Blog Post No. 167
By Dr Jim Byrne
31st March 2018
Dr Jim’s Counselling Blog: Treat your body to heal your mind, and vice versa
The body, the brain and the mind are integrated with each other and with an external, social environment…
Copyright (c) Jim Byrne, 2018
For decades, we have had medical systems that largely ignore the mind (and the social/emotional environment); and counselling and therapy systems that largely ignore the body (including sleep, diet, exercise, and many environmental stressors [such as the economy and political context of the client]).
We have begun to change that. Here is a brief extract from Chapter 2 of our new book on the emotive-cognitive, whole-body-brain-mind-environment approach to counselling, coaching and psychotherapy.
2.4: The importance of emotion
In E-CENT counselling, we deal with the client’s emotions. We offer them a ‘safe harbour’, and a ‘secure base’ from which to explore their life.
We look at the connection between their lifestyle and their feelings; their relationships and their moods; their thinking and their emotions; their physical state (in terms of diet, exercise, sleep, etc.); their experiences and their emotions; their meanings and their emotions; the links between emotions, goals and behaviours; and the emotional stories within which they live their lives.
We encourage them to change their self-talk; their habitual behaviours; to work on their bodily health (through diet and exercise; relaxation, sleep and meditation; vitamin and mineral supplementation); and to work on the story of their lives.
We try to provide the best possible analysis of the potential reasons, in the basement of their minds, for their current dysfunctional thoughts-feelings-behaviours. But we do not offer ‘definitive analyses’ characteristic of the Freudian approach.
We provide each client with ‘a secure base’, to re-grow or re-train their attachment style, from insecure to secure.
We work on their emotional intelligence by helping them to understand their own emotions, the emotions of those with whom they normally relate, and how to communicate their emotions to others.
And when we consider that diet may be a feature of their emotional problem, we refer them to information packs on some educational approaches to diet and nutrition. One of those was compiled by Renata Taylor-Byrne, my wife, who has a diploma in nutrition, and who has done a lot of research on this subject. (Please see Taylor-Byrne and Byrne, 2017, in the References list). Jim also have a lot of experience of managing his own diet, in order to control Candida Albicans, which is widely known to cause feelings of anxiety and depression. So this is not ‘medical counselling’ so much as it is coaching in wellbeing! And we always advise our clients to see a nutritional therapist before they make any significant changes to their diets. We also teach the importance of adequate sleep; and regular physical exercise.
To find out more about this system, please go to the Lifestyle Counselling Book page.***
That’s all for today!
Dr Jim Byrne
Doctor of Counselling
01422 843 629