We've gathered Psychotherapy Networkers most popular posts and arranged them here by topic.
Using the Body to Help Clients Break Old Habits and Stuck Patterns
By Daniel Leven - Many therapists remain so focused on understanding the thoughts and feelings in clients’ minds that they forget about the pivotal information to be gleaned by paying more attention to clients’ bodies. The three-step somatic process below can be used with just about any therapeutic approach, and it will help you directly access the important information that lives within clients’ immediate physical experience.
The Yoga Breath’s Universal Application
Brain science has revealed how deep breathing can calm our overactive nervous system, clear our distressed mind, and restore us to a balanced emotional state, says Amy Weintraub, a recognized leader in the practice of yoga and a presenter at this year’s Psychotherapy Networker Symposium
So how do you introduce these techniques in session to an anxious client who may be averse to the idea of yoga? Hear Amy explain. . .
Amy Weintraub's No-Mat Yoga Techniques for Helping Clients Relax and Reflect
The work of therapy can’t begin in earnest if the client’s mind is racing or fogged by depression at the beginning of the session, or if tension is so great that bodily awareness is lost. Offering a simple yoga practice as a portal into the session can enable your client to experience a shift in attentiveness and mood. A variety of no-mat yoga practices and rituals can help quiet mental chatter, reduce bodily tension, and promote a heightened awareness of oneself and one’s surroundings. All these techniques are perfectly suited to the consultation room.
Using Sensorimotor Psychotherapy to Speak with Shameful Inner Parts
As therapists, we often encounter clients who are so mired in self-hatred that our best efforts to support a sense of self-worth only seem to dig the hole of judgment and self-loathing deeper. Eventually, I began to wonder if the resulting clinical quagmire might be a reflection of a kind of "internal attachment disorder" mirroring the emotional injuries of early childhood. Was it possible that alienation from self and others had become an essential survival strategy early in life? Using Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, I guide my clients in "befriending" the parts they unconsciously disown.
How Oxytocin Stimulates Trust and Connection, and Helps Relationships Heal
When clients are emotionally worked up, caught in fight-flight-freeze mode, all their hard-earned skills in empathic listening and responsible (and responsive) speaking go out the window. Nothing therapeutic is going to happen until they feel calm enough and safe enough to reengage with each other. But by teaching behavior that helps clients' brains release oxytocin, a naturally occurring hormone which stimulates feelings of bonding and trust, and reduces fear and anxiety, we can create potent catalysts of psycho-physiological change.
Judith Matz on Abandoning Weight Loss as a Marker for Success
Most therapists have been taught that if we can help clients understand the emotional triggers of their overeating, they’ll be able to control their behavior and lose weight. We tend to build strategies around nutrition, portion control, and exercise habits. But more often than not, the pursuit of weight loss typically triggers and sustains overeating. My focus with clients who have overeating and weight concerns is to help them learn how to have a healthy relationship with food. We therapists need to recognize that when we reinforce the notion of weight loss as a marker of success, we set our clients up to leave therapy with even more shame about one more failure.
What Neuroscience and Attachment Teach Us About Healing Stress in the Body
The more we learn about the brain, the more apparent it becomes that, if we're to guide people in the process of change, we need to pay at least as much attention to the body and nervous system---theirs and ours---as to words, emotions, and meaning-making---which, until recently, have been the major focus of therapy. Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, a body-centered talk-therapy approach, allows us to navigate tumultuous transferential relationships and therapeutic impasses in creative, satisfying, and often moving ways.
James Gordon on Healing without Antidepressants
Depression is not a disease, so the promise of antidepressants as a cure just doesn’t hold water. That’s the assessment of James Gordon, M.D. and he should know. Jim is the author of Unstuck: Your Guide to the Seven Stage Journey out of Depression.
Rick Hanson on 5 Simple Steps to Use Right Away
Our brains are very good at learning from the negative—that's what helped our distant ancestors learn what to avoid of they wanted to stay alive. But it interferes with our lives today when we react to stressful situations as if they were life and death. They're usually not.In this brief clip, Rick Hanson, author of Buddha's Brain and Hardwiring Happiness, walks us through surprisingly simple steps that can shift our memory systems to internalize positive experiences and states with equal efficiency.
The Power of Guided Meditation in the Therapy Room
Helping clients directly taste the kind of spontaneity, freedom, and untethered happiness that’s often left behind in early childhood, while not in itself offering an instant cure, can become a powerful beacon illuminating the path toward healing. As a result, I've developed ways of helping clients access intense memories of positive childhood experiences that can jump-start the therapy process.
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