Curt Ramsey has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Virginia Tech University and a Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Counseling from the College of William and Mary in Virginia.
Curt is currently a Licensed Professional Counselor in Virginia beginning his journey of offering ASMR counseling via in-person visits and live video sessions.
Almost a year ago he reached out to me with a strong interest in incorporating ASMR into his practice. We discussed the great potential of ASMR counseling and I have watched his knowledge and belief in the benefits of ASMR deepen over time.
Curt has expanded his counseling website to offer ASMR counseling sessions to help those struggling with stress, anxiety, self-esteem, intimacy, connection, and trust. His incorporation of ASMR-inspired techniques includes gentle whispering with clients, gentle whispering between couples, and incorporating ASMR triggers into mindfulness exercises and guided imageries.
You can visit his ASMR Counseling website HERE.
He has also launched a video channel to allow potential clients to experience his ASMR counseling style through free recorded videos. These videos demonstrate that Curt not only has a deep understanding of ASMR that can benefit his clients, but he also has a kind and gentle personality that embodies ASMR.
You can view his ASMR videos HERE.
I’ve asked Curt to share his journey so far. In the section below you will find out how he learned about ASMR, his earliest memories of ASMR, his investigations into learning about ASMR, the development of his ASMR practice, and his experiences so far with ASMR counseling.
From Curt Ramsey,
I was first introduced to ASMR by one of my clients.
I’m a professional counselor, and I would guess that 90% of my clients struggle to get good sleep. With this particular client, I was problem-solving his sleep issues, doing my best to suggest a regular sleep schedule, no screens in bed (I now make one large exception to this!), etc.
But he stopped me and told me that he would probably just watch some more ASMR instead. ASMR? What’s ASMR? He directed me to Youtube. I got home later than usual that night after watching several videos with a curious fascination.
It wasn’t just the discovery of an interesting way to help people with their sleep. It was the discovery of a whole community of people who had named and were triggering a sensation I had experienced and wondered about since I was a little boy.
My first memories of my own ASMR as a child were my mom gently scratching my back to put me to sleep, quietly watching my friend’s focused drawing sitting next to me in church, and going to the barbershop to get a flat top haircut. That barber was an older man with a gentle voice and would even put a massaging device on his and give me a gentle massage at the end of my haircut. I was even videotaped, at some point, falling asleep in the barber’s chair. My friend in church was very intent on showing me exactly how he drew things, like he was drawing them for me.
In all of these situations, I felt a massive rush of tingles, but I just didn’t know what to call it then. And yes, I too loved watching Bob Ross and am a painter myself.
For a while, I simply used ASMR as a relaxing end to my day after a long day of counseling clients. It was nice, after a solid day of caring for others, knowing that some ASMRtist was there to care for and relax me. But at some point, I began to realize the enormous potential ASMR had in my own counseling practice.
So just a year or so ago, after discovering asmruniversity.com, I reached out to Dr. Craig Richard to inquire about his thoughts about incorporating ASMR into my counseling practice. Why? ASMR so naturally helps others with sleep, anxiety, depression, stress, and loneliness, so there must be some valid way to incorporate it into a counseling practice. There must be a way to harness the elements that are so helpful within the ASMR experience and use them in a therapeutic, here-and-now fashion that enhances the therapeutic experience and progress.
Contacting Dr. Richard seemed like the inevitable next step, given his deep interest in understanding ASMR. Dr. Richard was kind enough to spend time talking with me and share my excitement about this potential combination, and he introduced me to others who shared some of the same interests.
I’d like to give a summary of my efforts so far in attempting to incorporate ASMR into my counseling practice, and I hope to continue giving updates as my efforts progress.
First, I had to define clearly, for myself and for my clients, what ASMR counseling is and is not. Because ASMR is not (yet!) a formally recognized counseling technique, I could not simply jump in, whispering to my clients and tapping on objects in my office and telling them it would help their sleep and anxiety.
So this is how I explained it: Studies have shown that ASMR helps with many of the mental health symptoms people come to counseling for. I take the helpful elements of ASMR and weave them into the tried-and-true techniques I’ve always used to enhance their effectiveness and provide a relaxed atmosphere in the session.
I created a page on my website (https://counselorcurt.com/asmr-counseling) to expound upon this and mentioned it in my Psychology Today profile, but clients who are seeking relief from a mental health issue won’t typically reach out requesting something new in their sessions.
So, I began to introduce clients, when appropriate, to ASMR and to explore the possibility of using ASMR in our sessions. I’ve had varying results. Some were fascinated and even started watching ASMR on their own but didn’t seem interested in being whispered to in session. A few have expressed more of an interest, and for others, I’ve worked in ASMR in more subtle ways, not even mentioning it by name at times.
I use a fair amount of guided relaxation and guided imagery in my practice. Occasionally, I’ll have someone request that I whisper these to them. And since most of my sessions recently have been online telehealth sessions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I can adjust my mic to ASMR settings and whisper them into a deep state of relaxation.
I’ve done some sessions in-person outdoors, and it does seem like the effect of whispering these relaxation exercises in-person is just as strong. I’m not able to change mic settings in-person, but just being there together in the same space is a more personal experience that makes whispering all the more triggering for relaxation and ASMR.
I’ve also asked couples to whisper to each other while talking through a difficult subject. Because the whispering can automatically bring a sense of intimacy and vulnerability, they either discuss the issue in a less combative manner or one of them recognizes their difficulty whispering to the other, indicating a difficulty with trust, which can be explored further. This use of ASMR with couples is definitely something to explore further for helping couples build intimacy and increased vulnerability.
Truly using ASMR in session has been few-and-far-between, but I’m continuing my efforts to reach more people who already have an interest in ASMR by starting my own ASMR channel on Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVnbUekZ5oP8ubPKHCIDTTg?view_as=subscriber). The hope is that people in Virginia (the only state I’m licensed to counsel in) will watch the videos, enjoy the combination of ASMR and therapy, and inquire about their own (mostly online) ASMR counseling sessions with me.
That’s all for now. I’ll be sure to share more as the journey continues…
Counselor Curt, LLC
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