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From Trauma to Recovery and Wholeness

A Trauma Survivor Shares Her Story and Explains What Our Field Has Yet to Learn

Dusty Miller • 11/17/2017 • No Comments

By Dusty Miller - As a systems therapist, incest survivor, and recovering alcoholic, I've lived through several stages of our culture's attempt to come to terms with child sexual abuse—as a victim in the silent 1950s; as a therapy client in the oblivious 1960s and 1970s; and as a psychotherapist in the 1980s and 1990s. We clinicians are still feeling our way toward a middle path.

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The Surprising Clinical Benefits of MDMA for Trauma

Could a Psychedelic Drug Be the Next Big Thing in Treatment?

Ryan Howes • 11/4/2017 • No Comments

By Ryan Howes - Michael Mithoefer, a clinical faculty member at the Medical University of South Carolina, has demonstrated remarkable early results using MDMA as a therapist-supervised treatment for chronic PTSD. His work is being approved by the FDA and could eventually clear a path for MDMA treatment clinics specializing in trauma.

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Reclaiming Your Life After Unfathomable Trauma

A Therapist Shares Her Ordeal, and the Steps it Took to Reclaim Her Former Self

Janice Starkman Goldfein • 11/3/2017 • 1 Comment

By Janice Starkman Goldfein - On January 4, 1994, trauma became a lived reality for me. That evening, I was grabbed from behind and heard a low, menacing voice say, "If you cooperate, I won't hurt you." In the days, weeks, and months that followed, I struggled not to allow the attack to defeat me. I had to learn how to control the fear, stop the flashbacks, and handle the anger, while dealing with an overwhelming range and intensity of feelings.

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VIDEO: Peter Levine Shares a Personal Story About Trauma

What Does It Take to Ward Off Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Peter Levine • 11/1/2017 • 1 Comment

Among the first to fully realize that humans have an innate psychophysiological capacity for overcoming trauma, Peter Levine developed Somatic Experiencing, a simple yet profoundly effective mind-body healing technique. In this clip from his 2014 Symposium address, Levine shares a personal story about a traumatizing event in his own life, and explains the remedy that helped him ward off post-traumatic stress.

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The Perils of Empathy at Full Throttle

Four Strategies to Protect Yourself Against Vicarious Traumatization

Babette Rothschild • 10/31/2017 • No Comments

By Babette Rothschild - Emergency relief or other work with traumatized people is always demanding and wearing: it frequently poses the risk of vicariously traumatizing caretakers, and yet, our field isn't well prepared to help them. And just talking about it may not be enough. Preventing and ameliorating vicarious traumatization requires us to pay as much attention to physical sensations as to emotional reactions.

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The Healing Power of Taking Baby Steps

Hope Follows Action, Not the Other Way Around

Yvonne Dolan • 10/27/2017 • No Comments

By Yvonne Dolan - Favoring positive emotions and subtly trying to subdue negative ones can sometimes backfire. Though focusing on mundane tasks in the present can seem impossibly beside the point for someone who has suffered a life-shattering event, it can help build, inch by inch and then yard by yard, a pathway out of despair and into the fullness of life.

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When Therapy Takes a Personal Toll

A Therapist Working with Abusers Reaches a Crossroads

Michelle Cacho-Negrette • 10/17/2017 • No Comments

By Michelle Cacho-Negrette - I made my first appointment with Gloria one autumn afternoon. I needed a still point, a peaceful promontory in the ocean of loud, unrepentant excuses I heard daily from the men I treated in a batterer-intervention program, men who committed unspeakable violence against those they claimed to love.

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Therapy Tools That Last a Lifetime

Three Simple Breathing Techniques and How They Work

Patrick Dougherty • 10/14/2017 • 1 Comment

By Patrick Dougherty - When clients focus on their own breathing, they're making the most fundamental mind-body connection. Regardless of what they're talking about—childhood trauma, a painful marriage, or just the struggle to be open with you in the session—breathing can help them get in touch with their immediate experience and be fully present, for the moment, in their own lives.

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Treating Self-Harm

Here's a Behavioral Contract That Clients Can Stick To

Lisa Ferentz • 10/13/2017 • No Comments

By Lisa Ferentz - I used to think that repetitive self-injury could only be seen as pathological, and through contracts and other means tried to convince my clients that this behavior would only cause more problems. Now, I know that my job isn't to browbeat clients into change, but introduce them to healthier behaviors that bring the relief cutting often provides. Here's a little bit about the behavioral contract I use.

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Helping Struggling Couples Get to the Root of Intimacy Problems

Richard Schwartz's Internal Family Systems Approach to Couples Therapy

Richard Schwartz • 9/28/2017 • 1 Comment

By Richard Schwartz - No other area of a couple's life holds as much promise for achieving intimacy as sex. Indeed, the promise of intimacy may be as important as lust for drawing human beings toward sex in the first place. My goal now is to help partners reach the kind of soul-deep connectedness in their sexual encounters that can transform their lives and their relationship with each other.

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