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Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Danielle Szasz LMFT, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. Danielle Szasz LMFT

    Danielle Szasz LMFT TMS Therapist

    Hi all!

    I just wanted to take an opportunity to introduce myself. I have lurked here for years and have directed many clients here for help but have never actually posted! My name is Danielle Szasz, and I'm TMS therapist/coaching seeing clients in Southern California and via Skype. I was formerly the Director of Operations at the Pain Psychology Center and have been seeing clients there since 2013. I continue to see clients there and in my own private practice, which I opened in 2016, called Mind Heart Body Therapy. I have extensive training in Mindfulness and Mindful Self-Compassion and developed an 8-week course called Self-Compassion for TMS/Mind Body Syndrome that I periodically offer online. Self-Compassion is an evidence-based intervention that is an excellent antidote for the isolation, perfectionism, people pleasing, and shame that are so often interwoven with TMS/Mind Body Syndrome. I also am passionate about teaching people practical ways to use your body to calm your central nervous system since I and so many of my clients have struggled with trying to think our way out of it. You can read more about my approach here:

    http://www.danielleszasz.com/pain-management/ (Pain Psychology)

    I look forward to participating more in this community and to learning from you all!
  2. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Danielle, and welcome to the site! I love it when therapists take the time to introduce themselves. It makes them seem so much more approachable.

    I like the idea of using your body. Do you have any tips you like to use?
  3. Danielle Szasz LMFT

    Danielle Szasz LMFT TMS Therapist

    Hi Forest,

    Yes, I do! Here is one of my favorites: as mammals, one of the ways that we can tap into soothing our nervous system is through touch. If you have pets or kids you have probably noticed that one way to soothe them when they are frightened or anxious is through touch. That's because touch releases oxytocin which is a hormone that reduces cortisol and increases our sense of safety. The cool thing is that research shows that our nervous systems can't tell the difference between our own comforting touch or the comforting touch of someone else. So when I notice I'm feeling anxious or scared or overwhelmed I put my hand on my cheek or on my chest and take a deep breath. I also think it's helpful in that moment to gently acknowledge that it's a difficult moment and try to name the feeling. The saying is "Name it to tame it." Naming the feeling is a way to engage the prefrontal cortex which is the part of the brain that regulates emotion. And naming also reduces activity in the amygdala, the fear center. So I put my hand on my heart or chest and say something like, "This moment is really difficult. I'm feeling really scared that my pain will get worse." Then I take a couple of slow, deep breaths, again, because I want to use my body to let my brain know that we are safe and that there's no immediate threat.

    Hope that helps!
  4. veritybrown

    veritybrown New Member

    Danielle, this is really lovely, thank you.

    Sometimes running cold water over my wrists helps me snap out of it if I'm spiralling. I'm wondering now, after what you've said, whether this isn't just the effect of the sensation on my skin, feeling the water running over it, similar to stroking. Next time I'll try just stroking and see what happens.
  5. Danielle Szasz LMFT

    Danielle Szasz LMFT TMS Therapist

    Yes! Any sensory experience can be so helpful in grounding us in the present moment. Another one is trying to find something that engages each of your senses or feeling the sensation of your feet on the floor.
    veritybrown likes this.
  6. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Danielle,

    Welcome to the Forum! So glad to read your introduction and have you join our practitioner community here on the tmswiki.
    Danielle Szasz LMFT likes this.
  7. veritybrown

    veritybrown New Member

    Yes, I've found if you bend your knees very slightly you can feel more of your feet on the floor!

    Thank you, Danielle :)
    Danielle Szasz LMFT likes this.
  8. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hello Danielle, and welcome!

    I love this - it's a simple and memorable way to remember this concept, an outstanding example of constructive self-talk, which I think - feel - know! is vital to ending the spiral of negativity that our brains are so fond of putting us in.

    A year before I discovered Dr. Sarno, I was coached by a cranio-sacral doc to treat my own neck where my atlas-occipital joint would often go "out" on the right side. Whenever it did that there was a noticeable bump (my husband could definitely feel it) which was very painful and gave me terrible headaches, and I was constantly going to the chiropractor for it. This doc told me that I could keep that joint in place by myself. He said to gently stroke the joint (not even massaging it) back towards the center of my cervical spine, while talking to it and visualizing it moving back into place and staying there. And the astonishing thing is, it did. I never went back to the chiropractor, and in six years I rarely even need to employ the technique - maybe a couple of times. But it absolutely works. Again, that was a year before I knew about Dr. Sarno. Once I discovered the power of our minds to create physiological conditions, it all made sense.

    THIS is pure gold. Folks, just do this! :happy:

    Thank you for joining us Danielle, I look forward to your continued participation!

    Forest likes this.
  9. Danielle Szasz LMFT

    Danielle Szasz LMFT TMS Therapist

    Dear Jan,

    I am so glad to hear that this is stuff that you have almost intuitively picked up on through your years of healing your TMS. I truly am amazed by the wisdom we each have inside to heal ourselves. I am so looking forward to participating and to learning from you all what we practitioners could be doing to better serve.

  10. Danielle Szasz LMFT

    Danielle Szasz LMFT TMS Therapist

    Thank you, Ellen!
  11. Danielle Szasz LMFT

    Danielle Szasz LMFT TMS Therapist

    I love this tip and will definitely be trying it!
  12. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    Welcome Danielle!

    Great to have someone with your expertise in this forum. Look forward to reading your posts.
  13. Danielle Szasz LMFT

    Danielle Szasz LMFT TMS Therapist

    Thank you, Fred! I'm happy to be here :)

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