The Mental Health Post

Mental Health News and Views

Techniques to Help With Insomnia

Many insomniacs have problems with a racing mind keeping them awake. Or they lay in bed tossing and turning ruminating about what happened during the day or what might happen tomorrow.

Here are a few simple techniques that might help.

1. It does absolutely no good to yourself thinking about things when you should be sleeping. The bed is a place for sleep. Your desk is a place to work out problems. Tell yourself, “It’s not doing me any good to  lay awake thinking about my problems/worrying about something that might happen/ruminating about the past. I’ll think about those things tomorrow, instead. And I’ll be sure to worry about what I’m worrying about right now. Usually when we try to intentionally worry about something, it’s not so easy to do. The worries become trivial and we realize that they’re not worthy worrying about.

2. #1 is not that easy to do, especially if has become habitual. This technique is similar to meditation. Whey you’re trying to fall asleep, focus your attention on your breathing — specifically the sensation of air moving in and out of your nostrils. Feel the cool air moving in and the warm air flowing out. When you inhale, say to yourself “in.” When you exhale, say to yourself, “out.” At the same time, with your eyes closed and in a comfortable position, examine the darkness. Just look around and observe the graduations in darkness at the same time you’re observing your breathing and saying to yourself “in” and “out.” By engaging in these activities, there is no room left for ruminations or worry. And you’ll be asleep before you know it.

On Carl Rogers and Gloria

Rogers developed a personal relationship with Gloria, which many have deemed inappropriate. The father and daughter exchange seemed harmless enough, but afterwards, the relationship became even more personal, bordering on romantic tension. After the session, Rogers admitted that he regretted the relationship had to end. Even though it was only a 1/2 an hour or so, they developed a relationship that went beyond what today is acceptable in a therapist/client relationship.

Rogers’ technique seems to be to allow the client to drive the session and simply provide encouragement and support for whatever the client decides. Gloria seemed at times to be a little confused or annoyed that she wasn’t getting more input, but often, the client just needs someone to talk to. That’s something many cognitive therapists don’t understand.

But it seems that Rogers could have provided some suggestions, possibly by brainstorming ideas to solve the problem. The issue was Gloria’s lie to her daughter, which she felt had compromised her integrity. So, should she confess to the daughter that she lied? There are three options here.

1. Yes she could admit that she lied and they could have a completely open relationship where everything is shared. But that doesn’t quite seem appropriate for the 7 year old.

2. She could continue to lie to her daughter, perhaps until the daughter was old enough to understand.

3. Tell the daughter that there are some things that are personal, even between a mother and daughter, and that they’d talk about it when she was older.

Rogers technique was to just let the client do all the work, but there may be times when an objective observer could see possibilities that that evaded the client.

Of course, this therapy session occurred back in the 50s and was cutting edge at the time.

Integral Therapy

To make the person complete unto himself. A well rounded individual having dealt with all aspects of the self. Boosting self-esteem to eliminate weaknesses.

1. Living in the present. No dwelling on problems or the past but understanding the environment from which you  grew and continue to grow.

2. Intellectual curiosity. The desire to understand the world around you.

3. Hobbies.

4. Love. Family. Close friends.

5. Self-respect. Honoring your values and integrity.

6. Treating others with respect and empathy.

7. Doing work that’s fulfilling and making the world a better place.

8. Honesty in all aspects of your life.

9. Acceptance of yourself and of others.

10.  Leadership skills.

11. Communication skills.

12. Respect for heritage and tradition but forward thinking and progressive.

13. Interested in community.

Narration Mindfulness

Narration mindfulness is the practice of narrating your movements to help you keep in the moment. It’s designed to be for those who have tried mindfulness and mindfulness meditation but can’t seem to stop the monkey mind.

More to come…

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