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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

Mental Health Professionals

There are a wide variety of mental health professionals, with an alphabet soup of letters after their names.  This includes an MSW (Master of Social Work) a CMSW (Clinical Master of Social Work) the latter trained in doing therapy.  

There is an LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) and an LMFT (Licensed Marital and Family Counselor.)  (I have an LPC and an LMFT.)  They all have at least a master's degree, of various names, such as M.S. (master of science) M.Ed. (master of education) and various other types. 

A psychologist has a Ph.D. and is more highly trained in doing research and in testing.  He is not allowed in many states to call himself a psychologist unless he is licensed to do therapy.  There is also a Psy.D. who has a doctorate, but has not done a dissertation, is less trained in research and testing, but better trained in doing therapy.  The Psy.D. may advertise himself as a "mental health practitioner," and may have an LPC or an LBP (licensed behavioral practitioner.)

In Oklahoma, people who are not psychologists are not allowed to use words like psychology, psychologist, or psychological in connection with their names or describing the work they do.

There are industrial psychologists, who determine the qualifications that make a person best suited to do a particular job, what conditions allow people to do the best job, and who test people to determine their qualifications for a particular job.  They do not do therapy.  In some states they must refer to themselves with another title if they are not licensed.

There are also sports psychologists, who help athletes to best train for maximum performance.  They do not do psychotherapy.  They may be required to call themselves by another title if they are not licensed.

There are school psychologists, who do testing and make recommendations for childrens' education.  They do not do therapy.

Some states have employees called "psychologists," who otherwise would not be.  That is just a job title for them.  Only a state or the federal government can legally do this.

There are fakers in this business, some of whom have a high school diploma, and others who have been candidates for licensure, who failed to get licensed because they could not pass the test, have not gone under supervision (required) or have let too much time go by before getting licensed, but continue to practice anyway.

They should be more than willing to show you a license hanging on the wall, or a card in their wallet or purse, showing that they are actually licensed therapists.  Unless they practice in several offices, they will probably have their diploma and license on the wall, as well.

A psychiatrist is an MD, and can prescribe medications.  If he is board certified, that means he has gone through his psychiatric training, has passed his tests, and has sat before a board and orally answered their questions.  If he is board qualified, that means he has done everything except passing his board examination.  A candidate is allowed to attempt to pass his boards several times.

In some states, including Oklahoma and Texas, any MD can volunteer to be a psychiatrist, and he is one, just like that, with no psychiatric training.  Sometimes a psychiatrist who is not board certified has done his training and passed his tests, but has not yet sat before a board.  In other cases, he has sat before the board, but has failed to receive certification.