Why do we work with both the Mind and the Body (Nervous System)?
In the later 90s/early 2000s, scientific understanding of the brain and nervous system dramatically increased. The use of ever more sophisticated scans affected our view of the nervous system, which was a bit of a “black box” earlier. Think of our nervous system as basically the Operating System (iOS) of a computer or phone. If your iOS goes haywire, other functions don’t work.
Here are some signs that you may want to consider addressing the nervous system more directly in your treatment:
- You are stuck in a pattern of thought or behavior that repeats.
- You are having trouble managing the symptoms of your body.
- You have medical issues/pain for which your medical team cannot find a cause or effective treatment.
- Your problems are so severe that they are causing deeper consequences for you.
We work with the body’s threat response system, the part of us that finds stress, or threat in life. (See our Somatic Experiencing page.)
For example: Anxiety (link to anxiety page) can present with a feeling of panic, sweating/cold, tremors, nausea or difficulty breathing. As we come to learn to manage our body reactions, that tells our brain that we are more ok, our worrying decreases.
Another example: Depression (link to depression page) can feel like flatness, low energy, lack of life will in the body. As we learn how our body may feel struck/frozen and unable to move, we may be surprised to find a slight ability to move, which helps us get unstuck in a larger life way. Read on in our site (link to Specialties) for a discussion of other diagnoses and how they may manifest in the nervous system.
We’re not behavioral health. Why? Because unless you work on the body states underneath the behavior (ie. impulsive, racing, flat), that action will only change when you are able to think about it and can keep up that sustained effort of managing your body reactions. And eventually we all get tired.
Yes, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can be effective and we use some CBT (thought based therapies) later in our work. But on its own, CBT is not sufficient. More recent research is showing just this.
So instead of talking ABOUT handling stress, we literally practice handling stress in our sessions. As physical stress/activation emerges in session (just from talking about life problems), we help you have tools to calm it, helping your body learn a muscle memory of handling things differently. (See Somatic Experiencing, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy.)
We find it to be infinitely more effective from our experience – so much so that experience using a body-based method of treatment is required for all therapists here at Family Resilience.
Still Have Questions?
Contact us today to schedule your first appointment or receive additional information.