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goat2What Gets Your Goat??

What stresses you out the most? The kids, traffic, work, money… everything? You’re not alone! We all experience stress to some degree. Have you felt more stressed over the past few months? Most of us have, with all the turmoil in the economy, the threat of global warming. In fact, research indicates that over the past several years, since the terrorist attacks of 2001, there has been a nation-wide increase in stress levels and related psychological disorders including Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and increased rates of alcohol and drug abuse.

Remember that stress is our natural, automatic response to perceived danger. It can keep us alive! In our modern society however, our stress response is often continuous. Every day we see violent images on the news and are bombarded with stories of death and destruction. Many people walk around in a constant fear state, and are in general stressed-out much of the time!

Many illnesses have been linked to chronic stress including heart disease, high blood pressure, hypertension, high cholesterol, stroke, diabetes, skin irritations, weight gain, and migraine headaches. Stress can make your back, jaw and head ache, leave you with a lowered sex drive and disrupt your appetite and sleeping patterns. Our immune system suffers leaving us vulnerable to colds and flues, and slowing the healing process. Emotionally, stress can leave us feeling irritable, anxious, and depressed and leads to increased rates of homicide and suicide.

What symptoms of stress do you experience in your life? Take a few moments and write down your experience. And tune in next time when we start to explore ways you can immediately decrease stress in your life and in the lives of those you care about.

Chris Tickner is a Pasadena psychotherapist, child therapist, and clinical supervisor practicing holistic psychotherapy, where he combines mindfulness psychotherapy,  somatic therapy, neuroscience, and good old fasion humor and compassion to form a a powerful treatment that is transformative and holistic.  There are thousands of California psychotherapists, and finding a counselor or finding a therapist can be daunting. On his website, Chris provides a primer to help you find the therapist that is perfect for you! Chris is also a Pasadena therapist specializing in anxiety psychotherapy and depression psychotherapy.

Stress Reduction – Part One: Take A Chill Pill!!

zenWe’ve all heard it before. Stress is bad! We need to fight it! But if you’re like most people, it’s not a priority, and you probably don’t know the whole story.

In this four-part series we will learn exactly what stress is, why it’s sometimes bad, and what we can do to protect ourselves from its damaging effects.

The stress response is a built-in, hard wired, survival mechanism that allows us to respond to perceived threats quickly and effectively. It’s the same mechanism that allows animals in nature to escape attack. When our brains perceive a threat, our body automatically responds. Ever pull your hand out of hot water and then feel the pain? It wasn’t the pain that made you pull it out. It was the stress response automatically protecting you.

When our brain senses danger, its starts a neurochemical chain reaction. Adrenaline and other chemicals course through our bodies. Systems that are unnecessary start to slow down, including digestion, reproduction and immune protection. Our heart and breathing rates increase. Our muscles become stronger and more effective. Our senses become more precise allowing us to be more alert. All this so we can either run away from or fight whatever is threatening us.  

In nature, once the animal has escaped, his systems return to normal. But for us, confronted daily with violent and disturbing images in the media, more and more traffic, and a polluted environment, we stay stressed. This is where things go wrong for us. A mechanism that is supposed to keep us alive ends up making us sick.

Take time now to notice the level of stress in your life. Write down at least three things that really make you feel stressed out!

Next time we’ll look more closely at how stress can negatively impact us.

Chris Tickner is a Pasadena psychotherapist, child therapist, and clinical supervisor practicing holistic psychotherapy, where he combines mindfulness psychotherapy,  somatic therapy, neuroscience, and good old fasion humor and compassion to form a a powerful treatment that is transformative and holistic.  There are thousands of California psychotherapists, and finding a counselor or finding a therapist can be daunting. On his website, Chris provides a primer to help you find the therapist that is perfect for you! Chris is also a Pasadena therapist specializing in anxiety psychotherapy and depression psychotherapy.

Reverse PsychologyIt’s becoming increasingly popular to look for a therapist on the Internet. But how can you tell if a therapist is any good by reading their bio or looking at their picture? What are important things to look for?

Here are some important tips to help you find the perfect therapist. Keep in mind that research tells us that it is a therapist’s ability to build a genuine, trusting and meaningful relationship that is most likely to lead to client satisfaction. It has less to do with their training, orientation, or degree level.

Easy Steps

1. Use the therapist finders on the left hand column to locate therapists in your area. Keep in mind that if you go weekly, you’ll want your therapist to be close to your home or work.

2. Limit the list to things that are must haves: gender, age, rate and availability, insurance coverage.

3. Make a short list of at least five therapists and call them. How do they sound on their outgoing message? Do they return your call promptly? Do you feel comfortable with them on the phone? Ask them questions about their practice, how long they’ve been practicing, do they specialize in anything? Give them an idea of what you would be coming for and ask for their input.

4. Set up introductory sessions with at least three therapists. During these sessions see how you feel. Are you comfortable, is this the kind of person you can see yourself spilling your guts with, do you feel respected and important? A good therapist will make you feel heard, understood and hopeful in that first session. If you aren’t feeling this right away, move on!

5. Sleep on it. We tend to make good, solid decisions after a good night’s sleep. Pick your therapist and make your first appointment!

And that’s it! While it’s not always necessary to be this exhaustive, this is a sure fire way to find the therapist that is most likely to meet your needs. Just keep in mind that the key ingredient is your comfort level. If you don’t feel safe right away, chances are you won’t, and looking for someone that does can save you a lot of time, and money!

Good luck, and feel free to call or email if you need help or referrals.

Chris Tickner is a Pasadena psychotherapist, child therapist, and clinical supervisor practicing holistic psychotherapy, where he combines mindfulness psychotherapy,  somatic therapy, neuroscience, and good old fasion humor and compassion to form a a powerful treatment that is transformative and holistic.  There are thousands of California psychotherapists, and finding a counselor or finding a therapist can be daunting. On his website, Chris provides a primer to help you find the therapist that is perfect for you! Chris is also a Pasadena therapist specializing in anxiety psychotherapy and depression psychotherapy.

zyprexaNPR’s Morning Edition focuses today on FDA actions that might approve Seroquel, Zyprexa, and Geodon for use in Children. I’ve worked with children who started taking these heavy medications as early as 5 years old, and can tell you that the side effects are devastating! I worked with one boy who started taking Zyprexa at the age of six and by nine had contracted diabetes and weighed 160 pounds. In all fairness, his auditory and visual hallucinations were reduced, but at a significant cost to his health and quality of life.  Read more…

Chris Tickner is a Pasadena psychotherapist, child therapist, and clinical supervisor practicing holistic psychotherapy, where he combines mindfulness psychotherapy,  somatic therapy, neuroscience, and good old fasion humor and compassion to form a a powerful treatment that is transformative and holistic.  There are thousands of California psychotherapists, and finding a counselor or finding a therapist can be daunting. On his website, Chris provides a primer to help you find the therapist that is perfect for you! Chris is also a Pasadena therapist specializing in anxiety psychotherapy and depression psychotherapy.

Announcing Our New Blog!

CRW_2376Hello everyone! Welcome to our new blog! We’ve had lots of requests to provide our clients, colleagues and the general public with frequent updates on what is new in the world of holistic/somatic psychotherapy in and around Pasadena, CA. Well, we’ve gone a step further and hope to provide you with a comprehensive holistic resource guide. Stay tuned as we bring you articles, workshop and group listings, and referrals to local, holistically oriented businesses and practitioners. Welcome, and let us know what you think!

Chris Tickner is a Pasadena psychotherapist, child therapist, and clinical supervisor practicing holistic psychotherapy, where he combines mindfulness psychotherapy,  somatic therapy, neuroscience, and good old fasion humor and compassion to form a a powerful treatment that is transformative and holistic.  There are thousands of California psychotherapists, and finding a counselor or finding a therapist can be daunting. On his website, Chris provides a primer to help you find the therapist that is perfect for you! Chris is also a Pasadena therapist specializing in anxiety psychotherapy and depression psychotherapy.

Somatic Psychology (body mind psychotherapy, body-oriented psychotherapy, etc.) is a holistic form of therapy that respects and utilizes the powerful connection between body, mind and spirit. How we are in this world, how we relate to ourselves and others, is not just purely about the mind or our thoughts, but is also deeply rooted in our bodies and our spirits.

Somatic Psychology has a long and rich history and is primarily derived from the theories and practices of Wilhelm Reich, a psychoanalyst and student of Sigmund Freud. Since that time, it has been influenced by existential, humanistic and gestalt psychology, dance, movement and art therapy, family and systems theory, biology, neurology, and Far Eastern philosophy and spirituality.

Individuals seek this form of treatment for similar reasons they might look to more traditional talk therapy, to address stress, anxiety, depression, relationship and sexuality issues, grief and loss, addictions, trauma including abuse recovery, as well as more purely medical reasons including pain, headaches, and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Somatic Psychotherapy includes many different techniques that can be utilized depending on the specific needs of each client. Such interventions can include developing mindfulness and awareness of one’s physical presence using relaxation and meditative techniques; movement in order to promote a deeper physical awareness and to expand one’s capacity to feel and express emotions; breathing techniques to increase awareness of and improve functioning of the breath.

Check out this video of Wilhelm Reich’s life and work!

Chris Tickner is a Pasadena psychotherapist, child therapist, and clinical supervisor practicing holistic psychotherapy, where he combines mindfulness psychotherapy,  somatic therapy, neuroscience, and good old fasion humor and compassion to form a a powerful treatment that is transformative and holistic.  There are thousands of California psychotherapists, and finding a counselor or finding a therapist can be daunting. On his website, Chris provides a primer to help you find the therapist that is perfect for you! Chris is also a Pasadena therapist specializing in anxiety psychotherapy and depression psychotherapy.

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