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Learning to Bear the Unbearable

How MDMA Works

Bessel van der Kolk, Rich Simon

By Bessel van der Kolk and Rich Simon - As a researcher and outspoken advocate for therapeutic innovation, Bessel van der Kolk has been as influential as anyone in shaping the landscape of trauma therapy today. He describes what’s distinctive about the therapeutic potential of psychedelics.

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The Perils of Empathy at Full Throttle

Four Strategies to Protect Yourself Against Vicarious Traumatization

Babette Rothschild

By Babette Rothschild -  It's our gift for empathy that draws us to our work. And yet, empathy at full throttle—felt and projected 100 percent with our bodies, hearts, and minds—has its risks.

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Treating Self-Harm

Here's a Behavioral Contract That Clients Can Follow

Lisa Ferentz

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.

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Saving My Younger Self

Black Therapists Rock Member Profile

Psychotherapy Networker

Therapists who grew up in the communities of color they serve often have the social capital and particular wisdom to better understand clients’ core needs and make therapy accessible and meaningful. Here, Black Therapists Rock member Nicole Thompson takes us on her own journey from a Philly kid steeped in adversity, to an urban school psychologist who’s gone back to the old neighborhood and found her calling.

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Confronting Inherited Trauma

My Journey into Family Constellations

Lauren Dockett

By Lauren Dockett - Many therapists know their way around family systems. But what if they could create three-dimensional experiences to help clients shed the pain of lingering traumas that can get passed down through generations? As research into the epigenetics of trauma develops, a reporter looks into an unusual approach to healing.

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How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime

Pediatrician and TED Speaker Nadine Burke Harris on Treating the "Whole Person"

Ryan Howes

By Ryan Howes - Several years ago, pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris had a eureka moment when she discovered the adverse childhood experiences study (ACEs), which helped her realize her young patients with the most stubborn physical ailments were coping with all kinds of traumas.

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The Power of Expressive Arts

A Three-Part Process for Engaging the Body in Therapy

Cathy Malchiodi

By Cathy Malchiodi - For thousands of years, humans have been turning to the healing rhythms of the arts to confront and resolve distress. Expressive arts therapy uses the body’s sensory and kinesthetic experiences as a foundation for the exploration of emotions and personal narratives.

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The Bottom-Up Approach of Somatic Experiencing

A Close-Up Look at Peter Levine's Work with a Trauma Survivor

Lauren Dockett

By Lauren Dockett - Peter Levine is the originator of a form of body psychotherapy called Somatic Experiencing (SE), a captivating but sometimes puzzling approach. Instead of asking questions about events that might elicit pain, Levine focuses on the body, zeroing in meticulously on what’s happening in the moment. Here's how it unfolded with his patient, TJ.

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Helping Clients Befriend Themselves

A Sensorimotor Approach to Dealing with Self-Hatred

Janina Fisher

By Janina Fisher - No matter how much we're loved and valued in our adult lives, judgmental parts within us are standing ready to condemn us as inadequate or undeserving. Using Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, I help clients suffering from self-hatred befriend the parts they unconsciously disown.

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Helping Traumatized Communities Become Their Own Healers

After Decades, a 77-Year-Old Therapist and His Global Program Show No Signs of Slowing Down

Marian Sandmaier

By Marian Sandmaier - For almost 25 years, Jim Gordon and his team at the Center for Mind-Body Medicine has worked in war zones, refugee camps, and communities struck by natural disasters and mass shootings, both in the United States and internationally. And still doing this work at 77, he has no plans to slow down.

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