HYPNOSIS AND COVID-19
 

While ASCH does not endorse any of the suggestions in this article, nor postulate that hypnosis is a treatment for COVID-19, it does provide this information as a public service to its membership.

Special thanks to Dana Lebo, PhD and the North Carolina Society of Clinical Hypnosis for their leadership, energy, and efforts in putting this material together, and to all the contributors to this work.  

We invite others to submit appropriate materials to the page for the benefit of their fellow professionals and patients.  Please submit those materials to info@asch.net.   

 

Please use the zoom feature on your browser if you want to make the type font a little larger.  If you have any questions on how to do that, please contact us at info@asch.net.
 

GO TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Introduction

Today, as we experience a pandemic of unprecedented scale, clinicians who are skilled in hypnosis possess a powerful tool to help people calm their COVID-19 fears, build resilience, increase their compassion and support for others, and manage themselves responsibly in the face of risk and uncertainty. Also, they can use hypnosis to help people disrupt habits that might inadvertently spread the coronavirus and adopt safer, more protective behaviors instead.       

To get through these difficult times, many clinicians are open to employing hypnotic ideas, suggestions and metaphors to help clients deal with the evolving crisis. Also, they find they have creative ideas of their own to share with colleagues. Further, some of these ideas can be shared directly with health care workers and the general public while educating them about the effectiveness of hypnosis to help navigate life’s challenges – not just the coronavirus crisis but also anxiety, depression, pain and other problems they may encounter.

We have culled this compendium of suggestions, metaphors, stories, links to audiovisual experiences and ideas from many sources. Contributors include:

  1. members of the ASCH Listserv,
  2. members of the clinical hypnosis societies of North Carolina, New Jersey and the Northern Virginia area,
  3. participants in listservs for the students of Michael Yapko and Jeff Zeig, and
  4. participants in a Zoom meeting of clinicians who use hypnosis.  

This compendium offers clinicians a set of prompts from which they can devise personalized ways of giving a “helping hand” to clients while calming fears and promoting safety and health.

As the COVID-19 crisis continues, we view this resource as a potential treasury to which ASCH’s membership could contribute a wealth of ideas. Over time, with the virtual exchange and growth of ideas, our bonds will multiply – furthering the community and connectivity of the Society at a time that is both organizationally and physically challenging.

Thanks to information provided by the Centers for Disease Control (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html), leading authorities on COVID-19 (e.g., https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org) and the media, each one of us can do our basic part to protect ourselves and others if we:

  1. wash our hands often or use a hand sanitizer when soap and water are unavailable;
  2. avoid touching our eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
  3. avoid close contact with people who are sick; and .
  4. put distance between ourselves and other people.

Reducing face touching, increasing hand washing or social distancing in strict accordance with CDC guidelines is easier said than done. Rubbing our faces to satisfy the slightest itch, splashing our hands with a quick squirt of soap and rinse of water before touching food/meals and after visits to the bathroom – and communing with people – are all lifelong habits and customs. Hypnosis can play a major role in helping us to partner with our unconscious minds to alter the automatic and default modes of behavior that can cause COVID-19 to spread.

This archive is divided into four sections of hypnotic suggestions, metaphors, stories, ideas and audiovisual experiences to help:

1) minimize face touching,
2) increase and improve hand washing,
3) increase social distancing, and
4) manage anxiety in relation to COVID-19.

The Table of Contents follows.  Please follow the links to the varoius sections of the report.  

 

 

HYPNOSIS AND COVID-19

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Hypnosis and COVID-19 - Introduction

Minimizing Face Touching

Stories, Metaphors, Hypnotic Suggestions and AudioVisual Experiences

A Friendly Reminder 

Getting Dressed in a Special Way

Talk to the Hand

Another Conversation with the Hand

Hand, Please be Mindful and Let My Itch BE! 

Suggestion to Imagine Chilies on the Hand 

Talk to the Brain Before Bedtime: Creating a Glove Sensation on the Hands or a Glass Ceiling at the Shoulders 

Variations of Talk to the Brain/Hand: What Would I Say to My SELF Hypnotically? 

Modifications for Suggestions with Trichotillomania (p. 431) in the “Big Red Book” 

Suggestions for the Hands

Internal Ways to Stabilize the Head vs. Relying on Hand Touching for Head Stability

Touch the Tongue Against the Teeth 

The Power of Touching the Tongue Against the Teeth: A Demonstration 

Hypnotic Scripts and AudioVisual Experiences for Face Touching 

Hypnosis in a Virtual World: Keeping it Safe by Ensuring your Clients are Returned to their Baseline Alertness 

Hypnosis Protocol for Face Touching 

Audio of Face Touching Protocol 

Video on Stopping Face Touching/Nail Biting 

Video on Face Touching 

Hypnosis for Hand Washing

Metaphor for Hand Washing 

Hypnotic Script for Handwashing, Face Touching and Social Distancing 

Hypnotic Handwashing

How to Use Mindfulness, Hypnotic Scripts, Music, Behavioral Modification Strategies and Internet Resources to Dramatically Improve our Hand Washing Effectiveness  

How to Fill the Gap:  Three Methods for More Effective Handwashing

Method One: Playlist Accompaniment 

Method Two: Mindful Meditation or Hypnotic Script Accompaniment 

Method Three: Hand Washing with Dance or Deep Breathing 

Guided Imagery for Hand Washing 

Social Distancing

Finding the Still Spots 

Metaphor for Social Responsibility

Offered by a Client who is a Parent of a Teenage Boy 

Social Distancing - A Reframe 

“Negative Accentuation” to Help Teens Honor Social Distancing 

Fedi’s Story 

Dealing with Anxiety as it Relates to COVID-19 

Metaphor for Social Responsibility

COVID and Children

COVID-19, a Hypnopotamus and You

My Hero is You

GENERAL INFORMATION

Hypnotic Journey

What Healthcare Professionals Should Know about the COVID-19 Infection 

How COVID-19 Spreads 

How You Can Protect Yourself 

Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection 

When to Contact Occupational Health Services 

Workplace Safety 

Wages, Hours and Leave 

Unemployment Insurance Flexibilities 

General Resources 

 

 

Minimizing Face Touching

Stories, Metaphors, Hypnotic Suggestions and AudioVisual Experiences

Washing our hands effectively and frequently with soap and water in accordance with CDC guidelines is reportedly one of the best ways to control the virus. Studies show (Kwok, Gralton & McLaws, 2015; Nicas & Best, 2008) that people can touch their faces about 15 or more times per hour or every four minutes without realizing it. While washing our hands is critical, even the most excellent and responsible hand washers among us know that face touching with unwashed hands remains a risk and can happen inadvertently several times a day.

The ideas below are designed to be utilized in addition to hand washing – when we are caught with our hands raising in the air – hands that might possibly have become contaminated since the last hand washing and the urge to touch our face strikes. 

These thoughts, suggestions, images and experiences are crafted to help reduce the risk of  contamination caused by face touching by enhancing our awareness and inserting a pregnant pause between 1) the urge to touch the face, and 2) automatically raising the unwashed hand to the face to satisfy that urge.

During this pause, we are buying the time we need for redirection – to 1) grab a clean tissue to rub the itch, 2) switch to rubbing the itch with a clean arm or shoulder or anything clean that works, or 3) run to the nearest hand washing station or sanitizer to rewash and repurify. After all this pause and redirection, ideally, the itch will have subsided even without the need of the hand!

__________________________________________________________________

Nicas, M. & Best, D. (2008) A Study Quantifying the Hand-to-Face Contact Rate and Its Potential Application to Predicting Respiratory Tract Infection, Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, 5 (6), 347-352, DOI: 10.1080/15459620802003896


Kwok, Y. et al. (2014) Face touching: A frequent habit that has implications for hand hygiene, American Journal of Infection Control, 43 (2) 112 – 114, DOI: 10.1016/j.ajic.2014.10.015

 

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A Friendly Reminder

Robert Staffin, PsyD, ABPH
Diplomate, American Board of Psychological Hypnosis
President, Clinical Hypnosis Society of New Jersey
ASCH Approved Consultant
Author - More Common Therapy: The Experiential Psychotherapy of Jeffrey K. Zeig, Ph.D.
www.RobertStaffin.com
www.BergenPsychologicalHypnosis.com

 

A friend of mine is a professor of epidemiology.  His area of specialization is Tourette’s disorder.  He has a colleague, also a professor of epidemiology, whose area of specialization is virology.  My friend told me that he saw his colleague wearing a pair stiff leather work gloves.  Somewhat surprised and amused, he said, “You of all people should know that gloves like that will not protect you from a virus.  In fact, the material of those gloves will offer the virus a more hospitable environment.”  He then described the smile that came over his colleagues face as he replied, “You are absolutely right, but the stiffness of the leather and its coarseness will remind both my nimble fingers and the sensitive skin of my face to be respectful of one another.

 

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Getting Dressed in a Special Way

Maria  G Masciandaro, PsyD
890 Wyoming Avenue
Elizabeth., NJ 07208-1451
o: 908-351-2892; fax: 908-469-7759
E-mail:drmgmas@me.com

 

To help health care practitioners - nurses, techs, MDs, or clients in our office to avoid contact with their faces – we encourage them to “get dressed” every day in a special way because the air around us can harm us. “Imagine putting on a special helmet, much like an astronaut embarking on a journey to a new planet. The planet is filled with beautiful things to see and do but the problem is that the air is not purified. This special helmet allows all the air coming in to be free from germs, viruses and chemicals. It also keeps our hands four inches away from our face at all times. It is important to know that the test of the functioning of the helmet is our inability to touch our face. The helmet will allow us to see our hands but will not allow any contact. Once we return to our homes and wash our hands we can remove the helmet safely. “       

ER staff can improvise a version of this to tell patients in the hospital waiting to be seen that this is a “game” and the winner will be the person who others can testify never touched their face. 


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Talk to the Hand

Dana Lebo, PhD
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
President, North Carolina Society of Clinical Hypnosis
drdanalebo@aol.com

 

I remember something that Dr. Harriet Hollander taught years ago in a hypnosis consultation group in NJ. At the time, one of my young sons had a bed wetting problem. My husband and I had tried everything to help him -- and were considering a return to diapers. Harriet suggested that we first invite my son to talk to his brain before going to bed at night. She said that all he had to do was to simply ask his brain to wake him up before he had to go to the bathroom.  To make a contract with his brain to get him up -- in enough time to get to the toilet. So that night, after we gave him a little psychoeducation about the mind-body connection, my son had an honest talk with his brain. "Brain, will you please wake me up before I pee in my bed? I need to get to the bathroom. I don't like being all wet..." And for an entire week, he didn't wet his bed once. Although he had a relapse now and then, that conversation with his brain was the start of the end of his bed-wetting days -- or nights, that is.   

 

While the physiological need to empty our bladder and the impulse to touch our face are quite different -- can we still apply the idea of partnering with our unconscious mind? What if we simply talk to the hand? The conversation might start something like this:

“Hand, will you give me a heads up before you are about to touch my face?”

If our hand gives us the heads up, and if our head gives us the hands down, we can then press the pause button long enough for the touching urge to pass.

Or, “Hand, can you give me just long enough to figure out how to satisfy my urge to scratch, rub or itch my eyes, nose or mouth without touching my unwashed fingers to my face? Just long enough to be mindful of my itch and allow it to subside on its own?”

In fact, talking to the hand each time we wash it can fill up the recommended twenty seconds of hand washing with meaningful hand to face conversation:  

"Face, thank you so much for working from home and Hands, thank you for doing such a good job staying in touch with Face remotely!" 😊

 

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Another Conversation with the Hand

Hand, Please be Mindful and Let My Itch BE!

 

Each time I feel the start of an itch, I pause for a moment and ask my hand, which is dying to rub the itch,

“Hand, please hold on a moment! Let’s be mindful of this itch. Let’s give this itch a chance to BE!”

And I marvel at how my hand graciously pauses in midair, leaning in slightly to hear what I am thinking:

Hand, isn’t it fascinating how the itch can begin to assert itself from the center of my chin, like it is knocking at a door from within? I notice how the itch suddenly swings the door wide open, leaping across the threshold and bounding across my face to my upper lip, the side of my nose, teasing the tip of my left eyebrow, dangling for a fleeting moment over my right cheekbone and then landing on the inner rim of my upper left ear. I delight in each step the itch takes, marveling at the light tingling sensations, as if a single delicate hair is tickling each tiny dot of skin on my itch’s journey… I feel how the itch will rise in crescendo and then subside in diminuendo. And I can enjoy how the itch radiates with joy at each step of its facial dance. Thank you, Hand, for holding back and allowing my itch to finally and fully be.

 

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Suggestion to Imagine Chilies on the Hand

Ashley Goodman, DDS
8921 Allbill Way
San Diego, Ca 92119
Phone:  619-469-4538
Email: agoodman@cox.net

 

This technique … is something that I discovered on my own:

Those of us who like chilies (hot peppers) have learned, the hard way,
not to touch eyes or mucous membranes after touching the peppers or the
liquid that they come in.  This is learned early and reinforced
repeatedly. ;-)

 

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Talk to the Brain Before Bedtime: Creating a Glove Sensation on the Hands or a Glass Ceiling at the Shoulders

Lee Goldman, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist
1495 Chain Bridge Rd., #202
McLean, VA 22101
(703) 624-0223
LGoldmanPhD@gmail.com
www.leegoldman.net

 

I like the talk with the brain before bed.  I think of face-touching as involving more automatic muscle memory type action.  I would want some altered sensation related to the hands such as glove anesthesia to be an ongoing reminder to the individual.  When I think about the sensation of wearing gloves, I am normally inclined to use my sleeve to rub my eye or wipe my brow instead of my hands.  So, I am imagining creating a glove sensation on their hands as a reminder to avoid touching their face with the "glove."  A suggestion to pick up a tissue before touching their head might also help.

Another image is that of a glass ceiling at shoulder height preventing the hands from reaching your face. I guess like, but less embarrassing than a canine "cone of shame."

 

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Variations of Talk to the Brain/Hand: What Would I Say to My SELF Hypnotically?

Pauline Carides, LCSW, LLC
88 West Ridegewood Avenue
Ridegewood, NJ  07450
www.paulinecarides.com

 

I was walking down the hall today, very tense....

And I felt the urge to touch my eyes and then my nose started to run. 

I asked myself, "What would I say hypnotically?" [to prevent myself from succumbing to the urge to rub my eyes and nose.]

Then, I relaxed my hand in such a way... because I knew that my eye had a job to do. And I realized that my hand and my eye can each operate extremely well. They have no need to need each other. They are connected but they’re disconnected. Each has its own function. They can do their jobs very well on their own – a temporary and necessary measure during these times…

 

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Modifications for Suggestions with Trichotillomania (p. 431) in the “Big Red Book”

Geoff Michaelson, Ph.D.
 

There was a protocol for trichotillomania that can be modified by making the person aware that their hand is moving toward their face rather than their hair. If I recall the latter is for relaxation which helps. Think about what else moves hands toward faces such as itching and modify with suggestions to reduce skin sensation.

 

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Suggestions for the Hands

 

Marilyn E. Ain, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist
Oak Island, North Carolina

 

First, I already focus a lot on the hands when I do my usual inductions.  I move from focus on the breath to incorporating the hands into the inhalation of the cool air and exhalation of the air warmed by the body. I also take advantage of that natural tingly feeling one gets in the hands when deepening the breath and keeping the hands in one position, like when your foot goes to sleep.  I would harness this focus on the hands to elaborate on how your hands take care of you in so many ways....how talented and loving our hands can be.....moving into how they can care for you during this time of concern about viruses and keeping ourselves healthy.  I want to avoid a blanket halting of hands to face, as there are times when it is necessary and not so risky; for instance, once you are at home and have washed your hands mindfully so you can eat, wash your face etc.  I think it would be important to make this distinction rather than veto hands to face all together.

I would suggest a heaviness to the arms and hands, with a cuing for this with shoulder lowering, perhaps whenever one went through a door or a entered another room.  This shoulder lowering, coupled with an exhalation, is relaxing. Anxiety reduction and relaxation in turn cues heaviness in the hands and an awareness of the heaviness which keeps them low on the body.

 

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Internal Ways to Stabilize the Head vs. Relying on Hand Touching for Head Stability

 

Touch the Tongue Against the Teeth

Dr. Pat McCarthy
Wellington, New Zealand

 

Face touching is so common because it causes temporary external head stabilization and subconsciously helps us concentrate. The only alternative is internal head stabilization by touching the tongue against the teeth or gums or palate or by neck muscle tightening This is a common reason and mechanism behind smoking, pen chewing, nail biting and trichotillomania to name but a few. 

 

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The Power of Touching the Tongue Against the Teeth: A Demonstration

Dana Lebo, Ph.D.
North Carolina Society of Clinical Hypnosis

 

After reading Dr. Pat’s above contribution to the ASCH Listserv in response to the request for hypnotic strategies to reduce face touching, I asked my dentist, Dr. Mark Walker, a specialist in TMJ and facial musculature at Triangle Dental in Durham, NC, how we can internally stabilize the face without the external touch of our hands. He asked me to stand up so he could demonstrate a mechanism of internal stabilization. I stood up, and he next asked me to extend my left arm out to my side. He told me he was going to push down on it to test my strength. He pushed down at my wrist, and I’m afraid I failed miserably. My arm sunk down immediately.

Initially, I thought Dr. Walker was showing me the muscle testing technique that Dr. Lee Poulos had demonstrated at a national ASCH conference years ago.  But instead, the next thing he asked me to do was to lift my tongue and push it against my upper row of teeth and palate. I complied. In doing so, I noticed I was also tightening the muscles of my neck. He then asked me to put my arm out again. This time, upon pushing down at my wrist, my arm remained quite strong and firmly in place without my even trying or consciously telling it to do so. 

Since then, after practicing all the above ways to insert a pause before touching my face, I find that if I am in a virtual meeting these days and I feel the urge to raise my hand to my face to help me focus or concentrate – as Dr. Pat suggests we do – I instead touch my tongue to my teeth. Works like a charm. Additionally, it even makes me feel stronger and more confident. 

 

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Hypnotic Scripts and AudioVisual Experiences for Face Touching

Hypnosis in a Virtual World: Keeping it Safe by Ensuring your Clients are Returned to their Baseline Alertness

 

To preface any contributions below of hypnotic experiences that might be offered virtually to our clients, Dr. Hedy Howard, creator of the Howard Alertness Scale, offered the following important suggestions and resource to help us “keep it safe.”

Hedy A. Howard, MD
Assistant Clinical Professor 
George Washington University School of Medicine
Fellow, The Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis
Two Wisconsin Circle, Suite 210
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
email: hhowardmd@gmail.com

 

It is well-established that incomplete alerting and allowing individuals to have lingering effects of trance is risky and can be harmful (Gruzelier, 2000; Howard, 2017; Kluft, 2012). It is more important than ever to provide individuals with the knowledge and tools to assess their own alertness and to know if they have returned to their baseline alertness after trance. This is especially useful for videoconferencing or for self-hypnosis.

People readily understand that alertness is something that fluctuates and is impacted by many things they are familiar with, such as sleepiness or alcohol. But most people do not understand that trance impacts alertness in unique ways and that this is part of what makes hypnosis a powerful aid in health and healing.

The Howard Alertness Scale (HAS) is a tool for both practitioners and subjects to evaluate and measure alertness before and after trance. Central to the HAS is the individual’s assessment and monitoring of their personal subjective experience of alertness, making the HAS particularly valuable in a virtual world. 

The HAS can be found at this link: HAS Scale and Instructions. It has two fundamental components: first, to teach subjects, in an experiential manner, how to evaluate their alertness and understand how their alertness may change with trance; and second, for subjects to benchmark their alertness before trance to help guide themselves back to their baseline level of alertness.

The HAS is easy and quick to use and decreases the confusion and misunderstanding concerning alertness and hypnosis that can lead to problems with alerting. Clients normally very readily understand and adopt the technique of measuring their subjective alertness with trance and begin using it on their own. It is empowering and reassuring for them to have the knowledge and ability to evaluate their own alertness, and it offers the practitioner a way to add an additional level of safety in this new world of virtual therapy and hypnosis.

__________________________________________

Gruzelier, J. (2000). Unwanted effects of hypnosis: A review of the evidence and its implications. Contemporary Hypnosis, 17, 163–193.

Howard, HA. ( 2017) Promoting Safety in Hypnosis: A Clinical Instrument for the Assessment of Alertness. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 59(4), 344-362.

Kluft, R. P. (2012). Issues in the detection of those suffering adverse effects in hypnosis training workshops. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 54(3), 213–223.

 

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Hypnosis Protocol for Face Touching

Rick Goodling, LCSW
Dr. Lewis Weber & Associates
875C Rio East Court
Charlottesville, VA 22901
Goodlingoffice@gmail.com

 

I'd like to suggest that you arrange yourself in a comfortable position… and go into trance the way you know how…, deeply, comfortably, easily relaxing as you begin to notice again for the first time of many… just how good it feels just to breathe… a time to take in what you need… and let the rest go… You might notice a subtle shift… that occurs… in this process… that’s familiar in a new way… and new in a familiar way that can allow you to clear your mind as though you're sweeping clutter to the far corners of a room…  leaving yourself space just to be… letting everything else fall away.  Right now there's nothing you have to do… no place you have to go… no one you have to please… nothing of any concern…nothing you have to think about… and at this moment… in these moments… it's absolutely true… that the only thing you have to do right now… is take your next breath… and after that… it’s all optional… and in the time it takes for you to take your next breath… you can decide… what you want to happen next.  You’re sitting in a chair, with your feet on the floor, breathing in and out… with your hands resting comfortably… and…I invite you to shift into greater comfort any time it may serve you, making any changes necessary….to move more deeply, comfortably, easily, into a more deeply relaxed, easy comfort. Take 1, or 2, or 3 easy breaths to deeply relax…become so much more comfortable…

People don’t often think about how good it feels just to breathe….and no one thinks about the disastrous breath of 2010, or the amazing breath of 2016.  Each one merely serves its own purpose and makes room for the next breath….automatically…without even thinking about it.   So many events come and go… without being noticed…occurring automatically….without thought…almost reflexive…until something occurs that catches the attention…. You may notice how often some area on the face can tingle with a gentle itch and, without thinking about it…the hand reaches up to ease the discomfort. At these moments, it might be necessary to pause… and find a place to wash the hands… or use hand sanitizer… before allowing the hands to scratch that itch. 

I’d like you to form an image in your mind of something else that is around you… and perhaps only peripherally in your awareness… the glass… in windows, your car, in your house.  Something that is alternately fragile, delicate, plain, and ordinary…. that can also be strong, durable, beautiful….you might remember how cut glass or a prism refracts the sunlight…. Showing the colors of the rainbow…the sparkle of cut-glass crystal…beautiful…spectacular…memorable…. If you hold cut glass or a prism to your face to look out into the room, everything is different…a change in direction…a change in perspective….that can be… disorienting…until  you get your bearings again… something new in a familiar way….and familiar in a new way…a change…a shift… allowing that shift to occur…until it becomes natural.

You may also be aware of how easy it is for glass to become smudged by the oils on your fingers…the other particles that may be picked up by your hands in the routine course of the day. There are many events that may not happen without  removing the oils that mar the finish or deaden strings. New parents sternly warn visitors to wash their hands before holding a newborn child. This is certainly a case of taking extra precautions to protect…a protective case of cleanliness…

I’d like you to imagine a similar strong… protective… glass case….a mask…a shield…on your face… to keep the hands away…from  the face…a protective case that can only be removed... and returned… after the hands are washed... so that no harm can come to you…from those unnoticed oils…particles…unwanted bits that can be disruptive.  It should be clear…and continue to be clear… something new in a familiar way….and familiar in a new way…a change…a shift… allowing that to occur…until it becomes natural.

Allow yourself to take 1, or 2, or 3 easy breaths to deepen your comfort… deeply relaxed, deeply comfortable…perhaps with a comfortable lightness of floating…or a comfortable sense of heaviness... a time to take in what you need….and let the rest go… I often say that the real magic of hypnosis begins when you open your eyes, and so now as your eyes still closed, I invite you to reflect… on the number of ways in which your eyes have already been opened here today…and in other ways….at other times…  And when you have everything you want from this experience, bring it with you.  It’s good to keep your accomplishments with you….and when you’re ready…you can begin to re-alert…and return here…and with 1, or 2, or 3 easy breaths….you can open your eyes….and be here again. Fully alert and present. 

 

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Audio of Face Touching Protocol

Rick Goodling, LCSW
Charlottesville, Virginia

 

https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/ub3dc8wd0gaovs51trc1u/Hypnosis_for_face_touching_32120.wav?dl=0&oref=e&r=ABHthgEZyvTzHEtpZ8xGRgZobqQy2OM4uHLrvQlqoEeoO_g67FDxUeRA_THXhUO-2b_GFmsbGupVHwjE8WlPY-KfBv5ZGvDykuhG6RBf-AiC6hvCPTzbrqWD07U4npervQ9ZZ7F-cxFVqZbeMY-i9oSn7nvY-9rkhDU9dNUTxPxVaV7WWwkhLKnXWo9VA2PrQXI&sm=1

 

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Video on Stopping Face Touching/Nail Biting

Traci Stein, PhD, MPH
51 East 25th Street, Suite 7-i
New York, NY 10010
www.DrTraciStin.com
www.facebook.com/DrTStein
Twitter: @DrTraciStein
https://www.healthjourneys.com/dr-traci-stein
"The Everything Guide to Integrative Pain Management" (Nov 2015)
 

Given the public health directives to avoid face touching (and by extension, nail biting), and also given how difficult it is to stop doing these things for most people, I created completely free guided imagery to help people notice these automatic behaviors and make different (healthier) choices. The imagery has elements of mindfulness, CBT, and also hypnotic suggestions for healthy behavior change in general. It runs about 10 minutes. It also features visuals of different soothing nature scenes.

The file can be downloaded and then uploaded to your sites (ASCH, your medical center, etc.).

https://youtu.be/Rm067ARqctw

The link below is just audio:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/m7jfyy6p03fu09b/Guided%20Imagery%20to%20Stop%20Biting%20Your%20Nails%20or%20Touching%20Your%20Face%20%282%29%20T%20Stein%20-%203%3A20%3A20%2C%2012.08%20PM.mp3?dl=0

 

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Video on Face Touching

Melanie McGhee, L.C.S.W.|
Acceptance + Integration = Freedom
www.aait.solutions
865.384.4104

 

So many of us are talking about how hard it is not to touch our face. I made a little video. The sound’s not perfect, neither is my hair, nor is the script, but so what?! If it helps some of us stay a little healthier, great!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGMTCxdpPzk

 

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Hypnosis for Hand Washing

 

As the WebMD puts it, “the single most important piece of advice health experts can give to help us stay safe from COVID-19 is this one: Wash your hands.” https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20200306/power-of-hand-washing-to-prevent-coronavirus.

The following hypnotic metaphors, suggestions, experiences, stories and behavioral strategies aim to help us wash our hands more frequently and effectively – ideally in accordance with CDC and World Health Organization guidelines.

 

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Metaphor for Hand Washing

John W. Hall, PhD
Licensed Clinical Health Psychologist
Drjohnhall.com
Charlotte, NC

 

I come from generations of farmers.  One of the ways that we show our love is through feeding each other.  Planting and watering and weeding and picking and peeling and cleaning and cooking are the day to day acts of caring for each other.  Every good meal in my memory comes from vegetables and fruits that came up out of the rich, fertile earth.  It’s amazing how delicious and healthy foods come from soil enriched by poop and decay, and water that at some point flowed down through cow pastures.  I remember the care that we took to clean the fruits and vegetables, even when they didn’t look dirty.  Taking the time to gently wash and scrub and rinse them all until they were ready to eat.  It’s such a simple way to show our care for each other.

 

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Hypnotic Script for Handwashing, Face Touching and Social Distancing

Peter W. Gardner, MD, FACP, FACG
President, The Eastern Society of Clinical Hypnosis (TESCH)
Approved Consultant, American Society of Clinical Hypnosis
203-940-2995
www.drgardnerhypnosis.com

 

I don’t know if you’ve had the chance to enjoy a relaxed, focusing session like this before… if you’ve taken the time to deliberately create a soothing experience like this before… but certainly you’ve enjoyed comfort before… and you can use that experience to build a new one… you can arrange yourself in a comfortable position… take in some deep, relaxing breaths…and allow yourself the experience of growing deeply comfortable within yourself… … I emphasize the word you might know well, “comfort”…. Comfort means different things to different people… I wonder what comfort really is to you…… One of the dictionary definitions I found is “a state of ease” … and that really says so much… To feel “at ease”… can be a physical state of relaxation and it can be an emotional calmness… it can be more profound sometimes and less deep other times…and a deep experience of comfort is such a welcome experience… And each experience of comfort is somewhat different, isn’t it? During this process I never know how long it’ll take someone to develop a state of ease and calmness … or even a sense of connectedness to the best parts of themselves… For yourself… are you already aware of the shifts taking place as you relax… the shifts in your body as it grows more comfortable…the shifts in your breathing…when you notice these things as you gradually get more deeply absorbed… that internal sense of what it feels like to be so wonderfully focused… can become obvious to you… in one way or another … And isn’t this much of what you or I search for every day…. Ways to find comfort inside whenever you wish…and to be reminded of this innate capacity to take a deep breath… and put a comfortable distance between yourself and the concerns of the day… those things that may have happened that challenge us and give us the sense that we need to step back… and create enough distance to make it possible to enjoy some quiet time that can be so soothing… so we can take that deep breath in our own space, our own time…. And yet sometimes, as the depth of our comfort only slowly becomes more known to us…. we want to increase the depth…. or maybe to allow the comfort… ease… connectedness… to go even deeper, <Pt name>, go even deeper within us…. And yet that distancing… that stepping back… sometimes gives us a different perspective, a type of “personal safety”…. That is so reassuring… There are some people who want more “personal space” than others… and it’s such an interesting phrase – “personal space”… because no space is truly “personal” and yet it’s as if we have our own personal shield around us… a force field… that protects us… … However in all of those Sci-Fi, fantasy, and comic book movies such as in a few episodes of Star Trek, or the Fantastic Four, and so many others as well, sometimes the characters lower their “force fields”, when they would have better served them to have left it up… and even increased the shield’s power, the “personal space”… for their own good…. It reminds me of an episode of Star Trek in which the crew members had a cover of heat, a heat “shield” around them and as long as they were within it, they could survive… and yet the bad guy, and I forget who or what that was… lived in a very very cold, environment… and somehow the bad guy could force the heat shield of Captain Kirk, the Captain of the ship, The Enterprise… the main ship of the series to become smaller and smaller until it was terribly dangerous for Captain Kirk, and yet as always happened in Star Trek, somehow Captain Kirk found the will, the strength, to push back with his own heat shield in order to save himself.. The shield he maintained…. protected him… there are lots of different kinds of shields… the protection of your ability to problem solve, the power of your will to live, the strength and resolve of your decision making, the strong desire to do the right thing…..

And in many of those same shows another common thread was how different species greeted each other…. I remember, again in Star Trek, Mr. Spock raising his hand with his telltale sign of split fingers saying “Live long and prosper”… or on Superman’s home world where sterility and touching was taboo - a little known fact of the re-booted Superman comic book series…. In fact, did you ever watch (2) 4 year olds say hi to each other? Sometimes the faintest hand movement of raising the palm up is all that’s needed to say “hi”… an introduction to playing with each other… And isn’t there so much to learn from children?.... when left alone they’re in their own little world… If a little child is watching TV you can call their name over and over and yet they truly never hear you… they’re in a dreamy… far away place.. where their mind has taken them… they can physically be here and yet their mind can be there or else their imagination can be there yet what they really need, here…

And how long does it take a to teach a child how to groom him or herself… to brush their teeth properly..… to brush their teeth at all! First they brush their baby teeth and then their grown-up teeth …. We have to teach them that brushing is good and the dentist won’t chastise them… and we often resort to saying that if they want to keep their teeth healthy, they need to brush them… And to take a bath and use soap, not just to play…. And then to wash with the soap! We don’t even try to get them to scrub but we do teach them to wash carefully and wash their entire body… And trying to wash their hair is sometimes like trying to shampoo a dog which is an art that we get better and better at as we learn the tricks on how to do it until the dog is finally clean… how much time we took just to learn to do it properly, to get that dog really clean!... and how long does it take to teach the child to brush his or her hair… to get dressed… to look clean if not neat all of the time… That spending that extra little bit of time pays for itself in so many ways… Just as washing and cleansing your hands takes that extra bit of time yet keeps your body so healthy…

I don’t know if you enjoy painting or enjoy just looking at paintings… but there are two perspectives, both of which are important but many people prefer one over the other…. When looking at a painting one can get very close up to see the fine strokes, lines, dots…. Or they can step back and get the message the painter was really trying to impart, to say… which, after all, is what we speak of when we talk about the meaning of the painting…. And with paintings, well... you know what teachers always say…. “look but don’t touch”… I have a friend whose son is constantly getting into things… playing with whatever he sees… reaching for everything… grabbing at everything… poking.. prodding… picking… touching…. His Mom and Dad are always telling him to “put that down” or “don’t touch”, or “you can play with it later but now, put it back where it belongs”…. I feel sorry whenever I see that young boy’s curiosity being stopped short in that moment… but it’s true, now is not the time to play with it, or handle it…… later….. there’s a time to reach up and touch…and times not to… and no sense in reaching up to touch unnecessarily…a point we can all face…And as I’ve watched him over time I’ve noticed that he’s not touching, handling, rubbing those things as much as he did and I guess that at some point he’ll stop entirely… I guess constantly being reminded somehow got ingrained and he began, on some level and maybe not a conscious level, not to touch…. And isn’t it true that we do so many things unconsciously that we can easily change?... It’s not that different than driving… when we first learned we had to think about how to turn on the blinker when taking a turn… and then it became unconscious… no thought was necessary, we just did it instinctively… … but now… if we drive someone else’s car, or a rental car, or we get a new car, we have to find the turn signal…. to remember whether we’re only going to hold it up or just push it up… in a way we have to learn a new way of taking a careful turn and warn other drivers…

And aren’t so many things the same as they are in nature… people often use the expression “miss the forest for the trees’…. When walking on a trail we see, up close and personal, the trees, leaves, sunbaked pine needles…. But if we’re looking only at the trees, we miss the beauty of the forest… again, taking a step back…. Allowing a broader perspective… one that we can more easily share with others…. There are some things in the forest we simply don’t touch without potential harm… and the word “potential” is the key… there may or may not be harmful… but why take the chance? On some level we know it really isn’t worth it… and we, just like that child who needed a bath - after a long walk on dirt trails in the woods, sometimes just look forward to coming home to a nice warm shower and feeling clean… it’s the perfect ending to a beautiful day….

Now, I’ve said a lot, told many stories…. and I’m not sure what they’ll mean to you… whether some of those things may occur to you now or not until a little later…… but I hope that you’ve enjoyed some of them and maybe even found them interesting, they mean a lot to me…

So, over the coming days you might find yourself thinking about that little boy who had the urge to touch everything but learned not to… the sci-fi and fantasy films and books that describe force fields and what your own form of shields might be… teaching kids to get ready for school or preparing to go out with a new level of awareness… and enjoying nature… and it’ll give you a new perspective on some of the things you may have taken for granted…. Or perhaps never really took the time to think about…

And so, after this time of ease and comfort… take the time you need to absorb these ideas…and now I’ll invite you to slowly energize your muscles… move them slowly and in a deliberate fashion… and reorient yourself with complete mental clarity…fully alert… coming back into your room…

 

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Hypnotic Handwashing

How to Use Mindfulness, Hypnotic Scripts, Music, Behavioral Modification Strategies and Internet Resources to Dramatically Improve our Hand Washing Effectiveness

 

In this age of coronavirus, it makes more sense than ever to close any gaps between the ways we typically wash our hands and World Health Organization (WHO) standards/procedures for effective hand washing. After all, studies show that the more effectively we wash our hands with soap and water, the more effective we are at actually disempowering any coronavirus our hands might have picked up. 

To determine if a gap even exists between your hand washing standards and the WHO’s or CDC’s, please jot down or mentally note your answers to the following questions regarding your hand washing IQ and practice:

  1. About how many times did you wash your hands today for a full 20 seconds?
  2. If your answer to #2 is greater than 0, for each time you washed your hands for a full 20 seconds, how did you know it was that long? (Did you use your cell phone timer? Sing the Happy Birthday song twice? Count to twenty? Other?)
  3. How many times today did you wash your hands completely in accordance with the official guidelines of the World Health Organization or other official health agency that promotes effective handwashing?
  4. How many distinct steps does the WHO describe in their guidelines for effective hand washing?
  5. How many times today did you automatically touch something (like your face) only to realize you had touched a surface or two or perhaps even coughed or sneezed into a hand beforehand without grabbing a tissue for protection – rendering your hands technically “unwashed?”
  6. How many times today did you find yourself using hand sanitizer instead of washing your hands – even if the sink with soap and water were nearby?

Ideally, you offered favorable responses to all the above questions. Maybe you work in a health care setting and world-class hand washing is second nature to you. But if you are like the majority of people across the globe, and the majority of my friends, family, coworkers and clients, your answers to the above questions are less than stellar. Chances are, you haven’t yet achieved the highest of hand washing standards on a regular and consistent basis. And the elephant in the room is saying that in spite of your best intentions, your unwashed or ineffectively washed hands are putting you and those within contact at risk. In short, most of us (with that big elephant in the room) could use a little room for improvement.

The following idea, born of conversations with clients and colleagues during the first week of the crisis – is one that not only compels us to learn official hand washing if we haven’t done so already – but also to accompany each official step of the WHO 12-step hand washing process (https://www.who.int/gpsc/clean_hands_protection/en/) or the 8-step hand-sanitizing process (https://www.who.int/gpsc/5may/How_To_HandRub_Poster.pdf?ua=1) with a mindful or calming meditation, hypnotic song, self-hypnotic script, rap music to keep the beat going  or whatever helps get us through the day.

 

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How to Fill the Gap:  Three Methods for More Effective Handwashing

Dana Lebo, Ph.D.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
President, North Carolina Society of Clinical Hypnosis
drdanalebo@aol.com

 

Method One: Playlist Accompaniment

Collect your favorite songs and lyrics, soothing background music, nature sounds, etc., that induce in you the moods (calm, peaceful, happy, hopeful, etc.) that you want to feel throughout the day to stay positive, keep your spirits up and reduce anxiety. Create a playlist that you can readily access on your cell phone, MP3 player or portable electronic device that you carry with you and can turn on right before hand washing – keeping it safe, of course, from the water coming from the faucet. Be sure that you keep this device clean too so that you don’t re-contaminate your hands by touching it after you complete your hand washing (see  https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=how+to+keep+your+cell+phone+clean+during+coronavirus&docid=608003442720967709&mid=8DE341EEDD4209F8DB228DE341EEDD4209F8DB22&view=detail&FORM=VIREHT  or read https://www.cnet.com/how-to/help-keep-coronavirus-off-your-phone-how-to-disinfect-your-device-without-ruining-it/ for instructions on keeping your cell phone clean.)

Print out the following poster from the World Health Organization that instructs us with visual aids on the 12 steps of effective handwashing. Post it/tape it on the mirror, wall or surface behind every sink in your home.

https://www.who.int/gpsc/clean_hands_protection/en/

Practice Phase – Each time you wash your hands, turn on your playlist and listen, sing, bop, etc., while your practice each step of the hand washing process posted in front of you.

Once you (and family members) have mastered the WHO handwashing protocol, keep the poster there as a cue even though you don’t need to rely on its instructions anymore. You will find you can now get more deeply into the handwashing, itself, as you don’t have to look at the poster anymore, and as you pair your music, lyrics or song with the process, you can be more mindful and aware of the wash of sensations over your skin…

 

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Method Two: Mindful Meditation or Hypnotic Script Accompaniment

Dana Lebo, Ph.D. in Consultation with
Gail Kalin, Ph.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Gailkalinphd.com

 

Create a 20-second mindfulness meditation or hypnotic script that will bring you or your client comfort, peace, energy and focus throughout the day. Make sure it has 13 lines – no more, no less.

Visit https://washyourlyrics.com/ (created by William Gibson @neoncoth). By accessing the website, you are agreeing to it terms of service and are granted permission to use the materials (https://washyourlyrics.com/terms). Read the simple instructions for generating a poster, select “custom” under content type and insert the 13 lines of your script onto the box. Next, under Poster Type, select “Soap,” and then click on “Generate.” You will find you have created a poster with each line of your script corresponding to a step of hand washing.

Print out and post the poster where you can see it on the surface behind your sink and each time you wash your hands, practice the step-by-step hand washing protocol along with each line of your script.  

Once you have mastered how to effectively wash your hands, you can use the poster as a cue to wash your hands to your mindful or hypnotic script, possibly closing your eyes for enhanced sensation and effect. 

 

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Method Three: Hand Washing with Dance or Deep Breathing

Following Method 1 above, pair each step of the hand washing protocol with your favorite dance routine or “dance trance” that you can do while washing your hands. Or, you can pair each step with the inhaling, holding and exhaling of your breath to a count that fills 20 seconds (e.g., 1 - 2 cycles of inhaling through your nose to a count of 4, holding your breath for a count of 7 and exhaling through your mouth to a count of 8 – then rinse your hands with water at the final second). 

*Please note that the Internet abounds with examples of our favorite artists singing, dancing and listening to music while properly washing their hands.

 

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Guided Imagery for Hand Washing

Traci Stein, PhD, MPH
51 East 25th Street, Suite 7-i
New York, NY 10010
T: 212-481-1100
F: 212-481-1104
www.DrTraciStein.com
www.facebook.com/DrTStein
Twitter: @DrTraciStein

 

Here is the link to the guided imagery (plus video and ocean sounds) on my YouTube channel:

https://youtu.be/CJk39qoov_E

 

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Social Distancing

 

The CDC suggests that social distancing, or “remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (of at least 6 feet)” as much as possible might help to limit the ability of the virus to spread.

The following hypnotic metaphors, suggestions, stories and experiences are designed with this end in mind.

 

Finding the Still Spots

John W. Hall, PhD
Licensed Clinical Health Psychologist
Drjohnhall.com
Charlotte, NC

 

I need to be in the woods.  The quiet gets into my noisiest spots.  The calm slows down my nerves.  I have been known to drive hours on the craziest of highways just to find my soul that rest.  I know that time in stillness leaves me healthier in my mind and in my body and in my spirit.  In the woods I’ve learned a lot from the water.  It will always find the still spots.  Even through the leaves and rocks and crowded trees, it will always find the still spots.  After many years of studying what the water teaches, I find that I’m better at finding the still spots wherever I am.  In the middle of whatever I’m doing, I find that I’m always looking to find the still spots.  What a gift to be able to find the still spots.  If we learn from the time away and the stillness, we will find that we come back healthier in mind, body, and spirit. 

 

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Metaphor for Social Responsibility

Offered by a Client who is a Parent of a Teenage Boy

 

I tell my son to imagine that we are in a big snowstorm. Even though he wants to borrow our jeep with the four-wheel drive because it can get him through the snow to the coffee shop where he can sit with friends, the Governor has declared a state of emergency. He needs you off the roads so emergency and safety vehicles can get through.

And if you want to see how the act of one person staying home saves lives, here’s a video from the Washington Post, actually shared with me by my son, that explains beautifully how social distancing flattens the coronavirus curve:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/world/corona-simulator/

 

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Social Distancing - A Reframe

Tobi Godfus, LCSW
Germantown, MD
tobigoldfus@gmail.com

 

I have been using "social distancing" as a reframe for being able to set good boundaries with some of my clients who have had difficulty with social and relational boundaries.  For example, one of my clients who did not want to attend a toxic family member's birthday party and had been demanded to attend despite the warnings not to gather over 10 people, was able to feel comfortable using safety and social responsibility as her reason for not attending.  We future paced it as practice for saying no in the future.  She found this very empowering and a huge relief.

 

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“Negative Accentuation” to Help Teens Honor Social Distancing

 

Teens and young adults, whose brains are still developing into the mid-twenties and who lack the wisdom born of adult experience, might have a particularly hard time with social distancing. However, studies show that if they know the bad outcomes of their risks, they can be more careful. 

This idea of knowing the bad outcomes to help curb destructive behavior is not new or true of teens only. Dr. Erik Wright suggested it in the “Big Red Book” that the “Strategy of Negative Accentuation,” or “confronting people with the long-term or future negative consequences of a destructive habit, while at the same time devaluing the short-term pleasure” – might help to overcome it.

The story below illustrates this concept and the virtual connections we can make to socially distance, but NOT disconnect from one another.

 

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Fedi’s Story

Dana Lebo, PhD, in consultation with Federica Groppi
19-year-old citizen of Parma, Italy and former AFS exchange student at Chapel Hill High School in North Carolina

 

Three years ago, we were honored to have Fedi, an incredible 16-year-old from Parma, Italy, join our family for a year as an exchange student in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Fedi made many friends during her year in the U.S., and of course, all are now concerned about her welfare given the high COVID-19 death rate in Italy and the fact that both Fedi’s parents are physicians working in hospitals.

We mobilized a Zoom meeting so Fedi could talk to her U.S. friends – a connection that we hoped would boost her spirits. Little did I know that Fedi would end up helping us more than we helped her.

She shared what was going on in her world – the good, the bad and the ugly. She said at 6 pm she would be heading out to her balcony to sing and yell and bang on pots and laugh with other neighbors but from the distance of their balconies. And before that at 5 pm, she would join a virtual exercise class with a personal trainer who had a following of 5000 people – because he claimed that his exercises were the ones that could help strengthen lung capacity and fight coronavirus! She had just been challenged by her friends (remotely) to post a silly picture of herself on social media. Although she was alone at home, she didn’t feel so alone.

But she also shared that she was scared more than ever. Her Dad was at a distant hospital where “things were bad” and he couldn’t come home that night. Her Mom had called from the local hospital and said that day alone, 35 people had died in Parma. Her parents were worried they might bring the virus home from their work. Fedi said that now, when people got sick, they didn’t have the resources to treat everyone so they had to do what is called “battlefield triage.” The youngest and most likely to survive would be the one given treatment. And if people ventured on the street, they risked arrest. She was not only scared for her family, but also scared that the quarantine would last a long time.

I watched my son’s eyes grow in disbelief.

“I think we might be just a couple of weeks ahead of you. Please learn from our mistakes,” Fedi begged. “Don’t go out.”

She gave us the following link – a YouTube video that features interviews with quarantined Italians who record messages for “themselves from 10 days ago” during the pandemic.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_cImRzKXOs&t=81s

The next day, without any prompting, my son who had just one week earlier flown up to New York City to be with friends over spring break, called the administrators of his college. They had sent an email urging students to come and clear out their belongings from the dorms and he had been planning a trip with his Dad to do so. Instead, after asking around, he found out that the college could send a company in to pack up his belongings and store them for him. So he cancelled his trip and stayed home.

I couldn’t have put in place a better strategy for negative accentuation. I find even myself, when I go out for a walk, imagining that everyone I encounter has the virus. And I automatically keep my distance.

A couple of days later, we got the email from my son’s college that we knew would arrive sooner or later. A student had tested positive for COVID-19. And he and his family had just been on campus clearing out his dorm room. 

I thanked Fedi for showing us the future.

 

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Dealing with Anxiety as it Relates to COVID-19

Dr. Jeffrey K. Zeig, PhD
Clinical Therapist
Family and Marital Therapist
Founder and Director of the Milton Erickson Foundation

 

In light of the COVID-19 global pandemic, Dr. Jeffrey K. Zeig and the Erickson Foundation wanted to share this helpful video with information on how to deal with anxiety as it relates to the virus.

In this brief but effective video, Dr. Zeig walks us through five steps to manage anxiety due to the coronavirus.

Step 1 is Information about the difference between fear and anxiety. We are designed to feel fear because it ensures our survival when there is a real threat -- and we feel this physiologically. With anxiety there may or may not be a real threat, but we still experience fear in a physical way. Anxiety is fear from the things that we create in our mind. It is playing the “What if…?” game, but we cannot predict the future. Yes, there is a coronavirus and it is a physical threat. But anxiety can either push us forward or cripple us. With these steps you can learn how successfully manage your anxiety and harness it to your benefit.

Step 2 is Increase in Tension. This might seem like taking a step backward, but it not. If you can increase your tension or anxiety, then you can also decrease it. The goal is to identify your triggers before you panic.

Step 3 is Awareness. Having anxiety is like being in reverse. This step is going into neutral. Be aware of your anxiety – what you see, what you hear, and what you physically feel. You must get out of your mind to come to your senses.

Step 4 is Find a Safe Place. This may be in isolation or you may fantasize about a safe location. But in order make an action plan, you must first feel safe.

Step 5 is Action. Take action for yourself, your family, your coworkers, and others by doing what is necessary, whether that is washing your hands more, not touching your face, social distancing, wearing a mask and gloves, working from home –whatever it is you need to do to continue to feel safe – and to provide safety for others.

Remember, we are in this together. 

Watch the Video

Dealing with Coronavirus Anxiety - 5 Steps - YouTube

 

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COVID and Children

 

COVID-19, a Hypnopotamus and You

 

In this video Harry the Hypnopotamus explains to children about COVID 19 and the pandemic and what they can do to help.  Then he instructs them in belly breathing and how they can use their imaginations to help themselves during this difficult time.

Version 1 (no text):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gr9PGnb7bCQ
Version 2 (with text):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6X98gjMKLA&feature=youtu.be

Linda Thomson, MSN, APRN, ABMH, ABHN


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My Hero is You

 

This is my reading of “My Hero is You”, a book that was put together by a committee of the United Nations to help children through the pandemic. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V29jbjPlEUA

Linda Thomson, MSN, APRN, ABMH, ABHN

 

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GENERAL INFORMATION

 

Hypnotic Journey

 

During this unimaginable time of global crisis, this video was created to provide people the opportunity to take time to relax, to bolster their immune system and enhance their ability to cope and better protect themselves from the COVID 19 virus.  This video is a hypnotic, meditative journey of about 35 minutes; my gift to you.  Enjoy, stay healthy and well.  We are all in this together and we will get through this and look forward to the better days ahead.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqpjCtISMuw

Linda Thomson, MSN, APRN, ABMH, ABHN


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What Healthcare Professionals Should Know about the

COVID-19 Infection


https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters

Healthcare personnel (HCP) are on the front lines of caring for patients with confirmed or possible infection with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and therefore have an increased risk of exposure to this virus. HCPs can minimize their risk of exposure when caring for confirmed or possible COVID-19 patients by following Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) or Persons Under Investigation for COVID-19 in Healthcare Settings and the Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Dental Settings During the COVID-19 Response.
 

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How COVID-19 Spreads

There is much to learn about the newly emerged COVID-19, including how and how easily it spreads. Based on what is currently known about COVID-19 and what is known about other coronaviruses, spread is thought to occur mostly from person-to-person via respiratory droplets among close contacts.

Close contact can occur while caring for a patient, including:

  • being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a patient with COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time.
  • having direct contact with infectious secretions from a patient with COVID-19. Infectious secretions may include sputum, serum, blood, and respiratory droplets.

If close contact occurs while not wearing all recommended PPE, healthcare personnel may be at risk of infection.

 

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https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-bustersHow You Can Protect Yourself

Healthcare personnel caring for patients with confirmed or possible COVID-19 should adhere to CDC recommendations for infection prevention and control (IPC):

  • Assess and triage these patients with acute respiratory symptoms and risk factors for COVID-19 to minimize chances of exposure, including placing a facemask on the patient and placing them in an examination room with the door closed.
  • Use Standard and Transmission-Based Precautions when caring for patients with confirmed or possible COVID-19.
  • Perform hand hygiene with alcohol-based hand rub before and after all patient contact, contact with potentially infectious material, and before putting on and upon removal of PPE, including gloves. Use soap and water if hands are visibly soiled.
  • Practice how to properly in a manner to prevent self-contamination.
  • Perform aerosol-generating procedures, in an AIIR, while following appropriate IPC practices, including use of appropriate PPE.

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https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-bustersEnvironmental Cleaning and Disinfection


Routine cleaning and disinfection procedures are appropriate for SARS-CoV-2 in healthcare settings, including those patient-care areas in which aerosol-generating procedures are performed. Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims are recommended for use against SARS-CoV-2. Management of laundry, food service utensils, and medical waste should also be performed in accordance with routine procedures.

 

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When to Contact Occupational Health Services

If you have an unprotected exposure (i.e., not wearing recommended PPE) to a confirmed or possible COVID-19 patient, contact your supervisor or occupational health immediately.

If you develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (fever, cough, or difficulty breathing), do not report to work. Contact your occupational health services.

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters

For more information for healthcare personnel, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/hcp/index.html

The U.S. Department of Labor has resources to help workers and employers prepare for the COVID-19 virus (also known as novel coronavirus).1

 

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Workplace Safety


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has resources to help employers and workers prepare for and respond to coronavirus in the workplace.

 

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https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-bustersWages, Hours and Leave


The Wage and Hour Division is providing information on common issues employers and workers face when responding to COVID-19, including the effects on wages and hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act and job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

On Thursday, April 2, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued temporary regulations, effective immediately, implementing and interpreting the paid sick leave and emergency family leave provisions of the Families First Coronvirus Response Act (FFCRA). Key provisions include:

  • The rule explains the steps a small business must take to qualify for the small business exception (i.e., < 50 employees).
  • Paid sick leave and/or EFMLA is not available if the employer does not have work available for the employee, whether as a result of a quarantine order or other circumstances.
  • An employee has no right to the payment of unused emergency paid sick leave upon termination or separation from employment, or upon the expiration of the FFCRA, nor may an employee take more than a total of 80 hours of paid sick leave, even if he/she works for more than one employer.
  • Emergency Family and Medical Leave Act (EFMLA) and paid sick leave (if teleworking or caring for a child whose school has been closed) may be taken intermittently, but only upon the agreement of the employer and employee.

To see the regulations in their entirety, click here.  The regulations begin at page 83.

 

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Unemployment Insurance Flexibilities

NOTE: Check with your state’s unemployment insurance program regarding the rules in your state.

The Employment and Training Administration announced new guidance outlining state flexibilities in administering their unemployment insurance programs to assist Americans affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Under the guidance, federal law permits significant flexibility for states to amend their laws to provide unemployment insurance benefits in multiple scenarios related to COVID-19. For example, federal law allows states to pay benefits where:

  • https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-bustersAn employer temporarily ceases operations due to COVID-19, preventing employees from coming to work;
  • An individual is quarantined with the expectation of returning to work after the quarantine is over; and
  • An individual leaves employment due to a risk of exposure or infection or to care for a family member.

In addition, federal law does not require an employee to quit in order to receive benefits due to the impact of COVID-19.

 

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General Resourceshttps://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters

For further information about coronavirus, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s coronavirus website.

For a listing of the state departments of health, click here.

Learn what the U.S. government is doing in response to coronavirus at www.usa.gov/coronavirus (en Español: gobierno.usa.gov/coronavirus).2

The World Health Organization (WHO) is tracking the spread of Coronavirus and is providing many other resources at https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019.

The latest official information from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Task Force at the White House can be found at https://www.coronavirus.gov/.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has included several resources at https://www.nih.gov/health-information/coronavirus.

The CDC issued guidance on optimizing supplies of N95 respirators when supplies are running low.

 

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https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters