In the face of overwhelming recession-based stress, therapy works again. With permission from my client, I'll tell you her story:
Several people were laid off at her job, a small business, which is a recession-vulnerable business. The newspapers are full of bad news. Other people she knows are out of work. Boeing, a major employer around here, is threatening massive layoffs. And she hasn't slept well for two weeks.
Knowing that she is a well-resourced and very sane person, we went right for the distress: "Think about the layoffs, the unemployment statistics, the mortgage problems, and that the papers say it's going to be worse." (She stiffened.) "Where do you feel it in your body?" Chest/Tight. "What color is in there?" Dark/Fear. I handed her the bilateral tappers and found the "brainspot" in her eyes. In about 8 minutes of referring back to her body, she visibly relaxed and yawned.
"Where do you feel strong and safe in your body?" Hips. "Color?" Pink. We brainspotted that. The pink deepened and rose in her body. She yawned, her face softened. She said "I'm finally going to able to sleep!" We pendulated between bad news and her body's sense of calm and pleasure. She found a feeling of gratitude and we focused on that. We installed the "AND" exercise: "The economy sucks AND I'm o.k." "There are more layoffs AND I can feel pleasure in my body." "The news is bad AND I can feel my strong, grounded hips." And we discussed the concept of surrender to what is, using my favorite line from the psychologist, Thom Negri: "What makes you think your life is any of your business."
You can read about a context for Therapy During Troubling Times right here.