Dr. Frank Anderson, a Harvard-trained psychiatrist and author of Transcending Trauma: Healing Complex PTSD With Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy, (PESI Publishing, Inc;) provides some advice on how to positively deal with negative emotional triggers over the holiday season. Family gathering are a big part of holidays and here are some tips to avoid getting upset during these times.
Through the innovative, evidence-based and holistic therapy approach to understanding and healing family trauma, Dr. Anderson reveals four tips that will help your audience survive the holidays:
Accept Imperfection. Before any gathering, accept that the event might not go exactly as planned. Imperfection is a normal, healthy part of life.
Flush Out Family Drama. Don’t take on their drama. Differentiate what is yours from what is theirs, and remind yourself what is truly important.
Prepare an Emotional Exit Plan. If you are going to be at an event with relatives you don’t like, take a walk when you start to feel triggered—and if you are hosting the party, designate a room that is off limits where you can take a break.
Treat Yourself. Everyone deserves a little luxury, especially during the holidays. Treat yourself to your favorite meal or get a massage. Whatever the activity is, do it often during the holidays.
Frank G. Anderson, MD, became interested in treating trauma during his residency program in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and later became a psychiatrist at the Trauma Center in Boston under the direction of Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, the author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Body Keeps the Score. During this early phase of his career, Dr. Anderson met Dr. Richard Schwartz, founder of Internal Family Systems (IFS), and has been practicing IFS therapy ever since. Today, Dr. Anderson works as a lead trainer and consultant for the IFS Institute and serves as adviser to the International Association of Trauma Professionals (IATP). To learn more about Dr. Anderson and his work, visit www.FrankAndersonMD.com