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Articles Depression Pain Relief

Talk to Your Dog and Bounce Back from Depression | Boca Raton, FL

Talk to your dog. . .

You know you are depressed when you have nothing to say to anyone. But do you have nothing to say to your dog? I doubt it. Your dog needs you to take care of his or her emotional needs just as much as Fido needs you to feed him and walk him and groom him. Your dog is communicating with you all the time. Can you interpret what your furry friend is telling you? 

You don’t have to be a dog whisperer to learn your dog’s language. You simply have to pay attention and talk to your dog just like you would talk to a child or even a close friend. The benefits of talking to your dog have been documented by researchers to include lower blood pressure, relief from pain, better breathing (even for those with allergies to fur and dog hair), and relief from depression.

Think about it. Your dog loves you unconditionally. Your dog will never buy into your negative self-talk. But when you put yourself down, this is reflected in your mood state and your appearance. It even affects your scent. Your fur baby is sensitive to all these things and responds accordingly. So, when you give off a depressed scent, and evidence depressed body language, your dog gets depressed! Yup, dogs do get depressed. And dogs are exquisitely sensitive to our feelings and moods. Dogs really are our best friends.

Naturally, you don’t want to depress your dog. Please – I am not giving you another thing to blame yourself for and become more depressed about. I am simply suggesting an avenue to help you get un-depressed and as part of the bargain, make your dog happier. I am not a dog whisperer. However, I love dogs and have owned many. Currently my best bud is Leo who is a 2 ½ year old German Shepherd. I have trained him to be a therapy dog. Therefore, he is hypersensitive to the moods of people around him. In my clinical psychotherapy practice, I use dog-assisted therapy (DAT) to help depressed clients feel better more quickly. And you don’t have to own a dog to keep up the momentum. Just a few sessions of DAT can give you the necessary stimulation to get back on your feet. It is like ECT without any of the risks or negative side effects. 

If you would like more information about dog-assisted therapy, call Dr. Bruce Eimer in Boca Raton, FL at 561-377-1039 for a free consultation or visit www.bruceeimer.com. You’ll be glad you did.

Dr. Eimer proudly serves Boca Raton and all surrounding areas.

Categories
Articles Depression Pain Relief

Multimodal Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression | Boca Raton, FL

If you are depressed, read this and call me anytime. . .

You know you are depressed when it is a struggle to get up in the morning. You don’t want to face the long day because you feel you have nothing meaningful to look forward to doing. Frequently, nighttime is a welcome part of your day because the day is over, and you do not need an excuse to rest. 

Depression is your mind and body telling you they are depleted. If you have been running on empty for a while, your functioning will naturally not be like it was before you lost your energy and drive. This changes your thinking patterns also. You think more concretely and you are not as sharp. Think back to a time in the past when you were not depressed but you were overly fatigued. Your thinking and performance were spotty. 

When you are depressed, your sleep patterns are disturbed, and it is difficult to get restorative sleep. So, you have less energy to run on during the day. This is the reason one component in the medical treatment of depression is the prescription of medication that can improve the architecture of your sleep. 

Depression needs to be treated multimodally. Medicine alone does not help you address the underlying issues that led to your depletion. An effective treatment program incorporates behavioral interventions, such as structuring your daily activities, affectively focused interventions to help you address the painful feelings you live with when you are depressed, sensory focused interventions to bring a little bit of pleasure – which is the opposite of pain, imagery focused interventions to transform some of the negative images in your mind’s eye, cognitive therapy interventions to change your negative thinking patterns, interpersonal interventions to get you back to having social experiences, and biological interventions such as drugs, diet and exercise.

The above seven types of interventions spell B.A.S.I.C. I.D.  If you would like to learn more about how I incorporate the B.A.S.I.C. I.D. in my Multimodal Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Depression (MCBT-D), give me a call and we can schedule a free consultation. Call 561-377-1039.

If you would like more information about Multimodal Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Depression, call Dr. Bruce Eimer in Boca Raton, FL at 561-377-1039 or visit www.bruceeimer.com.

Dr. Eimer proudly serves Boca Raton and all surrounding areas.

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Pain Relief

Simple Steps to Get Pain Relief

Living with chronic pain that won’t go away is a heavy burden. This burden of pain makes life more stressful than it already is. Our Taming Pain Program is a drug-free approach designed to ease this burden by providing you with the tools to find the pain relief you have been yearning for.

No one can ever know your pain as well as you know it.  Therefore, the keys to healing your chronic pain problem lie within you. The challenge is finding these keys. Therefore, when everything that can be done and should be done has been done medically, you must search for pain relief within yourself. That’s where our Taming Chronic Pain program comes in. Our program can help you find the answers within yourself so that you can get lasting pain relief.

Taming Chronic Pain is based on simple common-sense principles.  These principles are grounded in the science of psychology, the practice of mindfulness meditation, the art of hypnosis, our years of experience treating patients with chronic pain, and our own experiences of living with chronic pain.

So, what does it mean to tame your pain?  It means to establish ties and to stop fighting your pain. The fact is that you are tied to your pain and to your body whether you like it or not. Your pain is in your body. You live in your body with your pain. But you make sense of your experience in the world with your brain. So, the strain of the pain in your body is felt mainly in your brain where pain signals and sensations are interpreted. Because of this mind-body connection, your persistent pain is physical, mental and emotional. Taming Chronic Pain addresses all three factors.

To learn how our Taming Chronic Pain program can help you get lasting pain relief and for a free chapter from our forthcoming book, Taming Chronic Pain: Get Pain Relief with Mindfulness and Compassionate Self-Awareness, sign-up for our newsletter on the home page.

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Pain Relief

Pain is NOT Just Pain

Chronic pain is not just physical hurt; it is a whole lot more. Pain affects your thoughts, your moods, your relationships, your motivation and ability to work, your ability to experience pleasure, and your view of yourself. Research shows that these psychological and social factors are more predictive of your long-term adjustment to chronic pain than is the severity of your physical pain or the extent of your injuries.

It was very frustrating for me (Bruce) to experience healthcare professionals as well as my friends and family questioning if I really was in that much pain. I was reminded repeatedly that I looked okay. They could not see my pain as I did not wear it on my sleeves. I did not broadcast it. Plus, I was the only person who could feel my pain. Others told me, directly or indirectly, that I should just “snap out of it” and “get back to work”. I felt alienated, and developed resentments.

I discovered that my use of the self-help tools of self-hypnosis, mindfulness meditation, focused imagery, relaxation techniques, and cognitive-behavior therapy became life-saving for me. I have also helped hundreds of patients cope better with their chronic pain by teaching them how to use these powerful yet gentle and respectful tools after I thoroughly assessed each patient from a psychological perspective.

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Pain Relief

Coping With Daily Lumbar Strain

One of my patients, a 55 year old lady, reported she has had bad pain days since her last visit. She has had annoying and biting back pain in her right lumbar area, and radiating right leg pain with some numbness. Her right sided lumbar pain is flared up by household chores such as washing dishes, taking out the trash, as well as by ADLs such as donning her shoes–all activities that involve leaning forward and bending.

MRI of the lumbar spine showed:

  1. Advanced lumbar spondylosis. Findings include a moderate sized right subarticular and foraminal disc herniation at L5-S1 causing significant impingement of the traversing right S1 nerve root.
  2. Small central disc herniation at L4-L5 without mass effect on the nerve roots.
  3. Left foraminal and far lateral disc herniation at L3-L4 displacing the exiting left L3 nerve root.

HISTORY: Low back pain radiating to left leg. History of lumbar spine surgery at L4-L5 and L5-S1. Two back surgeries and both have helped. Epidural steroid injections never helped she stated.

MEDCATIONS:  Depakote from 1500mg hs. Ambien 1mg hs. Neurontin 300mg hs. Vicodin 5/500 mg tid.

INTERVENTIONS:

After reviewing her use of her pain meds, we moved on to challenging disabling and pain magnifying thoughts. As she verbalized each thought, I offered her a different way of looking at the situation. That is we “reframed” the negative thoughts.

We talked about coping techniques. We used Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) strategies to address her anger that flares up when she hurts. We talked about pacing and taking breaks. I demonstrated and had her do some simple back stretches. We talked about self-postural adjustment. The idea is that it’s not either/or move or not move. That is not an option. We discussed her need to stretch her back out regularly as she becomes aware of the strain building in her low back. I emphasized that she would do well to consider taking planned time outs to care for her back.

I also gave the patient a handout with the following coping self statements:

  1. When my pain flares up, I remind myself that I can adjust my posture and take more breaks. I can stretch.
  2. I expect up and downs.
  3. I will always have a back up plan.
Categories
Pain Relief

What Does A Pain Psychologist Do?

This is a brief summary of what I do as a Pain Psychologist in my private practice.

I assume you are here because you suffer from chronic pain, or you want to help someone else who does. I am a licensed and board certified clinical psychologist and I specialize in clinical pain management. I have been doing this work since 1991. I provide counseling, psychotherapy, clinical hypnosis, hypnotherapy, and psychological evaluations. I also teach people self help strategies for pain management. In fact, I myself suffer from chronic pain. I have Fibromyalgia, Sjogrens Syndrome, Spinal Stenosis, Scoliosis, Degenerative Disc Disease, and multiple disc bulges.

My goal is to help you better manage your chronic pain and associated emotional stress. I do this with people everyday and I employ a variety of non-drug modalities — e.g., education, talk therapy, guidance counseling, problem solving therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, relaxation therapy, energy healing, and clinical hypnosis and hypnotherapy.

Pain Management Psychotherapy (PMP) counseling sessions are 50 minutes in length for a regular session, and 100 minutes for an extended session. Your first visit with me is an initial consultation. PMP counseling is subsequently provided based on an individualized treatment plan formulated at your first visit.

Common issues that are addressed in PMP counseling include:

  • Discovering safe and effective non-drug methods, such as hypnosis, that can relieve your pain
  • Evaluating and treating any depression and anxiety that can make pain worse
  • Improving your pain coping and stress management strategies
  • Helping you learn effective relaxation skills and self hypnosis for pain management
  • Helping you eliminate self defeating habits
  • Educating you about the proper and safe use of pain medications
  • Evaluating and treating any anger issues and feelings of isolation or alienation
  • Coming up with a plan to improve your physical functioning,
  • Helping you improve your interpersonal relationships
  • Helping you decrease and control mood swings
  • Helping you deal more effectively with family tensions
  • Diminishing boredom
  • Addressing any substance abuse issues
  • Resolving any emotional issues that may underly and maintain your persistent pain.

 

* * * Everyone needs help at some point. Thank you for coming here for help. * * *