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mindfulness

CBT :: Coaching + Therapy Techniques For Changing Thoughts And Behaviors

CBT :: Coaching + Therapy Techniques For Changing Thoughts And Behaviors

We ALL need a little help sometimes, even when we have awareness of our challenges and difficulties. It's really hard for many to ask for help, so I thought I'd share some useful techniques that I use in my own private practice in NYC working with therapy and coaching clients. CBT techniques are very helpful tools to be used in therapy, coaching and useful when applied to everyday life situations. What follows are some of the most common problems that clients struggle with and CBT techniques that are helpful. 

  1. Journaling—This technique gathers information and data about habitual thoughts, emotions and moods. Included in journal entries can be: time of day, the source or trigger, the intensity of the feeling state and the response or action taken. You can add more helpful and adaptive coping responses that might be considered in the future.

  2. Catastrophizing—This tendency is to go immediately to an irrational thought that something is far worse than it actually is. Catastrophizing generally takes two different forms: making a catastrophe out of a current situation or a future situation. Step one is to identify when your are doing this. Next, use your smartphone or journal to write the thoughts down throughout the day and add a corrective statement to counteract the negative belief.

  3. Cognitive Distortions—Alone or with a therapist, you practice identifying harmful or negative thoughts that are automatic for you, then challenge these thoughts that lead to vulnerability or distress in your daily life.

  4. Cognitive Restructuring—Once you identify the distortions or inaccurate views, you can begin to learn about how this distortion took root and why you came to believe it. When you discover a belief that is destructive or harmful, you can begin to challenge it. Instead of accepting a faulty belief that leads to negative thoughts about yourself and poor self-esteem, you could take this opportunity to think about something in a different way.

  5. Write Down Self-Statements to Counteract Negative Beliefs—This is a challenge especially if your belief is strong or it has served you in some way. Confront these negative thoughts by introducing a positive more correct thought. Positive thoughts or self-statements help to interrupt old patterns and create new neural pathways.

  6. Exposure and Response Prevention—If you suffer from OCD, you can expose yourself to whatever creates the compulsive behavior that follows. Avoid doing the behavior by writing about it instead in a journal or notepad.

  7. Interoceptive Exposure—If you struggle with panic attacks or anxiety, this technique involves exposing yourself to bodily sensations that elicit responses that lead to distress and panic symptoms. As you experience unpleasant symptoms, unhelpful thoughts arise and you can learn to tolerate the experience, reduce avoidance and develop a different way to view these symptoms such discomfort, but not dangerous.

  8. Play the Script Until the End—This technique involves imagining the worst case scenario, letting it play out in the mind. For those who struggle with fear and

Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York licensed Psychotherapist and Consultant with extensive training and experience. She provides pscyhological consultation, therapy and coaching to a range of clients including high-profile clients, working in-person, online and worldwide. As an EMDR therapist, couples therapist + women's emotional health expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and really good key lime pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.

Engage Your Vagus Nerve :: Breathing Techniques For Relaxation And Insomnia Relief

Engage Your Vagus Nerve :: Breathing Techniques For Relaxation And Insomnia Relief

Concerns about the long-term impact of chronic stress, depression, anxiety and insomnia is a topic of concern for many of my coaching and therapy clients. A few stressful, sleepless nights can easily spiral into a regular problem as clients begin to develop a negative relationship with bedtime and sleep. Many will seek the help of a psychiatrist to obtain prescription medications in an effort to break the cycle. Not a bad option in the short-term, but less than ideal as a long-term solution. I always recommend lifestyle modifications and attempts at simple changes in the environment first. Before we move to information about engaging your vagus nerve and the relaxation response, let's clear the path to create an optimal environment for sleep. 

How can you modify your environment to promote better sleep? In addition to dimming the lights and reducing evening electronic stimulation, some helpful evening rituals include the following:

  • meditation

  • focused breathing

  • biofeedback

  • guided imagery

  • progressive muscle relaxation

  • restorative yoga

  • gentle stretching to release tension in the body

  • a warm bath

  • a soothing warm drink such as milk, nut milk or non-caffeinated tea 

  • herbs and homeopathic support 

How are you breathing during the day? You may not be aware that throughout your busy day, your breathing has become shallow. Your thoughts likely contribute

Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York licensed Psychotherapist and Consultant with extensive training and experience. She provides pscyhological consultation, therapy and coaching to a range of clients including high-profile clients, working in-person, online and worldwide. As an EMDR therapist, couples therapist + women's emotional health expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and really good key lime pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.

#shrinkthinks DBT DIY :: Making A Distress Tolerance Kit For Healthier Coping

Whether you're trying to manage eating disorder symptoms or alcohol/substance abuse problems, creating a "coping skills" toolbox--a place to keep things that can help you feel calmer and more grounded is a practical and helpful tactic in supporting your recovery goals. Instead of using symptoms and negative behaviors, turning to your toolbox can give you other options that immediately engage your five senses and include healthier distractions, self-soothing strategies and making different choices in the moment!

TOOLBOX TIPS

What you will need for your self-regulation and coping toolbox:

  • Tactile (something to feel) - textures, warm or cold objects, stuffed animal, stress ball, the ground beneath your feet

  • Visual (something to see or look at) - flowers, photos, art, vivid colors

  • Auditory (something to hear) - music, focusing on sounds in the environment, meditation guides, books on tape

  • Olfactory (something to smell) - essential oils, perfume, candles

  • Gustatory (something to taste) - gum, mints, sweet or sour candies

DISTRACTION TIPS

How to Distract yourself when you have the urge to reward yourself in negative ways or when you have self-destructive urges:

Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York licensed Psychotherapist and Consultant with extensive training and experience. She provides pscyhological consultation, therapy and coaching to a range of clients including high-profile clients, working in-person, online and worldwide. As an EMDR therapist, couples therapist + women's emotional health expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and really good key lime pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.

Mindfulness :: Practice Now

Mindfulness :: Practice Now

There is an art to being "present" especially in a stressed-out culture of distractions, hyper-productivity and social media, however you can learn to think differently and even rewire your brain. Many therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists recommend Mindfulness and MBSR (mindfulness-based stress reduction) to help cope with anxiety and depression. What is the goal with mindfulness meditation? To learn to give your attention fully to whatever you may be doing -- eating, loving, working, parenting, exercising, doing chores, as examples. The application of mindfulness is limitless, and can generalize to good health, life-satisfaction and enhanced well-being. 

It's easy. Heres how to begin:

  1. Find a comfortable seat. Keep your back straight, soften and drop your shoulders. You can close your eyes, or keep them open. Take a deep breath.

  2. Notice your breathing, without changing it. Focus on the sensation of air moving in and out of your nostrils, notice your lungs expanding and contracting with each breath.

  3. It is normal to have thoughts that distract you from your focus on the breath. Acknowledge these thoughts and then return your focus to your breathing. Keep doing this.

  4. Don't judge yourself, simply notice any distractions, sounds in the environment, and especially, that the mind wants to wander.  A new thought comes into your mind, notice it, then return to your breathing. 

Dedicate 5-20 minutes per day to this practice of mindfulness. As it becomes easier, you can practice being fully present with your daily activities--breathing, observing, noticing whatever may be present for you in these moments with acceptance and

Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York licensed Psychotherapist and Consultant with extensive training and experience. She provides pscyhological consultation, therapy and coaching to a range of clients including high-profile clients, working in-person, online and worldwide. As an EMDR therapist, couples therapist + women's emotional health expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and really good key lime pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.

Observe Your Thoughts And Reduce Anxiety: DBT Skills For Life

Find a comfortable spot to sit, either seated or lying down. Take a moment to focus on softening your body and releasing any tension in your shoulders. Close your eyes.

Focus your attention on your breathing. Observe what it feels like to be "in" your body, in this moment, as you slowly breath in and then breathe out.  As you spend a few minutes here, Imagine that you are “riding the wave” of your own breath. You feel safe.

Next, shift your attention to your thoughts. Begin to notice your thoughts. They are just thoughts. Nothing to do in this moment but

Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York licensed Psychotherapist and Consultant with extensive training and experience. She provides pscyhological consultation, therapy and coaching to a range of clients including high-profile clients, working in-person, online and worldwide. As an EMDR therapist, couples therapist + women's emotional health expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and really good key lime pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.

Feelings, Nothing More Than Feelings

Feelings are just visitors. Let them come and go.

Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York licensed Psychotherapist and Consultant with extensive training and experience. She provides pscyhological consultation, therapy and coaching to a range of clients including high-profile clients, working in-person, online and worldwide. As an EMDR therapist, couples therapist + women's emotional health expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and really good key lime pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.

#shrinkthinks - The Good Life

You can read lots of self-help books and pay thousands of dollars in workshops and webinars, but in my opinion, a happy, healthy, well-balanced life can be achieved by paying attention to the following: Sleep, meditation, nutrition, love, exercise and play. #wisewords

Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York licensed Psychotherapist and Consultant with extensive training and experience. She provides pscyhological consultation, therapy and coaching to a range of clients including high-profile clients, working in-person, online and worldwide. As an EMDR therapist, couples therapist + women's emotional health expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and really good key lime pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.

#shrinkthinks - Positive Self-Talk For Hard Times

Remember this...

I can get through this because I’ve managed before and I can now!

#shrinkthinks

Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York licensed Psychotherapist and Consultant with extensive training and experience. She provides pscyhological consultation, therapy and coaching to a range of clients including high-profile clients, working in-person, online and worldwide. As an EMDR therapist, couples therapist + women's emotional health expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and really good key lime pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.

About Dialectical Behavior Therapy Or DBT

Marsha M. Linehan developed  DBT in the 1990s to treat chronically suicidal and self-injurious individuals who she viewed as having pervasive emotion dysregulation or significant difficulty regulating their emotions. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a specialized form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) that balances acceptance and change. Cognitive Behavioral change strategies are blended with Eastern practices including mindfulness and meditation. The ability to apply DBT skills to other problems has broadened and has now been proven effective to treat a wide range of issues.

Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York licensed Psychotherapist and Consultant with extensive training and experience. She provides pscyhological consultation, therapy and coaching to a range of clients including high-profile clients, working in-person, online and worldwide. As an EMDR therapist, couples therapist + women's emotional health expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and really good key lime pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.

Coping Tips: Create Your Own Emotional Survival Skills Toolbox

Do you frequently find yourself feeling overwhelmed with strong feelings and emotions that seem to come and go -- or stay longer than is comfortable? You may have sudden shifts in feeling states, and you're clueless as to what may have triggered you? Stuff in your life feels so big sometimes -- and you feel powerless! What would you need to help you cope better? Many of the strategies that you've been using to cope with the many challenges in your life either are not working or are creating bigger problems for you (e.g. self-injury, eating disorders, drug and alcohol abuse). Perhaps now you've reached a point where you're motivated to change things. How does change happen? I always emphasize taking "small steps towards change with a focus on progress over perfection" as a sustainable goal. Everyone is different -- a solution or alternative coping mechanism that works well for one may not be as helpful for someone else. I encourage you to create your own "coping toolbox" that you can personalize with cues, tips and messages that you'll understand when you feel triggered or are in a crisis. It can be a small go-to bag or box of your own design filled with ready for you, self-soothing objects and

Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York licensed Psychotherapist and Consultant with extensive training and experience. She provides pscyhological consultation, therapy and coaching to a range of clients including high-profile clients, working in-person, online and worldwide. As an EMDR therapist, couples therapist + women's emotional health expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and really good key lime pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.

Healing Past Wounds: Psychotherapy And Meditation

Jack Kornfield shares his view of both the healing potential and limitations of meditation and psychotherapy to fully release problems related to unresolved grief, fear, trauma, relationships, loneliness, woundedness, and unfinished business from the past. Kornfield insightfully states: "Some people have come to meditation after working with traditional psychotherapy. Although they found therapy to be of value, its limitations led them to seek a spiritual practice. For me it was the opposite. While I benefited enormously from the training offered in the Thai and Burmese monasteries where I practised, I noticed two striking things. First, there were major areas of difficulty in my life, such as loneliness, intimate relationships, work, childhood wounds, and patterns of fear, that even very deep meditation didn’t touch.

Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York licensed Psychotherapist and Consultant with extensive training and experience. She provides pscyhological consultation, therapy and coaching to a range of clients including high-profile clients, working in-person, online and worldwide. As an EMDR therapist, couples therapist + women's emotional health expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and really good key lime pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.

Get Out Of Overdrive: Managing Your Anxiety

You don't need to hit rock bottom to finally get serious about finding ways to end feeling anxious and strung-out. There is nothing heroic or magical about living in a state of overdrive -- yes to everything, you over-extenders, super-producers, deadline junkies, caffeine & adrenaline high seekers (you know who you are!) -- you will crash, it's just a matter of time. Millions of adults suffer from anxiety disorders, according to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America. Some individuals will begin anti-anxiety medications for the first time, while many sufferers are now dependent on anxiolytics, like Xanax, to fall asleep and to manage their anxiety throughout the day. As a therapist who treats anxiety and mood disorders, I know how helpful antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications can be for many. Without these pharmacological interventions, many would suffer serious, debilitating symptoms. Not a great way to live managing symptoms 24/7. I'm not knocking medication, but one problem that I've observed, is that, because of the ease of medication, anxiety sufferers fail to to try or develop helpful techniques or natural remedies first, before reaching for a pill. Many have difficulty tolerating discomfort and they've learned to find quick fixes as a solution. However, there are those who, armed with a little patience and motivation can learn the skills that can help them take control of their symptoms.

Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York licensed Psychotherapist and Consultant with extensive training and experience. She provides pscyhological consultation, therapy and coaching to a range of clients including high-profile clients, working in-person, online and worldwide. As an EMDR therapist, couples therapist + women's emotional health expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and really good key lime pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.

Nurse Heal Thyself

(by Kim Seelbrede, originally posted on urbanzen.org October 2010) 

As snowflakes whispered against the backdrop of the mountains, student nurses from around the country gathered to participate in the 59th annual National Student Nurses Association (NSNA) convention held in Salt Lake City. Urban Zen Integrative Therapy (UZIT) sessions were offered to the student nurses in The Sanctuary, which was generously provided by Johnson & Johnson. This sublime healing space allowed many nurses to experience, for the first time, the exquisite healing modalities offered by the Urban Zen Integrative Therapists. Introducing nurses to the concept of self-care was our mission; powerful, moving and comforting were but a few of the words participants used to describe their restorative sessions.

Maintaining calm in the chaos was no easy feat as hundreds of nurses waited patiently for their sessions. Once inside the soothing environment, students were given permission

Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York licensed Psychotherapist and Consultant with extensive training and experience. She provides pscyhological consultation, therapy and coaching to a range of clients including high-profile clients, working in-person, online and worldwide. As an EMDR therapist, couples therapist + women's emotional health expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and really good key lime pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.