We always work with health in all three dimensions of health: physical, mental, and social health. So, when we talk about feelings, we mean both physical sensations, like pain and fatigue, and emotions, like anxiety and anger.
If, for example, you are experiencing the feeling of overwhelm, we don’t just look at your thoughts and emotions. We get curious about what is happening in your body too. And we look at what social pressures are you under – we look at all three dimensions and help you feel better again.
This three-dimensional approach to health is not new. It is known as the BioPsychoSocial model and was introduced in the 1970s by a medic called George Engel. It aligns with the World Health Organisation definition of health:
“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
At The Helpful Clinic, First Aid for Feelings is at the centre of everything we do. This is because we know that, if you cannot understand or ‘read’ your feelings and respond to them appropriately, your ability to take care of yourself is limited. Self-care is vital for your health. We work with you to improve your health and emotional literacy so you can ‘read’ and respond your feelings and take helpful and appropriate action. You can read more about the Helpful mission here.
We draw on various methods to do this.
In addition to First Aid for Feelings, the methods we draw on include:
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)
Neuro-Linguistic Programming, referred to as NLP, is a model about patterns of behaviour, thoughts, and experiences. NLP facilitates improving your experience by mapping how you travel from where you are now to where you want to be. As the name suggests, it is about how your neurology (or brain) is programmed to the way you use language when you think, talk, and feel. Neuroscience shows how this can be reprogrammed and that you can change the way you think, talk, and feel. NLP draws on Behavioural Psychology, Hypnosis, Gestalt- and Family therapy.
Read research about the benefits of using NLP for health support here.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
Emotional Freedom Technique, often referred to as EFT, is a method of bringing together the Chinese meridian/energy-lines system used in acupuncture with western psychology. Instead of stimulating the meridian points with needles, with EFT you tap on the meridian points with your own fingertips whilst talking about what’s going on. It’s like tuning together two instruments, your brain and your body, to bring your whole system into balance. EFT is a field within Energy Psychology.
Read research about the benefits of using EFT for health support here.
Clinical hypnosis, or hypnotherapy, uses methods where you gently close your eyes to more easily access your subconscious with the help of your practitioner. Closed eye protocols help you use your own imagination and knowledge to feel better. This method can help release past trauma and change unhelpful habits. It is invaluable to reduce experiences such as stress (including PTSD) and address symptoms like IBS and pain.
Coaching is a long-established method to help sportspeople and business people achieve their goals. But did you know that coaches can help you achieve your health goals? A coach is someone who consistently holds the focus for your highest potential, believes in you, and guides you through, using their knowledge of the issues and pitfalls en-route. Coaching is about spotting opportunities for improvements as well as sharing tools and tips to help you to move forward. A coach helps remind you of how far you have come and supports you to recognise your qualities, skills, and achievements.
Read research about the effectiveness of using coaching for health here.
Film therapy uses the magic of filmmaking to access your own imagination and insights so that you can better understand aspects of your life. It uses films to support you to access feelings like motivation (e.g. Coach Carter) or sadness (e.g. Good Will Hunting). It’s also about creating your own film, complete with trailer and poster and cast, to process challenging experiences in a different way. Film therapy is an emerging way of working with you and your experiences.
Meditation and mindfulness
Meditation and mindfulness are practises that focus on increasing your awareness and deepening your understanding of your experience and the world around you. Developing the skill of observing and witnessing your own experience gives you precious access to how you function in your everyday life. This gives you clues to what needs changing in order to feel better.
Read research about how meditation is considered integral to health improvement and good health here.
Thor A Rain has been practising in the Plum Village tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh since 2003. You can learn more about this tradition here.