“Before there are words, there is the wordless communication of the body.”
Michael Changaris, Psy.D.
Whether you’re feeling depressed, anxious, alone, or some other strong emotion (emotional dysregulation), here are some helpful sensorimotor techniques you have easily at your disposal. I got these from my trainings with Janina Fisher and use them frequently in my work with individuals.
- Lengthening the Spine – Start from the bottom of the spine and go very, very slowly – vertebrae by vertebrae – and lengthen the spine. Notice after doing this exercise if you feel better or worse.
Because depression is such a physical thing, everything takes physical effort, our body and spine collapse. This simple exercise often helps a shift – even if a small shift, from the weight of depression.
- Orienting – Look around the room wherever you are and find 1 thing that there is only one of this thing. Look around the room and find 1 thing that there are only two of this thing. Look around the room and find 1 thing that there are only three of this thing. Look around the room and the room and find 1 thing that there are only four of this thing. Look around the room and find 1 thing that there are only five of this thing.
You can also look for a certain number, say 5, red objects, 5 blue objects, and 5 green objects.
This practice brings your attention to the present and helps to regulate our nervous system. After doing this, people often report feeling better.
- Verbal Experiments – Say to yourself “I am a loser” and ask yourself, “Do I feel better or worse?” Most people say worse. Now, say to yourself, “I am doing the best I can” and notice if you feel better or worse. It doesn’t matter if you believe the words, just see what happens when you say the words. Most people say they feel better.
Feeling better generally gives us a little bit more energy. This exercise demonstrates that words have a strong impact on our body experience.
I hope these tips have been helpful.
Please feel free to reach out for a free 20-minute phone consultation so you can see if we might be a good fit. I can be reached at 301-279-7779, BethLCounseling@aol.com, or you can use the form below.
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If you have any questions, need more information, or would like to make an appointment, you can call me at 301-279-7779, email me at BethLCounseling@aol.com, or use the form below.
If you are searching for a “therapist near me,” that could be me. I see people via teletherapy, so I am a therapist near you! 🙂 I provide services to people in Maryland, Virginia, and DC.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker • Over 15 years of experience • Certified Emotionally Focused Couple Therapist and Supervisor • Member of The Greater Washington Society of Clinical Social Work • Member of the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy • Member of Clinical Social Work Association • Member of National Association of Social Workers
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