Saturday, June 5, 2021

Helping our patients to shift gears when feeling “stuck”

When people are faced with a big “negative event” in their lives, they may find themselves “stuck” in the stress response of fight, flight, or freeze response. This will not serve them well if chronic.

As Family Doctors, we probably see many of these folks on most days of the week if not everyday.

This is the underlying “mechanism” for adjustment disorders with anxious or depressed mood.

The aim of counseling especially with Acceptance Commitment Therapy ACT, is to get them “unstuck”.


1. We help them to unhook or create space for thoughts, beliefs, memories, or feelings through noticing, defusion, mindfulness, grounding, extroverting their thoughts/beliefs, and holding things more lightly.

2. We help them to be clear on their values, define those, and be clear on the life that we want to create, and take actions towards those.

So in essence, we help those folks to zoom out/unhook from their fear driven responses, and zoom in and re-engage with their value or passion driven responses.

We help them to step on the clutch and shift gears to better match their terrain.

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