Monday’s Modalities: discussion of therapeutic modalities we use, are interested in, wonder about, and work with. New concept – Lessons Learned. Tie in with the experience being a therapist with a stutter, and the merge of SLP and mental health therapies

Trauma Freeze & Thaw: Trauma is stored in the right side of the brain. When it is activated it freezes the integrative processes of the brain. Information becomes stored in fragmented forms on the right side.

Sometimes as stutterers we get caught in a cognitive or emotional loop, repeating the same negative thoughts or feelings (or both) over and over.  We can either access or are frozen out of our memories of our early childhood memories. Many of these memories brought mean and negative feedback from others, and then the frozen moment of fear, shame, anxiety, confusion, and coldness.  My own frozen state did not want to remember the painful memories. I was over exposed to the all those negative reactions of others, and did not have enough coping skills to shield myself.

Frozen States = negative & traumatic experiences + isolation + shame + fear. Keeping memories locked away, “not remembering” any experience whether good or bad, keeps this locked in lonely feelings locked away.

In my own personal work the use of cognitive and emotional interweaves brought into my work with my therapist brought a gentle flow that thawed this frozen state. Through gentle reprocessing the frozen states the processing flows.

Traumatic experiences often seem to be stored in one part of the body-mind without being affected by more current information a.k.a “nothing I do today seems to impact the frozen states” of the past. “The use of interweaves create a bridge between the parts of the client’s mind that have been separated. Cognitive, psychodynamic, and body / mind interviews facilitate the processing, provide developmental repair, increase ego strength, and move the self to greater stability.” [1]

Today, as a psychotherapist I pull from my experience with traumatic experiences of the frozen state. Sometimes as stutterers we get caught in a cognitive or emotional loop, repeating the same negative thoughts or feelings (or both) over and over.

I often bring in the gentle interweaves with my patients.  My clinical training as a Trauma Informed Therapist gives the clinical tools, and my years of experience in the “frozen state” gives me the inner strength to hold the space open for my clients to work through their own thawing process.

What process do you bring from your Stuttering past and Clinical training into the room with your patients?

Elizabeth Kapstein

Monday, October 5, 2015

[1] Parnell, L (2015) Transforming Trauma with EMDR: Basic Training Manual

 

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Monday’s Modalities: discussion of therapeutic modalities we use, are interested in, wonder about, and work with. New concept – Lessons Learned. Tie in with the experience being a therapist with a stutter, and the merge of SLP and mental health therapies — 6 Comments

  1. I really loved this post. Although I am not a person who stutters, I am a speech-language pathology graduate student learning to work with individuals with fluency disorders. Do you have any advice for speech pathologists? What can we bring into the therapy room to give our clients the tools to thaw out these “frozen states”? What is the best way to react when our clients get caught in that emotional loop of negativity?

    Thank you.

    • Thank you for you for your thoughtful comments and questions. Frozen states are exactly what they sound like. They are experiences when our internal process become locked down. Clients tend to believe they have few options to “get out of it” and move into other options.

      My work is to introduce options from multiple modalities to create a personalized toolbox of options:

      Grounding exercises are a great start to bring air, circulation, and movement back into the body and mind. I generally like to walk people through this ten-minute Ground option from Seeking Safety. Part of the process is to have the clients figure out which part of what works for them. Check it out at http://www.e-tmf.org/downloads/Grounding_Techniques.pdf

      Stop, Breathe, & Think is a wonderful app that offers short mindful meditations that help you get into the “now.” Check it out at http://stopbreathethink.org/. (Note: I suggest for clients to get a bluetooth ear piece and listen it on their phones where they are. It’s travels with you anywhere.

      Self-Esteem Workbook” by David Burns @www.feelgood.com. I really like to work with clients to choose tools from the workbook that work for them. There are multiple wonderful tools in identifying negative thinking and ways to move them out.

      hope this helps. Just let me know.

      Best

      Elizabeth (www.ektherapy.com)

  2. Some stutterers always get caught in this phase. Maintainance of fluent speech is difficult. No fluency technique works, for last five yrs. Can not get him move on. Pls suggest

    • Dr. Asha,

      Thank you for your question. This is very true. We get caught in a phase and sometimes cannot move out. I would use the same tools as stated in the previous post. The idea is to get movement, air, circulation, and change thoughts for out clients. It is sometimes small small steps to get there and to see the change. Keep up the great work.

      Elizabeth

  3. Thank you for writing this post, I am studying go be a speech and language therapist and this was very insightful

    • Thank you for your kind words. Good luck in your studies. Come back and share what your experiences are in the future.

      Best

      Elizabeth Kapstein