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BREATHING IS THE foundation of sanity because it is the way we provide our brain and every other vital organ in our body with the oxygen needed to survive. Breathing also eliminates toxins from our systems.
There are hundreds of techniques for deep breathing, but one of the simplest and most effective ones that I learned in the psych ward is the “Four Step” method:
1. Breathe in slowly to a count of four.
2. Hold the breath for a count of four.
3. Exhale slowly through pursed lips to a count of four.
4. Rest for a count of four (without taking any breaths).
5. Take two normal breaths.
6. Start over again with number 1.
If you get real ambitious, try this: Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth just behind your front teeth. Breathe in slowly through your nose as you count to five. Hold your breath as you count to seven. Then exhale slowly as you count to eight. Put your hands on your abdomen so that you can feel it rise as you inhale.
Excerpted from The Pocket Therapist by Borchard, Therese Copyright © 2010 by Borchard, Therese. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Posted May 13, 2010
I've had Therese Borchard's new book The Pocket Therapist for about 3 weeks now. It's not the kind of book you pick up and plow through, rather it's a thoughtful read, to be enjoyed a page at a time.
The behind the scene story on this book is compelling. Therese suffered (s) from depression and anxiety. The Pocket Therapist is a compilation of techniques and thoughts garnered from her own experiences, including hospitalizations, medication tribulations and sessions with different psychiatrists. Much of it was pulled from twelve years of journaling..
The result is a thought provoking collection of 142 short essays that will leave you feeling refreshed, encouraged and ready to face whatever has slowed you down. Interspersed with philosophy references and lots of personal experiences, this little volume is chock full of good advice and coping strategies that everyone could take advantage of.
Be quiet, take baby steps, begin again, befriend yourself and keep showing up are just a few of the headings. I'll be keeping this book in a handy place to just pick up and read at random. Lots of great food for thought!
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Posted April 25, 2010
Therese Borchard, author of The Pocket Therapist, is on a mission "to educate folks about mental illness and to offer support to those persons, like myself who struggle with mood disorders, but [to give support] with a sense of humor." Although Borchard is not a licensed therapist she is a self educated expert on mental illness. Borchard notes that before recovering she had "worked with six psychiatrists, experimented with twenty-one medication combinations, and tried every alternative therapy out there: yoga, acupuncture, homeopathic remedies; Chinese herbs, magnets, visualization techniques, mediation, and cognitive-behavioral therapy." Wow!
As part of her mission, Borchard wrote The Pocket Therapist as a self described "sanity file." Each section is 1-2 pages and addresses a specific topic for dealing with the day-to-day issues that arise between therapy sessions. Like a cheat sheet before a particularly exacting final exam, The Pocket Therapist fills a much needed void for those who are suffering.
Reading The Pocket Therapist is like quaffing coffee with a good friend who has been to hell and back, but still can joke about having the T shirt to wear!
Publisher: Center Street (April 15, 2010), 224 pages.
Advance Review Copy Provided Courtesy of the Publisher.
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Posted September 18, 2012
Posted November 28, 2012
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