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A New Prescription

What Role Can Therapists Play in Addressing Chronic Pain?

Howard Schubiner • 11/17/2018 • 3 Comments

By Howard Schubiner - Few people in the medical profession look at the disconnect between pain and structural abnormalities in the body. Could it be that we're attributing some of our physical pain to body disorders when the pain has an emotional source instead?

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Changing Our Contract with Life

A Therapist's Story of Battling Chronic Pain

Kevin Anderson • 6/5/2018 • 6 Comments

By Kevin Anderson - This is the story of one of the most turbulent storms in my personal and professional life. After the storm, I learned there’s something about healing from deep emotional suffering that feels like death and rebirth—the kind that asks us to be open to changing our contract with life.

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How to Develop a Safety Plan with Suicidal Clients

A Process of Inquiry That Promotes Empathic Connection

Douglas Flemons • 9/19/2017 • No Comments

By Douglas Flemons - Suicide assessment is a high-stakes process infused with uncertainty. However, even the best scales can be unreliable when they’re completed in the midst of an emotional crisis. Rather than outsourcing your decision-making to an instrument, it's important that therapists learn how to conduct a conversational evaluation that builds on their therapeutic skills.

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VIDEO: Maggie Phillips on the Four Levels of Traumatic Pain

Exploring an Uncommon Side Effect of Trauma

Maggie Phillips • 1/4/2017 • 1 Comment

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. According to Phillips, trauma can hide in the body and manifest as lingering pain that doesn’t respond to conventional medical treatment. In the following video, she explains how the two conditions intertwine, and shares her approach to dealing with this unusual side effect of trauma.

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Is Virtual Reality a Game Changer?

VR is Therapeutic. But Could It Change Therapy as We Know It?

Michael Greene • 11/18/2016 • 1 Comment

By Michael Greene - Virtual reality challenges some of our physical and emotional boundaries, altering our immediate experience of what’s real and blurring our sense of being separate from what we’re watching. Put on VR goggles and headphones and you enter a new environment, experienced from a first-person, 360-degree perspective. Researchers have already been tapping into this powerful sense of immersion to pioneer various types of VR-based therapies. But is VR really a game changer?

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Breaking Free from the Cure Myth

Treating Anxiety and Depression as Chronic Conditions

Margaret Wehrenberg • 8/23/2016 • 2 Comments

By Margaret Wehrenberg - I’ve begun to put aside my idealized view that unless people overcome their difficulties once and for all, therapy is somehow a failure. More and more, that perspective seems simplistic and disconnected from the realities of what psychotherapy can actually provide. In fact, evidence continues to accumulate that many people who have anxiety and depression suffer bouts of it all their lives, even after a good response to therapy.

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The Therapeutic Goldmine of Song, Dance, and Mindfulness

Testimonials from the 2015 Psychotherapy Networker Symposium

Symposium Student Scholars • 4/21/2015 • No Comments

John Kabat-Zinn sparked my interest when he recounted the time Oprah asked him, "Is there life after death?" His reply to her: "Oprah, I'm interested in the question, 'Is there life before death?'" Living fully is dependent on our capacity to practice mindfulness. The idea that acknowledging a feeling, even acknowledging pain, can reduce suffering is so powerful. Over time, I have realized what John Kabat-Zinn illustrated so beautifully this morning. Mindfulness is realized in a world full of human beings, people waiting to be seen and heard, and in search of ways to live more joyfully and with less suffering. We therapists have the privilege of being present for people who are doing just that. In this moment, I feel gratitude.

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Mindfulness Enters American Health and Science

How Jon Kabat-Zinn Started a Mindful Revolution

Mary Sykes Wylie • 1/30/2015 • 1 Comment

In 1979, a 35-year-old MIT-trained molecular biologist had a vision of what his life’s work—his “karmic assignment”—would be. He’d bring the ancient Eastern disciplines he’d followed for 13 years—mindfulness meditation and yoga—to chronically sick people right here in modern America. What’s more, he’d bring these practices into the very belly of the Western scientific beast. Not exactly a modest scheme. But Jon Kabat-Zinn, the originator of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), would manage to pull it off. Since then, mindfulness has spilled out of the healthcare/psychotherapy world and into the rest of society. But the explosive growth of mindfulness in America has also inevitably triggered a backlash.

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The Mind-Body Magic of Jon Kabat-Zinn

One Man's Quest to Bring Therapeutic Mindfulness to Medicine

Richard Simon and Mary Sykes Wylie • 12/10/2014 • No Comments

In 1966, Jon Kabat-Zinn, a graduate student in molecular biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, spotted a flyer advertising a talk about Zen. Today, nearly 40 years after that portentous afternoon talk, Kabat-Zinn is acknowledged as one of the pioneers in mind-body medicine---a field that integrates ancient spiritual traditions like yoga and meditation with mainstream medical practice. In 1979, Kabat-Zinn established the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, the first center in the country to use meditation and yoga with patients suffering from intractable pain and chronic illness.

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Revolution on the Horizon

DBT Challenges the Borderline Diagnosis

Katy Butler • 9/14/2014 • 1 Comment

DBT was no walk in the park: it required team treatment, including weekly individual therapy, a year-long "skills training" class, telephone coaching and supportive supervision for the therapist. But it offered clients and therapists alike a way out of chaos--a systematic clinical package that integrated the technical and analytical strengths of behaviorism, the subtleties of Zen training, the warmth and acceptance of relationship-centered therapies and the often undervalued power of psychoeducation.

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