SSP ASSOCIATE’S NAME & DISCIPLINE: Regina Kornmann-Gabler (physiotherapist), Sophia Gabler (psychologist)
NAME OF ORGANIZATION: Naturheilpraxis Kornmann-Gabler
CLIENT PSEUDONYM and AGE: Anna, 30
CLINICAL HISTORY BEFORE SSP:
Anna (30) shows signs of hypersensitivity since an early age. She reacts very sensible to sounds, odors and light and is easily overstimulated. The client has trouble articulating her own needs and feels left out a lot. In her everyday life Anna often has to deal with general anxiety. Physically, this is manifested by increased muscular tension in the face, jaw and mostly her neck. She is sick several times a year for some weeks and cannot go to work.
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SSP:
The SSP intervention was carried out in the practice on 5 consecutive days. I was present the whole time supporting and guiding my client. As planned, the sessions were conducted in five 1-hour-SSP-units. Anna’s perceptions and feelings during and between the sessions were discussed and placed in a psychoeducational context before, during and at the end of each session.
After the 1st session Anna reported it was quite difficult to even hear the music which made it kind of exhausting for her to listen. However, from day 2 on it was easier for her and she was able to engage well with the intervention.
Right from the start she reported having a feeling of deep relaxation whenever the SSP-music started. This physical perception was experienced especially in the arms, shoulders and face.
“Within the last 5 days, I feel like I could finally connect with myself, recognize and accept who I actually am and all of a sudden know what my needs are.”
Anna also described that some kind of inner joy arose along with a deep feeling of security and safety. Most of the time the client sat still in a comfortable chair but from time to time her legs started moving in a rhythmic manner. When asked about it after the session, Anna told me that during some songs this new inner joy became so intense that her legs wanted to dance, which she describes as rather atypical for herself.
Already during session 2 Anna feels like her anxiety is changing. It is more and more replaced by contentment and calmness. She can hear an inner voice (her own voice) telling her: “Somehow everything is fine. Your life will be just fine. Your life is just fine. I take care of myself now.” This calmness and trust are experienced by her as long-lasting changes. She is always very excited about the next session.
After the last session, Anna told me: “Within the last 5 days, I feel like I could finally connect with myself, recognize and accept who I actually am and all of a sudden know what my needs are.”
Four weeks after the intervention Anna is still happy about all the positive changes in her life. She can enjoy social situations much more now and reports of a previously unknown delight and desire to communicate with others. She feels capable of contributing to shaping social situations in such a way that they are (truly) pleasant for herself as well. She describes an inner trust that she can take care of herself.
Whereas Anna used to be very exhausted and overexcited or even aggressive, especially in the evening, she is now better able to identify and deal with stimuli. In the past she could not find an explanation for her feelings/aggression, now she realizes more and more that it is e.g. only the TV that is too loud for her in the evening.
Her mother notices expression lines around her mouth and eyes that she has not seen in 30 years. Anna herself thinks she looks “more friendly somehow”. Friends ask her about positive changes, as she seems more communicative and at the same time more interested in her peers.
From my perspective as Anna’s ‘companion’ during this process, it was remarkable to see the tension leaving her body. From session to session the client seemed to be more present when speaking with me and while listening. Also, an increased zest for life was truly noticeable. Although eye contact was not a significant issue before, it has become remarkably more intense since SSP. Her body movements seemed to become more self-confident without being stiff and tense. It was also observed that the frown line had clearly relaxed.
After the intervention Anna gave up her job, in which she had been unhappy for a long time, and took the courage to start her own business. She practices day after day to find out what her needs are and to verbalize them aloud.
EVALUATION OF THE BBCSS BEFORE AND 1 MONTH AFTER SSP:
|Subscale||Description||Prior-Test Score Mean||Post-Test Score Mean|
|Auditory Hypersensitivity||High sensitivity to sounds||3,1||2,1|
|Auditory Hyposensitivity to Voices||Reduced sensitivity for speech or voices||2,5||2,0|
|Visual Hypersensitivity||Sensitivity to light and movement||2,1||2,3|
|Tactile Hypersensitivity||Sensitivity to non-social touch||1,8||1,9|
|Affiliative Touch Aversion||Negative response to social touch||1,3||1,3|
|Selective Eating||Selectivity in food choice||1,7||1,7|
|Ingestive Problems||Problems with swallowing and retaining food||1,0||1,7|
|Digestive Problems||Problems with digestion||1,5||1,5|
1 = low impairment/problem; 4 = high problem/impairment