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Amber M. What TMS approach should I focus on?

Discussion in 'Ask a TMS Therapist' started by Guest, Mar 18, 2015.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

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

    Question
    Hi,
    I have a question about what to focus on primarily with regard to getting rid of TMS pain. I've heard a lot of talk about ignoring symptoms, or overcoming the fear of symptoms, but I've also read a lot about repressed emotions and self-compassion and such.

    These sound like two completely different approaches. Which is the right treatment plan? How do you know what to focus on?
     
    Helenback likes this.
  2. Amber Murphy LCSW

    Amber Murphy LCSW TMS Therapist

    Answer
    I am so glad you asked this question. Often people get confused and try to implement every strategy at the same time. They can't decide if they should yell at their symptoms, check in to see what they are feeling or provide themselves with nurturing and self-compassion. Utilizing our two pronged approach can help bring clarity to this issue.

    In part one you will work on accepting the TMS diagnosis, work on reframing the meaning of your pain and work towards outcome independence. Remember, much of your recovery hinges on accepting your TMS diagnosis. You must truly believe and accept that the pain is caused psychologically and not structurally. The pain is real but it is created in your brain and not in your back or your leg or wherever else your symptoms may arise. This may be an ongoing process in which you add to your evidence sheet weekly to work towards accepting, on a gut level, that your symptoms are indeed TMS. This step cannot be skipped.

    Essentially, in part one you are taking the power away from the pain by defeating the fear and taking away all of the behaviors that have reinforced it. Reducing the fear you have around your symptoms can often be the fastest way to reduce your pain. The fear fuels your pain. The more afraid you are of it, the more power your symptoms have to distract and preoccupy you. Part one is the most important part in getting rid of your current symptoms!

    So then, you ask, why is part 2 important?

    Part two is important because it will help keep your symptoms at bay and ensure that a new symptom does not pop up to continue the cycle of distraction and preoccupation. In part two you will implement strategies that address attending to your emotions, how you treat yourself and how to attend to and regulate your body. This step is not only important to stop the perpetuation of your symptoms but because (most importantly) you deserve to be treated kindly and compassionately. Part two will help you change your relationship with yourself and teach you how to start taking care of yourself. If you implement these strategies and truly create a healthy relationship with yourself, you will no longer need your brain to distract and preoccupy you with pain. Be patient. This can be an on-going process that takes time. It took your lifetime to develop these patterns and it is going to take time to create new healthier patterns.

    You can read more in our online recovery program available here: http://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/TMS_Recovery_Program.

    GOOD LUCK!


    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.

     
    Barb M. and Walt Oleksy like this.
  3. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Guest, Amber's reply is great.

    I think they are both important and work together...ignoring the symptoms
    and not fearing them. Steve Ozanich writes about this in his marvelous book
    on TMS healing, The Great Pain Deception.

    I think you would benefit a great deal by reading that book and also
    starting the Structural Education Program, free in that subforum here.
    It is a wonderful daily short course in healing from TMS.

    I found the journaling to be especially helpful in healing my severe back pain.
    It led me to realize I had been repressing anger and other emotions for years,
    because of my parents divorcing when I was seven. It led me to realize they had
    TMS pains of their own, much of it from their childhoods. Better understanding them
    led me to forgiving them, and the pain went away.
     
  4. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    Those are 2 different things, ignoring symptoms and repressed emotions/compassion. The idea is to stop obsessing on your body and to begin to see the symptom as an emotion, and not as a physical problem.

    As far as which method is correct, the method chosen isn't as important as the acceptance that your symptoms are not body problems. There are some methods that can prolong pain though, in certain people.

    Nothing will work, though, without relaxation and compassion/forgiveness.
     

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