When we are under high stress, it can be tempting to put off self-care. This can be especially true when our pre-covid routines have been so disrupted. But I hope that many of us have self-care activities that we have been able to keep, and perhaps have been able to find new ones. One of my favorites for myself and my clients is mindfulness, which is perhaps best practiced in isolation, and can be practiced almost anywhere and anytime we can find a few moments.
When I introduce myself as a sex therapist to other mental health providers and professionals in the medical field, I get a mixed bag of reactions. Some respond with enthusiastic curiosity about the strangest cases I’ve worked with in the past. More often; however, I encounter providers who give me a sideways glance and mutter an uneasy, “Oh, that’s interesting.”
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) was developed in the late 1980s as a psychological treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (Shapiro, 1989). It was based on the observation that the intensity of traumatic memories can be reduced through eye movements.
Understanding the importance of the mind and body connection was one of the most important goals early in my medical career. My interest in becoming a primary care provider was initiated by witnessing the necessity of practicing medicine within a biopsychosocial model of medicine to provide optimal health care and help address health disparities. During my family medicine residency, I had the amazing opportunity to co-train with clinical health psychology fellows training in a primary-care psychology program within a collaborative care model.
Loneliness has been described as a common source of discomfort based on a subjective discrepancy between the actual and desired social situation. For some people this feeling may become a sustained state that is associated with a wide range of psychiatric and psychosocial problems. While there are few existing treatment protocols, interventions based on cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) have shown positive effects.
A key aspect behind why MDMA is demonstrating effectiveness for the management and treatment of PTSD in a clinical setting, is its apparent ability to assist patients to be more expressive during a controlled psychotherapy session. MDMA appears to reduce anxiety associated with recalling traumatic experiences allowing for increased insight and memory. Negative memories are perceived as less negative allowing for the therapist and the patient to engage in productive therapeutic sessions without the patient becoming hyper-aroused due to stress.