MEDITATION, RELAXATION & VISUALIZATION EXERCISES

Container Exercise

This relaxing, gentle strategy teaches you how to take a rest from your busy mind and provides you with an opportunity to feel more relaxed and refreshed.
During the exercise you can incorporate gentle tapping on your knees  - alternate slow tapping on one knee and then the other (or cross your arms and alternately tap on each shoulder).  This helps to more deeply imbed the positive feelings into your body.  If the image becomes negative in any way, stop and begin with a fresh one.
You can use the container to visually and  safely tuck away people, life events or situations, thoughts, feelings, physical sensations - anything can be placed away so that you can rest your mind.  This is a wonderful tool to use any time you need to calm down your mind but just before bed is a great place to start.  Enjoy!

Container Exercise-2017.mp3

THE PAIN RELEASE PROTOCOL ~ IMAGE TRANSFORMATION THERAPY

Image Transformation Therapy was developed by Dr. Robert Miller.
ImTT is a gentle therapy that releases the pain, fear, guilt, and/or shame of trauma and other negative life experiences without the person needing to intensely experience the feelings related to the event or incident.   
One of ImTT's most important breakthrough is in the treatment of traumatic memories.  Traumatic memories are linked with intense pain, terror, guilt, *and/or shame.  Resolving these memories usually requires the person to re-experience the feelings in order to release and process the feelings.
ImTT is totally unique because the person does not have to experience the intense pain, terror, guilt, *and/or shame.  In fact, the person is specifically instructed to not experience the feelings.   Instead, the person is instructed to view the feelings as if from a distance.  Then the person is guided through the Pain/Terror Release Protocol (P/TRP) which gently and very effectively releases the feeling.
Please feel free to experience the ImTT process by listening to the Pain Release Protocol below.  Again, it is important to identify the issue you are working on but DO NOT become engaged in the feelings related to it.  Doing so will interfere with the release process.  Simply imagine the image and the feelings across the room from you on a TV or cinema screen.  The recording below is just one part of the ImTT process. 
For more information about ImTT and how it can help you contact Karen Searle at 705-875-7442.



Pain Release Protocol-2019(After conversion).mp3

 Spiral Technique

This exercise is to imagine a spiral (or waterfall) either inside your body or surrounding your body on the outside.  Imagine that the spiral (or waterfall) is hooked up to a never ending supply of healing, soothing, calming and relaxing energy.  This energy can come from wherever you want - the sun, the universe, God or some other higher power, the cosmos...whatever works best for you.  The spiral also goes deeply into the earth where it receives all of the disturbances or negative thoughts/feelings it is cleansing from your body, leaving you filled with calming and relaxing energy.

(Photo above - amazing waterfall in Cuba)

Spiral Technique-2017.mp3

Progressive Muscle Relaxation Technique

This exercise is designed to help you release tension and stress from all parts of your body.  Progressive Muscle Relaxation teaches you how to relax your muscles through a two step process.
First, you systematically tense particular muscle groups in your body, such as your neck and shoulders. Next, you release the tension and notice how your muscles feel when you relax them.  Often when people are stressed and anxious, they are not aware of how tense their bodies are.  This exercise allows you to tune into the difference between a tense or relaxed physical state.
This type of relaxation exercise will help you to reduce tension and lower your stress and can also help in reducing feelings of anxiety.  It can  provide relief from physical problems such as stomach aches and headaches, as well as improve your sleep.
For the first week or two, practise this exercise at least once per day (twice a day if you can) until you get the hang of it. The better you become at it, the quicker the relaxation response will “kick in” when you really need it!
Try this exercise when you are feeling calm.  It is often better to first practice it when you are calm because that way it will be easier to do when feeling anxious.   Keep up the great work!


Progressive Muscle Relaxation Exercise-2017.mp3

"TAPPING IN" CALMING INTERNAL RESOURCES

Many of the following techniques are borrowed from Laurel Parnell's wonderful book, "Tapping In - A Step By Step Guide to Activating Your Healing Resources Through Bilateral Stimulation."  Laurel Parnell is one of the world's leading experts on EMDR.  She is a clinical psychologist who has trained thousands of therapists in EMDR.  You can learn more about Laurel by going to: 
http://drlaurelparnell.com/
These tapping techniques are designed to "activate your inner power and resilience" (Laurel Parnell) and can assist in reducing anxiety by calming down your body on a deep emotional and physiological level.
The tapping is also known as bi-lateral stimulation.  Bilateral stimulation is known to reduce physiological arousal in your body.  It increases your ability to release your negative thoughts (they can become less "stuck") and can help to distance yourself from your problems and decrease your worry.  For more information on this you can go to:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLPeZpSgDHY


A Calm Place Visualization/Relaxation Exercise

This exercise provides you with an opportunity to calm down both your mind and body in a gentle and soothing way.  This calm, peaceful place is somewhere you can feel safe, protected and relaxed. 
During the exercise, you will be invited to add tapping (bilateral stimulation) into the exercise.  Once your internal calm place (internal resource) is activated on all five senses (sight, sound, touch, taste and smell) and you have accessed a strong positive feeling about it, you add the tapping.
You tap slowly for a short time - 6-12 times alternating on one knee and then the other.  Or you can use the butterfly hug by crossing your arms across your chest and tapping on one shoulder and then the other.  You can also simply gently tap or stamp one foot and then the other.
***IF YOU FEEL DISTRESS OR EXPERIENCE ANY NEGATIVE IMAGERY DURING THIS EXERCISE, STOP TAPPING IMMEDIATELY AND START AGAIN FINDING A DIFFERENT CALM PLACE***  You may need to develop another calm place using
(Photo Above:  Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba)

(Photo Below:  Joffre Lakes Provincial Park, British Columbia)

Calm Place - 2017.mp3

TAPPING IN A NURTURING FIGURE

No matter what has happened in our lives, we all need and have likely received nurturing from someone (or something such as a pet) who is/was important to us.  This might be a spouse, parent or grandparent, a close friend or relative.  Perhaps it was a doctor, sibling or a teacher who supported us at a time when we really needed it.
These nurturing figures often provide a sense of safety, calm, comfort, caring and acceptance.  Your adult self could be used as a nurturer as well, connecting to your inner qualities of love and compassion.
This technique is designed to help you develop a nurturing internal resource.  This figure does not have to be human or real - it can be a pet or perhaps a figure from a movie, TV or book such as an angel, or Aslan, the lion on Narnia or perhaps Gandalf from Harry Potter.  Look for those people from your past (or pets, movies, books) who felt loving and safe for you.  If you struggle to find a figure due to a history of neglect or abuse, you could think of someone you know who is nurturing toward someone else.  Or perhaps you could imagine an adult animal such as a cat or dog caring for its' young.
You can use this nurturing figure to support you whenever you feel anxious, upset, fearful or worried.  It is good if you can develop a few different figures as they might provide emotional support to you in various ways or at different times.  When tapping in the nurturing figure, it is very important to imagine the figure in its nurturing aspect.  This could include times when you witnessed the nurturing or experienced it yourself.
As always, stop if the image becomes negative in any way and perhaps begin with a different figure.

Nurturing Figure Exercise.mp3

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Karen Searle, M.S.W., R.S.W., Psychotherapist
544 George Street North, Peterborough, Ontario
K9H 3S2 ~ 705-875-7442

counsellingcanhelp@gmail.com

 

Photo ~ Horseshoe Valley, Ontario