Week 0

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The structured educational program provides you with daily tools to help reduce or eliminate your symptoms. Below is an outline of the general types of tools offered throughout the program. Understanding why each portion of the structured educational program exists can be helpful for recovery. Please keep in mind that although we call this Week 0, there is no "correct" timing. You should go through the material at a pace that feels relaxed and comfortable for you.

In designing this program we examined multiple online message boards, researched TMS books, studied the latest research on journaling, and learned from our own personal experience in overcoming TMS. These sources have shown that the methods outlined in this program can be effective in people who are treating TMS. We also found that the methods outlined in this program can be an emotional experience, as people begin to recognize deep strong feelings that they have been repressing. It is also vital that anyone going through this program be evaluated by a medical or mental health professional so they can rule out any serious condition. In our research for the program we found very little information on the success of these activities in treating people with PTSD, depression, or anxiety. If you have one of these conditions and wish to do this program we strongly recommend you do so under the care and guidance of a medical or mental health professional.

It is important to note that during the program you may start to notice surprising changes in your symptoms. Maybe your symptoms begin moving around, or even get worse, as you continue with the program. This can be very scary, but it is important to know that it is not an uncommon experience. If this happens to you, thank your pain. Thank it for reminding you that there is still more work to be done and soothe it. Let it know that it will be okay, and that you will be safe. See if you can get in touch with your tension, figure out what it needs to be calmed down, perhaps even speak firmly to it (with power), and make sure that you aren't allowing it to control you. The program should help you with these steps. Of course, if you are seeing a mental health professional, you should let them know about any changes in your pain. We also encourage all participants in the program to reach out for support on the Structured Educational Program subforum. Other people who have, or had, TMS are great resources during this time.

Program Structure:

Educational Activity: “The information provided is the “penicillin” for this disorder” -Dr. John Sarno

Everyday the program provides an educational article or video for you to read or watch. The educational exercises are designed to inform you of the TMS theory and help you understand what is causing your pain, and how to overcome your symptoms. This knowledge will become the foundation of your TMS cure.

Informational box: Occasionally we will have a guest post about different components of mental health, to ensure that this is the correct program for you. If you are a professional working with TMS clients or an alumni of the structured educational program who would like to share your experience and add your own content, we would love to hear from you! Please contact us through email:TMS Wiki email address for more information


Journaling
Journal Activity:

“Often the abusive or neglectful way that we treat ourselves, consciously and unconsciously, can lead to the development of symptoms” –Alan Gordon, LCSW

Journaling can be a very effective way to explore past life events, current stressors, and aspects of your personality that may contribute to TMS. The program’s series of journal activities are designed to help you recognize repressed emotions and possible triggers of your symptoms. There are several different journaling techniques that you will be taught and guided through. By using different techniques you will be able to look at events and situations from different perspectives and gain new insights into the possible triggers of your symptoms. Alan Gordon’s TMS Recovery Program provides a wonderful overview of the psychological component of TMS, and offers tools to help you identify some of the areas that you might begin to address through journaling. We highly recommend that you read the TMS Recovery Program this week, before beginning to journal. In addition, journal entries may bring up intense emotions. These exercises are not meant to replace work with a therapist.


Success Story: Reading how other people became pain-free can help you accept your diagnosis, in addition to providing guidance throughout your treatment. It is highly recommend that you read at least one success story every day. Some days success stories are linked within the structured educational program, other days we encourage you to find your own success story on the Structured Educational Program subforum or to re-read your favorite success story.


Question To Ponder
Question to ponder:

These questions are designed to help jumpstart your mind to begin thinking about certain issues you might be avoiding or forgetting to address in your journaling. While you do not need to spend a significant amount of time on these questions, it is important to keep these questions in the back of your mind as you go about your day. It is encouraged that, when you feel comfortable, you post responses to these questions in the subforum. This is a great way to connect with others in the TMS community and get inspiration from others who have experience with the program.