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Creating Neighborhoods of Healing

A Trauma Therapist’s Passage with Chicago Gang Members

Mary Jo Barrett • No Comments

By Mary Jo Barrett - I'm on a five-day camping trip with 20 gang members as part of a program called Pride ROC. Most of these guys have suffered repeated abuse and severe poverty, seen friends and family members shot, stabbed, or fatally overdosed on drugs. Not surprisingly, every one of them suffers from complex trauma—which is why I’m here as a therapist, trying to apply what I know and use in my office in a place far away from the comfortable world I usually inhabit.

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The Art of Not Knowing the Answer

A Trauma Specialist Shares Her Most Therapeutic Moment

Mary Jo Barrett • No Comments

By Mary Jo Barrett - My very first case was the Byford family. The father was serving a six-month sentence for domestic abuse. During a home visit several months into treatment, the daughter, Laura, announced, “Dad is getting out of jail today! And he’s coming here!” My mind went blank. Her mother looked at me. Suddenly, it was as though I passed whatever strength I had to her, and she then passed it back to me.

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A Look Inside MDMA-Assisted Therapy

A Trauma Specialist Straddles Two Worlds

Marcela Ot’alora G. • 1 Comment

By Marcela Ot’alora G. - As every trauma therapist knows, getting free of the debilitating symptoms of PTSD, if it happens at all, can take years. In my work on an MDMA-research project, I’ve observed close-up the profound effect psychedelic drugs can have in facilitating—and sometimes transforming—the often lengthy and difficult process of healing from PTSD.

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Inside the Ayahuasca Experience

Gabor Maté on When Shamanism Meets Psychotherapy

Gabor Maté • No Comments

By Gabor Maté - Several years ago, I began to receive inquiries about what I knew regarding the use of ayahuasca in the healing of addiction. Since then, I've developed deep respect for the collaborative power of shamanic medicine allied with the insights and practice of depth psychology. Respect may be too mild a word—awe hits closer to the mark.

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Supreme Testimony

What Christine Blasey Ford Could Mean for Survivors

Lauren Dockett • 4 Comments

By Lauren Dockett - As trauma specialist Mary Jo Barrett explains, Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony has been empowering for many survivors of sexual assault. Will that change next week?

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Could Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy Be the Next Big Thing?

One Woman's Story

Lauren Dockett • 2 Comments

By Lauren Dockett - Could the insights psychedelic and empathogenic drugs bring—the sense of spiritual grounding and vaporized defenses—finally help trauma survivors and those suffering from common clinical issues turn their lives around? One woman shares why psychedelic-assisted therapy was "the most profound healing she ever experienced."

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The Perils of Empathy at Full Throttle

Four Strategies to Protect Yourself Against Vicarious Traumatization

Babette Rothschild • No Comments

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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The Immigrant Experience, Revisited

Clinicians Feeling the Effects of New Immigration Policies Weigh In

Chris Lyford • No Comments

By Chris Lyford - Immigrants in America have long faced an uphill battle. But the shifting political landscape of the past year and a half has proven psychologically destructive, not only to undocumented immigrants, but also to those with legal protections. It's also significantly burdened the clinicians who work with these populations.

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VIDEO: Peter Levine on the Art of Noticing

See Somatic Experiencing in Motion with This Clip from an Actual Session

Peter Levine • No Comments

Among the first to fully realize that humans have an innate psychophysiological capacity for overcoming trauma and recovering physical and emotional wholeness, Peter Levine developed Somatic Experiencing, a simple yet profoundly effective mind-body healing technique. In this video clip, he shows how simply noticing a client's body sensations can lead to therapeutic breakthroughs.

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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 • 1 Comment

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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