GHP November 2017 - Rejuvenation Dentistry

GHP / November 2017 13 , SO170040 A True Sport Phil Johnson has been in sport as a psychologist since 2002 and prior to that he worked as clinical psychologist both inside psychiatric units, and outside in community support. As winner of the Best Clinical Sport Psychologist – UK award, we invited him to write about the excellent work he does as one of the few clinical sport psychologists in Britain. I pride myself in being a pioneer in my work; always learning, and being a good listener, developing new approaches, and training. Through this I can to assist and facilitate my clients to not just return to previous levels of performance, but beyond. What I have discovered through my practice, is that the ‘sporting arena’ is often where people perform under ‘pressure’ of expectation from spectators; team-mates, coaches, parents, friends, opponents, teachers, and even the media. In such circumstances or in psychological terms, ‘context’, vulnerabilities are likely to show. This can and does lead to what we know as ‘performance anxiety’. Almost without exception, the origin of loss of performance and indeed signs of vulnerability are from outside of sport, and within the person. So, my philosophy is that you are a ‘person first’ and ‘performer’ second, and the cause and solutions often emerge from outside of the sport, but impact upon it! As a clinical sport psychologist, I can deal with most mental health issues, and to provide the knowledge and expertise of the sporting context, to affect a return to performance especially after injury. In the last four years, my role has broadened into ‘performance’ in many other contexts, not just sport, but in ‘performing arts’; music, acting, dance, broadcasting, and writing. I am now a member of the British Association of Performing Arts Medicine BAPAM. In business, I have created a separate communications and business strategy company, which utilises sport performance approaches to human resources, CEO’s, executives, and entrepreneurs. An important part of my work over the last few years has been with the “Athlete Parent” ©2016 and I intend to publish soon specialist information for this wide group of parents who find themselves managing an elite athlete son or daughter. This takes place perhaps without knowledge of the sport, the communication issues with coaches and teachers, sport agents, coping with success and failure of their kids from age eight upwards, and at points of career transitions into professional sport. Over the years, I have made it conditional of my support of young athletes under the age of 18, that the parents are also the ‘client’! I just happen to a Systemic Family Therapist SFT too! On the topic of young people, I would like to say something specific about bullying at school and in sport. “Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behaviour among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behaviour is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems” (Stop Bullying. gov). I discovered amongst injured equestrians, who developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD, that they had almost without exception been bullied at school, not just by other children, but by teachers, who are along with sport coaches are a significant source of this behaviour, often unknowingly. I have witnessed this at every level of sport; in all the sports, I have worked in, but seems to be particularly evident in football. Rugby seems to be one notable exception! Bullying in the form of physical or emotional abuse is ‘traumatic’ for young people, and sadly often stays with them into adulthood, is a precursor to depression, chronic anxiety and not surprisingly a loss of performance. Fortunately, I have trained in and developed an approach called ‘Brainspotting’, which successfully removes and desensitizes this directly from the physical body and the brain. Sport trauma In 2012, a collaboration with Dr David Grand, and Dr Alan Goldberg in the USA resulted in us creating the concept of the ‘Sport Trauma Model’ © 2012 and the resolution of this through ‘Brainspotting’. Bullying and sport trauma often result with the same presentation as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD. The symptoms are hyper arousal (adrenalin and hormonal release, cognitive overload), numbing (suppression of unwanted emotions, depression), intrusion (unwanted negative thoughts, flashbacks and nightmares), avoidance (people, places, situations). Whilst these are the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress or Prolonged Duress PDSD, they also emerge simply from personal disappointment, embarrassment, or humiliation. It is these last three experiences, which are so damaging, and appear to be resistant to parental love, counselling and can and do also traumatise parents in their lack of power to influence either their child, an abusive child, coach or teacher. Bullying has now been recognised as potentially resulting in PTSD. (DSM V 2013). Using this approach, I can remove concussions from the brain, with a proven track record, even remotely. Company: Sport & Performance Psychology Name: Phil Johnson Email: [email protected] Web Address: www. sportandperformancepsychology.