Are you looking to heal fast from laser eye surgery?

LASIK, an abbreviation for Laser In Situ Keratomileusis, is a frequently performed surgery that corrects nearsightedness (myopia). It is sometimes used to cure astigmatism and farsightedness as well. While it is an extremely popular surgery, anybody contemplating it will likely have a number of concerns, the most common being how long does LASIK recovery take? The next section tackles several frequently asked questions about laser eye surgery recovery.

The timescale for recovery

  • The first 24 hours 
  • Days 2–7
  • The first four weeks.

The first 24-hour period

Your surgeon will supply you with eye covers immediately after the best laser eye surgery. It is critical to wear them as needed, particularly at night. Additionally, you will be given a series of eye drops. Take note of how items should be used and adhere to the directions provided.

Within a few hours, you should be able to see well, and there should be little or no discomfort.

Days two through seven

You’ll need to continue wearing the eye shields for many nights to avoid accidentally touching your eyes while sleeping. On the question of sleep, it is critical to receive enough rest during this time period, since only then can the body completely engage in the healing process.

Avoid wearing makeup, and when you go outdoors, use shades since your eyes will be hypersensitive to light. You will be advised not to swim for the first two weeks after laser eye surgery.

Four weeks in the beginning

Your eyes are likely to be sensitive during this time period, perhaps feeling gritty, and you may see halos around light sources. While this may be worrying, be assured that it will settle and eventually vanish. You may notice that your eyes are drier than usual; if this is a concern, your surgeon may prescribe eye drops.

Avoid contact sports and activities that require significant strain, such as weight lifting, during this period.

Your surgeon will advise you on the best time to return to see him or her. Of course, if you’re concerned at any time throughout the rehabilitation process, don’t hesitate to seek guidance from them.

These extra actions can expedite your recuperation.

Laser eye surgery recovery durations are often shorter than those associated with other types of laser operations. The following suggestions will assist in shortening this critical period of healing and readjustment.

  • Avoid potentially dangerous situations, such as those that are smoky or dusty. Avoid entering areas with high chemical concentrations, such as print shops or dark rooms.
  • If your light sensitivity is extreme, consider wearing sunglasses inside as well.

Avert the blazing sun

To begin, you will ensure that you do not expose your eyes during bright or intense daylight. This is an absolute no-no. Strong sunlight might be problematic, particularly if you have just had laser eye surgery. You should also avoid any sort of bright artificial light for a period of time.

Avoid playing video games.

Do not aim to engage in extended durations of video gaming. This might have a deadly consequence. Simultaneously, you should avoid spending lengthy hours viewing movies or television shows.

Are you looking to heal fast from laser eye surgery?

Indulge in post-Lasik consultations

This is a critical step for you to take after Laser eye surgery. Lasik follow-ups in an appropriate amount will determine how quickly you recover. Make sure you do not miss any appointments with an eye expert, during this critical moment. Indeed, you need more attention, care, and medical counsel at this moment.

There will be no more intensive sports or strenuous activities.

Once the laser eye surgery operation is complete, it is critical that you maintain a low profile in the world of intense sports and strenuous exercise. Choose to remain apart from them for an extended length of time. Doctors advise that you should avoid any strenuous activity at this time.

Avoid regions that are dusty or smoky.

There is one more feature to which you must adhere to. Always avoid places that are dusty and smokey. Dirt, dust, and smoke are all potentially lethal. As a result, avoiding them is the best course of action.

The Procedure for Laser Eye Surgery

Many individuals are terrified about undergoing laser eye surgery. Laser eye surgery, on the other hand, is a rapid and painless process. Let us examine the technique for this medical operation.

Are you looking to heal fast from laser eye surgery?

1. Prior to undergoing laser eye surgery: After placing anesthetic eye drops in the patient’s eye, the eyelids are clamped using a speculum. Clamping is used to maintain the eye open during laser eye surgery, while anaesthetics numb it. All laser eye operations are performed on awake patients.

2. During the operation: After preparing the eye for laser eye surgery, the surgeon begins reshaping the cornea. A microkeratome (a surgical device with an oscillating blade) or a laser is used to produce a flap or to remove a section of the cornea. This flap is the epithelium, the outermost layer of the cornea. A flap is raised and folded to allow the laser to be directed into the cornea and utilized to destroy cells. While the process is being performed, a clicking noise and aroma are often detected.

3. Following laser eye surgery, the corneal epithelium would be replaced. After that, a contact lens or protective eyewear is utilized to secure and protect it. Within a few minutes, the flap will spontaneously reattach to the cornea. If required, the surgeon will next prescribe an eye drop to avoid infection and irritation.

What Should I Expect Following a Laser Eye Surgery?

The operation takes around 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the patient’s prescription and the kind of laser eye surgery being performed. Typically, the patient’s eyesight recovers within a couple of hours of the anaesthesia wearing off. As a result, you may return to work and resume your daily routines a few days following the procedure.

While little pressure may be felt in the eye while the laser is focused on the cornea, this technique causes minimal pain. Patients undergoing PRK and LASEK need the most time to recuperate. This is because it takes a few days for the epithelium to recover after its amputation.

After your laser eye surgery

Immediately after the laser eye surgery, your eye may burn, itch, or feel like there is something in it. You may experience some discomfort, or in some cases, mild pain and your doctor may suggest you take a mild pain reliever. Both your eyes may tear or water. Your vision will probably be hazy or blurry. You will instinctively want to rub your eye, but don’t! 

Rubbing your eye could dislodge the flap, requiring further treatment. In addition, you may experience sensitivity to light, glare, starbursts or haloes around lights, or the whites of your eye may look red or bloodshot. These symptoms should improve considerably within the first few days after laser eye surgery

You should plan on taking a few days off from work until these symptoms subside. You should contact your doctor immediately and not wait for your scheduled visit, if you experience severe pain, or if your vision or other symptoms get worse instead of better.

You should see your doctor within the first 24 to 48 hours after laser eye surgery and at regular intervals after that for at least the first six months. At the first postoperative visit, your doctor will remove the eye shield, test your vision, and examine your eye. Your doctor may give you one or more types of eye drops to take at home to help prevent infection and/or inflammation. You may also be advised to use artificial tears to help lubricate the eye. Do not resume wearing a contact lens in the operated eye, even if your vision is blurry.

After your laser eye surgery

You should wait one to three days after laser eye surgery before engaging in any non-contact sports, depending on the amount of activity required, your physical condition, and your doctor’s instructions.

To avoid infection, you may need to wait up to two weeks after laser eye surgery or until your doctor advises you otherwise before applying lotions, creams, or make-up around the eye. Following laser eye surgery, your doctor may advise you to continue washing your eyelashes for a period of time. Additionally, you should avoid swimming and hot tubs or whirlpools for 1-2 months.

Contact sports such as boxing, football, or karate should be avoided for at least four weeks following laser eye surgery. It is critical to safeguard your eyes from foreign objects and from being struck or bumped.

Your eyesight may vary over the first several months after laser eye surgery.

After laser eye surgery, it may take up to three to six months for your vision to stabilize.

During this stabilization period, glare, haloes, difficulty driving at night, and other visual symptoms may also persist. If additional correction or enhancement is required, you should wait at least two consecutive visits at least three months apart before re-operation. It is critical to understand that while distance vision may improve following re-operation, other visual symptoms such as glare or haloes are unlikely to improve. Additionally, no laser company has presented the FDA with sufficient evidence to draw conclusions about the safety or effectiveness of enhancement surgery.

Immediately notify your eye doctor if you experience any new, unusual, or worsening symptoms following laser eye surgery. Such symptoms may indicate the presence of a problem that, if left untreated, may result in vision loss.

LASIK is a cutting-edge laser eye surgery procedure that corrects vision problems and frequently eliminates the need for glasses or contact lenses. Among its numerous advantages is its short recovery period, which enables many patients to return to work within a few days. However, following the LASIK procedure, your eyes must be properly cared for. The following tips will help you recover quickly and positively from laser eye surgery:

Relax

While LASIK is a minor outpatient procedure, your body will require time to recover completely. Do not attempt daily tasks until you are completely prepared, and keep in mind that you will require someone to transport you home following the procedure. Adequate rest after LASIK surgery includes resting your eyes, so avoid watching television, using a computer, or reading for at least the first 24 hours following laser eye surgery. Napping is an excellent way to rest your eyes, particularly after LASIK.

After your laser eye surgery

Obey your physician’s orders.

Your vision correction professional provides specific instructions for a reason: to expedite the healing process and progress of your vision correction. Following your doctor’s instructions will ensure proper eye care following LASIK. Consult your doctor as recommended, typically 24 hours after the initial laser eye surgery, to ensure that your recovery is proceeding as planned. Take medications exactly as prescribed, particularly any eye drops designed to promote healing and prevent infection. Always inform your doctor if you experience any discomfort or sensations that are not associated with the normal recovery process.

Protect your eyes 

One of the most critical steps in the recovery process is to protect your eyes following LASIK. While it is natural to experience itching, burning, and soreness in the eyes following laser eye surgery, it is critical to avoid rubbing them. Always wear eye protection while sleeping, avoid participating in sports, and wear sunglasses when outside on a sunny day. Until your doctor advises otherwise, avoid using facial creams or makeup; bathing instead of showering can sometimes help prevent eye irritation.

Within One Month of Surgery

Numerous LASIK patients notice an improvement in their visual acuity the day of their laser eye surgery. You should notice an improvement in your vision over time, as well as fewer symptoms. Within a month of laser eye surgery, your vision should stabilize.

If you previously had severe nearsightedness, your eyes may require additional time to heal. However, do not be concerned; your eye doctor will have factored this into your recovery plan. This may require you to wear glasses for a brief period of time in order to aid in the healing of your eyes.

You may continue to use your electronics as usual but ensure that you take more breaks in between. Although your eyes are now less sensitive, they are still healing.

Additionally, you would need to see your doctor within a month of laser eye surgery. Your surgeon will continue to monitor your vision and make any necessary adjustments.

A concise overview of laser eye surgery

By 2050, myopia will affect more than half of the world’s population. Our reliance on spectacles and contact lenses is growing. Laser therapy is another technique for reversing myopia. Your ophthalmologist may recommend laser eye surgery to treat refractive disorders such as myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism effectively. So, what is laser eye surgery? laser eye surgery is a frequently performed procedure used to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and other defects in the cornea or lens of the eye.

Laser eye surgery is an abbreviation for Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis. The surgical procedure is designed to precisely restore vision while also allowing for a rapid recovery. Other laser treatments and refractive surgery procedures alter the cornea’s structure by creating slits and shaping the eye lens with a laser, you can get surgery cost detail information from laser eye surgery sydney. The following are examples of alternative refractive surgery and laser treatments:

  • Advanced Surface Ablation 
  • Radial Keratotomy 
  • Photorefractive Keratotomy

On the other hand, laser eye surgery involves reshaping the corneal tissue. It requires the removal of a very small amount of corneal tissue. Following corneal reshaping, a circular flap is opened in the middle and replaced. This operation will correct the focusing power of the eye lens, allowing for clear vision.

A concise overview of laser eye surgery

What are the benefits of laser eye surgery?

  • This procedure is absolutely painless.
  • Surgery on both eyes takes less than a quarter of an hour.
  • Vision stabilizes within 24 hours of operation.
  • No bandages or stitches are needed after surgery.
  • Years later, if eyesight deteriorates as a result of aging, it may be rectified.

What preparation should I do for laser eye surgery?

  • Patients who use contact lenses are advised to refrain from using them for two to three weeks prior to surgery.
  • The ophthalmologist examines the patient’s eyes and medical history.
  • The corneal thickness, pupil dilation, intraocular pressure, and corneal mapping are all evaluated.
  • Prior to surgery, the patient’s eye is numbed using numbing eye drops to reduce any pain.
  • In certain circumstances, medications are utilized to promote calm during treatment.
  • Patients are recommended to have just a light meal the day before surgery.

What should I anticipate after surgery?

Immediately after surgery, you may have brief itching and burning sensations in your eyes. While the majority of patients report immediate clarity of vision after the laser eye surgery, a small percentage may suffer temporary hazy vision. Until your eye is completely healed, avoid touching it or driving.

What threats are present?

Blindness is uncommon unless the surgeon makes a mistake while building the flap. Lasik eye surgery on a thin cornea may result in blindness. Occasionally, other annoyances such as glare, halos, fluctuating vision, and dry eyes may arise.

Who is not qualified for laser eye surgery?

Patients who are in their early twenties or younger and have an uneven refractive power. Patients who may be having hormonal imbalances as a consequence of diabetes or other diseases. Those who have visionary fluctuation as a side effect of medication; pregnant or nursing mothers. Individuals who regularly participate in close contact sports such as wrestling and martial arts.

Under no circumstances should a patient consent to surgery due to the influence of another. Prior to making a decision, consult an eye health practitioner about the dangers connected with laser eye surgery.

Laser eye surgery is a life-changing procedure. Furthermore, it is incredibly popular, with millions of people receiving laser therapy each year. Regrettably, fame promotes deception. At Personal Eyes, we are dedicated to dispelling laser eye surgery myths and educating patients about the procedure. The following are five often held misunderstandings about eye surgery and why they are incorrect.

MYTH #1: The laser used in laser eye surgery might result in eye burns!

False! Many people believe this because a strange odor may occasionally occur during laser eye surgery while the excimer laser reshapes your cornea. The excimer laser produces a concentrated beam of light rather than heat.

That strange odor is simply carbon released into the air as collagen molecules are broken apart by the excimer laser.

A concise overview of laser eye surgery

MYTH #2: You will go blind.

Indeed, no cases of blindness have been documented as a result of Laser eye surgery as of this writing. Individuals had a 34-fold greater chance of becoming blind from contact lens infection than from laser eye surgery, according to a recent study.

However, if the recommended post-operative care is not followed, the consequences (particularly infections) may result in blindness. This is extremely rare but has occurred. laser eye surgery does not result in blindness, and the majority of postoperative laser eye surgery complications can be avoided by following your surgeon’s instructions.

Consult an ophthalmologist immediately if you notice anything unusual or frightening following your laser eye surgery procedure. Even if the suspicion is unfounded, it is always preferable to be safe than sorry!

MYTH #3: Laser eye surgery is a painful treatment.

Lasik eye surgery is entirely painless. Naturally, pain is a subjective sensation. What one person may consider to be minor discomfort; another may consider it to be severe pain. The most unpleasant aspect of the laser eye surgery procedure, according to our patients, is the laser pressure. When the excimer laser is used, a suction device is used to maintain the stability of your eye. This is advantageous because it prevents you from moving your eyes and interfering with the therapy during surgery. However, this requires suction, which may exert an uncomfortable amount of pressure on your eye. This sensation will last only a few seconds while your eye is treated by the excimer laser.

MYTH #4: Laser eye surgery is not irreversible.

Laser eye surgery is, in fact, a permanent procedure. Your eye doctor will continue to monitor your eye health on an annual basis. Additionally, regardless of whether they initially underwent laser eye surgery, all patients will develop presbyopia and cataracts. This is undoubtedly the primary factor contributing to the myth’s spread. Cataracts and presbyopia both result in significant visual changes, and some patients feel that laser eye surgery may correct these changes.

Cataracts and presbyopia are disorders of the eye’s lens, not the cornea. Because laser eye surgery can only adjust the cornea’s curvature, surgery has no impact on the lens and so cannot correct lens-related vision problems.

The recovery stages from cataract surgery

Cataract surgery recovery typically takes around a month. Following the cataract surgery, you’ll want to exercise extreme caution with your eye.

Your ophthalmologist will provide you with specific instructions for the hours, days, and weeks after cataract surgery.

Following are some general guidelines for post-cataract surgical care:

  1. For a few weeks, refrain from hard lifting or vigorous activity.
  2. Avoid bending over for a couple of days.
  3. Avoid swimming for the first several weeks after surgery.
  4. Keep irritants away from your eye.
  5. Avoid rubbing your eyes.

The Stages of Recovery Following Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery is often performed as an outpatient operation, which means you may return home the same day your cataract is removed. This implies that the majority of your recuperation will take place at home, with occasional follow-up appointments with your ophthalmologist to ensure adequate healing. It is critical to properly follow your ophthalmologist’s recovery instructions to minimize the chance of developing procedure-related problems including inflammation, infection, swelling in the retina, detached retina or lens, discomfort, and vision loss. Visit https://www.personaleyes.com.au/cataracts to read more about cataract surgery in Sydney.

While your ophthalmologist will provide you with a more comprehensive timeline for recovery and expectations, the following are some basic guidelines to follow after cataract surgery.

Immediately Following Surgery

After cataract surgery is done and you have spent sufficient time in the recovery room to let any residual anesthetic wear off, you may return home. Due to the fact that your eyesight will be impaired shortly after the cataract surgery, it is not safe for you to drive home. It is critical that you have someone trustworthy transport you home after the treatment. While this is normally an outpatient procedure, it is still surgery, and you may have grogginess, stiffness, or pain for many hours after the procedure. The following are common side effects on the first day after the cataract surgery

  • Watery eyes.
  • A sense of grit in your eyes.
  • Double vision or blurred vision.
  • A bloodshot or crimson eye.

To alleviate the discomfort, you may be given prescription eye drops. Additionally, you should acquire a pair of prescription sunglasses to shield your eyes from the brightness of the sun or lights, and it is important to wear them for the required duration of time. To maintain the protection of your eyes overnight, you may also get an eye patch or protective visor to wear to bed to prevent your eye from being poked or struck while sleeping.

Several Days Later

While you may continue to feel some physical pain in the eye that had cataract surgery, these symptoms should subside within 24 to 48 hours. You may need to use antibiotic eye drops for many days after the surgery, which may include cleaning the area surrounding your eye. Follow your eye doctor’s instructions carefully to prevent getting anything in your eye, including sterile water. check out some common eye drops at https://www.reviewofoptometry.com/article/topical-antibiotics

After you return home, you should take care not to get soap or water in your eye for the duration prescribed by your ophthalmologist. While you should be able to resume typical activities such as showering within a day after this outpatient operation, you may need to wear eye protection while bathing. Additionally, for a few days, while your eye recovers, you should avoid various hair products, fragrances, face washes, lotions, and cosmetics. For a few days after surgery, you may need to wear protective eyeglasses to avoid poking, rubbing, or scratching your eye. Itching and pain are usual in the days after the cataract surgery, however, it is critical not to touch your eye during this time.

This itching and pain will subside in two to three days. If it persists or worsens, see your doctor. These glasses may be necessary to correct your eyesight. Although your vision should improve after a day or two of surgery, if you have a monofocal lens implanted, you may need assistance seeing items up close since this lens does not compensate for varied ranges of vision. Click here to learn more about monofocal lens by clicking here.

While many simple activities, such as watching television and strolling about the home, are OK the day following surgery, more vigorous activity should be avoided. Your ophthalmologist will work with you to evaluate which elements of your lifestyle are safe to participate in, such as reading, close-up hobbies such as sewing or driving, or physically taxing activities such as exercising. It is critical to meticulously follow your ophthalmologist’s instructions since you run the danger of dislocating the new lens.

Typically, your ophthalmologist will visit you a day or two following the cataract surgery. You will almost certainly want assistance going to and from your eye doctor’s clinic. A week later, you will have another follow-up test. After that, you may devote a few weeks to healing prior to your next session.

Several Weeks Later

While significant vision improvement is achievable within one to three days after surgery, it may take between three and ten weeks for your eyesight to improve to its maximum potential. Your last examination with your ophthalmologist should occur around one month following surgery. This is the anticipated recuperation time in its entirety. With examinations prior to the one-month mark, your eye doctor should be able to detect and treat any complications that arise after cataract surgery.

After cataract surgery, the total recovery period is up to eight weeks or two months. Your eyesight should continue to improve throughout this period. Colors should seem brighter, and your eyesight should be generally crisper. While you are unlikely to regain complete vision or 20/20 vision, you should be able to see 20/30 or 20/40 without the need for corrective lenses such as glasses. 

Once your eyes have recovered completely from cataract surgery, your doctor will determine your final prescription for glasses. This is unlikely to alter since the artificial lens in your eye will retain its shape and clarity over time, unlike a biological lens. Click here to read about Should you exercise after cataract surgery?

If you have cataracts in both eyes and need surgery, your ophthalmologist will normally perform the cataract surgery on one eye first, wait for the eye to heal, and then schedule the second eye. While this prolongs your total eyesight recovery time, it is critical to allow for an adjustment period during which you can see out of one eye and determine if any issues occur throughout the healing process.

Should you exercise after cataract surgery?

It is recommended that you avoid heavy exercise and even bending forward for the first 1 to 2 weeks after cataract surgery.

The discomfort or pain associated with cataract surgery often disappears after a few days following the outpatient procedure. The eyesight rapidly improves, and complete recovery takes around eight weeks.

For at least a week after the surgery, avoid any strenuous activities, including exercise. Within a week or two post-cataract surgery, you may be able to resume light activity, such as walking. It is possible that resuming to exercise too soon after a cataract eye surgery increases the chance of complications from the procedure.

Cataract surgery is done on a patient’s eye to remove a cataract. You may immediately return home after the surgery, which is a common and usually safe technique.

As with previous surgeries, you will need to wait several weeks before returning to your typical fitness routine.

The time required to resume normal activity after cataract surgery varies according to the activity. While little exercise is OK during the first week, more severe activity should be avoided for many weeks thereafter. This will aid in the normal recovery of your eye.

Continue reading to learn how you may safely exercise after cataract surgery.

How long should you wait before resuming normal activity after cataract surgery?

Your eye doctor can advise you on the ideal time to begin exercising after cataract surgery. Take care to follow their directions precisely, since they may offer suggestions depending on your unique situation.

Following cataract surgery, here is a general guideline for when you may resume different levels of physical activity: 

Week one

For the first week after cataract surgery, strolling outdoors, modest treadmill walking, light housework, and gentle stretching are all suitable forms of low-impact physical exercise (without bending at the waist)

Avoid bending and lifting anything that weighs more than 10 to 15 pounds, such as laundry and groceries. This may increase the pressure in your eyes and make recovery more difficult.

The second week after surgery

After two weeks, your physician may authorize you to participate in moderate-intensity exercises such as: 

  • brisk walking
  • jogging
  • yoga; and 
  • slow dancing

Four to six weeks after surgery

After this, you should be able to resume more vigorous physical exercise. Exercises such as weightlifting, running, swimming, and intense cycling is examples of this kind of activity.

To be safe, see your eye doctor before resuming this level of exercise. You can read about Recovery tips from a cataract surgery by visiting http://uktherapists.com/recovery-tips-from-a-cataract-surgery/

What are the warning signs and symptoms of a serious postsurgical complication?

Although complications associated with cataract surgery are exceedingly uncommon, they can occur.

Significant side effects include progressive eye irritation, redness, or stickiness; increasing swelling within or around the eye; impaired or double vision; eye hemorrhage; and pain that does not respond to pain medication.

All of these symptoms are possible: blinding flashes, floaters, seeing glares or dark shadows, nausea, and vomiting.

A serious result, such as an eye infection or retinal detachment, changes in eye pressure, eye damage, or displacement of the intraocular lens (IOL) implant, may present as any of the above symptoms.

Cataracts secondary to age are a kind of cataract that occurs later in life.

Consult an eye doctor if you have any worries about whether anything is amiss with your eye. If you address your side effects as soon as they arise, their severity will decrease.

How is cataract surgery performed?

A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens. This clouding results in cataracts. It occurs as a result of protein clumping together in the lens and forming a clumping mass. Cataracts develop gradually and become more prevalent as we age, but they are not entirely prevented.

Over time, a cataract may damage your eyesight, making nighttime or low light vision difficult.

A cataract can only be removed surgically. During this procedure, the clouded lens is removed and replaced with an artificial lens, referred to as an IOL.

If a cataract impairs your ability to do everyday duties such as watching television or driving, you will almost always need surgery. Additionally, you may need therapy if the cataract makes it more difficult to manage other eye disorders.

Before conducting surgery, your eye specialist will check and assess your eyes and eyesight. As a consequence, they will be able to better plan the procedure.

The following is a list of what you may anticipate throughout the procedure:

  1. A medical practitioner will initially numb the area around your eye using eye drops. You will be conscious during the operation.
  2. The doctor will cut into your eye with a little device and remove the cloudy lens, then shut your eye.
  3. The prosthetic lens will then be installed. The total duration of the process is estimated to be between 30 and 60 minutes.
  4. The doctor will place a bandage to safeguard your eye. 5. In the fifth phase, you will be transferred to a recovery area where you will be monitored by medical personnel.
  5. Before you leave the clinic, the doctor will provide you with aftercare instructions. To return home, you must be picked up by a family member, a friend, or a transportation service.

Cataract surgery is done on one eye at a time to prevent problems. Unless both eyes undergo surgery concurrently, you will need to wait around four weeks between the two procedures.

The critical element to have in mind

In general, it is okay to engage in light exercise during the first week after cataract surgery. Walking and stretching are two examples of non-bending exercises.

By the second week, you should be able to resume moderate-intensity exercises.

Within four to six weeks, you should be entirely healed. At this stage of the recuperation process, vigorous activity such as weightlifting or running is often safe.

The particular time period within which you may safely resume your workout regimen may vary by person. Always follow your doctor’s directions and keep your follow-up appointments. Your physician will be able to monitor your recovery and ensure that your eye heals properly.

Recovery tips from a cataract surgery

Cataract eye surgery is one of the most common and safest eye surgeries done in the United States today. The procedure is performed as a one-day procedure, and you should be able to return home the same day. The operation itself takes less than 20 minutes, and it is performed under local anesthetic to provide a comfortable experience. The majority of patients claim that they have clear eyesight after a day and that they are totally recovered within a few weeks.

The recuperation is straightforward, and the procedure results in eyesight that is clear, crisp, and stable. However, a painless, quick, and seamless recovery is only achievable if the patient follows the ophthalmologist’s advice and takes the necessary measures before the procedure. This helps to guarantee that you do not have any issues when your eye adapts to the artificial lens over time.

What should I anticipate during and after my cataract surgery recovery? What should I expect during and after my cataract surgery recovery?

The recovery period varies from patient to patient, therefore there is no set schedule for recovery. Some individuals heal quite quickly, and others recover rather slowly. The predicted recuperation period should be a few weeks; however, many patients report having clear eyesight within a few days of the procedure being performed.

Immediately after the procedure

After the surgeon has finished operating on your eye, you will be given enough time to recover from the anesthesia that you will be able to drive home.

During your rehabilitation, the doctor will give you eye drops, eyeglasses, and other drugs that you will need to keep your vision clear. The eye drops and prescription will help to avoid infections, reduce inflammation, and reduce the likelihood of problems. Because of the anesthetic used, it is not recommended that you drive yourself home. 

Have a friend or family member pick you up and drive you back to your house. When you go home, you should take a long sleep to give your eyes a chance to recover. After a few hours, you will be able to resume normal activities such as watching television, using your computer, or using your phone.

After the cataract surgery, a few days pass.

After a few hours, the aftereffects of the procedure had subsided. However, you may still suffer fuzzy vision after a few days, which will progressively improve with each passing day after that. It is possible that you may still feel slight discomfort since your eye is still changing and adapting. While this is typical, it is important that you completely adhere to the doctor’s recommendations. If these side effects continue and you believe they are becoming worse, make an appointment with your doctor right once.

After a month has passed after your cataract surgery,

Your eyesight should be as bright as clear as possible three to four weeks after the procedure is completed. This is the anticipated recuperation period, and by this point, you should have completed the necessary examinations. The total amount of time required for healing should be between 1 and 2 months. Your eyesight will be unimpaired even after you have recovered completely. It is not predicted to alter since, in contrast to real eye lenses, the artificial lens will not change over time.

Tips for a quick, pleasant, and painless recovery after cataract surgery are provided here.

Make sure to have your eyes checked on a regular basis.

Regardless of how well you believe your eye is recuperating, make sure you attend all of the follow-up appointments as prescribed by your doctor. This will guarantee that your eyes recuperate correctly and reduce the likelihood of any issues occurring.

Make sure you carefully follow all of the guidelines and directions provided by your ophthalmologist.

Due to the fact that your eyesight is very essential, you should take care when recovering from surgical procedures. Always consult with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns regarding your medicine or recovery. Also, if you notice that side effects such as itching are becoming more severe, do not hesitate to see your doctor.

Take it easy following the procedure.

Cataract surgery may seem to be a straightforward procedure to many individuals since it is performed in a single day. However, it is no different from any other kind of surgery. As much as possible, take a long sleep in the first few days to allow your eyes to relax and acclimate to the new lens. Avoid using your phone, computer, or watching television for extended periods of time since these activities can strain your eyes.

Stay away from physically demanding work.

Work that is physically demanding will put a great deal of strain on your eyes, which will be detrimental to your recuperation. Make a point of avoiding jobs that will place a high demand on your abilities, such as carrying large goods. It is advisable that you take some time to rest and allow your eyes to fully heal before returning to such activities.

Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.

Because you have just undergone cataract surgery, sunshine, dust, and wind may all cause irritation to your eyes. In order to safeguard your eyes, it is critical that you wear any protective eyewear prescribed by your eye doctor. You should also avoid getting water or soap in your eyes until you have recovered completely.

Do not get behind the wheel.

Your eyesight may be hazy and shaky during the first several hours and up to one day after the cataract surgery. As a result, driving is not recommended. Have someone assist you until you are able to drive yourself again after your recovery.

Maintain the highest level of hygiene

Make sure you are in a highly clean atmosphere throughout your recuperation to prevent contracting any infections. To prevent having your eyes inflamed, make sure your home is completely swept and cleaned.

Swimming is a tough physical sport that requires stamina. During the recovery process, it will exert pressure on the affected eye. Additionally, water will come into contact with the eyes, causing irritation and redness.

Avoid rubbing your eyes.

Even in normal conditions, it is not advisable to massage your eyes since it might cause irritation. Can you imagine what it would be like to touch your eye after cataract surgery? No matter how much you want to massage your eyes because they are itchy, you should refrain from doing so.

Because cataract surgery is completed in a single day and you are able to return home, you will be able to complete the full recuperation process at home. Because your ophthalmologist will not be there, you will need to rigorously adhere to the directions and any recommendations that have been provided to you. Attend all of your follow-up tests and your recovery will be simple and swift, with no difficulties to worry about. In a few days or weeks, you should be able to return to your previous level of activity. You can read about The recovery stages from cataract surgery by visiting http://uktherapists.com/the-recovery-stages-from-cataract-surgery/

Medical Therapies

Medical therapies or rather medical treatments exist for a wide range of different health problems. First of all, a so-called diagnosis has to be made which means that the respective doctor is asked to identify a possible disorder or disease. Consequently, he or she has to describe and explain his or her diagnostic opinion considering the respective existing disorder or disease.

If the exact diagnosis, in other words, the disease or disorder, could be successfully made, doctors thus are able to propose an effective medical therapy or medical treatment.

Strictly speaking, patients are offered a great number of different types of therapies. For instance, there exist so-called preventive therapies. Preventive therapies are also known under the name of prophylactic therapies and describe special treatments that try to avoid certain, often critical, medical health states from occurring. What about abortive therapies?

So-called abortive therapies represent medical treatments that are responsible for stopping a medical health state from worsening any further. By the way, patients also do have the possibility to make use of so-called supportive therapies which make a great contribution to their general comfort, well-being, and health.

Note: In the context of general medicine, especially when talking about therapies and treatments, terms such as preventions, treatments, and cures are often used. We want to point out that these three expressions do not have the same significance. Preventions describe a medical possibility to help prevent a special disease, sickness, or injury. You can read about The Rogerian Approach to Counselling Theory by visiting http://uktherapists.com/the-rogerian-approach-to-counselling-theory/

The term treatment can be seen as a synonym for the expression ‘therapy’ – this is because of the reason that a treatment or therapy tries to medicate a special medical problem. In most cases, the treatment or therapy of such as medical problem can provoke its cure. The expression ‘cure’ means a treatment that succeeds in stopping medical problems permanently.

Medical Therapies

Now we want to describe an exemplary medical therapy: You are in all respects tired of wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses? Do you simply want to enjoy natural vision without glasses or lenses? We inform you about the possibility of the so-called laser eye surgery – a special therapy and treatment that helps people take their first step to a life which provides natural vision.

When talking about laser eye surgery many people refer to the term ‘LASIK’ or ‘Lasik’. Strictly speaking, Lasik represents a type of refractive eye surgery. In other words: Lasik, which is also a common medical expression in German, for instance, Augen laser mit Lasik, helps correct, cure, or reduce a wide range of different vision disorders such as others astigmatism, myopia, and hyperopia.

Besides Lasik, there exists also another surgical corrective procedure – namely PRK which is better known as photorefractive keratectomy. Lasik as well as photorefractive keratectomy are successful treatments when it comes to general vision problems or vision disorders. Furthermore, it can also be said that they represent great alternatives in comparison to corrective lenses or glasses. Click here to read about Recovery tips from cataract surgery.

The Rogerian Approach to Counselling Theory

In order to outline and explain the Rogerian approach to counselling theory, I will first look at how Rogers came to research. his approach. with reference to his background and interests; I will then go on to trace the development of his theory from the motivational drives in man through to the cause of psychological tension, covering his theory of personality development, and on to how he researched and developed a therapeutic environment in which this tension can be dissolved.

Carl Rogers was a psychologist in America. He was part of the Human Potential Movement that happened around the middle of this century, and the founder of humanistic psychology.

The Human Potential Movement was greatly influenced by the Existential approach believing that “Man’s wholeness is to be sought through direct experience rather than analytical reflection” (Kovel 199.1:154), and so was in opposition to the psychoanalytical view that man was at the mercy of his unconscious drives and instincts; and also in opposition to the view of the behaviourists, which suggested that man was at the mercy of his environment and learned behaviours.

Their belief was that man has his own potential for growth and thereby an ability to use what is, available to his consciousness as a way to the truth. Rogers also believed “that the innermost core of a man’s nature, is positive in nature”, and that man “is basically socialized, forward-moving, rational and realistic” (Rogers 1974), and, therefore not destructive as suggested by Freud.

Throughout his development of humanistic psychology, Rogers was not only influenced by existentialism but also by others in the Human Potential Movement, including Maslow, Combs and Snygg, and it is important to note that he came from an academic background in which he had been concerned with research; this was why he was not only keen to develop his theory but was also able to test it and record his findings.

The system he developed was not a closed system and he was always open to criticism, sometimes updating his work following further investigation. He also applied his ideas to his own personal development.

Through his work as a psychologist, he became interested in the communication between two people within a relationship and this lead him to research what motivates a human being.

He discovered an actualising tendency that’ is inherent in all organisms – this is the basic drive towards wholeness of the organism and actualisation of its potentialities – and that “The organism is self-controlled. In its normal state, it moves toward its own enhancement and toward independence from external control.”

The Rogerian Approach to Counselling Theory

One example for his evidence of the existence of an actualising tendency came from the work of Driesch, a biologist, who separated the two cells formed by the first division of a fertilised egg of a sea urchin and placed them in an environment conducive to growth to see if they could develop into two complete sea urchins even though they came from one egg.

The result was that each cell did develop into a complete sea urchin, thus proving that each organism had the potential to grow.

The conclusion that Rogers took from this, as well as other evidence and observations, was that given the right conditions the tendency for, and direction of, growth comes from within the organism; that the tendency is operative at all times; that it is indicative of life, and it responds in a fluid and changing manner to a variety of stimuli, both internal and external, as they come into the awareness of the organism.

Therefore, the locus of evaluation of stimuli lies within the organism and the organism in its drive toward wholeness chooses how to respond to a stimulus by deciding whether or not it will be enhanced by the experience on offer. So, the response to a stimulus is not fixed but changeable, as it is determined by the needs of the organism. at that moment.

The organism is also able to retain the feedback of its experiences and so learn from its mistakes – this process is known as the organismic valuing process.

So, if the organism is motivated by its actualising tendency to enhance itself and it functions efficiently by learning from its mistakes, why then do we see people who appear to be stuck in self-destructive routines or appear to be in conflict with themselves?

If we now take an example of a person who is usually quiet and compliant but occasionally has a tantrum which takes him by surprise and he then disowns the tantrum as out of character, we can see that he must be working towards both behaviours.

However, he is only aware of the drive to be compliant and seems to be unaware of the other drive which is working at cross purposes to this. Rogers concluded that there must be a second motivational drive in humans that is conflicting with the organism’s actualising tendency, and to find this second drive he turned his attention to the place and function of awareness in life.

Rogers likened human awareness to the small peak of a pyramid: The small peak represents our conscious attention, or awareness, and capacity to symbolise our experiences; the vast remainder of the pyramid represents our non-conscious organismic functioning being that which we do automatically but do not have to be constantly aware of. such as blinking.

There is a flow of information from the non-conscious organismic functioning into awareness and a person who is functioning efficiently will be open to this flow and hence aware of his organism, and, therefore, himself.

However, when a person senses conflict between his internal information and that of the external environment, he might use conscious thought as a barrier to stem the flow of information into awareness in order to eliminate the conflict. In doing this he is going against the fluidity of his organism, blocking his actualising tendency, and holding his consciousness as rigid.

So, we can now see that apart from a motivation to actualise the organism, man has a motivation to direct his conscious life and that this drive is in response to an external influence.

Rogers explained the reason for barriers to our organismic valuing process by looking at personality development.

At first, a baby is driven by his actualising tendency and he trusts his organismic valuing process to guide his behaviour, such as when to cry or sleep. As he experiences himself and his relationship to his surroundings he also defines himself from his experiences, thus forming a self-concept while still trusting his organism. Part of the core of his self-concept is that he is loved and is lovable whatever behaviour he exhibits.

However, as the infant grows, his parents intimate or tell him that they only love him when he expresses the behaviour of which they approve – this is a condition of his worth to them and is a serious threat to the core of his self-concept.

As the infant cannot ‘survive without his parents’ love and approval he complies with the condition of worth and uses it as a conscious thought to stem or modify the behaviour that his organism has deemed satisfying and enhancing, thus maintaining parental approval and his self-concept.

The condition of worth has come from a locus of evaluation external to the infant’s organism, so the value applied to this experience is not his own and he has no way of knowing how the value was arrived at. Therefore, he cannot challenge the value but is obliged to accept it as a fixed rule.

To accept, or introject, this value the child must first deny the experience of his organism and distort his perception of the experience so that it fits in with both the new value and his self- concept. For example – if I hit mum I’m not lovable, therefore it is not possible for me to want to hit mum. In other words, the child makes as much sense of the situation as he is able. This process is called a subscription.

The effects of conditions of worth on a child, therefore, are: to fix his self-concept whereas before it was fluid, changeable, and in line with his organism; to stem the flow of non-conscious organismic functioning into awareness, thereby blocking his motivation to actualise his organism; and to create a drive to direct conscious life in order to maintain his self-concept.

So it is conditions of worth that cause a rift between the organism and the self-concept, creating the need for a second motivational drive and thereby causing people to function less efficiently as they deny, and lose touch with their organism in favour of maintaining their self-concept.

As the organism’s motivation to actualise itself is operative at all times it is bound to come into conflict with the second drive when its behaviour is deemed threatening to the self-concept. This creates a state of incongruence between internal experience and the actual choice of behaviour and results in psychological tension as the drives pull in different directions. The degree of tension depends on how estranged the self-concept has become from the organism.

Now that Rogers had discovered the reason for an organism to function inefficiently he researched how functioning could be improved. Referring back to the work of Driesch, Rogers thought “if I can supply a psychological amniotic fluid, forward movement of a constructive sort will occur.”

Meaning, given the right environment, the actualising tendency will once more take precedence and conditions of worth would dissolve in favour of an organismic value, thereby re-aligning the self-concept with the organism and relieving tension.

Influenced by Fiedler’s research into the ideal therapeutic relationship, Rogers then stated that “the following conditions had to exist and continue over a period of time for constructive personality change to occur:

  1. Two persons are in psychological contact
  2. The first, whom we shall term the client, is in a state of incongruence, being vulnerable or anxious
  3. The second person, whom we shall term the therapist, is congruent or integrated in the relationship
  4. The therapist experiences unconditional positive regard for the client
  5. The therapist experiences an empathic understanding of the client’s internal frame of reference and endeavours to communicate this to the client
  6. The communication to the client of the therapist’s empathic understanding and unconditional positive regard is to a minimal degree achieved. (Rogers 1957)” (Nelson-Jones 1991:211)

As we can see, Rogers placed great significance. the relationship between the therapist and client, with emphasis on the therapist’s ability to:

  1. be congruent, to be herself with the client and, when appropriate, communicate her feelings to him
  2. have unconditional positive regard for the client, accept him for who he is and not what he does, have respect for him and his views
  3. be empathic, experience the client’s subjective frame of reference as if it were her own and communicate this to him, sometimes bringing his feelings into focus from the edge of his awareness, thus enabling him to symbolise them.

The therapist creates an environment, or relationship, hitherto denied to the client, that is conducive to growth; she facilitates change using personal skills, communication of understanding, and by modelling another way of being.

Further to the core conditions of congruence, unconditional positive regard and empathy – which Rogers emphasised were a very special way of being with another person – he later considered the fourth condition of tenderness. It was also his experience that sometimes purely his presence had a positive effect on a client, which he related to intuition and the touching of their inner spirits.

So, in this environment, the client can feel accepted, not feel judged, and so reduce the need to defend his self-concept and begin to accept and value himself. He is able to re-evaluate himself, dissolve conditions of worth and reduce tension.

He is motivated to actualise his organ-ism rather than maintain self-concept, thereby reducing conflict and restoring psychological health. The process of therapy is focused on the present and the client learns to be existential and make use of current resources, and information by listening to his organism instead of blocking it.

The aim of the Rogerian approach to counselling is towards becoming a fully functioning person. We have already explored how a person may function well (by responding to his organism) and we also know that Rogers believed the man to be “socially constructive”, so by releasing man’s individual potential, chaos does not ensue; what does ensue is a responsible individual who cares about and seeks the enhancement of himself, his environment, and that of other people. These are goals for living, pursued by the therapist as well as the client.

It is also important to note that from Rogers’ research he did not only develop a theory of personality and an approach to counselling, but he also did much to remove the “imbalance in the power relationship” between counsellor and client, and much to open up training in counselling “to all who showed talent and not be restricted to those with professional or university degrees” (Masson 1992:231), thereby opening up possibilities previously denied in the field of psychotherapy.

Finally, I would like to add that in keeping with his belief in the fluidity of response, Rogers said that although he believed that his theory held good, he also hoped that his work would be a “stimulation to the significant study of the deeper dynamics of human behaviour”, a stimulus for further creative thinking, not a dogma of truth.

Bibliography

  1. Kovel, Joel. A complete Guide to Therapy. (Penguin, 1991)
  2. Nelson-Jones, Richard. The Theory and Practice of Counselling Psychology. (Holt, Rinehart and Winston Ltd, 1991)
  3. Rogers, Carl R. Client Centred Therapy. (Constable, 1991)
  4. Rogers, Carl R. Carl Rogers on Personal Power. (Constable, 1986)
  5. Rogers, Carl R. On Becoming a Person. (Constable, 1974)

You can read about The Journey Home With Therapeutic Massage and Body-Work by clicking here.

The Journey Home With Therapeutic Massage and Body-Work

When I learned massage on my first professional training in 1990 I certainly wasn’t taught what I know now about its value and transformational qualities. Even if I had been it would probably have sounded like Russian to me at the time. Working as a massage therapist for the last six years has been a very enlightening and personal journey for me and I can share with you my viewpoint as to what massage and bodywork are about.

There are many different levels at which massage can take place, and with each of my clients, I aim to negotiate and review that contract. Just what is it you want from coming to see me? How will you know if we have been successful? What specific changes, if any, would you like to make?

I am really clear that I am not the fixer or the healer, and that my role is to be a facilitator, someone to explore with, and someone to be supported by. I cannot make anyone relax but more importantly, I can help them notice where in their bodies they may be holding tension. By increasing my awareness of where I hold tension in my own body I can then begin to notice more and more quickly than I am doing so and relax that area.

However, I believe that just as we developed intricate belief systems and patterns as forms of protection, we do the same on a body level. In fact, it is the body that manifests for us much of our subconscious and unexpressed feelings, and beliefs. These cannot be dropped overnight, and with each client, we undertake a process of unraveling their story and feelings held in their body as tension.

From my [email protected] experience, I know that I was not safe to express fears and anxieties as a child. I know that I didn’t stop those feelings as a child but learned how to deal with them, for me that was putting a lid on them and storing them in my stomach and lower back area. I didn’t know that before I started receiving massage and it has been like a slow piecing together of a jigsaw.

The Journey Home With Therapeutic Massage and Body-Work

When someone is ready to release the held emotions in the body, they will do so. I cannot make that happen. My approach is on allowing the body to release and to heal us and when the person feels safe and ready. As with any form of therapy I am also working with many layers of protection and defense, many of which may be hiding considerable amounts of pain and anger. So the journey home is always taken at the client’s pace, building up safety and trust along the way.

On a very simple level massage is about the positive affirmation of who we are, our essence. And this is done physically which may bypass long-held mental beliefs such as “I am not lovable”. A positive message is communicated through the touch which can reach into the subconscious and thus be part of increasing someone’s sense of well-being and self-confidence.

One thing that I do know is that I may be consciously aware of some to the changes that occur during a massage, that I either give or receive, but also that much may be happening that neither the client nor myself are aware of the body has a natural desire and commitment to self-heal. And I also know from my own experience, and my clients an equally strong desire to “work it out” in my mind as to what this means or why that happens.

For many, being “in the head” is a safer place than “in the body” where the whole range of feelings resides. Through massage we may travel that road home to the body and our feelings, taking it one step at a time, however big it doesn’t matter. I have every respect for anybody’s history and where they are in their life journey, and I applaud the courage I witness of people who are willing to take those steps towards feelings and realizing the limitations they have been living with physically and mentally.

Working with the body can be powerful and life-changing because of its potential I treat myself and my clients, with great respect. I fulfill this commitment by not only having regular individual and peer-group supervision but also being in ongoing weekly therapy. Massage as yet does not have the same professional requirements as psychotherapy, but with The British Massage Therapy Council on the case, I hope it will not be too long before having supervision and therapy are a requirement to running a practice.

As massage can bring light to many issues previously hidden I sometimes work with clients who are also in counseling or psychotherapy. The two can go very well together. On the one hand, massage can be very supportive and affirming to someone who is working through painful or traumatic experiences and on the other, massage can produce many awarenesses that can then be taken to therapy to be understood on a deeper level if necessary, though much can change through awareness alone. For example, issues that may arise are Why do I exhaust myself physically looking after others … ?”

“Why do I find it so scary to say when I am experiencing the pressure of the massage too much, or too little … ?”

Our bodies never lie. My job is to help someone listen and to hear their truth.

At present, the world of therapy appears split between the head and the body. I find this very interesting as, to me, it reflects a very common split within the individual, between what we think and what we feel. I experienced this split myself very markedly when I did my advanced massage training and realized that I didn’t comprehend that there was a difference between thoughts and feelings. I thought I just had to reflect on the journey of many of my clients. The journey home to feeling and safe expression those feelings.

However, the therapy arena is appearing to undergo changes too, by combining the mind and body processes and recognizing that they are not two separate identities and that one affects the other. The body speaks your mind. I am currently on a very exciting three-year body psychotherapy training where the body is used as the main resource of awareness and self-discovery.

‘This work is based on Reich’s work of body armoring, developmental issues, and character types. The process is one of exploring and transforming physical, emotional, and psychological “blocks “or patterns of holding. To me, this is not another new-age fandangled therapy coming out soon, but an integrated approach to personal transformation. In my own experience of this body-focused work, I have uncovered patterns of behavior and feelings that I had no idea about, and that was ‘by following and exploring some tiny movements I was making with my body.

And can massage be relaxing? All that I have written so far may indicate that massage is a pure process and awareness orientated. Again, what is received or revealed from the massage will depend upon the original contract made, but massage can still be relaxing to receive, it can be fun. My advanced massage training was based on the elements. Earth, fire, air, and water. A process of change can be initiated by working elementally to awaken underutilized aspects of the individual. For example, Earth is still, grounded, self-accepting. Fire … spontaneity, movement, expression. Air … lightness, expansiveness. Water going with the flow, ease.

So when working with the body, the work may represent the elements; still, lively, light, or flowing, thus trying to help the clients simulate that element within themselves so they feel more balanced and whole. I find this work very exciting, and really enjoy the uniqueness of each session and of each client on their journey. It is from this training that I began to use the term body-work, which is broader than massage and may include techniques that are different from standard massage, and unique to that client on that day.

I have written from my experience and that of my clients. The following is from one client about her experience of coming to receive massage/bodywork from me. I leave you with her words

“Massage is time for me; time to get in touch with my body and how it feels, time to grow in awareness as to what messages my body is telling me; time to realize that I too am important and have needs. I thought massage was an indulgence; it’s now a necessity as I journey along the road to self-awareness and self-understanding.” Read about Contact-in-Relationship by clicking here.

Contact-in-Relationship

This short article outlines one dimension of the therapeutic relationship that has emerged from a qualitative evaluation of the practice of therapy conducted at the Institute for Integrative Therapy in New York City.

A major premise of relationship-oriented psychotherapy is that the need for relationships constitutes a primary motivation of human behavior. Contact is the means by which the need for a relationship is met. In colloquial language, “contact” refers to the quality of the transactions between two people: the awareness of both one’s self and the other, a sensitive meeting of the other, and an authentic acknowledgment of one’s self.

In a more theoretically exact meaning, “contact” refers to the full awareness of sensations, feelings, needs, sensorimotor processes, thought, and memories that occur within the individual and a shift to full awareness of external events as registered by each sensory organ. With the capacity to oscillate between internal and external contact experiences are continually integrated into a sense of self.

When contact is disrupted, needs are not satisfied. If the experience of need arousal is not satisfied or closed naturally, it must find an artificial closure that distracts from the discomfort of unmet needs. These artificial closures are the substance of survival reactions that become fixated defensive patterns, or habitual behaviors that result from rigidly held beliefs about self, others, or the quality of life.

They are evident in the disavowal of effect, the loss of either internal or external awareness, neurological inhibitions within the body, or a lack of spontaneity and flexibility in problem-solving, health maintenance, or relating to people. The defensive interruptions to contact impede the fulfillment of current needs. The literature on human development -also leads to the understanding that the sense of self and self-esteem emerge out of contact-in-relationship. Erik Eriksen’s (1950) stages of development over the entire life cycle describe the formation of identity as an outgrowth of interpersonal relations (trust vs. mistrust, autonomy vs. shame and doubt, etc.).

Contact-in-Relationship

Mahler’s (1968; Mahler, Pine & Bergmann, 1975) descriptions of the stages of early child development place importance on the relationship between mother and infant. Bowlby (1969, 1973, 1980) has emphasized the significance of early as well as prolonged physical bonding in the creation of a visceral core from which all experiences of self and others emerge.

When such contact does not occur in accordance with the child’s relational needs, there is a physiological defense against the loss of contact, poignantly described by Fraiberg in ‘Pathological Defenses of Infancy’ (1982). These developmental perspectives foster a deep appreciation of the need for interpersonal connection and active construction of meaning that is so much a part of who the client is. In relationship-oriented psychotherapy, the psychotherapist’s self is used in a directed, involved way to assist the client’s process of developing and integrating full contact and the satisfaction of relational needs.

Of central significance is the process of attunement, not just to discreet thoughts, feelings, behaviors, or physical sensations, but also to what Stern terms “vitality affects,” such that an experience of unbroken feeling-connectedness is created (1985, p. 156). The client’s sense of self and sense of relatedness that develops is crucial to the process of healing and growth, particularly when there have been specific traumas in the client’s life and when aspects of the self have been disavowed or denied because of the cumulative failure of contact-in-relationship.

Attunement is a process of communion and unity of interpersonal contact. It is a two-part process that begins with empathy – being sensitive to and identifying with the other person’s sensations, needs, or feelings; and includes the communication of that sensitivity to the other person.

More than just understanding (Rogers, 1951) or vicarious introspection (Kohut, 1971), attunement is kinaesthetic and emotional sensing of others – knowing their rhythm, affect, and experience by metaphorically being in their skin, and going beyond empathy to create a two-person experience of unbroken feeling connectedness by providing a reciprocal effect and/or resonating response.

Attunement is communicated by what is said as well as by the therapist’s facial or body movements that signal to the client that his or her effect and needs are perceived, are significant, and make an impact on the therapist. It is facilitated by the therapist’s capacity to anticipate and observe the effects of his or her behavior on the client and to de-center from his or her own experience to extensively focus on the client’s process. Yet, effective attunement also requires that the therapist simultaneously remain aware of the boundary between client and therapist as well as his or her own internal processes.

The communication of attunement validates the client’s needs and feelings and lays the foundation for repairing the failures of previous relationships. Affective attunement, for example, provides an interpersonal contact essential to human relationships. it involves the resonance of one person’s effect to the other’s effect. Affective attunement begins with valuing the other person’s effect as an extremely important form of communication, being willing to be effectively aroused by the other person, and responding with reciprocal effect. When a client feels sad, the therapist’s reciprocal effect of compassion and compassionate acts complete the interpersonal contact.

Relationally, anger requires the reciprocal effects related to attentiveness, seriousness, and responsibility, with possible acts of correction. The client who is afraid requires that the therapist responds with effect and action that convey security and protection. When clients express joy the response from the therapist that completes the unity of interpersonal contact is the reciprocal vitality and expression of pleasure. Symbolically, attunement may be pictured as one person’s yin to the other’s yang that together forms a unity in the relationship.

Attunement is often experienced by the client as the therapist gently moves through the defenses that have prevented the awareness of relationship failures and related needs and feelings. Over time this results in a lessening of internal interruptions to contact and a corresponding dissolving of external defenses.

Needs and feelings can increasingly be expressed with.’ comfort and assurance that they will receive a connecting and caring response. Frequently the process of attunement provides a sense of safety and stability that enables the client to begin to remember and endure regressing into childhood experiences and receive the therapeutic involvement so essential to emotional healing. It is through the psychotherapist’s sustained contact presence and attunement that the cumulative trauma (Khan, 1963; Lourie, 1996) of the lack of need satisfaction can now be addressed and the needs responded to within the therapeutic relationship.

References

  1. Bowlby, J. (1969) Attachment and Loss, Vol. I: Attachment New York: Basic Books.
  2. Bowlby, J. (1973). Attachment and Loss, Vol. II: Separation: Anxiety and. New York: Basic Books.
  3. Bowlby, J (1980). Attachment and Loss, Vol. III: Loss: Sadness and Depression. New York: Basic Books.
  4. Erikson, E (1950). Childhood and Society. New York: Norton.
  5. Fraiberg, S (1982). ‘Pathological defenses in infancy’, Psychoanalytic Quarterly, vol.51, pp. 612-635.
  6. Khan, MMR (1963). ‘The concept of cumulative trauma’, in RS Eissier, A Freud, H Hartman, & M Kris (Eds), Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, vol. XVIII, (pp. 286-301).
  7. Kohut, H (1971). The Analysis of the Self. New York: International Universities Press.
  8. Lourie, 3 (1996). Cumulative trauma: The non-problem problem. Transactional Analysis Journal, vol. 26, pp. 276-283. 2001 ITA Conference
  9. Mahler, M (1968). On Human Symbiosis and the Vicissitudes of Individuation. New York: International Universities Press.
  10.   Mahler, M, Pine, F, & Bergman, A. (1975). The Psychological Birth of the Human Infant: symbiosis and individuation. New York: Basic Books.
  11.   Rogers, CR (1951). Client-centered therapy. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
  12.   Stern, D (1985). The interpersonal world of the infant. New York: Basic Books.

Author Richard G. Erskine, Ph.D. is Training Director of the Institute for Integrative Psychotherapy, New York, NY and Visiting Professor of Psychotherapy, University of Derby, UK.