ONE FINGER TAP TO CALM ANGER
series: emotional wellbeing of children by Patricia L. Gerbarg, MD, Richard P. Brown, MD
& Somiari Demm, MA/M.Div, CYT, CTS
Dr. Patricia Gerbarg: There is another technique that is really easy and helpful for children.
+ Read More
I once worked with a refugee child who said that she was so angry, she was just exploding with anger and she didn't know what to do. So, I asked her to take her finger and very unobtrusively -- so no one would know -- to simply tap her finger on the upper part of her leg in the rhythm of coherent breathing. So she would tap and breathe in, tap and breathe out. Tap and breathe in, tap and breathe out.
Children, such as young boys, have told us that they may have an urge to get in a fight and punch somebody and they'll just start tapping and breathing, calm themselves down, and then they don't have to go on the attack.
It's a very simple technique, but it's something kids can do and it helps them control their anger.
Samier: So we're going to put our hands right down by her side where nobody will ever even see. With one little finger, we're going to tap and we're going to breathe with our tap.
So we are going to tap, breathing in -- two, three, four.
And tap breathing out -- two, three, four.
Tap, breathing in three, four. Tap, breathing out...Tap breathing in....Tap gently out.
Tap, gently in...Tap, gently out.
And notice how calm this makes you feel. When you're calm, then you're in the right place to make a really good decision and a much better choice!
Dr. Patricia Gerbarg
Patricia L. Gerbarg, M.D., Assistant Clinical Professor in Psychiatry, New York Medical College. Dr. Gerbarg has lectured and taught about a wide range of topics in psychiatry, psychoanalysis, women’s issues, trauma, neurobiology, natural treatments (herbs, nutrients), and the integration...
+ Read More
of mind-body practices in psychotherapy for the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Meetings and many other conferences, academic centers, and community organizations.She serves on the APA Caucus on Complementary and Integrative Psychiatry and is a board member of the American Botanical Council.
Dr. Gerbarg practices Integrative Psychiatry, combining standard and complementary treatments. Her research focuses on mind-body practices for reducing the effects of stress and trauma, particularly in survivors of mass disasters, including the Southeast Asia Tsunami, 9/11 World Trade Center attacks, 2010 earthquake in Haiti, war in Sudan, Gulf Horizon Oil Spill, veterans, and stress-related medical illnesses.
Dr. Richard P. Brown
Dr. Richard P. Brown is an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons where he obtained his medical degree 1977. The recipient of numerous awards, he has authored over 100 scientific articles,...
+ Read More
books, and book chapters on pharmacological treatments, clinical studies, and complementary and integrative treatments in psychiatry.
Dr. Brown developed a comprehensive neurophysiological theory of the effects of breathing exercises on the mind and body, particularly its benefits in anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Dr. Brown gives over 100 lectures and courses every year. Since 1998, he has taught full-day courses on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) as well as Mind-Body trainings for the American Psychiatric Association, other national and international conferences, veterans, and community service programs.
Somiari Demm, MA/M.Div, CYT, CTS
Somiari is a certified trauma specialist, a certified yoga teacher, and a certified breath body and mind teacher. Her areas of concentration include children and adolescents, trauma, mindfulness, and spirituality. She is a passionate scholar-practitioner in the...
+ Read More
field of clinical psychology who has divided her time betweenclinical practice, training, workshops, and consulting. As a mental health practitioner, she uses mindfulness cognitive behavioral therapy (MCBT) and other evidence-based practices to help adolescent and adult clients with a wide range of emotional, and behavioral issues.
Somiari has received extensive training in the treatment of addiction, mental illnesses, affect regulation, and trauma. In her consulting work, she has provided bullying, violence, and trauma training for elementary and residential schools. In addition to clinical practice, for 3 years she worked as a consultant counseling Chibok girls that escaped Boko Haram.Somiari has been interviewed by 60-Minutes, CNN, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, BBC, and Aljareeza.
As a trauma thriver, her life experiences have fostered her love of, and dedication to the mental health field. Following the words of Gandhi, she believes that “purity of life is the highest and truest art.” Somiari also believes she is here to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, and with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. Through her work, she is enriching the world through love, healing, and peace