Caitlin I teach you this exercise?” I

Caitlin McCallar

Brenau University PSY 607

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January 27th, 2018

Journal #1: Prescribed Breathing Technique

In order to prepare the
client for the relaxation technique, I first explained which technique I was
going to teach them and how it can help during stressful situations. Dialogue
from counselor to client: “Today I would like teach you how to perform a
breathing technique that will help reduce feelings of anxiety and panic. When
we are relaxed, our breathing has a regular cycle; however, when we are in a
state of anxiety, our breathing becomes irregular, leading to an imbalance in
the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in our system. The goal of this
breathing technique is to re-balance the circulatory system’s oxygen and carbon
dioxide intake, thereby reducing these feelings of anxiety on a physical level.
Once your body has calmed down, then your mind can also calm down. Do you mind
if I teach you this exercise?” I waited on the client’s response which was “Yes,”
and then carried out the procedure of the breathing technique.

By following the
instructions given during class, I first told the client what the steps of the
procedure were going to be. Dialogue:
“I am first going to tell you what the steps are going to be. First, I am going
to ask you to sit up in your chair with your feet placed flat on the ground and
slightly forward. Your head and neck should be aligned with your spinal column
with your hands either in your lap or on your stomach. If you have any
restrictive clothes, you can loosen them if you want. I will tell you to then
close your eyes and focus on what I am saying. Second, you will inhale for
three seconds, hold your breath for twelve seconds, and exhale for six seconds.
We will do this for a total of six cycles. Third, during the end of the sixth
cycle I will tell you to release all the air from your lungs as hard as you
can. Afterward, you will sit quietly and breath as you normally would. Do you
have any questions before we begin?” I waited for the client to answer, and
their response was, “No, I understand.” We then began the breathing procedure,
with the same steps as explained earlier. After the procedure was finished, I
asked the client how they felt and they stated, “That was good, I feel great
actually.” I then explained that this technique can be used just about
anywhere, but in order for the technique to be successful, you have to
practice. During stressful situations this breathing technique will not come
naturally unless you train your body to perform this as a response. I would
recommend that you practice this technique at least once a day until it becomes
natural to you. Do you have any further questions?” The client stated they had
no further questions and that they would practice.

I thoroughly explained what
the technique was and how it could help the client. When explaining, I made
sure to speak softly and clearly so that I would promote a calm environment. I
wanted to ensure the client knew exactly how to perform the technique before we
started and how to ensure the technique’s successfulness in future situations. I
enjoyed teaching this technique as it can be used in a wide variety of
situations without taking up too much time.

I had some difficulty
ensuring the timing of the procedure was correct. I did use a clock with the
seconds hand visible, but felt that the transitions between the inhale, hold,
and exhale were awkwardly carried out. Due to this, I would like to improve on
timing. Also, at the end of the sixth cycle I asked the client to breathe out
and then exhale forcefully, which was a mistake on my part. In the future I
will ensure that I will tell the client to forcefully exhale instead of
breathing out and then forcefully exhaling, I also explained my mistake to the
client so that when they practice, they will do so accurately.

The client appeared to
understand fully how and why the technique is performed. At the end of the
procedure, the client stated that they enjoyed the technique and thought that
it will be useful. I would definitely use this technique on real clients in the
future with some slight modifications if needed. I am also confident enough in
the procedure that I will use it myself for feelings of anxiety. When
performing this technique myself, I noticed that I had a very hard time holding
my breath for twelve seconds. Depending on how well the clients would do with
the breathing technique, I may modify the timing just slightly in case it is
too difficult. My reasoning behind this is that client can start with a smaller
timeframe and work their way up to the twelve second hold. Overall, I find this
technique to be highly useful and relatively easy to teach.