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NP0025: Treating Anxiety: Latest Advances

This blog focuses on discussion regarding the course Treating Anxiety: Latest Advances.
 
 

Single-Session Cures with Anxiety Problems with Steve Andreas

 

Treating Anxiety: The Latest Advances: NP0025 – Session 4

Learn techniques drawn from Neuro-Linguistic Programming that target the auditory and visual representations that clients make. Join Steve Andreas as he brings about immediate and enduring changes in clients perceptions and feelings as they deal with anxiety.

After the session, please let us know what you think. If you ever have any technical questions or issues, please feel free to email support@psychotherapynetworker.org.


10.09.2012   Posted In: NP0025: Treating Anxiety: Latest Advances   By Psychotherapy Networker
26
Comments
 

  • 0 avatar Merrilee Gibson 10.09.2012 13:23
    It was mentioned that these techniques work for anxiety as well as other strong emotions, and the phrase emotional regulation was used. I work with children for whom emotion regulation is a major problem, resulting in disruptive behavior with further negative consequences for the child and frustration for both child and parent. So my question is, have these techniques been used with children, and if so how could I obtain more information about that. I would appreciate any comment or assistance with this topic. Thanks.
    Reply
    • Not available avatar Stevve Andreas 10.20.2012 20:06
      I haven't used it with kids, but generally speaking, it is much easier to use this kind of method with kids than adults, especially if you frame it as something that is fun and gives them choice and power.
      Reply
  • 0 avatar Don Firmani 10.09.2012 14:11
    Does this method generalize/have a positive effect to other problems?
    Reply
    • Not available avatar Steve Andreas 10.20.2012 20:03
      That would depend entirely on what was linked to, or impacted by, the anxiety or other feeling that they started with. If you have a specific thing in mind, I might be able to comment.
      Reply
  • 0 avatar Vivian Baruch 10.10.2012 21:33
    Thanks so much Steve! This reminded me of tools which sank to the bottom of my toolbox from lack of use. I put them into practice with my first client today (both the visualisation/spinning & the banner with the letters spreading apart) with immediate relief for her panic & anxiety. She marched out feeling so much more empowered & vowed to practice daily until our next appointment. I very much enjoyed your presentation and manner. Please let me know the correct name of the founder of the "spinning" technique - it sounded like Nick Kim or King? Vivian Baruch, Sydney Australia.
    Reply
    • Not available avatar Sreve Andreas 10.20.2012 20:00
      Thanks for your comments! The bet compliment is to hear of someone using what I teach. Nick Kemp is the guy who developed these two methods, and I will always be grateful for learning them, because they are so often useful.
      Reply
  • Not available avatar Lorraine 10.13.2012 19:35
    I make this comment as a bodyworker who is learning a great deal from listening to the Networker free broadcasts. Mr Andreas, I am intrigued by the technique of reversing the spiral, too, and it immediately makes me think of a technique found in the bodywork field. In Myofascial Release, Craniosacral Therapy, Reiki, just to name three bodywork practices, we have the concept of "unwinding" and it refers to a part of the body including all its tissues(bone, fascia, muscle, nerve tissue, energetic links) spontaneously moving in a rhythmic and circular manner seemingly independent of the volition of the person. It is often understood as a letting go of a somatic holding that involves not only an energetic, emotional component, but also a strong physical experience, that could be an injury, or some sort of contact experience, like being shoved or yanked or even pointed at derisively. But it can also be something very subtle, like "taking in" a message about oneself or a part of one's body. There is something taken in and wedged in there and consequently stuck in that part. Sometimes it's described as being like an emotional cyst--body tissues constrict and restrict and tighten and refuse to move around an experience. ("The body is the subconscious mind," sort of thing--storing for us the experiences the mind is not yet ready to sort out/integrate). Sometimes it's named an "inertial pattern", a holding tight place that was necessary for a while after an injury or a withholding of some sort, that then is never let go. In terms of language, a person may use the phrase, I'm screwed. Or, I'm all wound up. Or, I'm tied in knots inside myself. Or, It's like a nest of snakes in there. The sense of all these phrases is of being all wound up...and wanting to unwind it all ... back to free and open and relaxed. Thank you for your wonderful talk.
    Reply
    • Not available avatar Steve Andreas 11.05.2012 12:04
      Lorraine,
      Thanks for your comments. I have almost no knowledge of the kinds of bodywork that you mention, so I can’t comment intelligently about that work. However, I noticed that most of your descriptions of a client’s problem are metaphoric rather than descriptive, most obviously in your summary sentence, “A person may use the phrase, I'm screwed. Or, I'm all wound up. Or, I'm tied in knots inside myself. Or, It's like a nest of snakes in there. The sense of all these phrases is of being all wound up...and wanting to unwind it all.”
      The spinning feelings method elicits a description that is not metaphoric but only descriptive, getting the pathway, the shape of the pathway, its color, etc. If the client says something metaphoric like, “It’s like a blood vessel,” we use that only to ask to augment the description, for instance asking, “Oh, so is it red? Or shiny? Or hollow? Or pulsating,” rather than utilizing the metaphor itself.
      However, utilizing the metaphor directly can also be a very interesting and useful way to intervene, and if you would like to know more about that, Andrew T. Asutin’s Metaphors of Movement work is fascinating. Here is a short introduction to it:
      http://realpeoplepress.com/blog/how-our-metaphors-reveal-creative-solutions
      And if you want to know more, Andy’s Metaphors in my Attic is a quite complete and very reasonably-priced online tutorial: http://metaphorsinmyattic.com/
      Steve Andreas
      Reply
  • Not available avatar Carolyn Boles 10.14.2012 00:10
    I often have clients tell me that they wake up in an anxious state. Thye don't remember dreaming anything but feel a sense of panic upon awakening. Would you have any ideas on how to handle this since they don't typically have a thought prior to the panic nor do they tell me about a feeling other than fear. Thanks. I really enjoyed the different modalities and you reminded me of many techniques I need to resurrect.
    Reply
    • Not available avatar Steve andreas 10.20.2012 19:54
      I have a videotaped client session on Resolving Night Terrors, with follow-up. Supposedly there is no treatment for night terrors, but I just went for it. A sampling from the session is available here: http://www.realpeoplepress.com/client-session-resolving-night-terrors-p-70.html
      Reply
  • Not available avatar Rebecca 10.15.2012 13:31
    Thank you so much for this presentation and for sharing the video of your work in action. Having recently taken several trainings by Dan Siegel, MD, on Mindsight and the Mindful Therapist, I drew many connections in your techniques to the science and conceptualization of the science within the emerging field of interpersonal neurobiology. Your techniques seem highly integrative - connecting the client's attention to other aspects within themselves in terms of the sensory elements of vision, sound, speed, tempo, physical sensation and it's orgins and journey throughout the body...all with the potential to build neural networks that can rework the pre-existing pathways, or at least create other options - and choice (the most empowering for people, in my view). It is bottom-up work that gets integrated with the top-down, also integrates the right and left hemispheres. Even though it may seem "weird" or "strange," it made good sense to me. Thank you for illustrating more techniques and tools to have in my therapist tool belt.
    Reply
    • Not available avatar Steve Andreas 11.05.2012 15:35
      Rebecca,
      Certainly integration is a central goal; however there are also many different ways to describe what that is—and even more ways to try to achieve it.
      I have great respect for Dan Siegal as a person, and I assume that his work in neurobiology is valid. However, I have yet to find anything in his work that directly informs what a therapist does with a client, and when I have viewed his videotaped client sessions, I have been underwhelmed by both the process and the lack of results. For instance, “interpersonal neurobiology” sounds wonderful, but what does that global generalization tell you about exactly what to do with a client? I explore one aspect of nonverbal interaction in a recent blog post describing the nonverbal exchange in a videotaped clip of Diana Fosha, which you can find at:
      http://realpeoplepress.com/blog/nonverbal-expressiveness-the-key-to-relationship-and-change
      I think “mindfulness” is great—though to this geezer from the 60’s it looks an awful lot like a new name for Fritz Perls’ awareness, or Ram Dass’ “Be Here Now,” or any scientist’s admonition to observe events. Sometimes I have described what I do as “directed mindfulness,” because no matter how long I meditated, I probably would not have noticed the path, spin or color of a feeling. Nor would I have noticed other very important aspects of internal thoughts, like the size and distance of an image or the tonality and tempo of a voice—and there are hundreds of other such process variables that can be changed in order to alter our responses to our internal experience. Most of these distinctions I have learned from others, and would never have discovered on my own—just as most physics and chemistry is the result of many, many discoveries by many different people over more than a century and a half. I think it should be the therapist’s job to know as many of these as possible, so that they can offer these new choices to a client, rather than task them with discovering them on their own. I have a book, Transforming Negative Self-Talk that describes how to use these kinds of sensory distinctions in a wide variety of ways—as well as some of the pitfalls of using them sloppily.
      Steve Andreas
      Reply
  • Not available avatar Laura Gilliom 10.15.2012 16:43
    Interesting! It reminds me a bit of ACT, specifically the "Tin Can Monster" exercise where the client is instructed to visualize different dimensions of a feeling. The difference being that in ACT, the emphasis is on accepting rather than changing the experience. I'm wondering if you have ever tried these methods with cravings in addiction.
    Reply
    • Not available avatar Steve Andreas 11.05.2012 15:06
      Laura,
      I had to look up the “Tin Can Monster” exercise, and found the following description by Stephen Hayes, originator of ACT:
      “ACT uses a variety of metaphors and experiential exercises, many borrowed from other experiential therapeutic traditions, to help clients get past the judgments and analytical mind-sets that keep them entangled in unproductive problem solving. When a client complains of being in the grip of a particularly painful feeling, which she feels she must get rid of, we're likely to ask her to spend time getting thoroughly acquainted with it instead. One exercise, called the "Tin Can Monster," suggests that overwhelming feelings are like huge monsters made up of tin cans, bubble gum, and rubber bands. The total effect can be overwhelming, but if we stop to examine their individual elements, we find nothing really fearsome there. In this eyes-closed exercise, we ask patients to get in touch with the difficult feeling and then notice carefully what their bodies do. The goal is to drop any struggle and just notice each specific bodily reaction. So, for example, as each reaction is named, the therapist takes the client into that sensation in great detail--where is it located, where does it begin and end? Or we might ask the client to imagine that the bodily sensation is an object on the floor and to describe its color, speed, texture, and weight. When the client is fully open to experiencing each sensation without defense, the next bodily reaction is sought. This dismantling process continues through urges to act, emotions, thoughts, and memories.”
      There certainly are similarities, particularly the sentence, “So, for example, as each reaction is named, the therapist takes the client into that sensation in great detail--where is it located, where does it begin and end?” And the general goal of accepting--and eventually integrating--alienated parts of the person is very important.
      However there are also some very important differences. Telling the client that “Feelings are like huge monsters made up of tin cans, bubble gum, and rubber bands,” is offering the client a specific content metaphor, in contrast to eliciting the metaphor that the client may already have. That particular content has implications of unreality, which may be useful in making it possible for the client to examine it more closely, and it also has elements of what Michael White called externalization, and others call “distancing.” However, it is also a direct imposition on the client, in contrast to being mindful of an existing metaphor, or of suggesting a modification of an existing one. (For more on using metaphor, see my comment in response to Lorraine above.) While these can be useful interventions in context, they are also brutally inconsistent with, “in ACT, the emphasis is on accepting rather than changing the experience.”
      Finally, I watched a live demonstration by Hayes at a conference, and bought a video of it to study in detail later, and I thought it was dreadful. The client did not get her outcome, and it would take a small book to describe all the mistakes Hayes made. If you know of a video of Hayes working with a client that you think might change my opinion, please let me know.
      Yes, the method can be used with addictive cravings. But there is an even more interesting method that elicits the detailed sequence of experience as someone enters a drug state. Once that is known, the client can deliberately experience that sequence without needing to use the drug. This makes it unnecessary to continue the addiction in order to enjoy the benefits of the drug state.
      Steve Andreas
      Reply
  • Not available avatar Andrew Schwartz 10.16.2012 10:58
    Another excellent presentation! This strikes me as a really important piece of the puzzle of psychology and change - a way to get at those extremely subtle processing issues that broader talk doesn't necessarily get at. And while I've had some exposure to Erickson and NLP, the techniques offered here are novel to me ... the "reversing the spin" is especially fascinating, and in trying it myself I feel like it gives me some new mechanism of inner control or coordination. And at such a subtle level! Thanks a lot and let's see more like this!
    Reply
    • Not available avatar Steve Andreas 11.05.2012 18:14
      Andrew,
      Yes, these are examples of using subtle process elements of experience that most people are unconscious of, but that they can become aware of if asked the right kind of questions. Any time you become aware of these elements that you can change voluntarily that gives you additional choices, and a real sense of freedom. The “broader talk” you mention seldom (but occasionally) results in this kind of change. However, if you are aware of the process elements, it is possible to use “broader talk” to influence them in a process that is very conversational, and to a bystander often seems like nothing more than that. Although much of this kind of knowledge derives from NLP, I often hesitate to use that label, because there are so many other people using that label whose “work” is not up to my standards. I have been rereading Erickson lately, and although his work was magical, I don’t think he was specifically aware of this kind of distinction.
      Steve Andreas
      Reply
      • Not available avatar Andrew Schwartz 11.05.2012 20:45
        Thank you kindly for your reply, Steve. I appreciate the reluctance to be associated with NLP despite the knowledge that can be derived from it. On that note might you recommend any particular NLP books (beyond Frogs to Princes)?
        Reply
        • Not available avatar Steve Andreas 11.08.2012 20:31
          Andrew,
          In order to recommend an appropriate book, I would need to know what you want to learn. Nevertheless, here are a few recommendations. For an introduction, Heart of the Mind. For working with self-concept, Transforming Your self. For a tour-de-force unified theory of personal change, Six Blind Elephants. For working with troublesome internal voices, Transforming Negative Self-Talk. The last one is a Norton book. All the others can be ordered from RealPeoplePress.com
          Reply
          • Not available avatar Andrew Schwartz 11.08.2012 22:20
            Super, thank you Steve. That's actually perfect - I basically wanted books to put on my list for future reference, since at the moment I've got other things I'm working on. But I know long term, technical aspects of communication are of great interest to me. Again, really enjoyed your interview, perhaps I'll be at a workshop of yours one day!
            Reply
  • Not available avatar Arlene 10.16.2012 11:09
    Thank you for your presentation. I really appreciated your gentle responses in the demonstrations; much better than the more boisterous motivational speaker as you hinted at.
    Imagery is a powerful tool.
    Reply
    • Not available avatar Steve Andreas 11.05.2012 15:58
      Thanks a bunch Arlene,
      I think gentleness is a key to working with someone, rather than on someone. It dissolves a lot of “resistance,” and even more important, makes it very hard to impose on a client and harm them with ideas or views that aren’t a good fit for them—even if an observer might think they are correct. My opening frame is usually something like, “I will ask you a lot of questions to try to understand what is going on in you, and I will offer you a lot of specific things to try in order to reach your outcome. Some of them will be useful and others won’t. Your experience of the results of trying them out will tell you which is which.”
      Steve Andreas
      Reply
  • Not available avatar sareet taylor 10.23.2012 15:57
    Hello, I just now came across this site. I attended a presentation Steve Andreas gave at the Brief Therapy conference in Orlando, I think it was 2 years ago, and it was exceedingly useful. Is it possible to get a transcript or similar of this presentation? I'm very interested. Thank you.
    Reply
    • Not available avatar Steve Andreas 11.05.2012 15:44
      Sareet,
      The two methods are described in great detail at:
      http://realpeoplepress.com/blog/some-great-new-methods
      One of the clips I used is at:
      http://www.realpeoplepress.com/client-session-resolving-music-performance-anxiety-p-71.html
      And a different demo of the spinning feelings is at:
      http://www.realpeoplepress.com/resolving-anxiety-other-strong-feelings-2009-p-92.html
      Other related articles can be found on my web site:
      http://www.steveandreas.com/articles.html
      Reply
  • Not available avatar isabelkroemer 09.09.2013 01:39
    thanks for sharing your thoughts Steve and for those related links you provide, I love to read those informational post.great! - hypnotherapy adelaide
    Reply
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