An Excerpt from a
Get the Applications in One Easy-to-Use Guide
by Ruth Buczynski, PhD
with Ruth Lanius MD, PhD
4. How to Help Clients Awaken Their Emotions from a Shut-Down State
Not every client experiences traumatic memory with the same level of intensity or in the same part of the body. Dr. Lanius highlights the necessity of exercising caution when helping clients identify these sensations.
Again, we have to do this in a very much titrated fashion, depending on our client.
It takes us back to the body scans and to linking physical sensations with feeling states and emotions, keeping in mind that each feeling state or emotion has a body map.
For one person, sadness may be associated with a tight throat or a lump in the throat and a tensing of the neck, whereas others may experience sadness as tightness in the stomach and a feeling of heaviness in the shoulders.
We work with clients to identify what physical sensations are associated with what feeling states and emotions, very slowly and at a rate they can tolerate.
They don’t have words for their experiences – they can’t put their feelings into words – they don’t know what they feel. We have to assess that and really go at a pace that is comfortable.
(pp. 13 – 14 in you transcript)
5. How Drawing Can Help Clients Identify and Access Their Emotions
Dr. Lanius describes how she has used drawing as a means of helping clients identify feelings and emotions.
When we start to work with feeling states and body scans, I first start with psycho-education.
We talk about how each feeling state and emotion is associated with certain physical sensations in the body. Then, we have photocopy outlines of the body.
I say, “If you are interested, you can use these photocopies, or you can draw your own body. I want you to think about what physical association may be associated with sadness, fear, or anger. Start coloring in those bodies.”
Over time, as people become more aware of different feeling states, these drawings become more complex.
At first, they may associate sadness with just a feeling of heaviness in their shoulder, but as they become more aware of sensations in their body, they may also notice a heavy chest and a tension in their face.
As these physical maps become more complex, they can identify feeling states and the emotions they relate to much quicker.
(p. 14 in your transcript)
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