Adapted AWARE technique and strategies 

About AWARE and Anxiety

Focussed but not blind”: Meanings of Singularity of focus

We had several conversations with clients/patients/mentees thinking about differences and similarities between face-to-face and online communication. When there are times when such decison is encountered, it may feel that it challenges frameworks that we are abide by and or actively pursuing goals that current situation would interrupt. Sessions that have taken place entirely online are not sessions that are excluded from such a singularity of focus, there are, however, significant differences in both process and outcome. Service evaluation reflection notes at all times have helped but more importantly, an acknowledgement of working with a modality that does not account for  signposting to anything that can be accountable otherwise if sessions would be face to face. There are various methods and interventions for that to consider and perhaps a clear and deeper understanding of therapeutic realtionship can be accounted through difference rather than similarity. In CBT, there are specific protocols and evidence based forms of therapy that at its very core have collaboration. The element of collaboration is what is going to be quite relevant during an only online communication - in whatever format that may be. Therapeutic alliance, working alliance, therapeutic relationship, therapeutic bond or simply rapport can take many forms and are distinct differences between what can be achieved in a therapeutic space, face-to-face and what cannot be, but more importantly it depends from case to case.

During the summer of 2019 we dedicated a lot of work to online clients, levels of communication were surprising - in many cases that can work effectively for both patients and us – but that is not to say that is the same as being in same room with a therapist and exploring difficulties. Absolutely not. This is not about adapting and change, it is simply an entirely different process. It depends on  many aspects, numerous in fact and it involves  frameworks of working to be assessed, adjusted and adapted. If there is a question on only sometimes* online communication is necessary (such as in circumstances of isolation, access, reasons for accessing, preferred mode of communication, distance, etc.) or is it a temporary situation when one can simply try out things and then decide whether or not is working for them?

It really depends from case to case and prior to a situation of many feeling and being on one form of isolation, various forms of anxiety were mentioned in a previous article that can be accessed here:

AWARE (Acknowledgement. Watch. Accepting. Repeat 123. Expect the best) technique is a technique developed for Anxiety Disorders and it can be applied in all instances and forms - it has been developed by Beck and Emery in 1987. It has specific stages and the client needs to be guided by his/her psychotherapist. At initial stage it may feel complicated, but when it becomes “routine” for patient/client, it is a very powerful and effective technique, normalising heightened levels of anxiety across various situational and incidental environments.

More importantly, it brings in singularity of focus and albeit it has not be presented as such – that is exactly what it does. AWARE technique had been applied successfully with de-stressing and generalised anxiety disorders, panic disorders and targeting forms of anxiety comorbid with other presentations or when component of low self-esteem and/or interpersonal difficulties. 

It is unlimited in its reach.