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Alex B. Are there stages to TMS therapy?

Discussion in 'Ask a TMS Therapist' started by Guest, Apr 7, 2015.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    This question was submitted via our Ask a TMS Therapist program. To submit your question, click here.

    Question
    Hello,
    I am contemplating TMS therapy. I spoke with a TMS therapist who told me on *average* one can expect to see significant reduction of symptoms or even elimination of symptoms in 8-12 sessions.

    I was wondering if there were stages to treatment. Not necessarily official stages, but generally as far as you've seen anecdotally, specific things you focus on in the first few sessions, in the middle of treatment, and then toward the end.

    Thanks!
    John
     
  2. Alex Bloom LCSW

    Alex Bloom LCSW TMS Therapist

    Answer
    Hi John,

    Thanks for the question. When I first start working with my clients I usually give them a similar time frame. It's very common for people to ask how long they can expect to be doing this. Of course, every single person is different and has individual needs and their own story of how they've arrived at their current state. However, in my experience, if things have not begun to shift and change within that many sessions, then generally I advise that they try a different approach.

    The good thing about the time frame that you were quoted is that it gives you some time to dive into the work and let things unfold, session by session. One of the pitfalls of quoting a hard deadline for progress would be the pressure that this would put on you as a client, as well as the therapist. If you expect to be pain free by your third session, imagine the pressure you will be putting on yourself during the session! Or for that matter the week before. People who suffer from TMS almost always have issues around pressuring themselves, pushing towards problem-solving and getting thing "right". This is usually a big part of why they have symptoms. It is important to try and avoid approaching TMS therapy from this place of pressure. You can't solve a problem using the methods that got you into it in the first place.

    That being said, you should be tracking your efforts. This means trying to keep the contents of your sessions present in your mind, thinking about what you talk about and the new perspectives that are hopefully opening up for you as you and your therapist work collaboratively to understand the maladaptive patterns that are leading to your symptoms. What it doesn't mean is constantly monitoring your pain and progress every moment and pressuring yourself to "get better now". It's a process and it's important to be patient with yourself as you undertake what can be challenging work.

    As far as stages to treatment, I think each therapist will have their own approach and again, each client will be different. At the Pain Psychology center we generally begin by getting some background you and your diagnosis so we can help you to reframe the meaning of your pain. Symptoms response and outcome independence can also be important aspects of the earlier sessions. As we move forward the work begins to become about the underlying causes that are perpetuating your TMS symptoms. We work to help the client 1) see the connection between their symptoms and the fear those symptoms generate, 2) understand what the fear and anxiety are distracting them from and 3) to face, understand and tolerate what it is they find under the surface. Now of course there are different ways of accomplishing those steps and each client and therapist will approach them in their own way.


    Any advice or information provided here does not and is not intended to be and should not be taken to constitute specific professional or psychological advice given to any group or individual. This general advice is provided with the guidance that any person who believes that they may be suffering from any medical, psychological, or mindbody condition should seek professional advice from a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions. No general advice provided here should be taken to replace or in any way contradict advice provided by a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions.

    The general advice and information provided in this format is for informational purposes only and cannot serve as a way to screen for, identify, or diagnose depression, anxiety, or other psychological conditions. If you feel you may be suffering from any of these conditions please contact a licensed mental health practitioner for an in-person consultation.

    Questions may be edited for brevity and/or readability.

     
    Walt Oleksy likes this.
  3. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, John. Alex Bloom has given you an excellent reply, far better than I could.
    I healed from severe back pain by believing that TMS repressed emotions caused it.
    But I only healed about 90 percent until I believed 100 percent in TMS.
    For me, those were the "stages" of TMS therapy.
     

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