21 Jun /My patients have one requirement

Posted by daniel epstein

By Daniel Epstein, Psychotherapist/Co-Founder

It’s hard to believe it has been over a decade already. It’s been 11 years since I began practicing psychotherapy. I try to do the math and think about how many patients with whom I have had the opportunity to work. Between the individual sessions, group therapy, psychoeducation courses and public speaking, the number in well over a thousand.

During my tenure I have listened to countless stories, witnessed people thrive and struggle.  Anytime someone engages in a therapeutic relationship there has to be a treatment goal – an outcome which can be observed and measured. Depending on the situation or diagnosis, the treatment goals vary; just like a physician wouldn’t treat a runny nose like a broken arm, a psychotherapist doesn’t treat obsessive-compulsive disorder like depression.

Yet, while my treatment plans are always individualized to each client; I am sure to always prescribe one thing regardless of the problem.

Breathing exercises.

Depending on the client, this can take one of several forms: mindful meditation, guided meditation, diaphragmatic breathing, mindfulness training, etc.  If you talk to meditation practitioners, they tend to have a preference regarding the style people should use.  I couldn’t care less.  As long as you make a commitment to having some form of breath-work in your life, you will see meaningful results.

We can discuss the neurophysiological reasons of how the brain calms down as the breath slows. I can even show you functional MRI scans demonstrating long-term physical changes to the brains of experienced meditators. But we will save that for another time. Simply, just know that practicing breath-work produces two results:

1. Reduces stress 

2. Increases POM (peace-of-mind)

… and those two points should be should be everyone’s priority.

My career has enabled me to capture fascinating views into people’s minds.  I look forward to sharing these insights with you as we get to know each other.