A Higher Level of Care; A Healing Touch To The Soul...specifically designed to help when dealing with addiction, cancer/medical illnesses, sleeplessness/pain control, weight control/body dysmorphia/eating disorders.
Welcome and Namaste
I hope after reading this page you get that I’m different - that my care, concern and compassion are not a 9 to 5 act, but are real, 24/7. It’s why my listed phone number is my cell – so that you can get a hold of me, without going through a gatekeeper. And, I once did what you’re doing now, a long time ago. I went looking for help, even though I wasn’t sure just what kind of help I needed. A lifetime’s accumulation of abuse (by alcoholic parents and later a husband) depression, divorce, financial hardships, deaths and betrayals had finally overwhelmed me. I was helped, and I would be honored to help you.
I understand the pain behind your actions. Perhaps you have done something that you might regret, are ashamed or embarrassed about, and which you find yourself helpless to change. I have no judgments or criticisms. I accept you where you are. I know self-soothing behavior is familiar in an uncomfortable way, and oh so hard to stop. I meet you where you are, and thus I have a very unique approach to helping you find peace and resolution during very unhappy, difficult times in your life. No matter what is going on, I can help you change addictive behaviors like drug use, alcohol use, shopping, hoarding, gaming/gambling and physical or sexual abuse. I help you figure out how you got to this point in your life so that you don’t repeat an unhappy life path. Most people are amazed to discover how and why they chose certain self soothing behaviors such as drinking, over-eating, or even fighting. Everyone realizes what prevented change. And, most important, they learn how to change in the least painful way possible, and how to maintain their new choices. Learn more about my background on the Meet Dr. Mickey page.
Contact Dr. Mickey
Anne and pain management
Before Christmas of 2006, Anne (not the client’s real name) agreed to try guided imagery. She had been brutalized physically, financially, sexually and emotionally as a child growing up, and by her ex-husband during their 15 year marriage. By the time she came to see me in September of 2006, Anne was suffering emotionally from depression and anxiety, and physically with migraines and stiff joints and muscles. She couldn’t get comfortable physically, and had problems getting a restful night’s sleep. Anxiety made things, as simple as grocery shopping, or watching her teenage children play soccer, extremely difficult. Holding down a job was impossible.
Because Anne had so much physical pain, I choose to start our guided imagery therapy with “Red Xs,” an imagery designed specifically to deal with emotional and physical pain stored within the body. And, we created an alpha trigger - a physical movement, designed during our guided imagery session, which, whenever used again, immediately helps the body regain the relaxed, pain free state of mind experienced during the actual imagery.
During the Red Xs guided imagery, Anne was able to describe her pain completely – the location in the body, what it felt like, and what it looked like. She decided she would like to remove the pain from her body, and emotionally did so. When the imagery was finished, I turned off the background music and turned up the lights. I realized that Anne was still sitting in her chair, motionless, with her eyes closed. A flash of terror shot through me – could she not come out of the meditation, was the pain worse, had I done something wrong? I tried to calmly ask Anne if everything was ok. She said it was the first time she could remember (in decades) being pain free, and she was afraid to move because she was scared that the pain would return. PHEW!
I continued working with Anne, on a weekly basis, for another six months. She used her alpha trigger whenever she couldn’t sleep, or when she felt anxious in public. Guided imagery allowed her to examine, and emotionally heal, many traumatic aspects of her life, without being re-traumatized. Anne was able to return to the work force, and her pain never returned.
My clients have never been disappointed with the pain free, relaxed state of being, achieved during a guided imagery session. And, they are surprised at first, and delighted and relieved later, to discovery that these results last - they are not a temporary, quick fix.
It is quite rewarding making a difference in people’s lives through the use of the remarkable meditative tool known as guided imagery.
Minnie and a hard break-up
Minnie was in her mid-20's. She had dated the same man for over 8 years. They met in high school. They continued dating through college even though they were in different schools. She thought she was going to marry him. Suddenly, out of the blue, he broke up with her.
At first Minnie was dazed, confused, numb. Then she sank into a deep depression. She cried all the time - even at work - even when driving. Her family became very concerned that either she would lose her job, or get into a car wreck, or worse...commit suicide. Finally, they talked her into getting counseling.
Normally, if someone as depressed as Minnie had gone to a talk therapist, it would have taken months for her to start feeling more like herself, and years to complete the therapy. Or, as a "faster fix" she might have started taking antidepressants, even though what she was going through is more like grief/loss (the entire future she thought she had, suddenly, was gone - lost forever.) With guided imagery though, Minnie was able to function better after the 1st session. Her family saw a difference in her after 3 sessions. Minnie, herself, started feeling better after 6 sessions. :-)
So, what did we do? Well, the first 3 imageries were about releasing emotional and physical pain. The next 3 imageries were about balancing the logical and emotional sides of self. The next set of imageries were about healing specific events from the past which were emotionally remembered as traumatic. Obviously, her boyfriend of 8 years, breaking up with her, without any warning, was extremely traumatic. But there were other events in Minnie's past which were traumatic too. Traumas build, one on top of another, until "the final straw" and then we just can't function anymore...what we consider traumatic is very individualistic. As an example, being yelled at, at work, for some people is no big deal (the boss is a jerk...) For others its stressful, creating belly pain. For others, they may not be able to sleep. Minnie was able to heal past traumas, and thus function better in the present, and be able to deal better with difficult situations in the future.
At the end of a year of guided imagery, Minnie had moved out of her parent's home into her own apartment, walking distance from her new job, where she met her new fiancée. I asked her if she thought, a year ago, if she could ever be happy again...she laughed and said no - she never thought she'd be happy again, especially this fast.
I love guided imagery.
Betty and weight control
Betty had been morbidly obese until she successfully completed a Lindora weight control program. However, Betty was terrified that she would return to her former size, because her mother and 3 sisters were still obese, and they were very jealous of Betty's success/discipline. They were constantly telling her that the weight reduction was temporary, and that she would be just like them...that when stressed she would eat - not a slice of cake, but the whole cake. Not a bowl of ice cream, but the entire gallon. Not a handful of chips or candy, but the entire bag in one sitting.
As human beings, we all have struggles in life. As human beings, when we struggle, we "self sooth." Self-soothing can be anything from thumb sucking in young children, to stuffing food in tweens, to recreational drugs in teenagers, to alcohol, tobacco, shopping or even sex in adults. Self-soothing is fine as long as it doesn't keep you from your best self/a happy, productive life. So self-soothing such as reading, working out, going to the movies, calling a friend or cooking, for example, give you a break from a stressful life, allow you time to calm down/hit the reset button, if you will, and usually don't have any negative after effects (ok, working out can make you sore, but you know what I mean...)
However, as a child, Betty had been taught to use food to sooth, reward, stem boredom, calm frustration, distract from loneliness...in short, food was for everything. Lindora had taught her how to eat right and add exercise to her routine, but they had NOT taught her how to self sooth...
When she came to me we discussed her eating history, her success with Lindora, and her goal with me, which was to make the size reduction permanent. So, we started with my basic set of 12 guided imageries. The first 3 imageries are to release emotional and physical pain from the body. Betty did really well with these, and immediately had improved sleep and ease of movement. The next 3 focus on balancing parts of self; balancing the logical and emotional sides, balancing the masculine and feminine sides, and allowing us to get out of our own way, and giving ourselves permission to make life changes to be our best selves. This was mind blowing for Betty. In the 3rd imagery, Betty imagined that she was stressed out, and that she was going to eat in order to self sooth. HOWEVER, when she imagined opening the refrigerator to get food to self sooth, instead of finding cake, cookies and candy, she found bottled water, apples and salad - she had given herself permission to NOT follow what her mother had taught. Instead, she had given herself permission to eat the way in which Lindora had taught her to eat!
We continued with several custom made guided imageries, in which Betty resisted her mother and sisters eating habits, and continued with her new way of life. That was 5+ years ago and Betty is still slender :-)