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VIDEO: Why EMDR Works

What Therapists Need to Know to Treat Trauma Effectively

Deany Laliotis

In the following interview, Networker senior writer Lauren Dockett sits down with EMDR specialist and trauma expert Deany Laliotis to get her take on the core skills therapists need to treat trauma effectively, and hear about how EMDR works and has evolved as a practice.

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When Trauma Impacts Performance

A Brainspotting Cure for the "Yips"

David Grand

By David Grand - One of the most common athletic performance blocks I treat is the loss by an accomplished athlete of an ability to perform a seemingly simple task that was once almost automatic. It’s primarily a sports concept, but it can be found in all walks of life. I’ve found that the medical treatment is usually ineffective. Instead, I believe symptoms can more accurately be understood as a form of trauma-based dissociation.

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How Therapy Reached the New Age of Trauma Treatment

Janina Fisher on Helping Trauma Clients Access Their Bodies, Resources, and Resilience

Janina Fisher

By Janina Fisher - In this new age of trauma treatment, we aim to help our clients find the light---or at least to find their bodies, their resources, and their resilience. Of course, listening to and witnessing the clients’ experiences remain central to the treatment process, but we now focus on much more than the traumatic events in their histories, knowing these events don’t define who they truly are.

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Strengthening Trauma Therapy by Bringing in the Family

Mary Jo Barrett on the Healing Potential of Families in Trauma Treatment

Mary Jo Barrett

By Mary Jo Barrett - Mostly, I think we avoid family therapy because families can be so exhausting, creating an atmosphere of great emotional volatility, which requires us to be on our toes all the time. But the therapy experience takes on an entirely different dimension when family members learn to be healing agents for each other. Clients, especially those who’ve been traumatized, often feel disconnected from themselves and somehow separate and cut off from other people.

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Righting Psychotherapy's Reputation in the Media

Bessel van der Kolk and the New York Times

Kathleen Smith

By Kathleen Smith - It’s no secret that psychotherapy has had an image problem in the media. Real and fictional clinicians on TV and in the movies are regularly portrayed as jargon-spouting caricatures, or are often shown to break ethical codes without blinking, displaying more personal problems than their clients. But a bigger part of the problem may be that, on the whole, therapists haven’t done a particularly good job explaining what we do or how it works.

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Why the Current Trauma Model Fails Victims of Abuse

A New Way to Help Traumatized Clients Relieve Guilt, Shame, and Isolation

Susan Clancy

Today, after more than twenty-five years, predictions based on the trauma model have not proved accurate. There appears to be no direct, linear relationship between the severity of the abuse and the psychosocial difficulties victims experience in adulthood. Worst of all, we have developed no clearly effective treatments for sexual abuse victims. They continue to suffer from psychological and social problems in the aftermath of their abuse, and mental health professionals still have not reached a consensus as to exactly why or what precisely to do to help them recover. Here's what needs to change.

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Preventing Burnout with Micro Self-Care

Rejuvenating Practices for the Burned-Out Therapist

Ashley Davis-Bush

One day while in session, I felt not only overworked and undernourished, but potentially unhelpful, or even damaging, to the people I wanted to help. The dominant advice was simple: do more self-care. Unfortunately, the suggestions, which I’ve since come to call macro self-care, usually seem to require substantial commitments of time, effort, and often money. But micro self-care is available at all times, on demand. Here's an array of brief tools that are simple, free, and doable.

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Bridging Mind and Body in Trauma Treatment

How Bessel van der Kolk Pioneered a New Trauma Therapy

Mary Sykes Wylie

Bessel Van der Kolk first became aware of the world of trauma in 1978, when he decided to go work for the Veterans Administration, not to study PTSD (it hadn't been recognized yet as a formal diagnosis), but to get the government benefits to pay for his own psychoanalysis. While there, he discovered the reality of PTSD---and the beginnings of a stunning, nationwide phenomenon. Since then, the trauma field has gone from obscurity to become one of the most innovative and supported specialties in mental health. Trauma researchers have set off an explosion of knowledge about psychobiology and the interaction of body and mind. And van der Kolk, as much as anyone else in the field, has defined the current framework for understanding trauma.

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Bessel van der Kolk Takes on the New York Times

Psychotherapy in the Spotlight

Kathleen Smith

It’s no secret that psychotherapy has had an image problem in the media. So when The New York Times Magazine asked trauma expert Bessel van der Kolk if it could have a journalist follow him around for a month to observe his work, it seemed like a golden opportunity to present the latest advances in trauma treatment in one of mainstream journalism’s most highly respected forums.

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The Precarious Present

Why is it So Hard to Stay in the Moment?

Robert Scaer

When a client reports repetitive intrusions, we may wonder about a tendency toward obsessiveness or the possibility of depression and/or anxiety. While all of these interpretations may have some validity, I believe that much more is at stake. I propose that in many of these moments of body-mind intrusion, our brain is trying to protect us from mortal danger arising from memories of old, unresolved threats. In short, we're in survival mode.

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