BEHAVIORAL MEDICINE CENTER
Ocoee St., Suite One
Phone & Fax 423-476-1933 Phone 423-559-1848
A COMPREHENSIVE, CONFIDENTIAL 'BEHAVIORAL MEDICINE CENTER
"At some point in the lives of
all of us, we face problems that begin to take charge of
our health and life. At the Behavioral Medicine Center,
our goal is to help you gain the ability to effectively
cope with the stressful situations you face as an
individual, couple or a family."
Vijai P. Sharma, Ph.D. Director of the Center, is a licensed clinical psychologist in Tennessee. Trained in Indian National Mental Health institute, Tavistock Clinic of England and Lund University of Sweden, Dr. Sharma has vast experience working with children, adolescents, and adults in the family, school, and work setting.
A NEW FRONTIER OF MIND-BODY SCIENCE
Vijai P. Sharma, Ph.D
THREE MAJOR APPLICATIONS OF BEHAVIORAL MEDICINE
MAJOR "PROCEDURES" USED IN BEHAVIORAL MEDICINE
1. Self monitoring involves keeping a daily record or journal for a week or two of your problem. For example, if you have chronic pain, we ask you to record your experience of pain hourly and, rate it on a scale of 1 to 10. We also ask you to write down for each hour what you were doing , what was happening at the time, and what your thoughts and feelings were. When you do this for a week or two, you begin to see the connection between the increase or decrease of your pain and the various emotional and physical states you go through, such as the fatigue, work stress, worries, sadness, anger, etc.
2. Self regulation means that you will regulate your own behavior after you've picked up important clues about your problem through the earlier self monitoring. Suppose you want to quit smoking. We ask you to first write down every time you have a cigarette and rate it on a scale of 1 to 10 as to how much you "needed" that cigarette. Subsequent to this self monitoring, we ask you to cut down the cigarettes you rated, "least needed." After you've reached that goal, then we ask you to set new goals for further cutting the cigarettes you rated next to the "least needed," and so on.
3. Self calming and self soothing has two parts: (I) relaxation of the mind and body through muscle relaxation, special breathing techniques, visualization, meditation, etc. (2) emotional calming or self soothing when excited, agitated or enraged Unless we learn to calm and soothe ourselves we're likely to stay perturbed for long periods after a negative event.
4. In self awareness, you learn how to accurately read your thoughts, feelings, and other internal states. When you know you're about to get tense, angry, or anxious, you can easily bring the situation in control. It's hard to act constructively when we're about to explode. It's useless to regret after the damage is done. We say it a lot of times, "I didn't know what I was doing," don't we?
"Rest when you're tired!" "Drink when you're thirsty!" "Eat when you're hungry!" "Relax when you are tense!" Prescriptions for health and happiness are quite simple, but the problem is that most of us aren't usually aware of the basic states of our body and mind. Therefore, we fail to do what we ought to do, or worse, we do the wrong thing. For example, many people who have weight problem confuse emotions with hunger. When, they're upset, stressed, or anxious, they think they're hungry and need to eat.
Likewise, we remain unaware of our physical states. Adults with asthma hardly know when or how much the muscles of their lungs are contracted. People with irritable bowel syndrome don't know when there is too much activity in their intestinal muscles. People with recurrent headaches can't tell which muscles are
involved in their headaches. A lot of people don't know when their stomach is full and that they need to stop eating. Self awareness of our mental, emotional, and physical states is important for our health and happiness.
5. Thought modification involves modifying the thoughts that have been causing much distortion and grief in a person's life. Thoughts can manufacture emotional disorders such as, depression, anxiety, phobias, and the like. Likewise, we can "think" ourselves into an asthma attack, a pain episode, or a throbbing spell of headache. We ask people to "journal" their thoughts so they can identify their habitual negative and self defeating thoughts. We help them to develop corrective and undistorted thoughts so by applying them they can break their negative thought patterns.
6. Install positive "mental software." as you get rid of the old "virus- infected software." Cultivation of positive thinking, values, beliefs, and attitudes is necessary if you want long-term success and happiness. Just as medicine is moving from a "sickness model" to a "wellness model," behavioral medicine has already moved from "mental disorder model" to "personal well-being model."
7. Ongoing self evaluation. Every day, at the end of the day, evaluate your progress towards the chosen worthy goals. Do it candidly, but do it with patience and respect for yourself
Happiness, success, personal growth, and inner peace require constant work. Work at it every day, and learn to do it better the next day.
At the Behavioral Medicine Center, we offer our expertise by doing specialized evaluations for requesting psychiatrists, medical consultants, employers, and various social service agencies. We offer the following evaluation services:
Medicine | Therapeutic Intervention