Top Stories

Helping Trauma Survivors Find a New Normal

There’s no question that helping clients return to a basic functional level should be the main goal with trauma survivors. But what if clients could not only eliminate traumatic stress, but also come away from treatment feeling more resilient and with a fuller sense of self?
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How Today’s Antidepressants Give Therapists Greater Flexibility

The second a medication appears on the market that seems to solve a problem and eliminate the nasty side effects of its predecessor, a study pops up that says it causes new problems like lethargy, blurry vision, or weight gain. But psychiatrist Peter Kramer, author of the renowned Listening to Prozac, argues that modern antidepressants like Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft not only have fewer side effects, but give psychotherapists more flexibility in their treatment options.   Read More

Unlocking the Emotional Brain

According to therapist Bruce Ecker, a founding director of the Coherence Psychology Institute and co-author of Unlocking the Emotional Brain, the first step in helping clients understand why they have certain self-limiting thoughts that drive their behaviors in negative ways is getting to the root of those thoughts. That’s why Bruce uses the “overt statement” technique, which is useful in many therapeutic scenarios, but especially helpful where attachment injuries are concerned.   Read More

The Four Levels of Trauma in Chronic Pain

When Maggie Phillips and Peter Levine co-authored Freedom from Pain, they aimed to explore what’s been missing from the field’s treatment of chronic pain. Maggie believes that unreleased trauma can hide in the body and manifest itself as lingering pain that doesn’t respond to conventional medical treatment. For therapists to accomplish what medical doctors can’t, they need to have an understanding of how trauma entwines with chronic pain—and how chronic pain can lead to or exacerbate anxiety, depression, and feelings of hopelessness.   Read More

The Role of Ritual in Therapy with Teens

We all find comfort in familiarity and predictability, even our young clients—Facebook-savvy as they may be. That’s why, according to Martha Straus, author of No-Talk Therapy for Children and Adolescents, regular appointments and check-in phone calls showing that we remember them from session to session is so important for our young clients.   Read More

Easing Trauma’s Lingering Shock

For the past 30 years, Bessel van der Kolk has been instrumental in bringing the insights of neuroscience into our understanding of trauma. In fact, he was the first “establishment” psychiatrist to publicly champion a range of unconventional mind–body approaches—including yoga, mindfulness, EMDR, neurofeedback, sensorimotor therapy, martial arts, and theater—in treating trauma. He’s used his privileged position within academic circles to get the funding for the research projects to establish the scientific legitimacy of approaches once considered on the fringe of mainstream acceptance. By any measure, he’s a pioneer in the field. In this conversation, he shared his thoughts on the differences between public and private trauma, the vital importance of community healing, and the often unacknowledged role of gentleness in our approaches to healing work.   Read More

Bridging the Chasm between Psychotherapy and Psychiatry

Of all the professionals one might see for biological and psychological issues, it’s psychotherapists who are usually on the front lines of treatment, trained to spot and assess everything from changes in mood to unusual physical reactions. But given all their expertise, why don’t more psychotherapists make judgment calls when it comes to medication? And why do so many therapists show only a perfunctory interest in the ups and downs of their clients’ reactions to psychiatric medications?   Read More

Presencing Secure Attachment

What keeps people stuck in destructive relationship patterns? While Attachment Theory has provided some answers as to how those patterns originate, many clients remain trapped within them. What’s missing for them isn’t the desire to change—it’s an authentic experience of what it means to be secure in a relationship. That’s why Diane Poole Heller, expert trainer in the Dynamic Attachment Re-patterning Experience model, has developed tools to create corrective experiences in therapy that nourish clients’ capacity for secure attachment.   Read More

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