Stress and anxiety management treatment and software usage notes
When treating stress and anxiety probably the first approach to be considered should be direct education. This is the primary role of the Stress and Anxiety Manager. Thereafter daily and in-the-moment stress and anxiety control techniques should be taught.
Relaxation CDs / audio
Relaxation based hypnotherapy CDs and low frequency audio relaxation sound can be provided as part of ongoing self-support and can be integrated into therapy sessions. Hypnotherapy and eg EMDR can be interwoven quite effectively.
In the therapy room if stress needs to be removed or reduced prior to using other techniques then consider using EMDR Pro setup as follows:
- Slow 'cycle' movement
- Tappers enabled
- Relaxing background music with bilateral panning enabled 'Track Panning'
- Relaxing background image eg a beach
- Subliminal text in the form of the word 'Calm' or 'Relax'
Systematic desensitisation - EMDR Pro / Vivo / Flooder
If anxiety is the issue then consider using some form of systematic desensitisation. The following products could be employed as part of a systematic desensitisation process:
- EMDR Pro / Vivo - with background images representing the feared situation
- Swish - with an appropriate graded images representing the feared situation as the problem image
- Flooder - consider use at the end of the process or at the end of each desensitised category
Approx three grades or categories of images should be presented, with the least anxiety proving stimuli being presented first. Only move to the next most anxiety provoking category when the current category generates little or no disturbance.
Dealing with blockages
If the process seems to have become blocked stop whatever you are doing and use a relaxation technique such as some form of light hypnosis or visualisation of being in a safe place. When the person is calm again proceed by presenting a less anxiety provoking stimuli.
NB In some cases the SUDS will never reduce below a certain level eg 3 because the person needs to prove to themselves that they can in reality deal with the situation. If this seems to be the case take 3 as being 0 and move to the next category when the SUDS have reduced to eg 3.
If the anxiety is severe consider using the full EMDR protocol for phobias even if pre-phobic.
Dealing with limiting or blocking beliefs
Where limiting beliefs are part of the problem consider using the belief change part of the standard EMDR Protocol to target limiting beliefs. The Swish pattern may also be effective with some beliefs where images can be identified for the limiting and positive belief.
EMDR Pro / Lite / Home can be used for home use as part of an ongoing stress and anxiety management programme.
Some form of self-hypnosis, use of a relaxation CD or user of EMDR Pro/ Home / Lite should actioned on a daily routine basis.
TFT may be effective for some individuals, arguably as a means of engaging logical / procedural faculties.
© Bill Frost 2006-2011