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                    Acacia Counseling
           Gene Douglas, M.Ed. LPC LMFT


To treat a problem using TAT, follow these instructions:
1.) Rate the strength of your feeling you are experiencing right now, on a scale of 1-10, when you think of the problem.
That number is the SUD (Subjective Units of Discomfort.)
2.) Put your thumb against the inside corner of one eye. Place the ring finger against the inside corner of the other eye.
3.) Place the middle two fingers against your forehead, about a quarter inch above a line between the eyebrows so the
two fingers are lined up with the upper part of the eyebrow.
4.) Cup the other hand, and place it behind your head, with the thumb against your neck, right where it meets the base of the skull.
The little finger will be pressed against your head where it rests. Don't lay your hand flat against your head.
5.) Close your eyes and think of the feeling or event or person that bothers you. Continue for one minute, or until you feel a "shift"
in your body before that. This may be a reflexive sigh.
6.) Keep your pose, and repeat a statement reminding you of the problem in your mind. It may be a person's name,
a phrase about what happened, or the name of the feeling. Continue repeating for one minute, or until you feel a shift.
7.) Keep the pose, and repeat in your mind a statement which is opposite of the problem -- even if you don't believe it.
This might be "I will feel comfortable when I do that," or "I will feel calm and relaxed," whatever is opposite to what has been the case.
Continue repeating for one minute, or until a shift occurs.
8.) Keep the pose, and concentrate your attention on the part of your body where you feel your feelings. That will be different for different people.
Continue for one minute, or until a shift occurs.
9.) Rate your SUD again.

TAT Links:
Learning and Using TAT
How To Do TAT

Recommended Reading


Are You a Worry Wart?

Worrying is a choice or at least, a conditioned response. You choose to worry, because it serves you in some way. 

Telling people how worried you are may give you an excuse to cancel something. It also can be used as an excuse for doing something poorly.

Worry may be a way to try to connect with people. You may have the mistaken idea that if you worry about someone, that means you love them, and if you don't worry, then you must not really care.

Worry may make you feel powerful because at least when you worry — and make sure other people know you are worrying — you feel like you're doing something.

Worry can be a habit, and you may be unaware of how much time you give to ruminating about possible scary events.  One could call it a form of self-harassment.

That is why it is important to pay attention to the chatter going on in your mind and to notice the feelings that are being generated by your thoughts, because carrying around those anxious thoughts may make you prone to physical ailments, such as headaches, muscle spasms and gastrointestinal problems.

In order to calm yourself, you may begin to abuse alcohol or prescription drugs, or engage in compulsive behaviors such as eating disorders, gambling, workaholism or sex addiction. While that may provide some temporary relief, when “the fix” wears off, you're back to the worrying and that sets you up to abuse again.

Worry keeps you from thinking clearly and wastes time. It does not help you find solutions and can become a substitute for taking action.

Telling someone not to worry does not make that happen (unless one promises to remedy the problem, and is able to do that.)   The person may still have the strong feeling that constantly thinking of the worst that could happen seemingly has some magical power to stave it off, compared to not thinking about it. 

This is completely curable, and very rapidly so.  See the article on "Unseen Therapist Within."