Alannah has been working at the Blaauwberg Therapy Centre since 2011. She and a group of colleagues run DBT (Dialectical behaviour therapy) groups for adults and adolescents in the Table View area. During national lockdown Alannah will continue to work seeing clients face to face as well as online. For further information you are welcome to contact Alannah directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am a Clinical Psychologist who enjoys working with and supporting children, adolescents, adult individuals and families. I have a particular interest in the areas of mood disorders and emotion regulation.
During this challenging time of adjustment and adaptation, we are faced with having to embrace change on so many levels. As a result, this adjusting and adapting can create stress and pressure which often manifest in our thoughts, feelings and behaviours. One of the difficulties is being faced with accepting the current situation as it stands, when it is not how we would like it to be.
Emotions are responses to events. They can be very hard to change, particularly when they feel very intense. On a biological level, when our emotions intensify, it can become increasingly difficult to think and we are more vulnerable to reacting in impulsive ways. A helpful activity is to do an "Emotion barometer". Traditionally a barometer measures air pressure but I have adapted it to fit with emotions. Below I have created an example of how one can identify our emotions as well as the kinds of situations which contribute to us feeling this way. Once we have done this, then we can think about things which can bring the emotional pressure down so that we can get our thinking back on line and react less impulsively.
|WHAT WORDS WOULD YOU USE TO DESCRIBE HOW YOU FEEL WHEN YOU ARE IN THIS SPACE?||WHAT KINDS OF SITUATIONS, ACTIVITIES AND PEOPLE CONTRIBUTE TO MAKING YOU FEEL THIS WAY?||WHAT KINDS OF ACTIVITIES MIGHT HELP YOU FEEL MORE RELAXED AND IN CONTROL WHEN YOU FEEL YOU ARE IN THIS SPACE?|
5. Being in this space feels like the end of the world.
The worst that you could feel - Completely out of control or shut down.
|4. This is a space in which you are starting to feel like your emotions are taking over and your attempts at managing them are not really working.|
|3. This is a space in which you are coping but you are fairly stressed, anxious or irritable.|
|2. This is a space in which you mostly feel ok but you might have a little niggle of anxiety or irritation hovering in the back of your mind.|
|1. This is a space in which you feel calm, peaceful and relaxed.|
It is important to remember that it is normal for people to move up and down the barometer in terms of our emotions. The difficulties come in when we find our emotions fluctuating intensely on a daily basis from a 1 space to a 5 space or of feeling stuck in a 4 or 5 space for long periods of time. This activity can help us to become more aware of when we are in a space where our emotions are escalating, what factors might be aggravating how we feel, and thinking about activities or things to do to bring the pressure down again.