Alyce Galea, Psychologist
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is an evidence based approach that is very commonly used at our practice.
The core principles of ACT are:
The “Passengers on the Bus” metaphor, and it’s variations, is a popular and effective way to gain new perspective on the impacts of “giving in” to your unhelpful thoughts and discomfort.
This video is a play on the metaphor and describes your life journey as a plane ride.
Let’s refer to your unhelpful thoughts and difficult feelings as “bossy passengers” on your plane.
If the passengers on your life plane were saying awful things about you and making you doubt yourself how would you feel?
Would it be fair to stop the plane to argue with these passengers?
What might you miss out on if you “give in” to the bossy passengers and let them fly your plane?
What might happen instead if you made space for these unpleasant passengers and continued guiding your plane in the direction you wanted to take?
With support from our clinicians, you can start to identify some of these “bossy passengers” and unwanted thoughts and feelings, and learn how to make space for them.
Alyce Galea, Psychologist
Urge surfing is a helpful technique when your way of dealing with stress and overwhelm is particularly unhelpful, unhealthy or harmful.
For example, if your automatic response to feeling overwhelmed is to over eat, use substances or self harm, then this technique is an important one to learn and practice.
The goal of this technique is to delay acting on the urge, until the feeling of the urge goes away.
One way to think about an urge is like the urge being a wave and you being a surfer. A surfer doesn’t fight against the wave or run away from the wave, instead, they ride the wave until they reach the shore. Urge surfing is about riding the emotional wave. Not fighting with the need to resist the urge, and not giving into the urge. Simply noticing the urge and letting it run its course.
Mastering this technique will take some time, patience and practice. But once you are able to get the hang of it, you’ll be better able to regulate your emotions in a helpful and healthy way.
The easiest way to practice urge surfing is to set timed intervals between when you first notice the urge, and when you allow yourself to act on the urge, and then do something during that time to distract yourself and keep you busy.
Things you could do to distract yourself could be to:
The more you practice this skill, the easier it will be for you to ride out the urge wave and not let the urge dominate your thoughts.
If you are struggling with managing unhelpful thoughts or urges, please book an appointment with one of our psychologists
Did you know that the average person can have up to 60,000 thoughts in one day?!
Even without being fully aware of what we’re thinking, our brain is often going a million miles per hour.
And a lot of what we think is negative, and the same worries that we had yesterday.
This makes sense from an evolutionary perspective, because our ancestors needed to constantly be scanning their environments for threats and pre-empting any potential dangers.
Helpful when being attacked by a sabre toothed tiger was a legitimate concern, but not so much in our day to day lives!
Here are some quick tips if you find yourself worrying a lot...
- try to catch yourself when you’re having a negative thought
- ask yourself “Is this thought true and helpful?” and “What might happen if I choose to ignore this thought?”
If you experience worry or anxiety and would like support, please contact the clinic to book an appointment with one of our psychologists
Do you know the phrase “Making a mountain out of a molehill”?
This can be all too familiar for people who experience anxiety
One fleeting thought can trigger a spiral of related thoughts and worries
And almost immediately what might have seemed like only a minor worry has become an overwhelming thought
When you notice yourself spiralling, it can help to stop and question the thought
You might want to ask yourself whether the thought is a fact, and try to find evidence to support or debunk your worry
You’ll likely find that the thought is just that...a thought!
If you are wanting support to manage worry or anxiety, please book an appointment with one of our friendly psychologists