One of the best techniques to bring this behavior to your clients' or employees' attention is to videotape them during their sessions or more formal presentations. Once they are aware of the behavior, we have found it helpful to track the frequency of occurrences, so they can note a decrease over time as they learn to some practical strategies.
These behaviors can be tracked as follows:
1. During every session, keep a running log and mark off a blank sheet of paper with check marks or hash marks every time the behavior occurs. You can track occurrences during spontaneous conversations or structured tasks.
2. Keep track of the number of times the client can successfully inhibit the behavior with gentle reminders, such as modeling a slow, deep breath.
3. Track the instances when the client self-monitors and self-regulates using trained strategies.
- Taking a few gentle “candle breaths” (easy exhalations as if gently making a candle flicker)
- Taking a sip of water or tea
- Changing visual focus (look away momentarily)
- Distract yourself; look around the room and silently name what you see, e.g., "white walls," "green carpet," "wooden desk"
- Ignoring and re-directing thoughts with a transitional comment such as,“Getting back to what I was
- Silently counting to five.
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