You are now draining a swamp. It is a big job and may take some time. Allow your emotions to surface and to flow through you with your breath. Give yourself the gift of focus and persistence. This is one of the most beneficial breathing techniques for chronic pain. It helps with relaxation, distraction, and calming anxiety and stress. If you have been an upper chest breather most of your life, diaphragmatic breathing may feel somewhat stressful. As with the previous exercise, it helps to place a article or a magazine on top of your belly in order to have something physical to push against as you breathe into your diaphragm. Let's begin. If lying down, you may find it easier to place a pillow beneath your knees, or even place your legs on an ottoman at a 90-degree angle with a pillow under your head. If you're sitting, allow your knees to be bent, with your shoulders, neck, and head relaxed. Try to keep the hand on your chest as still as possible. I often call this technique rescue breathing. You can do it for 5 to 10 minutes three to four times a day, whenever you're in pain. Sometimes both parent and child have received therapy and sometimes the child alone has been seen. Under each of these circumstances, all degrees of success and failure have occurred. It is as experimentation is carried into wider areas that the client-centered hypothesis, like any other, may be upheld, modified, or disproved. For instance, relatively little has been done with delinquents, mental defectives, and children in psychiatric wards. Until further experience has been obtained in these areas, the extent of applicability of this kind of therapy remains unknown. The Increasing Belief in the Child

The belief in the child's capacity for self-help is not an all-or-none affair, an article of faith accepted in toto by client-centered therapy from the very start, and retained unaltered ever since. Rather, it has grown with experience in working with children who seemed to have many strikes against them. For instance, a few short years ago, a nondirective therapist was apt to feel somewhat pessimistic about accepting a child for play therapy unless one or both parents also received therapy. Since the child's difficulties were seen to spring at least partially from the emotionalized attitudes of his parents, it appeared necessary to help the parent to examine and perhaps modify some of these. Your rewards will be beyond what you can see from this vantage point. You may feel all kinds of emotions and body sensations and hear your Rational Current say all kinds of unkind things. Stay with the program. The end is in sight. Soon the swamp will be drained and the alligators will no longer be snapping at you. What if your fears about your debt load are more than you can manage? You have been juggling your debt payments, and it seems as if you are about to fall over into the swamp. First just be with your emotions and your body sensations. Allow their energy to pass through you. Now feel some compassion come your way. Rib Cage Breathing Good for: chronic pain, headaches, joint pain, nerve pain, releasing tension, stress relief In order to take a full breath, the rib cage has to expand with the help of the intercostal muscles (the muscles in between each rib) to allow the lungs to fully expand. This expansion takes place front to back and side to side. Think of the rib cage area as a collapsible wire basket. The in breath expands the wire mesh out, and the exhalation allows the mesh to collapse on itself.

As we age--and with pain and some diseases--the muscles between the ribs get weaker, so the rib cage doesn't expand to its normal breath and width. This exercise will help strengthen the muscles for breathing while allowing you to tune in to the patterns of your breath and learn how to train your body to give yourself the best breath possible. For this exercise, you'll need an elastic therapy band or belt that fits around your back and chest. It's important to feel what you're doing in order to understand how the breath moves through your body. Thus, the therapist's attitude might have been paraphrased somewhat as follows: The child's behavior and symptoms do not come from thin air. They are his way of solving his problems, however inadequate they prove to be. If the problems themselves remain unaltered, therapy might help temporarily, but when it is over, the child may again be overwhelmed. It is too much to ask of a young child that he cope by himself with these unyielding and traumatizing parental relationships. Experiences with play therapy in orphanages and schools led to serious questioning of this early formulation. In these situations, as a matter of practical necessity, only the child received therapy. With parents unavailable for or unwilling to undertake personal therapy, treatment of the child alone was the only alternative to abandoning him completely. Much of the experimental work in schools and in children's homes was done by Axline and by students working under her direction. Reports of these applications, including verbatim case excerpts, are to be found in her article (14). How is it that children have been able to cope not only with their own inner conflicts, but with the same environmental situation which was originally traumatizing? Many people have been where you are and experienced just what you're experiencing. No judgment, no blame, and no shame. In fact, many people will feel compassion for you--they know what you're going through. Ask yourself: Can I freely move forward by myself and take steps to stop adding to my debt and drain my swamp? Or do I instead want some help? If you do, then contact a debt counseling service.

The service can work with you to contact your creditors, negotiate a repayment plan, and make a difference in your sense of inner peace. Regardless, continue with the various other practices as you drain your swamp. Now we're going to step forward into the future and begin to fund your dreams. It begins with collecting money for a six-months-I-can-live-with-ease fund and a dream fund. It's easiest to sit tall as you do this exercise, but if pain makes that difficult, you can do it lying down on a bed, a couch, or the floor. Let's begin. Wrap either an elastic band or belt around your torso and then place your hands at the sides of the rib cage, just above the floating ribs. This creates pressure in the inflated lungs, and pushes the ribs outward and into your hands so that you can feel them. Notice if your shoulders are trying to get into the action, and if they are, let them relax and be at ease. Repeat this two to five times. Sometimes this type of breathing can cause a feeling of light-headedness or hyperventilation. Make sure that you don't hold your breath too long, and stop if it feels uncomfortable. Alternate Nostril Breathing Good for: chronic pain, releasing tension, stress relief An answer which seems plausible is that, once the child has undergone some personal change, however slight, his environmental situation is no longer the same. That is, his stimulus-value to other persons has been altered. Once he is differently perceived, he is differently reacted to, and this different treatment may lead him to change further. Thus, the child may initiate a cycle of change. This is by no means a new idea, nor one which is unique to client-centered therapy, but it is one which has strongly affected our approach to play therapy. It is still possible to conceive, however, of a case, albeit rare, in which an attitude of deep rejection may be so central in a parent as to remain unaffected by a child's behavior changes.

This being the case, perhaps therapy can help a child emotionally to accept this painful fact, and hence to seek satisfactions elsewhere. Whatever the explanation may be, the fact remains that many children have benefited from play therapy without concurrent parent therapy. It is through accrued experiences of this kind that client-centered therapists have come to trust more and more in the child himself. The Therapist's Role Both of these start with your deep heart longings and probably a zero balance. Now, this may seem radical, yet it will make sense once you have turned your vessel around. Up to now you have been living without your dreams, yet today begins a new phase where you put money into your six-month and dream funds--first! When you receive money and before you pay your expenses, you place money here first, literally funding your safety and dreams. What you focus on grows. It doesn't matter how much money goes into the account or the envelope; Have you ever heard the phrase Pay yourself first? This is where you do that. Attend to your sense of self before you attend to anyone or anything else. It is like meditating before you start your day. Alternate nostril breathing is said to balance both the right and left brain hemispheres, and the nervous and hormonal systems. It very quickly brings the mind into Theta--the thrifty, dreamy brain state that happens just before sleep. This method can be done quite quickly to calm your system and reduce your feelings of stress and anxiety, while at the same time increasing your energy. Let's begin. If you are wearing glasses, remove them. You may find it comfortable to support your right elbow with your left forearm.