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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

Techniques & Services

There are several techniques I sometimes use, when therapeutically appropriate.

Family Therapy is very important.  I am around a client only one hour in a week, but family members are around him/her all day, seven days a week.  You can have far more effect on a family member than I can, especially a child, for that reason.  Changing the events in the environment can have powerful effects on the behavior and feelings of a family member.


Individual Counseling -- Sometimes a person is not involved with his family, and neither are his symptoms.  In this case, individual counseling may be appropriate.  Individual counseling can take many forms, including sharing of information, considering new ways of viewing or responding to a situation, using some of the knowledge on this list, or some of the other techniques mentioned here.


One of those techniques is called Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT.  This involves tapping on yourself, for a problem involving the emotions, and works directly on a neural level.  Though it seems incredible that such a simple thing as tapping could make a major difference in one's feelings, it is a powerful tool, and sometimes works in minutes.  (It is a form of acupressure, and is related to reflexology and acupuncture.  See "More" and "Acupressure")

It has nothing to do with "faith."  Whether or not you believe in it, it works the same.  The worst it could do is waste five or ten minutes of your time.  It is often not appropriate for relationship problems, discipline problems, or parental management problems, unless feelings or attitudes are major obstacles in those situations.


Another technique is called Tapas Acupressure Technique, or TAT.  It was designed by Tapas Fleming (pronounced Topas) and she didn't want to call it FAT, so she called it TAT.  Like EFT, it is done in five or ten minutes, and the worst that could happen is that it could waste a few minutes of your time.  It involves pressing on several points on your face and head while you think of certain things. 


Hidden Therapist Within -- A very simple but powerful therapy is to think of a disturbing situation, and then close your eyes, and for one minute imagine a loving situation.  This could be real or fictional, and might involve petting a cat or dog, holding a baby or sitting a child on your lap, hugging or kissing or cuddling with somebody, whatever.  Do this until you feel you are "done."  This might last for one minute.

When you close your eyes, your brain produces an electrical wave called Alpha, or about 10 cycles per second.  This has the effect of removing pain from memories.  When you imagine a loving experience, your brain produces waves called Low Theta and Delta, or 3 and 5 cycles per second, which also have the effect of removing pain from memories.  The three of them working together remove pain several times as fast as just one could do.


One technique is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR.  This involves moving the eyes back and forth.  Again, it is hard to believe without experiencing it, that this could be very effective.  It generally does take up a whole session.  Still, it can make as much progress in a session as one would often expect would take months by other methods.  (See "More" and "How Does EMDR Work?")

None of these methods solves all your problems in a single session, but rather makes great progress before the next session.  They can (in certain instances) reduce a year's work to a month or two.  No two cases are exactly alike.  These are sometimes referred to  as "energy therapies."


Hypnotism is also very useful.  Unlike what is portrayed in movies or by entertainment hypnotists, it is not magic, and does not cure a problem in a single session.  However, it does greatly speed up treatment, as do the other techniques mentioned above.  Hypnotism can not make a person do something he does not want to do.  For example, it could not be used to make a family member cooperate, if s/he is determined not to do so.  It also can not be used to make a person tell the truth.  

It sometimes, but not always, can enhance memory.  A problem with memory enhancement is "confabulation," in which a hypnotized person "remembers" something that never happened, because it was suggested by the hypnotist that they would.  (See "More" and "How Does Hypnotism Work?" and "Helping The Hypnotist.")

See under "More" for details on EFT, TAT, EMDR, family therapy, anger, and stress.


Licensure Supervision -- I am certified as a licensure supervisor for both LPC and LMFT.  Please call me if you are working on a license, or planning to do so.  


Mental Health Assessments -- I am available to do mental health assessments and to make reports to a court of law or public agency as required.  In addition to the assessment session, written reports are $50, and court testimony is $50 an hour, including driving and waiting time.

If you are required to get a psychological assessment, make sure you know what kind.  Does the authority want an MMPI (more expensive) or a SASSI (alcohol)  IQ (additional $50) or other specialized test? There are a number of screening tests that can be given just for the cost of the session, which may take 1-1/2 to 2 hours.