Double-click to start typing
Double-click to start typing

                    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

Making Amends

One of the steps in the AA program states that one is to make amends for harms he has done.  This is not done for the others, but for him/herself.  A person who leads a double life is a tormented person, and the person who is tormented may be inclined to drink to relieve his discomfort.

If one has behaved like a self-centered jackass in the past, he can be in denial and make excuses to suppress his conscience -- "He deserved it," "It didn't do any harm,"  "Nobody knows about it," and similar thoughts may pass through his mind, though a part of him knows better.  While he is engaging in double-think to try to feel better, he is pulling himself in two directions.

I have heard remarks to the effect that making amends only applies to things one did while he was drinking.  No, it just applies to things he did, period.  

He can feel a pang of conscience for things he did before he ever took his first drink, in sober periods in his early drinking days, and even since he quit. So long as he remembers a wrong he has done, it will bother him on some level, whether he is consciously aware of that or not.  (The exception is the psychopath, who isn't bothered by any wrong he does, no matter how serious.)  We can assume that you are not that, since nearly all people are not.

A person who has not had a drink in years, and then who cheats someone in a business deal risks his own sobriety.  He does himself a service not to do that,  and if he does do it, to make it up somehow. This can be tricky at times.  

A common quandary is of one who has cheated on his/her spouse or somebody else's spouse. If you apologize to somebody who  knew nothing about it,  you risk creating more trouble and more misery than if you had said nothing.  Your amends might be to not do that again, and perhaps be good to the other person in a way unrelated to the wrong done.

One might ask what to do if the person he offended is dead, or has moved to parts unknown.  Possibly he can make amends in his own mind by contributing to a charity or to the other's dependents in a way he would have wanted. In that case, give til it hurts, to be certain one hasn't cut corners and failed in some part of his mind to compensate for the wrong.

To repeat myself, the person isn't doing it for them.  He's doing it for himself.