Emotional plumbing

It is sometimes difficult to help clients understand that the first priority is to tackle the day to day episodes of emotional distress they experience before trying to work on aspects of their early life that might be underlying their current difficulties.

It is like dealing with a plumbing emergency. The first task is to stop the water gushing out of the pipe. This is the equivalent of using mood management stategies in the heat of the moment to control the emotional flow. Only then can we begin to look at the system as a whole to understand what is causing the pressure to build up – the equivalent of identifying the factors that contribute to a person’s emotional vulnerability.

You should see me in action with my cognitive wrench!

Ruminations on dentistry

An unusual title maybe, but there is a link. Ruminating is both a psychological and oral activity. My (psychological) ruminations were triggered by a message I received from a client who had decided to visit his dentist instead of his psychologist. How bad must it be to prefer visiting your dentist rather than your psychologist?!

I am guilty of a classic thinking error – personalisation. I am sure that my client’s dental pain far outweighed his mental pain on this occasion. As a psychologist, I try to promote mental hygiene and recommend┬áregular mental flossing to remove the detritus of the day.