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Using Neuroscience in Therapy

Shifting Emotional States in an Instant

Frank Anderson

By Frank Anderson - Most extreme reactions resulting from trauma fall under one of two categories: sympathetic hyperarousal and parasympathetic blunting. Understanding what happens in the nervous system when clients experience either orients me on how to go beyond my immediate reactions when confronted with trauma symptoms in the therapy room.

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The Healing Power of Childhood Memories

Peppering "Little Doses of Happiness" Into Your Daily Life

Rhegina Sinozich

By Rhegina Sinozich - If you really want to help people open a doorway to a different way in life, therapy needs to give them powerful experiences—positive ones. I've learned that the most powerful and effective way to get therapy off on the right note is to help clients access the power of the hope and openheartedness that’s embedded in childhood.

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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

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 Healing Power of Crying

...And Why Calming Your Client Can Actually Backfire

Jeffrey Von Glahn

By Jeffrey Von Glahn - Many clinicians are unaware of the difference between clients' therapeutic crying and situations in which clients are forced to deal with an overwhelming incident. Just a minute or two of deep therapeutic crying can bring about profound changes. And facilitating therapeutic crying isn’t complicated. Most of the time, the less the therapist does, the better.

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Does Energy Psychology Really Work?

Tapping Pioneer David Feinstein Shares What Made Him a Believer

David Feinstein

By David Feinstein - About a decade ago, something came along to challenge my bedrock beliefs about therapy: Energy Psychology, a method based on tapping on selected acupuncture points to address psychological problems. What could possibly have possessed a seen-it-all therapist like me to embrace an approach that many consider the latest incarnation of snake oil? What follows is the answer.

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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

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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What Traumatized Children Need Most

Most Therapeutic Experiences Don't Take Place in Therapy

Bruce Perry and Maia Szalavitz

By Bruce Perry and Maia Szalavitz - While working with child survivors during the 1992 Waco siege, I found that we had a group of children that had essentially been marinated in fear. The only way we could get them the help they needed was to apply our understanding of how fear affects the brain and then consequently changes behavior. We quickly learned that people, not programs, change people.

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How Neuroscience Can Change the Way You Practice

Knowing about the Brain Can Actually Change It

Bonnie Badenoch

By Bonnie Badenoch - Initially, it can seem like a huge leap to link abstruse and complicated brain science to the relational world of therapy. But, some day, it may seem absurd that we didn't study the processes we're expected to treat. Once my clients understand where their brain wiring is underdeveloped, they become eager to do whatever it takes to build better neural connections.

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Six Things Therapists Are Saying After the Election

. . . And Why You Shouldn't Be Afraid to Call Out the Chicken Littles

Chris Lyford

By Chris Lyford - Regardless of where you stand politically, it’s hard to deny that the 2016 presidential election was one of the most stress-inducing in recent history. Democrats and Republicans alike continue to wrestle with lingering anxiety and tension. But none of this comes as a surprise to most therapists, who’ve been on the front lines of treating post-election stress. Here are some valuable lessons they’ve taken away from their recent work helping clients in these post-election times. 

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VIDEO: Diane Poole Heller on the Hidden Capabilities of Trauma Survivors

Watch as a Traumatized Client Taps Into a Wellspring of Healing in an Actual Session

Diane Poole Heller

Think all traumatized clients are shut-down and energy-sapped? Think again. In this clip from her Networker Symposium Keynote, "Creating a Corrective Emotional Experience," trauma specialist Diane Poole Heller shares a clip from an actual session, where she guides a client in tapping into a hidden wellspring of energy that leaves them feeling refreshed, happy, and safe.

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