hey everybody happy Thursday now today’s question is one that I’ve received a lot and I actually took it from a patreon video so I can share it with you because I know that probably for all the people who have asked there’s many of you who maybe were too scared to and so hopefully this shed some light on something that maybe it was a concern of yours Before we jump into it I wanted to remind you to subscribe do you like mental health information and learning about psychology make sure you’re subscribed and turn on those notifications so you don’t miss out but let’s jump into the question the question is hey Kati I was wondering if you could talk about getting your first gynecological exam when you’re a survivor of childhood sexual abuse how can someone prepare for this when their body physically cannot relax even when getting into it with their partner thank you so much and like I said this came from patreon and I thought this was a really really good question and I have some tips and tricks and things that I’ve helped other clients of mine work on so that you can get through the gyno exam safely and I mean it’s not a happy thing but at least get through it and it’s not reach Ramat izing my first bit of advice is to talk to the staff if you don’t feel that you can do it yourself have a supportive person come with you and tell them I find that when we tell the staff hey you know I have a past history of abuse and so a gyno exam just shoots my anxiety through the roof I can have panic attacks it’s really hard however much you want to share feel free to share it because once we let them know even just the nurse then they can cue the doctor to it and I find then they can go through the steps with you if you want and let you know what they’re going to do before they do it so there aren’t any surprises it kind of slows down the whole exam so that we can feel more in control okay so that’s my first tip talk to the staff my second tip before you go in work on some mindfulness techniques meaning relaxation techniques whether it’s breathing or progressive relaxation if we just imagine flexing and relaxing each part of our body and using your imagination where are you you’re not an exam room you’re on a beach in Maui drinking the mai tai just relaxing I would encourage you to beef up those sorts of tools so that when you get there you can use them so now’s the time to practice check out some relaxation videos on YouTube I have my anxiety workbook it has a ton of tips and tricks I also have that old video I think it’s just called relax it’s like 4 by 4 breathing breathing 4 in 4 for holding for 4 out for 4 all those things can be super beneficial in the moment but we have to practice them before we’re there because when we’re there we might feel a little more maxed out a little more anxious and so we want to have them well practiced so they’re almost like intuition in order to think about them we just do it and my third and final tip bring a support person like I said at the beginning to talk to the staff if that’s too hard for you you’re going to need someone there who can express it for you if you want them in the room if that helps bring them there if you want to make eye contact so you feel a little bit more grounded do that I find bringing someone else with us not only ensures that we go because then someone else is kind of holding us accountable they can maybe drive us if it’s too overwhelming they can sit with us they can be grounding we can hold their hand when we’re feeling anxious they’re gonna be so many ways a support person can help so make sure you reach out oh and I’ll throw in a little extra just a little extra tip some people find fidget toys or silly putty having that in your hands can be helpful to during the exam just something to help keep you grounded something to focus your attention on so you don’t think about all the other stuff going on I hope you found this video helpful like I said this was not the first time this question has been asked so I’m sure there are so many of you who were wondering and maybe stressing out and it’s so so so very important that we take care of ourselves and get regular check-ups whether it’s our basic checkup from our doctor or physical a gyno appointment going to the dentist getting our eyes checked all that stuff is so important so make sure that you’re doing that it’s healthy mind healthy body right so you got to take care of it all and I can’t mention everything so there any tips and tricks that you have that helped you can you please leave it in the comments that you never know who you’re going to help and who you make you know encouraged to go finally get the checkup that they’ve been putting off for possibly years and I will see you next time twice