What is Geek Therapy?

Geek Therapy (also known as Super Hero Therapy) utilizes fandoms, cosplay, and activities, the client is interested in to make information more accessible and use the client’s current strengths to help them move forward. Fandom refers to a subculture composed of fans characterized by a feeling of empathy and camaraderie with others who share a common interest. Fans typically are interested in even minor details of the object(s) of their fandom and spend a significant portion of their time and energy involved with their interest, often as a part of a social network (En.wikipedia.org, 2017). Sherlock Holmes is considered by many to be the world’s oldest fandom.

Cosplay, a contraction of the words costume play, is a performance art in which participants called cosplayers wear costumes and fashion accessories to represent a specific character…The term was coined by Nobuyuki Takahashi…while attending the 1984 World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) in Los Angeles (En,wikidedia,org, 2017). However, Cosplay itself dates back to 1939. It utilizes creativity of capturing the character both in costume and mannerisms. There are many reasons people cosplay, be it to attend an event, be it just because or be it causeplay.

Comic con is short for Comic Convention, which has evolved into pop culture conventions. Were based in roots of science-fiction conventions beginning in the 1930s. The 1st Official Comic book convention was in 1964 in New York City and was called New York Comic Con. Many don’t realize Norther Colorado has our own comic con in Fort Collins Comic Con which is celebrating their 3rd year Aug 25-26th  (www.fococomicon.com). (Voniè has presented panels there about how and why cosplay is good for mental health as well.)

Part of what makes Equilibrium especially suited to provide this type of therapy is experience from the inside out. Voniè began reading comic books when she was 9 years old and has continued her love of comics, sci fi, and fantasy throughout her lifetime. She is also an avid cosplayer, steampunk and maker.

 

To find out more about geek therapy check out the conference proceeding from the 2017 ADTA Intensive DMT Meets Cosplay here.

Hectic Holidays

As the end of the year approaches it seems as if time is speeding up for so many. *Blink* Halloween has passed *Blink* Thanksgiving is upon us *Blink* the end of the semester is around the corner *Blink* Winter has arrived *Blink* Happy New Year

With all of this barreling down many begin to feel stressed, increased anxiety and for some crippling feelings of overwhelm.

How do we avoid this? Honestly time will keep on passing us by no matter what we do, but it doesn’t have to so stressful. It sounds silly, but BREATHE.

Breath is the basis of movement. When we start to stress our bodies stop moving, this includes our breath. When we stop breathing our bodies are not getting enough Oxygen and every system in our body works less efficiently (1). (Never mind the whole when you don’t breathe you fall over.)

Breathing, specifically diaphragmatic breathing, has been proven to decrease cortisol 2, 3.  Diaphragmatic breathing is taking a deep breath all the way to the bottom of your lungs and filling them completely with air. Cortisol is the hormone your body releases when you are stressed. Be aware too much Cortisol can kill you 4, 5, 6!

The solution to not letting the holidays and stress kill you: BREATHE!

Some of the best things about breathing are 1) You can do it anywhere. (You can breathe with a goat, on a boat, in the rain, on a train, in a car…here or there literally anywhere) 2) No one knows you are doing it 3) It is FREE!!

So when the momentum is barreling down on you and life is getting hectic. Try not to freeze, breathe deeply.

1 retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/asthma/guide/hypoxia-hypoxemia#1 on 11/16/17

2 Doucette, Sue (8/14/17) “Why Does Deep Breathing Calm You Down” retrieved from: https://www.livestrong.com/article/182382-what-are-symptoms-of-adrenal-disorders/ on 11/16/17

3 Cuda, Gretchen (12/6/10) “Just Breathe: Body Has a Built in Stress Reliever” as heard on NPR Morning edition. Retrieved from: https://www.npr.org/2010/12/06/131734718/just-breathe-body-has-a-built-in-stress-reliever on 11/16/17

4 “How High Cortisol Levels Can Kill retrieved from http://www.cholesterolguide.com/diagnosis/how-high-cortisol-levels-can-kill/ on 11/16/17

5 Bennington, Vanessa. “What You Don’t Know About CRH Can Kill You” retrieved from https://breakingmuscle.com/fitness/what-you-dont-know-about-crh-can-kill-you on 11/16/17

6 Borel, Brook (3/20/15) “If IT Feels Like Stress IS Killing You, That’s Because It Might Be” retrieved from https://www.popsci.com/chronic-stress-it-could-be-killing-you  on 11/16/17

What is this Dance Movement Therapy (DMT)?

Many people think DMT is a new field, when in actuality dance movement therapy as a field has been around for over 50 years. This year the American Dance Therapy Association is celebrating their 51st Annual conference. The ADTA defines dance movement therapy as the psychotherapeutic use of movement to further the emotional, cognitive, physical and social integration of the individual.

In session dance movement therapy may look like mindful breathing and bringing awareness into the body in the present moment. It may appear as gentle stretching of the arms and back to release tension. It may be rapid moving of the legs and stomping of feet to the rhythm of music or many other things.

As no two clients are the same, no two sessions or no two dance therapist are exactly the same. Part of the appeal of dmt is the flexibility which arises in the moment of being present with oneself, one’s WHOLE self, mind, body and spirit.

Equilibrium-What’s in a Name?

equilibrium final logoWhy would one name their practice Equilibrium?

Equilibrium is defined by Merrian-Webster as  a state of intellectual or emotional balance. When it comes to mental health one is always trying to find balance. Balance between work and home, balance between work and fun, balanced budgets, balanced diet all aspects of life we are trying to find that balance.

When I worked on the lock down units at the state hospital I would describe hospital commitment as “life knocking one on their backside” the goal of being in the hospital was to, “help one stand up again and take a few steps”. My hope with Equilibrium Counseling Services is to help individuals find a stronger sense of balance and grounding to hopefully help keep “life from knocking one on their backside”.