NYC Psychotherapist Blog

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Thursday, May 16, 2024

How to Use Pattern Interruptors to Stop Overthinking

This article is the second part on the topic of overthinking (see my article: Tips on How to Stop Overthinking).

What is Overthinking?
Overthinking or worrying can include overanalyzing and rumination about negative thoughts.

Overthinking, Worry and Rumination

Overthinking can also result in chain reaction thinking where someone worries about the future in terms of "What if...." thinking (see my article: Are You Catastrophizing?).

In other words, they worry about all the things that could go wrong--even when there's no objective reason to worry about these things:
  • "What if I get sick? Then I can't work. Then I can't pay my bills. Then I'll lose my apartment and I'll be homeless."
  • "What if my partner leaves me? Then I'll be all alone. Then I'll never meet anyone else. Then I'll be alone forever and I'll feel like a loser."
If someone gets stuck in overthinking and chain reaction thinking this often results in procrastination because the person gets stuck in a cycle of rumination and worry. 

In addition, someone can become mentally and emotionally paralyzed because chain reaction thinking leads to a pessimistic outlook on the future, which can leave them feeling helpless and hopeless as they anticipate everything that could possibly go wrong.

People who overthink often try to eliminate any possibility of failure and external judgment or criticism. This can keep them in an ongoing cycle of worry and overthinking without making a decision (see my article: Fear of Making Decisions: Indecision Becomes a Decision With Time).

What is at the Root of Overthinking?
For many people the root of overthinking and excessive worrying is fear of separation or loss.

Using Pattern Interruptors to Stop Overthinking

People who have a history of trauma often don't know how to manage their fears, especially when they're triggered in ways that bring them back emotions related to unresolved trauma (see my article: How Unresolved Trauma Can Affect You).

How Can You Manage Your Fears to Stop Overthinking and Worrying?
Managing a fear that can develop into overthinking and worry can be challenging, especially if this is an ingrained pattern for you.

Here are some suggestions that might work for you:

Managing Your Emotions: An important part of managing fear so you don't get stuck in overthinking and rumination is learning to learn emotional self regulation (see my article: How to Manage Your Emotions).

De-identifying With Your Fear: De-identifying with your fear involves being able to separate who you are at your core from your fear. This allows you to cope with your fear by maintaining equanimity.  De-identification from your fear can include:
  • Doing Mindfulness Meditation: Rather than getting stuck in chain reaction thinking, you observe your fears in a calm and centered way (see my article: How to Practice Mindfulness Meditation).
  • Tuning Into Your Senses: When you bring your awareness to your body,  you can tune into your senses in terms of what you're seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling and tasting (if taste is applicable). This can help you to calm yourself and separate yourself from your rumination (see my article: What is Somatic Awareness?).

Regaining Perspective
  • Asking Yourself: How would I feel about this 5 years from now?
  • Asking Yourself: How would a friend I admire (someone who doesn't get stuck in worry and rumination) handle this?
  • Looking at Google Earth: Looking at your neighborhood and zooming out to a larger view where you can see the Earth floating in space helps you to put your problem in perspective.
  • Looking at the Ocean: Standing on the shore and looking at the vastness of the ocean could put your problem in perspective.
  • Remembering Experiences With Past Worries: Can you think of times from the past when you got stuck worrying about problems that either never materialized or were minor compared to what you feared? Is it possible that the current problem might be similar?
  • Becoming Aware of What You Can and Can't Control: The Serenity Prayer can remind you of the things you can and can't control. If the problem is something you can't control, this can take some of the pressure off you. If it's something you can control or there are aspects of the problem you can control, you can take action.

How Can Ego States Therapy/Parts Work Help?
As I've mentioned in prior articles about Ego States Therapy, a form of Parts Work, we are all made up of a multiplicity of selves (see my article: How Parts Work Therapy Helps to Empower You).

Getting Help in Therapy

Most people are familiar with this concept based on John Bradshaw's writing about the Inner Child. However, the Inner Child is only one part of the many parts that make up who we are.

When I work with clients who have a tendency to overthinking things, I help them to identify the worrying part as one aspect of themselves. The worrying part is not all of who they are. It's just one part.

There are also other parts of the self that can be related to the worrying part as well as other parts that can empower clients.

If a client has a tendency to overthink, worry and get stuck in rumination, that part often has a long history going back to unresolved trauma. So, there is probably a particular part that gets activated in certain situations.

Clinical Example of Using Ego States Therapy/Parts Work to Overcome Overthinking
The following fictional vignette is based on composites of real situations with all identifying information removed to protect confidentiality:

Jane got highly anxious whenever tax season rolled around. Whenever she gathered her tax information, she felt highly anxious and fearful. She would ruminate about filing taxes, procrastinate to avoid doing them, and then rush to get the taxes filed at the last minute, which created even more stress and anxiety. 

When she spoke to her therapist about this, Jane discovered that doing taxes activated a young part of her who watched her parents get into huge arguments about taxes and finances in general. 

Her therapist used Ego States Therapy to give that younger part a voice. Then, she helped Jane to use the adult part of her, the part who knew objectively that she had nothing to worry about, to talk to her younger part to reassure her.  

This type of reassurance is something Jane never experienced when she was a child and as she and her therapist continued to work in this way, Jane felt her younger self relaxing, especially when Jane's adult self reassured her younger self by saying, "It's okay. You don't have to worry about this. The problems your parents had are in the past. I'm taking care of this now so you don't have to worry about it."

Over time, Jane discovered other parts of herself through her work in Ego States Therapy, and she felt empowered. 

Gradually, she overcame her fear of filing taxes and other similar fears.

Overthinking, rumination and worry are common problems for many people.

You can learn to interrupt your pattern of overthinking and worrying by using the tools discussed in this article.

If you find that the self help tools in this article aren't enough to help you overcome your problem, you can seek help from an Experiential Therapist who does Parts Work or other types of experiential therapy that involve the mind-body connection (see my article: Why Experiential Therapy is More Effective Than Regular Talk Therapy to Overcome Trauma).

Getting Help in Experiential Therapy
Experiential therapy includes mind-body oriented therapies including:
  • EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
A skilled Experiential therapist can help you to overcome the thought patterns that are disrupting your life.

Rather than struggling on your own, seek help from an Experiential therapist so you can free yourself from your traumatic history and live a more fulfilling life.

About Me
I am a licensed New York City psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR, AEDP, EFT, Somatic Experiencing and Sex Therapist.

I work with individual adults and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (917) 742-2624 during business hours or email me.

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Tips on How to Stop Overthinking

What is Overthinking?
Overthinking, which is also called rumination, is when you dwell on the same thought, feeling or situation over and over again. 

When overthinking is habitual, it can be disruptive to your life.

How to Stop Overthinking

Overthinking usually falls into two categories: Ruminating about the past or worrying about the future (see my article: Tips to Cope With Chronic Worrying).

Engaging in habitual overthinking is unproductive and can make you feel stuck. 

How to Stop Overthinking

For instance, if you're trying to make a decision and you continuously ruminate about it, you might find it increasingly difficult to make the decision and miss an important deadline (see my article: Fear of Making Decisions: No Decision Becomes a Decision in Time).

When Does Overthinking Become Unhealthy?
Overthinking can become unhealthy when it:
  • Prevents you from taking action
  • Interferes with your daily life
  • Creates stress in your life
  • Has a negative impact on your sense of well-being
What Are the Signs of Overthinking?
  • Having the same recurring thoughts, worries or fears over and over
  • Getting stuck in imagining worst case scenarios
  • Replaying a negative event from the past in your mind over and over again
  • Repeatedly worrying about a future event
  • Getting stuck in negative thoughts so that you have difficulty concentrating on anything else
  • Continuously rethinking decisions you have already made
  • Being unable to move on to the next step in a decision-making process because you're stuck ruminating about steps you have already taken
How Are Cognitive Distortions Connected to Overthinking?
People who engage in cognitive distortions tend to engage in overthinking (see my article: How Psychotherapy Can Help You Overcome Cognitive Distortions).

How to Stop Overthinking

Cognitive distortions include but are not limited to:
  • Overgeneralizing: Making an assumption that things will always be a certain way based on few examples
  • Mind Reading: Believing you know what someone else is thinking without any evidence
Why Do People Engage in Overthinking?
Some people are more prone to be overthinkers than others.

Perfectionists and overachievers are often overthinkers. This is often due to their need to be perfect and their fear of failure (see my articles: Overcoming Perfectionism and The Connection Between Perfectionism and Shame).

Is Overthinking Connected to Other Mental Health Issues?
Overthinking isn't a mental health disorder, but it's often connected to:
How is Overthinking Connected to Stress?
High levels of stress can lead to overthinking among people who have a tendency to overthink situations.

How to Stop Overthinking

Overthinking, in turn, can create a high level of stress, especially when people feel stuck in a pattern of rumination and worry.

Basic Tips That Can Help You to Stop Overthinking
In my next article, I'll focus on a particular tool called a pattern interruptor.

For now, here are some basic tips for overcoming overthinking that might work for you:
How to Stop Overthinking
  • Keep a Journal: Journaling helps you to become aware of the particular issues you ruminate about so you can begin to see your specific pattern of overthinking.
  • Get Perspective From Close Friends: People who know you well are probably aware of your tendency to overthink things. You can get feedback from them in terms of what patterns they have noticed in you.
Seek Help From a Psychotherapist

  • Seek Help From a Licensed Mental Health Professional: A skilled psychotherapist can help you to stop overthinking. Rather than struggling on your own, seek help from a licensed mental health professional who has an expertise in helping people who tend to engage in overthinking.

About Me
I am a licensed New York City psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR, AEDP, EFT, Somatic Experiencing and Sex Therapist

I work with individual adults and couples.

One of my specialties is helping clients to overcome trauma (see my article: What is a Trauma Therapist?).

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (917) 742-2624 during business hours or email me.

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

What is a Common Relationship Conflict Between Partners With Anxious and Avoidant Attachment Styles?

Today's article is focused on a common relationship conflict where one partner has an anxious attachment style and the other has an avoidant attachment style (see my article: Understanding Your Attachment Style Can Help You to Break the Negative Cycle in Your Relationship).

Conflicts Between Partners With An Anxious and An Avoidant Style

According to Julie Menanno, Emotionally Focused Therapist and author of Secure Love, there is usually a pattern to these conflicts which involve the couple's negative cycle (see my article: Identifying the Negative Cycle in Your Relationship).

What is a Common Conflict Between Partners With Anxious and Avoidant Attachment?
In her book, Julie Menanno discusses a common dynamic between partners based on their attachment styles (see my article: How Your Attachment Style Affects Your Relationship).

An example of this would be when the partner with anxious attachment brings up a concern, they often come across as critical, judgmental or accusatory. In most cases, this partner doesn't intend to be negative. 

On a deeper level, this partner is just trying hard to be heard, but they come across as wanting to pick a fight. 

When the first partner is trying to be heard, but comes across in a negative way, the partner with an avoidant attachment style feels like their partner is attacking them. They feel misunderstood and like they're being blamed, so they react defensively. 

They might come across in different ways. They might get defensive and respond in an overly rational way. They might invalidate their partner's concerns. They might also shutdown, which is also known as stonewalling.

On a deeper level, this partner feels unappreciated and they are trying to defend against feeling like a failure in the relationship. But they don't come across that way. They come across as if they're not paying attention to their anxious partner. 

When the person with anxious attachment hears their partner's response, they feel invalidated and become frustrated. They react with anger because they want to be heard. But on a deeper level, they feel alone and they're desperately trying to get their partner's attention.

In response to the anxious partner's frustration and increasing anger, the avoidant partner feels even more attacked. The avoidant partner doesn't want to make the argument worse so, without realizing it, they shutdown even more. But on a deeper level, they feel ashamed and powerless.

These types of conflicts often go unresolved because each partner feels they can't get through to the other partner and their responses to each other only creates more conflict.

Even when both partners decide to let go of the conflict, one of them, often the anxious partner, will eventually bring it up again at another time in an effort to get to the bottom of hte problem. Their intention is to overcome their problem in the relationship, but this only leads to the couple going through their negative cycle again.

After a while, this becomes their ongoing negative cycle with each partner feeling more frustrated and alone.

Clinical Vignette
The following clinical vignette illustrates how an anxious and avoidant partner typically go through a conflict. As always, this vignette is a composite of many cases with all identifying information changed to protect confidentiality:

Tom and Jane
Tom and Jane were married for five years when they sought help in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) for couples (see my article: What is Emotionally Focused Therapy For Couples?).

Both of them worked at stressful jobs. They also had two small active children in an apartment they owned in New York City. So, aside from their relationship problems, they had other major stressors in their lives.

Each of them agreed that after the initial honeymoon phase of their relationship, they started getting into conflicts over seemingly small issues.

Jane gave an example of one of their recent arguments about an ongoing issue where she felt she had to continuously remind Tom to do the laundry. 

Conflicts Between Partners With An Anxious and An Avoidant Style

According to Jane, they had agreed to divide up a list of chores where one of Tom's chores was to do the laundry. But even though he had agreed to do this weekly task, Tom would often let more than two weeks go by before he did the laundry--to the point where their children were running out of clean clothes to wear. 

Jane said she would remind him a few times after a week had gone by, which she resented doing.  Then he would accuse her of nagging him, which would precipitate an argument.

While he listened to Jane speak, Tom was slumped in his chair with a sullen expression on his face.  Then, when it was his turn to speak, Tom said he realized he was negligent in not doing the laundry, but he felt attacked by Jane and, eventually, he would tune her out because listening to her was too overwhelming.

Jane responded that when she felt Tom was ignoring her, she felt frustrated and angry. She admitted that when she felt that way, she would raise her voice. Even though she often regretted getting so angry afterwards, she didn't know how else to get through to Tom. 

They both realized they were becoming more and more emotionally disconnected from each other.

Over time, the EFT therapist helped Jane and Tom to see each of their attachment styles and how these styles contributed to their negative cycle: Jane had an anxious attachment style and Tom had an avoidant attachment style.

Couples Can Work Out Their Problems in EFT Couples Therapy

Their therapist also helped them to change their negative cycle so they could relate to each other in a more caring, compassionate way.

Tom realized he was behaving in a passive aggressive way by delaying doing the laundry. With the therapist's help, he also realized he was unconsciously repeating a dynamic he saw as a child between his parents who had similar arguments. So, he became much more diligent in doing his half of the chores in a timely manner.

Tom also became aware of how frustrating it was for Jane to remind him continuously of what he needed to do, so he had a lot more compassion for her, especially when he realized how her childhood history was, unconsciously, impacting her in their relationship.

Jane realized her anger was partly fueled by her childhood history where she saw her mother struggling to keep up with all the household chores while her father either relaxed at home or played golf on the weekends with his friends. So, Jane learned in couples therapy to separate her anger for her father from her anger for her husband. 

Jane also became aware that Tom's behavior was unconsciously related to his childhood history, and she developed a lot more compassion for him.

Getting to the point where they each felt compassion and understanding for each other was neither quick nor easy because their negative cycle was so ingrained. But they were both motivated to improve their relationship, so they persevered in couples therapy.

Couples often wait until they're fed up to get help. 

It's not unusual for couples to seek help in couples therapy when one or both of them are already contemplating ending the relationship.

By then, their negative cycle has become an ingrained pattern.

Typically, couples who seek help early on have a better chance of working out their problems in couples therapy in a shorter amount of time. 

So, if you're having problems in your relationship, seek help sooner rather than later if you want to save your relationship.

Getting Help in Couples Therapy
If you and your partner have been struggling with ongoing problems, seek help from an Emotionally Focused therapist (EFT).

EFT has been shown in research to be an effective modality for helping couples to change their negative cycle.

Once you have learned how to change your negative cycle, you and your partner can have a more fulfilling relationship.

About Me
I am a licensed New York City psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR, AEDP, EFT, Somatic Experiencing and Sex Therapist.

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (917) 742-2624 during business hours or email me.

Monday, May 6, 2024

How to Use "Anchors" to Cope With Trauma-Related Triggers - Part 2

In Part 1 of this topic, I defined anchors and how they are used to cope with psychological triggers based on a history of trauma. 

If you haven't read Part 1, I suggest you read that article first to understand the current article.

How to Use Anchors to Cope With Triggers

In the current article, I'm providing examples of how anchors can be used for trauma-related triggers as well as other situations where you might feel anxious, emotionally overwhelmed or stressed.

Anchors can be used between therapy sessions to help you cope with disturbing thoughts, feelings or memories that might come up for you. 

Note: If you're in therapy, always speak to your therapist first before you try using anchors or any other type of resource or coping skill.

Examples of How to Use Anchors to Cope
As mentioned in my prior article, anchors can be used any time you're experiencing distress. Your experience doesn't need to be trauma related.

Here are two examples of how to use external and internal anchors (the cases presented below are composites of many cases with different names and all identifying information removed to protect confidentiality):

    Panic Attacks
Panic attacks bring intense fear and physical reactions, including symptoms of depersonalization (a condition where the person feels disconnected from their body, emotions and environment) where there is no real danger or apparent cause. Panic attacks are frightening. Some people feel they are losing control or even dying when they have a panic attack (see my article: Tips For Coping With Panic Attacks).

    Using An External Anchor

John can usually sense when he's about to have a panic attack because he starts to feel disconnected from his body. 

His panic attacks have been much less frequent since he started working with an Experiential Therapist.  However, he still gets them from time to time, so his therapist recommended that he carry a small stone in his pocket which is meaningful to him because he found the stone when he was a child looking for an unusual stone with his grandfather. 

When he feels the onset of a panic attack, John holds the stone in his hand and it brings back happy memories of feeling safe and secure with his grandfather, and it helps to ground and calm him. 

Journaling Between Therapy Sessions

Once he is calm again, he writes about his experience in his journal to put words to his experience and to be able to discuss what happened at his next session with his psychotherapist (see my article: The Benefits of Journaling Between Therapy Sessions).

    Using an Internal Anchor

Since she started EMDR Therapy, Alice rarely has panic attacks anymore. 

Prior to EMDR therapy, she would have a panic attack whenever she visited her parents. She would feel like she was a helpless and hopeless child again (see my article: Feeling Like a Helpless Child Again During Family Visits).

However, even though she is coping better with triggers involved with being around her parents, there are still times she feels like she regresses when her parents criticize her.

Her therapist taught her to use an internal anchor based on the Somatic Experiencing concept of pendulation, which is also called oscillation in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (see my article: Coping with Emotional Distress By Using the Somatic Experiencing Technique of Pendulation).

Pendulation is similar to Babette Rothschild's concept of Dual Awareness which she writes about in her book, The Body Remembers: The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma Treatment.

Similar to a swinging pendulum or watching a pendulum on a grandfather clock, pendulation involves shifting your awareness back and forth between a sense of safety in one part of your body to the emotional activation in another part of your body.

In Alice's case, she learned in therapy how to use her felt sense in her body to identify a place of safety. Most of the time, her place of safety is in her heart area.  She also learned to identify areas in her body of anxious activation which usually involves her stomach.

Pendulation For Coping

When she is on the verge of having a panic attack or she is actually having a panic attack, Alice senses into her place of safety, her heart, and she senses the feeling of safety. Her heart area is her internal anchor. 

Then she senses briefly into the area where she feels anxious, her stomach, and she shifts her awareness back to her chest, her place of safety. She continues to pendulate her awareness back and forth between her place of safety and her place of anxious activation until she is able to calm herself. 

Then she talks about what triggered her in her next therapy session so she and her therapist can work on this issue.

Other Examples of When to Use Anchors:
As previously mentioned, you can also use anchors for temporary relief when you feel 
  • Anxious
  • Stressed
  • Emotionally overwhelmed or flooded 
  • Other types of emotional distress
Internal Anchors vs External Anchors
The external anchors tend to be easier for most people to use because they are meaningful concrete objects that you can carry with you: a stone, a shell, a picture of a relaxing place, and so on.

The internal anchors take practice to learn. If you're adapt at sensing emotions in your body, you can learn to detect where you feel safe in your body and where you feel activated.  If not, you will need to practice sensing emotions and activation in your body with a therapist who works in an embodied/experiential way.

Sensing emotions and activation in your body is one of the skills Experiential Therapists help clients to develop. It's a very useful skill because you can use it on your own between sessions or whenever you need it. 

If you're trying this on your own, you might want to start with an external anchor, especially if you haven't yet developed the felt sense skill.

Getting Help in Therapy
If you have been struggling on your own, you could benefit from seeking help from an Experiential Therapist.

Experiential Therapy is an umbrella term for mind-body oriented therapy modalities like:
  • EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy
  • AEDP (Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy)
  • Somatic Experiencing
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Emotionally Focused Therapy, among others

Getting Help in Experiential Therapy

A skilled Experiential Therapist can help you overcome obstacles that keep you from living a  meaningful and more fulfilling life.

About Me
I am a licensed New York City experiential psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR, AEDP, Emotionally Focused Therapist for couples, Somatic Experiencing and Sex Therapist.

I work with individual adults and couples (see my article: What is a Trauma Therapist?).

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (917) 742-2624 during business hours or email me.


Sunday, May 5, 2024

How to Use "Anchors" to Cope With Trauma-Related Triggers - Part 1

As a trauma therapist in New York City, one of the questions I often get from clients is how to  cope with trauma-related triggers (see my article: Reacting to Your Present Circumstances Based on Your Traumatic Past).

Using Anchors For Trauma-Related Triggers

What Are Trauma-Related Triggers?
A trauma-related trigger is a psychological stimulus that causes an involuntary recall of a previous traumatic experience (see my article: Becoming Aware of Psychological Triggers).

Trauma triggers are also called a trauma stimulus, a trauma stressor or a trauma reminder.

The trigger doesn't have to be directly related to traumatic memories from the past. It can be indirectly or superficially related to these memories. 

When someone experiences a trauma trigger, they often feel overwhelmed. 

Some people experience panic attacks or a flashback, including an emotional flashback.

Using Anchors For Trauma-Related Triggers

If someone is really overwhelmed, they might feel the urge to flee the situation or they might freeze (become immobilized) in place (the trauma responses are fight, flight, freeze or fawn).

They might also try to avoid situations where they might get triggered, but this isn't always possible and, even when it is, it's not a solution to the problem. 

Also, avoidance can lead to a person's life becoming small and narrow with increasing urges to avoid more and more situations (see my article: 8 Tips For Coping With Triggers).

Triggers are personal and specific for each person.

Triggers can include but are not limited to:
  • A sight
  • A scent
  • A sound
  • A taste
  • A sensation
  • An argument
  • Certain times of the day
  • Specific dates or certain times of the year
  • Certain places
  • Certain activities
  • A certain person or certain people
  • Certain emotions
  • Certain situations
When someone experiences a trigger, it means that the psychological stimulus goes beyond their window of tolerance so they feel emotionally dysregulated.

Using an anchor can help someone who is triggered to feel emotionally regulated again in the moment. This doesn't mean the problem is resolved. It's a temporary way of self soothing in the moment, but knowing how to self soothe in this way can make a big difference in coping temporarily.

A long term solution would be to work with a trauma therapist who does Experiential Therapy (see my article: What is Experiential Therapy and Why Is It More Effective Than Regular Talk Therapy to Overcome Trauma?).

What Are Anchors?
Basically, anchors are different ways of grounding or emotionally regulating yourself so that, when you are emotionally overwhelmed, you come back into a calmer state of mind in the present moment.

Using Anchors to Calm Yourself

There are many different kinds of anchors.

Choosing an anchor that works for you is a personal choice and you might find that certain anchors work better than others.

Internal Anchors
Internal anchors can include:
  • Engaging in mindfulness meditation (precaution: for some people who have a history of trauma, this can be triggering, so you have to know what works for you)
External Anchors
External anchors can include:
  • Touching a particular object (a favorite stone or any small object you can carry with you that is personally meaningful and calming)
  • Smelling a particular calming scent (some people carry small bottles of lavender oil with them to smell when they feel triggered)
An Anchor Can Be Listening to Relaxing Music

  • Listening to relaxing music
  • Seeing natural surroundings in nature where you focus on the particular colors, shapes and, if relevant, textures (some people find it soothing to take a walk in nature and observe the trees, flowers or look up at the clouds)
Next Article
In my next article, I'll expand on this topic with more information about how you can use anchors to cope with triggers: 

Getting Help in Trauma Therapy
As I mentioned earlier in this article, anchors are a resource you can use to calm yourself temporarily when you're experiencing trauma-related triggers, but anchors are not a long term solution.

Getting Help in Trauma Therapy

Working with a trauma therapist who uses Experiential Therapy can help you to overcome trauma so you're no longer triggered.

Experiential Therapy is an umbrella term for different types of mind-body oriented therapy, including:
  • EMDR Therapy (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
  • AEDP (Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy) 
  • Parts Work (Ego States Therapy and Internal Family Systems)
Rather than struggling on your own, seek help from a skilled trauma therapist so you can free yourself from your traumatic history and lead a more fulfilling life.

About Me
I am a licensed New York City psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR, AEDP, Somatic Experiencing and Sex Therapist 

I work with individual adults and couples. 

As a trauma therapist, I have helped many clients to overcome psychological trauma (see my article: What is a Trauma Therapist?).

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (917) 742-2624 during business hours or email me.