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December 28, 2009

Comments

Maria

Well, I'm definitely going to try this. Stay calm for me works until I reach some indefinable threshold and then whoops, all hell breaks loose and I am way overreacting. Stay quiet is more specific and less judgemental. Thanks!

AKDD

I totally agree that saying "stay calm" is generally useless; if the person could stay calm, they WOULD be staying calm, I figure; if they're not staying calm, telling them to isn't going to help.

I accidentally discovered years ago that what works for me (and the majority of my clients) is to catch their eye, say, "Deep breath" and take one myself by way of demonstration (and for its effects on me, of course); then following that with some "There you go, that's it, we've got this" kind of coaching and (if possible) and encouraging smile. I'm not sure if it works because it's a simple physical act that nearly anyone can manage, which makes room for the mental/behavioral change of calming one's self... or if it's just that it's a simple instruction that the panicking client (or doctor) can focus on, as opposed to focusing on their panic; or if there's some other mechanism. Seems to work, though.

This is all ssuming I have time to do that much, instead of being comnpletely focused on the train wreck in front of me... (sigh.) :p

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