Greetings, and thanks for taking the time to read this blog entry. I imagine you might wonder what a mind body psychologist could do for you. Chances are, if you’ve been a client at KIMA, you are already quite aware of your body…the aches, pains and limitations that may have prompted your visit to KIMA. Some clients are frustrated with their bodies. Some clients have been experiencing chronic pain for years.
I believe there is a direct relationship between the mind and body. Sometimes, the body will express what the mind cannot yet process. The mind is very powerful and protective; when unresolved/underlying psychological stressors such as work deadlines, troublesome relationships, fear, anxiety, and unresolved trauma cause tremendous interruptions in the body, this is called somatization. This is where my role as a mind body psychologist can benefit you by helping you to find positive coping mechanisms and relief through the use of psycho-dynamic talk therapy and alternative healing techniques such as hypnosis, guided imagery, tapping and or meditation.
While working as a clinical social worker in a chronic pain program at a large metropolitan hospital, I began to fully understand the relationships between the mind and body,and the relationship to pain. My experiences were based on hours of clinical counseling and evaluations of chronic pain patients. Over and over, I heard stories of people who were living with bodies that were aching and throbbing with often unexplained pain; I observed first hand how their lives were impacted by the limitations of pain. Some of the clients benefited from ongoing counseling sessions as I listened to their stories without judgment.
Pain is a subjective condition. There are many times emotional factors that contribute to the pain. John Sarno, Jon Kabbat-Zinn and Caroline Myss are just a few well known clinicians who have written books about the relationship between the mind and the body.
Wellness techniques such as meditation, guided imagery and hypnosis are beneficial in helping one deal with pain. I have been trained and certified in hypnosis; while it does not always take away one’s pain, there are proven benefits of using such techniques to minimize pain and to maximize one’s ability to awareness, breath and visualization to promote more healing. The unconscious mind is very powerful; hypnosis can put one into a deep trance, i.e, state of relaxation, which may help the client to access some of the obstacles including negative beliefs that contribute more stress and resistance to change. My work in this area has helped clients to to access resources of the unconscious mind which can aid in reducing pain, whether emotional or physical in addition to finding healthier coping strategies.
Research has proven the efficacy of linking the subconscious and conscious mind together to heal the body. Read: Pain Really Is All In Your Head And Emotion Controls Intensity and; 7 Things We Can Turn Off and On in the Brain. I believe we all have the answers we seek.
The benefits of talk therapy include gaining insight into one’s inner world. Often, one will come to see me because of symptoms related to a stressful environment in work or a relationship. Work deadlines, troublesome relationships, fear, anxiety, and unresolved trauma can cause tremendous interruptions in the mind and body. Many times, the troubles manifest as symptoms in the body, for example, headaches, neck and back pain, muscular spasms, gastroenterological symptoms, high blood pressure, depression,and insomnia have often been correlated with what is going on in a person’s mind and emotional state. The body will often express what the mind can not yet discuss.