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Alan G. When journaling is counterproductive

Discussion in 'Ask a TMS Therapist' started by ellie freegan, May 11, 2015.

  1. ellie freegan

    ellie freegan Peer Supporter




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

    Question
    i have some current stressers that i think make me angry due to displaced anger are they still worth journalling about if they're not really the source of my anger
     
  2. Alan Gordon LCSW

    Alan Gordon LCSW TMS Therapist

    Answer
    Good lord, you know your psychology. Probably too well.

    I would say, sure, journaling about anything that's bothering could be beneficial.

    With regard to pain, I think that journaling has gotten too much attention. Often people journal because they feel like they have to do that in order to work toward becoming pain-free. If you do journal, it's important that the goal is to express feelings, attend to yourself, etc. Anything you do with the express purpose of getting rid of your pain just gives more attention to the pain.

    The best way to work toward eliminating your symptoms is to change the way you respond when the pain arises:
    http://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/TMS_Recovery_Program#Reframe_the_Meaning_of_the_Pain

    That, in and of itself, is often sufficient to significantly reduce symptoms.

    Attending to and expressing your emotions is a very self-loving thing to do, but when you do it as a means to an end, it often just elicits a feeling of pressure. It doesn't come from the right place and there's usually little benefit.

    Alan


    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.

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    honey badger, James59 and Walt Oleksy like this.
  3. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Dr. Gordon's advice is excellent, as always.
    I get some back pain now and then and just shrug it off.
    I don't let it worry me. I do some deep breathing and tell myself it is temporary and nothing to worry about.
    I just do what Steve Ozanich did when he played golf despite the pain. He concentrated on his game not his pain.
    I find distractions helpful... listen to music, play with my darling dog, make a big pot of chicken vegetable soup.
    Or I just laugh. I can't be worried about pain if I'm laughing, and laughter sends healing endorphins to
    our body and mind.
     
    honey badger likes this.

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