I was 11 years old and trying to beat the summer heat. I decided to mope into my aunt’s house and watch TV. Since it was mid-day in the summer, program selections were few. I settled on a soft-spoken man with a perfect brown Afro standing next to an easel and bright white canvas. There was something about his voice and the sound of the paintbrushes on the canvas. I suddenly felt like my brain was being massaged. I gently fell asleep on the shag carpet of my aunt’s living room. Over a decade later, I discovered that what I had experienced had a name: ASMR.

ASMR, is the acronym for autonomous sensory meridian response. ASMR faithfuls describe it as a feeling of relaxation and euphoric tingling that occurs when they encounter certain stimuli or triggers. These triggers take many forms but are usually experienced through a plethora of audio/video clips found on YouTube. The science is not fully understood but ASMR could be associated with “awake” and “rest” neural pathways being activated simultaneously. Examples of triggers include: whispering, fingernail tapping, sounds of pencil writing, and videos of haircuts, massages, and even chiropractic adjustments. Newcomers often peruse videos to find triggers that work for them. Mr. Ross’ legacy includes amazing landscape portraits and 403 episodes of ASMR gold. See if the video below works for you. If not, don’t worry, type “ASMR” into the YouTube search bar and let the tingles commence.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrAMRxBB5KI

What is hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy is the process of attaining a deep relaxation or induced trance that allows for an entry into the workings of your subconscious mind. By accessing the subconscious mind, you can uncover the root cause of a problem that is recurring in your life and make positive changes. You will gain a full understanding of who you are and how you have been shaped by beliefs and experiences of your life. You will have an opportunity to “reprogram” or change sabotaging or destructive habits/beliefs and transform them into positive attitudes, healthy behaviors and affirmations for the future.

Besides hypnosis, altered states of consciousness can be achieved through meditation, deep breathing and relaxation, guided imagery, and IBP. These are all techniques designed to bypass the ego or the subjective consciousness which guides our everyday life and perception. Using altered states of awareness as part of the therapy allows you to experience many different levels of self- understanding. In higher states of consciousness, healing and transformation is processed on a deeper level where learning is accelerated through powerful insights and concrete behavioral or emotional changes. The added benefits for those who experience hypnotherapy and the other modalities is the development of a sense of calm, overall feeling of well -being.

Hypnotherapy is a treatment technique used by mental health professionals or doctors practicing hypnosis to treat a client’s problem or concern. In this state there is more access to the subconscious mind where memory, habits, and emotions are stored allowing the hypnotherapist to help a client achieve positive and long lasting changes.

Hypnosis is a treatment modality that has been used to treat the widest range of human concerns. Here is the list of the more common issues hypnotherapy can explore and treat:

Some facts about hypnosis:

Fact- A person in a hypnotic state has full control and does not have to accept or act upon any suggestion that is contrary to their belief system.

Fact- The state of hypnosis is a natural state similar to daydreaming or meditation and can be achieved by anyone interested in being hypnotized. There is no right or wrong way to feel while under hypnosis and the depth as well as the experience itself varies widely.

Fact- Hypnosis is in no way dangerous or harmful either physically or psychologically as evidenced by its acceptance as a therapeutic technique and its widespread use by the medical and mental health professionals.

Fact- There has never been a documented case of someone remaining under hypnosis. In fact coming out of hypnosis is refreshing and relaxing to most individuals who often compare this feeling to waking up from a deep or restful sleep.

Fact- People who are hypnotized remember everything as if recalling a dream they just had. The reason that hypnosis is used therapeutically is that positive suggestions or experiences that occur while under hypnosis are processed in the subconscious yet remembered in the conscious.

“Hypnotherapy is effective at reducing stress, addiction issues, as well as specific issues such as test taking, ADHD, SAT prep, the list is extensive. Veronica is a Certified Hypnotherapist and has a specialty certification in hypnosis for the Management of ADHD.”
 

Meet Our Certified Hypnotherapist

Veronica Davies, L.M.F.T., C.Ht.

What is EMDR?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a comprehensive integrative psychotherapeutic approach.  In research studies, it has shown to be very effective in the treatment of trauma and PTSD symptoms.  However, it can be effective with anxiety, depression and many other symptoms as well.

How can EMDR help me?

Often, our reactions to present events are a result of irrational emotions, beliefs and sensations that are rooted in experiences we had long ago.  EMDR is a structured approach to therapy intended to address those past experiences along with the irrational emotions, beliefs and sensations associated with them so that our reactions to present and future events is more positive.   

What should I expect with EMDR?

EMDR therapy begins with history-taking during which the client and Therapist identify possible targets.  These targets may include recent upsetting events or current situations that leave the client feeling emotionally reactive. 

The next phase of EMDR work is addressing the client’s coping skills and building upon them.  When the client is ready, we will begin addressing the targets with EMDR procedures.

EMDR procedures explore visual images related to memories, negative beliefs about self, and emotions and body sensations.  Part of the process involves bilateral stimulation of the brain.  After several sets of bilateral stimulation, the client is often better able to process these prior experiences and/or arrive at some insights about themselves or their experiences. 

What is bilateral stimulation?


Bilateral stimulation is the visual, auditory or tactile stimulation of both sides of the brain.  During visual bilateral stimulation, the client follows movement back and forth with their eyes.  Auditory stimulation asks the client to listen to alternating tones through a listening device.  Tactile requires the client to hold a tactile device in each hand that alternates vibrations.  The Therapist will ask questions to make sure that the most effective and comfortable method of bilateral stimulation is used based on the client’s individual needs and comfort. 
 

How can I find out more about EMDR?

Please visit EMDR International’s website: http://www.emdr.com/general-information/what-is-emdr/what-is-emdr.html

 

Forgot what we were talking about

Absent-mindedness, forgetfulness, or brain farts, whatever you call it, we all have these moments. We tend to think that our brains are withering away with age but “drawing a blank” may actually be associated with a region of our brain experiencing growth. The Wall Street Journal article linked below explains why these moments might allow us to block peripheral thoughts and be more focused and creative.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/forgive-yourself-for-that-thing-you-forgot-11548169275

Recovery Now  reminds you to bring a fine-tooth comb

We are bombarded with overwhelming amounts of information throughout the day. In the past 2-3 years, misinformation has been wide-reaching on social media platforms. Fake news entered our everyday lexicon and began occupying at least some part of our cognitive bandwidth. Much of the fake news is easy to identify and reject. Most of us are pretty sure that congress doesn’t plan to launch a nuclear bomb at the sun, but even the most discerning of us have fallen victim to misinformation or have at least been perplexed by a thoroughly crafted news story from what appears to be a credible news source. The Psychology Today article linked below discusses why biases and faulty thinking we experience could make us more susceptible to accept fake news.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/thoughts-thinking/201902/4-outcomes-lazy-thinking

“Do Not

Suffer

In Silence”

Postpartum Support Group

San Pedro

Have you been feeling anxious, overwhelmed, depressed or fatigued
with the challenges of pregnancy or motherhood?

If So, Please Attend a Drop-In Support Group
A FREE COMMUNITY SERVICE

Sponsored by Recovery NOW, Inc.

Location – 916 North Western Avenue, Suite #210, San Pedro, CA 90732

 

Please register for our Postpartum Support Group using the form at the bottom of this site. Registration must be completed on Saturday or Sunday the week before each group.  We will send a confirmation email with a day and time of the group for that week.

Additional Free Community Phone Resource Line
POSITIVE Counseling Center
South Bay and Harbor Area
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Referral Assistance
(866) 519-7722 Extension #2

Also Providing Individual, Couple and Family Psychotherapy for All Matters of Concern

Accepting Most Major Insurances

Humans thrive on relationships; but not all bonds are built on the same strong foundations. Many people live with unhealthy connections – often with friends, family members and co-workers. Codependency occurs when a person derives a sense of worth or purpose from the ability to meet another person’s needs, gain their approval, or elicit certain responses. Ultimately, codependency facilitates dysfunctional behavior patterns that prevent individual growth and independence.

Help for Codependence

Humans thrive on relationships; but not all bonds are built on the same strong foundations. Many people live with unhealthy connections – often with friends, family members and co-workers. Codependency occurs when a person derives a sense of worth or purpose from the ability to meet another person’s needs, gain their approval, or elicit certain responses. Ultimately, codependency facilitates dysfunctional behavior patterns that prevent individual growth and independence.

You may need treatment for codependence if you:

  • Feel overwhelming desire for another person’s approval
  • Accept unreasonable behavior and disrespectful behavior from a loved one
  • Make excuses for your loved one’s addiction
  • Fear rejection or abandonment
  • Do not have your own hobbies and interests
  • Put the needs of others ahead of your own
  • Have difficulty meeting your own responsibilities because you are too busy helping others
  • Need others to define who you are
  • Have difficulty making your own decisions
  • Apathetic – Not caring about what happens in your own life
  • Controlling behavior of others
  • Unable to tell people when they are bothering you and instead of saying something, may withhold love or behave differently towards others without them knowing why

Codependency does not have to mean ending a relationship. You can still maintain connections with your loved ones – only in a healthier, more meaningful way. If you feel that you may be in one or more codependent relationships, we want to help you establish a sense of healthy independence and prevent you from sabotaging your own happiness with the needs and demands of others.

Many codpendents may engage in behavior that enables addiction to continue when it may not have otherwise done so if the enabling behavior stopped. We have included the following definition from wikipedia as a reference to define enabling:

Enabling in Addiction

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Common examples of enabling can be observed in the relationship between the alcoholic/addict and a codependent spouse or a parent. The spouse may attempt to shield the addict from the negative consequences of their behavior by calling in sick to work for them when they are hungover or binging on substances, making excuses that prevent others from holding them accountable, and generally cleaning up the mess that occurs in the wake of their impaired judgment. In reality, what the spouse is doing may be hurting, not helping. Enabling can tend to prevent psychological growth in the person being enabled, and can contribute to negative symptoms in the enabler. 

What are Men’s Issues?

Men’s issues are as valid as women’s issues, but until recently they have received little attention from the media or public policy. This page is intended as an introduction to men’s issues, which are part of the broader men’s movement.

First of all, it is important to realize that most people in the men’s movement aren’t interested in pushing women into subservience. While their approaches may vary, most men’s advocates are interested in addressing the disparities that have increasingly affected men and boys in (mostly) Western nations since the late 1960s. This is an essential part of achieving gender fairness for both sexes.

Second, the men’s movement is not just a concern of white men, or just of straight men. Men’s issues affect all men and boys, regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status.

The men’s movement exists because men and boys are at a disadvantage in several important areas in today’s politically correct social structure. Laws and conventions originally intended to encourage equal rights for women have evolved into special privileges without responsibility for women and an elevated status for women only. This is taking place against a backdrop of misandry (hatred of men) in society. The result has been serious harm to many areas of society, such as family structure, education, and social services programs. Ironically, this has had a negative impact on women in general, and on children in particular.

Why is therapy helpful specifically for Men’s issues?

The various roles man have in society as well as and in the family has led to certain pressures that are unique to Men. Unrealistic expectations of Men’s bodies and impossible standards for a man’s multiple roles as mother, wife, care-taker and career man as well as unachievable goals for work life balance can lead to a man’s diminished sense of self. Fortunately, psychotherapy helps to challenge these negative distortions and help to form a realistic and accurate sense of self. We can help empower you to take control of your life, balance your needs and wants with the expectations of others in order to start living the life you want to live.

Will my family suffer if I go to therapy?

This is a common fear for Men seeking therapy to work on their own personal issues but actually the opposite is more common. If you are suffering silently without seeking help, this struggle is inevitably going to affect your family. Though getting help will take some time away from your family, that time is extremely valuable to you, them, and your relationship. By seeking help and focusing on improving your own issues you are much more able to show love and support to your family.

Codependency in Hermosa Beach, San Pedro, & South Bay

Are you feeling overwhelmed with concern about a loved one’s problems to the point of interfering with your own feelings and responsibilities?

If so you may be involved in a codependent relationship. This is a relationship where one sacrifices their own wants, needs, hopes and desires for the sake of another individual. So much so that they actually experience a loss of a sense of self. This can happen in any friendship, romantic relationship or parent-child relationship.

What causes Codependency and how did this happen to ME?

Codependency may be present in any dysfunctional relationship; not only those where alcohol/drugs are present.

There are many factors to consider and everyone is unique. Some common possibilities are:

Your own family of origin concerns and concerns about your loved one are an important part of your recovery. In addition, the possibility exists your children could continue the cycle of codependence and/or you may find another codependent relationship if you left this one.

Has your loved one just entered treatment or are they still using or drinking? Do you think the problem is theirs, not yours?

Unfortunately, you too have been affected by your loved one’s problem and require your own support and assistance. Without your own help and support, you may continue to have feelings of anger, frustration, betrayal & lack of self-worth. Everyone in the family needs help to recover from the long-ranging effects of substance use. Consider getting help for you and your family. Without the proper treatment, even if you left this relationship, you may find another codependent relationship.

Sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to grow, even though the people we love are not ready to change.                                                                   We let them go and let ourselves grow.

– The Language of Letting Go

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