When people first learn about TMS they tend to have a lot of questions about how to get better and what techniques they should use to recover. Some also have difficulty exploring their emotions, partially due to their long history of repressing. To help answer some of these questions, the PTPN hosted several webinars where peers could ask questions to and interact with TMS practitioners and authors. To date, there have been eight webinars: June 8th, 2012 with Alan Gordon, LCSW, July 17th, 2012 with Alan Gordon, September 15th, 2012 with Peter Zafirides, MD, October 27th, 2012 with Steve Ozanich, November 14th, 2012 with David Schechter, MD and Arnold Bloch, LCSW, March 18th, 2013 with Alan Gordon, March 4, 2014 with Stephen Conenna, and March 25, 2014 with Steve Ozanich.
The format of each webinar is slightly different. Some focused primarily on answering people's questions, while others sought to help callers address and process repressed emotions. While each event is different, they all serve as terrific educational opportunities and resources for the TMS community.
- 1 Alan Gordon, LCSW: June 8th, 2012
- 2 Alan Gordon, LCSW: July 21, 2012
- 3 Peter Zafirides, MD: September 15, 2012
- 4 Steve Ozanich: October 27, 2012
- 5 David Schechter, MD and Arnold Bloch, LCSW: November 14, 2012
- 6 Alan Gordon, LCSW: March 18, 2013
- 7 Stephen Conenna: March 4, 2014
- 8 Steve Ozanich: March 25, 2014
Alan Gordon, LCSW: June 8th, 2012
The first TMS webinar was on June 8th, 2012 with special guest Alan Gordon, LCSW. The format of this webinar consisted of multiple deep consults, where Alan gave personalized feedback to callers. Each consult was like a brief therapy session. During the event Alan interacted with three callers, Annie, Pranav, and Ginger. Two of the major themes addressed in this call are standing up to our inner bully and overcoming emotional neglect.
The first caller of the event was Annie. She had been going through financial stress, and had a tendency to emotionally beat herself up. Hence, the theme of this mini-session was self-bullying. In this session Alan brought up the idea of standing up to your "inner bully," and demonstrated this concept through the painting of "Jody's Brain." The lesson here is that if we do not stand up to our inner bully we continue to repress our inner rage and fuel our symptoms.
Another highlight of the June 8th webinar was the session with Ginger, which addressed emotional neglect. A common tactic for TMSers is to use defense mechanisms to repress our emotions. In this mini-session Alan helps Ginger get in touch with her repressed emotions, and her understand that feeling emotions does not make you a bad person.
Alan Gordon, LCSW: July 21, 2012
In July of 2012, Alan Gordon hosted another webinar. The format of this session was similar to the previous one, as it consists of one-on-one consults with callers. Participants in this call include, Brandon and Dustin. Themes addressed in this session are why some people treat themselves like second class citizens, and how to get in touch with repressed rage. Dr. Sarno says that rage is the primary cause of TMS. In this call, Alan helps one caller, Dustin, learn how to recognize his rage, and understand that just because you have feelings of anger does not mean you will act upon this anger. There are several moving mini-sessions during this event where Alan works with individuals in getting in touch with their emotions.
Peter Zafirides, MD: September 15, 2012
In September of 2012, TMS psychiatrist, Peter Zafirides, MD, hosted a webinar where he answered questions posed by callers. The format of this event was similar to a call in radio show. During the broadcast, Dr. Zafirides described the Existential Psychotherapy approach to TMS and answered questions from participants on how to recover from TMS. Other themes discussed in this webinar include the similarities between addiction and TMS, along with how to get unstuck. Dr. Zafirides hosts the Healthy Mind Radio Show, and is a board member of the PPDA.
Steve Ozanich: October 27, 2012
TMS author and former patient Steve Ozanich was a special guest during a webinar in October of 2012. Steve Ozanich wrote the book, The Great Pain Deception, where he gives an account of his own history with chronic pain and the steps he took to recover from over 18 years of symptoms. During this event, Steve Ozanich discussed some of the steps he took, as well as the knowledge he gained on his road to recovery. Steve provided terrific insights into what it is like to have TMS, and provided listeners with tips on how to avoid common pitfalls, such as digging for "the thing" they are repressing and struggling to think psychologically. This event is different from others held by the PTPN in that it featured a peer and what he did to recover.
David Schechter, MD and Arnold Bloch, LCSW: November 14, 2012
This event was unique in that it brought a physician, therapist, and medical student together to discuss their unique perspectives on TMS treatment. Dr. Schechter trained under Dr. Sarno and wrote the TMS Workbook. In addition, he has researched the effectiveness of the TMS approach and spoke at two TMS conferences. Arnold Bloch has been treating clients with TMS for over 10 years, and studied under Donald Dubin, who was himself a student of Dr. Sarno's. This event consisted of a round-table discussion on a variety of TMS-related topics. Callers submitted questions to the discussants who drew from their experiences in responding.
Alan Gordon, LCSW: March 18, 2013
On March 18th, Alan Gordon returned to host the PTPN's first special webinar of 2013. This webinar focused specifically on how to overcome anxiety, and how to change reactions to fear to avoid fueling TMS pain. Like the past two webinars he hosted, Alan spoke with callers on the line to help them through their specific struggles.
Stephen Conenna: March 4, 2014
TMS author Steve Conenna joined the weekly call-in discussion group on March 4th, 2014 to share his TMS success story and talk about his book, Use Your Mind to Heal Your Body. Steve, who was also a patient of TMS psychologist Eric Sherman, PsyD, spent the first part of this special event telling his recovery story similar to how he did in Dr. Sarno's Alumni Panels (where Dr. Sarno's former patients told their recovery stories to people new to TMS), which he created. The second part of this webinar was devoted to Q&A, where Steve was able to elaborate on the factors he found most important and influential to overcoming TMS.
Steve Ozanich: March 25, 2014
For six and a half months, the weekly call-in discussion group read Steve Ozanich's The Great Pain Deception chapter by chapter. On March 25th, one week after the group concluded its discussion of his book, Steve Ozanich joined the discussion group for a special two-hour event. Unlike his previous webinar in 2012, this event followed more of a question and answer format where Steve gave personalized feedback to callers on the line.
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