We are excited to announce that the new book from Brian H. Taylor, how to be happy: 22 recommendations for increasing happiness in your life, is now available. How to be happy is a book filled with proven, researched based methods to increase the happiness in your life. A knowledge of how to improve our mood is essential to a happy life. How to be happy is a step by step guide to doing just that. It is now available at amazon by clicking here.
At first glance the title of this blog post may seem rather strange. How can stress be a myth? Stress is very real, as everyone can attest to. The effects of stress, including anxiety and physical health issues, are also evident to many. It is our understanding about stress, however, that has created a myth. Allow me to explain.
Stress has often been understood as a person's reaction to factors in life that are deemed stressful. The mental health field has long considered this to be the case as well. The Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory, an inventory that rates stressors (be they considered bad, such as the death of a loved one, or good, such as marriage), is one such example. The stressors are assigned a number according to their severity and the higher the number the more stressed a person is. The problem with this idea of stress is that it adheres to an idea of stress that is close to the truth but still misses the mark in a slight but very important way.
Others have described a more accurate way of viewing stress, that something is as stressful as we view the stressor to be. Lets bring our attention back to the Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory. The inventory has stressors on it including buying a house and divorce. But is everyone who buys a house equally stressed? How about those going through a divorce? One can see that these events, along with others, are as stressful as they are seen by individuals to be. Once we begin viewing stress as created by the way we view things, we then have the ability to empower ourselves, rather than be at the mercy of uncontrollable factors. With this understanding of stress, we can now put into place appropriate treatments for those who are struggling with the effects of stress.
Are you overwhelmed with stress? Call us today to begin your path to greater stress reduction!
Brian H Taylor, LMSW
EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a powerful therapy technique created by Francine Shapiro, PhD, in the late 1980s. It was originally designed to treat Posttraumatic Stress Disorder but has since been expanded to treat a variety of mental health concerns. Simply put, EMDR has been scientifically proven to take hurtful experiences from the past, be it 10 years ago or yesterday, and make them no longer hurt. The individual undergoing EMDR is also left with a more positive mindset regarding what happened. In my practice I use EMDR with most of my clients; I have found it to be that successful. At first glance EMDR can appear a little weird and promise results that seem to good to be true, so allow me to explain what it is and why it works.
When we have traumatic or hurtful experiences, the experience can overwhelm our brains data processing ability and thus we can be left with some of the original sensations, thoughts and feelings that happened at the time. This is thought to be why people can have experiences such as still feeling unsafe in cars months after a car accident. Unfortunately, time does not always heal all wounds and this explains why experiences can continue to affect us long after they occur.
But why eye movements? When we are asleep we experience a stage of sleep called rapid eye movement sleep, or REM sleep. It is during this time that we dream. REM sleep is a major processor or memories and appears to choose hurtful memories to remember as important, likely as a survival mechanism. For example, if a person is injured in a car accident, it would make sense for that person to have a reaction that would lead them to avoid cars. However, these reactions, be they anxiety, depression, anger or other symptoms, are not pleasant and often led to situations that are not ideal (such as having to avoid cars). That’s where EMDR comes in. EMDR can heal us of these hurtful experiences so that they don’t have to affect us anymore.
EMDR has been accepted by a number of organizations, including the Veteran’s Administration and American Psychiatric Association as a top treatment for the treatment of trauma. It has been supported by a large enough number of research studies to have been labeled an evidenced based practice. Clients who agree to have EMDR used in their treatment can be assured that they are receiving a treatment that is supported by research and has been shown to be effective. For more information about EMDR at Counseling Centers of Michigan, click here. For additional EMDR information, click here.
Brian H Taylor
We are pleased to offer outpatient mental health therapy, counseling and substance abuse treatment to the Clarkston community and the greater metro Detroit area. At Counseling Centers of Michigan, we strive to provide qualify services to individuals, couples and families using cutting edge treatments from highly qualified professionals. We are excited to offer a Dialectical Behavior Therapy program, as well as other evidenced based practices including EMDR, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Emotional Freedom Technique and others!
Brian H Taylor