Ellen Gray Psychotherapy & Counseling, PLLC

Serving the North Carolina Triangle Area


Resilience and Self Regulation

Posted by Ellen Gray on September 10, 2016 at 4:40 PM Comments comments (23)

     Our therapy practice is seeing a growing number of children and teens who are experiencing school, health and relationship problems.  These problems often exist in children who are intellectually very capable, particularly sensitive and creative.  They are also intense and physiologically reactive.  These children stand out as shining examples of thoughtful, achieving, successful individuals m ost of the time, but they experience difficulty self-regulating.  They have more and more moments of overwhelm and disintegration, somatic complalints, school refusal, oppositional behavior at home (but less often at school or in public), irrational fears insomnia or eating problems.  They are increasingly diagnosed as having ADHD and/or depression, or dismissed as going through adolescent hormonal transitions.  Their similarities are leading us to a different and more fundamental diagnosis--that of physiological dysregulation--and causing us to search for non-invasive and easy self help techniques to teach them to regulate their bodies and their experience in the world.


   It is a fact of life that more and more adults are experiencing emotional unrest and inner turmoil as well.  Excessive anxiety is present in virtually all the individuals who present for therapy, and this represents an increase over even fifteen years ago.  While talk therapy is useful to identify and correct the thoughts and negative self-talk that accompany this anxiety, used alone it is slow and only partially effective for reducing anxiety to a manageable level.  It is particularly ineffective if a patient's nervous system is in a  dysregulated or reactive state.  Enter HeartMath's Building Personal Resilience training.  HeartMath is founded on the discovery that heart activity affects mental clarity, creativity, emotional balance, intuition and personal effectiveness.  It does this through heart-brain communication pathways that can easily be strengthened, made more coherent, and brought under the control of the individual.  The techniques are called: Heart Lock-In and Coherent Communication.  They can be taught and practiced in six sessions, and can be done without equipment anywhere.  However, for those who like the help of technology, there are programs and apps for digital devices to help visually and interactively guide the practice sessions.  These increase enjoyment and compliance in the young person and serve as a motivator in the adult.

     There is a body of reserach showing school performance benefits, health benefits, intuition increase, and social gains all due to HearMath training.  We are pleased to welcome Emily Gray, a certified HeartMath coach to the therapeutic staff of the practice and look forward to teaching these techniques to our existing and new cleints.


   To make an appointment for HeartMath training, go to the website: www.DoctorEllenGray.com and locate the make-an-appointment box (Bookfresh).  You will be asked to indicate the type of appointment; select HeartMath Training.