Sensory Transcendental Therapy Approach

SENSORY TRANSCENDENTAL THERAPY

By Karen Phillip  

As research and practice in the field of counseling expand, there remain clear and positive results of current standard therapies. However, there seems to be a gap in the speed of progression in therapeutic counseling that could be improved with a more developed combination of therapies. Sensory Transcendental Therapy (STT) has emerged.

This therapy aims to engage the person out of their comfort zone; get outside of the standard Counselling room and develop an expanded awareness of how all senses engaged. Using STT the client moves physically to stimulate their body, mind, and processing. The individual and therapist can become more aware of how the counseling discussion enhances or dims certain sensors of the person.
While standard methods of counseling show benefits, it can take too long to get major progressive benefits for some clients. Using STT and adding all sensors, stimulating mind and body, and challenging them with pattern interrupt can create a more complete therapeutic tool. Many counselors are not trained in this practice and to enhance client progression perhaps it needs to be part of the therapeutic training model. The therapy combines aspects of standard therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Solution Focused Therapy while considering research that tells us outside environments and movement allow us to process faster and with more clarity.

Sensory Transcendental Therapy (STT) is a form of psychotherapeutic counseling session that is held outside the frame of a clinical counseling office. The client is encouraged to feel more at ease and take in nature (including sight, sounds, feelings, smells of the environment) during a side-by-side walk with a therapist. An outdoor walk takes the person to new and different places, out of their comfort zone, and enables them to more freely discuss their issues.

STT can be likened to Walk and Talk Therapy (WTT), where clients are encouraged to walk side-by-side with the therapist in an outdoor scenario. Sensory Transcendental Therapy (STT) provides a more developed and structured approach, incorporating reflective pauses, pattern interrupts, analysis of body language and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or Solution Focused Therapy while retaining the benefits of WTT. WTT has reported positive results for psychologists who have practiced it with difficult or 'closed' patients, many of whom find the enclosed one-on-one of a counseling room too intimidating to 'open up, understand, and manage their issues (Doucette, 2004; Hays, 1999).

The movement has long been seen as an excellent supplement to therapy, with research showing vast improvements in the severity of depression diagnoses after periods of prescribed exercise (Danielsson et al, 2013). Building on this theory, simultaneous non-strenuous exercise and counseling have been found to be more effective in treating depressive symptoms than standard counseling (Jacquart et al, 2013).
Using the outdoors as a setting for psychotherapy has also been proven to have positive effects on the speed of breakthroughs with patients who find it difficult to 'open up in a formal counseling scenario. When outside and experiencing nature, patients have reported feeling calmer and aware of their own thoughts and reported a generally more positive frame of mind. (Revell et al, 2014). The 'frame' of psychotherapy is a concept that a therapist has to be very aware of when conducting sessions outside the confines of a designated room. The 'frame' describes an image of confidentiality and therapist-client relationships, which must be adhered to in order to keep the safety and integrity of psychotherapy treatment (Langs, 1975). By taking the 'frame' of a session outside, the counselor must ensure that the patient is comfortable with this and that the experience should be treated no differently than a standard counseling session. STT replicates and enriches all of the benefits described.

A one-hour therapy session could consist of a minimum 30-minute walk, with the client being encouraged to utilize all their senses by touching the flowers, smelling the air, and viewing the environment. If the client feels any thoughts or feelings rising, a time pause to apply CBT as necessary.

A particular topic could be applied to a session, such as a rise in anxiety or an unexplained drop in mood. There would be a time to stop, sit and look directly at the person to enhance the therapy used, which would be CBT and solution-focused. This 30-minute setting could then be evaluated, and the client asked if they want to continue walking for longer or if they feel more comfortable stopping. The STT sessions are designed to enhance the individual client's needs. If the client expresses a major emotional moment during a session, this is when a pause would be suggested to interrupt the pattern of the thoughts. The issue would be addressed using traditional therapeutic remedies and more positive thought processes would be encouraged through reframing.

The inherent problem with traditional therapy is that most depressed or anxious people fail to see their available options during a time of panic; this leads to feeling stuck and lost. An outdoor setting is provided to show the patient a more relaxing view of the world, in the hope that they can see the 'bigger picture. It should also be noted that a client may also withhold thoughts and feelings from a therapist - this is part of the process. The patient's body language and posture should be taken into account. Do they appear nervous? Are they interested in the environment, or withdrawing into themselves? How are they standing and presenting, hunched, head down, looking up, etc.? These should be noted and discussed at an appropriate time and changes in posture noted as therapy progresses. A mixed-method analysis was used of client responses established that being outdoors, using STT was a very beneficial factor in progression and improvement.

In conclusion, there is currently little written on walk-talk therapy (WTT) and nothing on STT, as this is a new therapeutic concept, but all research does point to the advantages of being outside and including movement in sessions. While WTT does include this, it differs from STT in that it does not seem to engage all sensors, environment, or posture. Through my use of STT for over 2 years, clients' responses have been enhanced and expedited. About 40 people have used STT treatments and the results appeared faster for those using STT. Clients involved had similar issues and needs.

References:

Danielsson, L., Noras, A. M., Waern, M., & Carlsson, J. (2013). Exercise in the treatment of major depression: a systematic review grading the quality of evidence. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice, 29(8), 573-585.
Doucette, P. A. (2004). Walk and talk: An intervention for behaviorally challenged youths. Adolescence, 39(154), 373.
Hays, K. (1999). Working it out: Using exercise in psychotherapy. Washington, DC: American Psychological Society.
Jacquart, S. D., Marshak, H. H., Dos Santos, H., Luu, S. M., Berk, L. S., McMahon, P. T., & Riggs, M. (2013). The effects of simultaneous exercise and psychotherapy on depressive symptoms in inpatient, psychiatric older adults. Advances in mind-body medicine, 28(4), 8-17.
Langs, R. J. (1975). The therapeutic relationship and deviations in technique. International journal of psychoanalytic psychotherapy.
Revell, S., Duncan, E., & Cooper, M. (2014). Helpful aspects of outdoor therapy experiences: An online preliminary investigation. Counseling and Psychotherapy Research, 14(4), 281-287.

There appears to be a gap in the evolution of therapeutic counseling. Originally there was Walk Talk Therapy (WTT) where counselors worked with clients who were stuck in their negative state by venturing outside to encourage more comfortable sharing. This therapy has been expanded and developed into Sensory Transcendental Therapy (STT) that encourages clients to have their therapeutic session outside and to move physically to stimulate body and mind.

A therapeutic counseling session is held external to the inside frame of a clinical counseling room. The client feels more comfortable as they take in nature often in a setting they prefer such as a lake, forest, or beach. These surroundings are changed as therapy continues to bring in different sensory stimuli. The client is encouraged to take in all of what nature and their environment offer, to be aware of their place in their world.. This includes sight, sound, smells, and feelings of this external environment conducted during a walk with the therapist. It was found to also have a beneficial effect on the therapist to walk with their client outside of their counseling room enabling their sensors to also be stimulated and clarity of mind reinvigorated. This outdoor walk takes the client to different places, often outside their comfort zone thereby enabling them to discuss their issues in a more relaxed setting.

STT extends the client by enhancing all Visual, Audio, and Kinesthetic sensors. It extends the client by engaging their sensory system and bringing awareness to their environment, what is around them, what they are feeling, and where they currently are.

Read more from Dr. Karen at  https://www.drkarenphillip.com

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Karen_Phillip/2392686

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Clubhouse!

I would love for you to join me each morning, at 8 a.m. EST for A Real Minute, on the Clubhouse APP. You can download Clubhouse here: Clubhouse  A Real Minute in Clubhouse is a spin-off of the daily motivation video's that are currently here on the site, as well as all social media. It is more than a minute, and you are invited to follow me there @jackmcadoo and join in all the fun! I can't wait to see, and talk to you there!

 

 


Loving Kindness Meditation

By: Jennifer Navara

You can begin by sitting or lying down in a comfortable position, closing your eyes. Sit with your back erect, without being strained or overarched. Take a few deep breaths, relax your body.

Metta or loving-kindness meditation is an expression of what you wish most deeply for yourself, not just for today, but in an enduring way. The meditation is simple phrases that are big enough and general enough that you can wish them for all beings everywhere. Classical phrases are things like, “May I be at peace. May I be safe. May I be happy. May I be healthy. May I live with ease.” You can also choose phrases that resonate with you, they do not have to be these specific phrases.

You can gently repeat these phrases over and over again, have your mind rest in the phrases, and whenever you find your attention has wandered, don't worry about it. When you recognize you've drifted away from the phrases, see if you can gently bring your mind back and begin again.

We start with wishing well to ourselves. Repeat the phrases slowly and for a chosen period of time or repetitions: (I like to repeat 3 times)

May I be happy, May I be healthy, May I be safe, May I be at peace, May I live with ease.

You can next call to mind somebody that you care about—a good friend, or someone who's helped you in your life, someone who inspires you. You can visualize them, say their name to yourself. Get a feeling for their presence, and then direct the phrases of loving-kindness to them.

May you be happy, May you be healthy, May you be safe,

May you be at peace, May you live with ease.

Call to mind someone you know who's having a difficult time right now. They've experienced a loss, going through something painful, a difficult situation. Whoever comes to mind, bring them here.

Imagine them sitting in front of you. Say their name. Get a feeling for their presence and offer the phrases of loving-kindness to them. “May you be happy, healthy, safe, at peace, and live with ease.”

Think of someone who plays some “neutral” role in your life, someone that you don't know very well, that you don't have a particular feeling for, or against. Maybe the checkout person at the supermarket where you shop, the gas-station attendant, somebody that you see periodically. If someone like that comes to mind, imagine them sitting in front of you, and offer these same phrases of loving-kindness to them. “May you be happy, healthy, safe, at peace, and live with ease.”

This practice opens us to the possibility of including rather than excluding, connecting, rather than overlooking, and caring rather than being indifferent, both to ourselves and others. This intention can extend infinitely to all beings in a boundless way, leaving no one out, “May all beings be happy, healthy, safe, at peace, and live with ease.”

 
 
 

Wishing you more love than your beautiful heart can hold,

 

Jennifer Navara XO

Jennifer is a Certified Health & Wellness Coach driven to guide you along your own path to complete happiness as she helps you discover balance in health, spirituality, mindset, and more! You can visit her website here.

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Why Detached Love is Infinite and Pure Love

Love your flowers by leaving them in the soil to grow.

The Bhagavad Gita teaches, “You own nothing and nothing owns you.” You are energy, you are life, you are abundance, you are everything. These earthly attachments could never define you. Learn how to give and receive healing, limitless, detached love.

Attached love is twisted love. Detached love is infinite and pure.

Attachment gives and accepts love conditionally.

Detachment gives and accepts love unconditionally and freely.

Attachment is dependent, insecure, dysfunctional love based in fear.

Detachment is independent, fierce, functional love based in gratitude.

Attachment loves a flower by picking it and taking it home to die.

Detachment loves a flower by leaving it in the soil to continue growing.

Everything here is borrowed and must be returned upon exiting.

Attached love asks you to define your worth with earthly measurements. But your limitless worth exists outside the things you falsely believe make you who you are. You are not your job, you are not your car, you are not your relationship, you are neither your successes nor your failures. You are you, and therefore everything.

Detachment is not disliked. Detachment is not disrespect. Detachment is not distant.

Detached love operates at a higher frequency. It allows you to love fiercely while understanding your inherent, irreplaceable self-worth. As the Bhagavad Gita teaches, “Detachment means you own nothing and nothing owns you.” You are able to experience, to love, to give, to enjoy— with the knowledge that you are whole, perfect, complete, and loved just as you are.

Your love is the ultimate power. Use it to serve a higher purpose.

Recognize the gifts of your life. These fleeting blessings have chosen you. Why don’t you honor them accordingly? Choose to serve a higher purpose by practicing detached love. Love your flowers by leaving them in the soil to grow.

Attached love is conditional. But you are an unconditional being. You are energy, you are life, you are abundance, you are everything. And to bottle up that magic with a neat label and deem it either good or bad? That would be both impossible and incorrect. Your job is to admire, love, experience, relish— do it all and feel it all— while understanding your worth is separate and infinite. These earthly attachments could never define you.

You are not ahead. You are not behind. You are exactly where you need to be, with an immeasurable amount of love to give. Why are you so worried? Everything you’ll ever need is already inside you. It starts and ends with your pure, limitless, healing love. Cultivate this love. Give it. Receive it. Be it.

 
Source: Jay Shetty.


Our Friends Are Like Leaves On A Tree

We all go through things both good, and bad. Have you ever noticed who is there for either? Watch my video and hopefully, you can see which friends are like parts of a tree.


Winter

Welcome Winter Solstice, in our hearts we burn warm with all that you offer and all we hold dear.

In times past, the bare-limbed trees, long nights, and biting chill of winter signified to all that the time had come to slow down. Humanity emulated the animals, retreating into cozy dwellings where they sustained themselves on foods harvested late in autumn and passed the time in peaceful reflection. Today, most people proceed ruddy-cheeked through winter's frosts, ignoring the profound effects cold weather has on their bodies and their minds. Yet the beauty and significance of wintertime cannot be so easily overlooked. As the temperature plummets, leaving the air crisp and the landscape bare, we tend to crave warmth and relish rich foods. The presence of loved ones seems more comforting when blustery winds rattle window panes and we feel compelled to conserve our energy by engaging in only the most soothing of activities.

Though your daily schedule may remain more or less the same no matter what time of year it is, you will find in winter many opportunities to honor the way in which you are impacted by this most magical of seasons. At first glance, the world may seem desolate during the coldest months. Yet there are many unique and stimulating sensory experiences to be had -- in the intricate beauty of individual snowflakes, the patterns of frost that form on your windows, the tang of smoke from wood-fueled fireplaces, the crunch of freshly fallen snow under your feet, and the briskness of the air. Do not be afraid to venture joyfully out into the cold and the snow as you may have when you were a child. A tingling and reddened nose is a small price to pay for a clear mind and invigorated soul. If your body articulates a desire to rest, give yourself permission to spend your free time reading, writing in your journal, daydreaming, engaging in artistic pursuits, playing board games, working a puzzle or meditating.

Many plants, like the tulip and the apple tree, would not blossom in the springtime were it not for the period of dormancy that is the gift of winter's chill. Their example can inspire us to use this season of slumber to cleanse ourselves of spiritual and emotional detritus like flora shedding lifeless foliage so that we, too, may emerge from under the frost refreshed and renewed when spring arrives.

 

 

From the Daily OM