles often began in the aftermath of a traumatic event. Trauma all too often goes unidentified and undetected. People do not realize the extent and severity of their trauma or that they have even been a victim of it, either by having personally experienced it or vicariously witnessed it. Thus, their lives may bear the earmark of trauma, and the unwanted feelings and behaviors taking over. Without identifying the underlying trauma, the undesirable cycle continues. Fortunately, there is help for people who have experienced all levels of trauma. After becoming aware of the problematic behaviors in your life and identifying the underlying trauma, it is possible to work through it and ultimately change these behaviors and the way you feel. One such method, developed by psychologist Dr. Francine Shapiro, is extremely effective in helping people reprocess traumatic images and memories. It is called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). When performed by a trained therapist or clinician, EMDR has been thought to be one of the most effective and thoroughly researched methods ever used in treating trauma. Within three to four sessions, most people that have been treated for a traumatic incident find relief from post-traumatic emotional symptoms. EMDR is different from traditional talk therapy, and many will feel positive results in as little as one session. It is believed that EMDR works by permitting the patient to access traumatic memories and then process them both emotionally and cognitively, which allows for their resolution. The trained therapist may utilize a variety of rhythmic stimulation and/or facilitate eye movements in the person during the treatment. It is believed that when traumatic memories are accessed in a safe environment, the processing of such memories is heightened and new links are made between the traumatic memories and more adaptive information. As a result, new information is processed, leading to the reduction and/or elimination of current problematic behaviors and feelings, while new insights about the memories are developed. With such an effective treatment available for the reduction of traumatic memories and the aftereffects, it is imperative that people know about EMDR. The elimination of anxiety, depression, addiction, and other such destructive behaviors and negative feelings is possible. Suffering does not need to be a lifelong process.   Bio:  Stephanie Levitt, MA, LPC, NCC is the clinical director and owner of Pathways Counseling Services, PLLC in Scottsdale, AZ. Stephanie has undergone advanced training in EMDR and utilizes it in combination with various other treatment modalities. For a free phone consultation or to schedule an appointment, call...

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Mindfulness and it’s Health Benefits

Posted by on Dec 3, 2013 in PathwaysVoice - Blog | 0 comments

Today’s world seems to rush by faster than ever. We have more to accomplish in less time along with more distractions. It is easy to lose track of what is happening in the here and now, which in turn causes people to lose awareness of what they are feeling and how their actions are affecting others. One of our greatest gifts is the ability to express mindfulness, the practice of focusing attention to the present moment and accepting what is happening without rendering judgment. Today, the art of mindfulness is being examined by health professionals as to its effects on happiness. In fact, applying mindfulness to your day to day activities can help decrease depression, decrease anxiety, and render positive health benefits. The Art of Mindfulness There is certainly nothing new about the concept of mindfulness as it stretches back for thousands of years. Mindfulness is not only part of Buddhism but its wisdom can be found in most religions as well. This is because the shift of focus towards a larger perspective of life and the wonders it carries brings about a sense of peace, fulfillment, and health benefits. The effects of mindfulness have broadened to the point where medical studies have shown that improvements to mind and body can be brought about with the application of mindfulness on a daily basis. The positive changes that have been observed are more than anecdotal, they are now fully accepted. How Mindfulness Improves Well Being There are a number of ways that being mindful can help improve your overall state of being. What follows is merely some of the effects that have been demonstrated. –       Improves one’s positive outlook and mental well being –       Assists with appreciating what life brings about –       Creates a better ability for dealing with adverse events –       Reduces worrying and foreboding over future events –       Better able to form deeper connections with others Physical improvements include: –       Reduced risk of heart disease –       Stress relief –       Decreases gastrointestinal pain –       Lower blood pressure –       Lessens chronic pain –       Improves Sleep The Positive Effects of Mindfulness on Mental Health Today, counseling methods convey the ideas of mindfulness to those who are feeling more stress, depression, and anxiety in their day to day lives. This has helped many people over the years that otherwise would have more difficulty controlling their emotions and feelings. For those with eating disorders, anxiety, depression, substance abuse problems, marital issues, obsessive-compulsive disorders and more, mindfulness meditation has helped bring a new perspective to their lives. Thus, learning to be more mindful teaches people to accept things as they are and deal with painful emotions in a more positive manner. It is becoming increasingly common for health professionals to include mindfulness in psychotherapy and in particular cognitive behavioral sessions. The combinations of proven techniques along with the wisdom of mindfulness work hand in hand to create a better, more peaceful outlook on life. As a result, happiness and peace...

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