Monday, March 17, 2014

Diversion By Cell Phone

Utila went on the road for the first time this past weekend to the Psychology In Action Conference in Atlanta.  So, welcome if you are a new reader!  This entry is brought to you by a therapist who has been in private practice for many years in North Carolina.

I have a client with an anxiety disorder.  As a result she frequently cancels her art class.  Canceling this loved activity is distressing to her and counter to our therapeutic contract. The source of her anxiety is the trip from her car to the art studio.  This journey requires her to park in a municipal parking lot, cross a small street, and walk through the outdoor dining area of a café before going up the stairs to the art studio.

During the winter she was able to manage her anxiety, but as spring approached she became increasingly anxious.  The worse part of the journey for her was walking through the outdoor dining area.

Together we tried many excellent anxiety-reducing techniques to no avail.

Several weeks ago, when the first daffodils appeared my client said, “I just wish you were there”.  My hubris immediately led me to consider the vast importance of my supportive presence.  My ego was shattered when my client said, “you would be a diversion -  that is what I need.” 

Armed with the information that she needed a diversion, we developed a plan together. 

~ Rebecca McCulloh 

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