We've gathered Psychotherapy Networkers most popular posts and arranged them here by topic.
A Six-Minute Exercise for Overcoming Stress
Our depressed clients don’t only exhibit their symptoms through speech and vocal tone. You see them in their body language too—in slouching torsos, folded arms, and shallow breathing. But according to Jim Gordon, Director of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine, that's exactly why interventions that engage the body—like the breathing exercise he explains in the following video clip—are so effective.
You Don't Need to Be a Nutritionist to Give Good Advice about Eating
By Joan Borysenko - Most therapists have never had a course in nutrition. But what if your clients’ depression or anxiety is more connected to their diet and gut bacteria than to their relationships, or fears, or traumatic childhood? That’s the question that Joan Borysenko—author of 16 books about biology, psychology, and spirituality—wants you to consider. In the following interview, she shares what's she's learned about the link between food and mood.
How One Therapist is Using Meditation to Help Suffering Populations Heal
By James Gordon - Recently, I was invited to Dharamsala by the Men Tsee Khang Institute, a school of traditional Tibetan medicine, to give a talk on the scientific basis of the mind–body connection and the techniques of self-care that are particularly effective with war- and disaster-traumatized populations. Here's what followed.
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.
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