Ms. O’Neill, a 45-year old woman, called for assistance with her anxiety, depression and inability to sleep. Medication produced side effects. A professional colleague suggested The Learning Space to her.
She described herself as being frenzied and unsatisfied as a mother and in her professional life. She described her anxiety and difficulty sleeping as a lifelong problem.
Ms. O is the older of two daughters. Both of her parents are still healthy and living on the east coast. She has a distant relationship with all of her family, keeping her distance as she becomes overwhelmed, angry, and paralyzed with contact. She married her husband in her late 30s, the first serious relationship for both. She sees her husband and his family as happy and live more as she wishes she could.
The O’Neills have two children. Ms. O has been working part time since the birth of the oldest child. She no longer gets the satisfaction from her work that she once did. In addition, Ms. O has a difficult time spending long periods of time with the children, becoming overwhelmed, getting out of control with the children, and blaming herself for being a bad mother. She goes shopping to get away while the children are in day care.
Ms. O’s husband is sympathetic and encourages her, but she will not tell him how anxious she really is, concerned that he will think less of her.
Consultation includes an in-depth history of at least three generations of the family; a timeframe for the increase or decrease of the symptoms and factors affecting them. Symptoms occur in an individual and a family when they have been pushed to the limits of their ability to adapt to life. In this case, symptoms increased 8 years ago when an important grandparent died, the couple married, had their first child within one year, and Ms. O stopped working fulltime.
Having a broader context to understand the problem is an important first step. Neurofeedback can be useful to interrupt patterns of reactivity at the level of the brain itself. For Ms. O, it promoted a sense of calm, an increased awareness to reactivity, an increase in her ability to regulate herself with her children and a settling of the central nervous system that allowed her to sleep.
Ms. O participated in weekly consultation and neurofeedback for one and a half years and then less often. She continues on an intermittent basis. Her husband has participated, which has opened up their relationship a bit. She is able to sleep. She is working at managing her reactions to her children and her husband and continues to work towards being in the relationship with her parents. Overall, the point of consultation is to live less automatically, with more thoughtful attention to her part in relationships and to interrupt her tendency to go silent and paralyzed when in contact with important others.
About the Learning Space
"The Learning Space is a creative, energetic thinking space for individuals striving to live optimally in all their most important relationships. The Learning Space provides a conceptual space—a place to consider and experience alternate ways of relating."
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