Topic - Trauma

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We've gathered Psychotherapy Networkers most popular posts and arranged them here by topic.

Using Play in Therapy to Solve Emotional Problems

Why Creative Strategies are the Therapist's Best Tool

Courtney Armstrong

How many times have you surprised yourself by jumping at the scary part of a movie? It isn’t enough to be a kind, supportive guide on clients’ journeys. We have to be a provocative guide, creating experiences that trigger their curiosity and desire to know more. Human behavior and motivation are driven mostly by the emotional brain---the brain centers that mediate “primitive” emotions and instincts and respond to sensory-rich experiences, not intellectual insights.

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Our New, Complicated Relationship with Death and Dying

Helping Our Therapy Clients Cope with the Specter of Death

Joseph Nowinski, Joseph Nowinski

In spite of what’s clearly a massive social shift in the way we now enter and exit the domain of death, we still really don’t know how to talk about it. We haven’t yet begun to have the difficult, honest conversations---person to person, family member to family member, doctor to patient, therapist to client---that would help us better understand what to expect of this harsh landscape, and how to pick our way through it. As therapists, we’re uniquely well-placed to engage people in this emerging conversation and bring this topic into the light of shared experience.

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Therapy Enters the Digital Age

Is Telemental Health the Future of Psychotherapy?

Kathleen Smith

More and more clinicians today are adapting to meet the demands of the digital world and fit into the schedules and lifestyles of clients no longer willing to follow the traditional pattern of once-a-week sessions in a therapist’s office. In a consumer-driven mental health marketplace, individuals with anxiety disorders want services from the comfort of their homes. For veterans living in rural areas, remote group and individual psychotherapy for trauma offers treatment possibilities that weren’t available even a few years ago. But although telehealth has been around for decades, many clinicians are still unsure about the clinical, ethical, and legal issues that emerge as distance therapy becomes a more accepted practice.

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Mindfulness Practices for the Skeptical Client

Four Strategies for Helping Therapy Clients Embrace Mindfulness

Susan Pollak

Clinicians often make a variety of mistakes while trying to introduce mindfulness, and in my 30 years of trying to figure it out, I’ve made all of them. So let me share some of my bloopers with you in the hopes that you can avoid them. After all, meditation teachers often say, “This practice is simple, but it isn’t easy.” Perhaps the best piece of advice for helping people stay with mindfulness is to have them find something enjoyable in the practice. And above all, do your best to make sure that the practice fits the patient.

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Putting SPECT Brain-Imaging Under the Microscope

Why is Daniel Amen's Method for Treating Psychiatric Disorders So Controversial?

Mary Sykes Wylie

Psychiatrist Daniel Amen argues that a brain-imaging method called SPECT is an invaluable tool for understanding and treating psychiatric disorders. SPECT has been used in a huge number of research studies on almost every conceivable psychiatric and neurological condition, as well as some nonpsychiatric studies. So what is it about Amen and his mission to get therapists to use brain imaging, and SPECT in particular, as an aid to diagnosis and treatment that makes him such a lightning rod?

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The Therapeutic Value of Buddhist Meditation

A Meditation Retreat Helps a Therapist Confront Cancer Trauma

David Treadway

I've been working hard on integrating Buddhist teachings and meditation practice into my life for six years now. But none of my spiritual practice prepared for my stage IV non-Hodgkins lymphoma that turned my life upside down two years ago. I was extremely sick and given a small chance to survive. In the first weeks, I spoke easily about the transformational power of illness, the gift of cancer. I thought I'd become enlightened. But in reality, I was out of my mind, quite dissociative. Buddhism doesn't mean being detached, uncaring, disengaged. I came to this retreat out of desperation. I'm here to learn how to live again.

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Helping Therapy Clients Push Their Limits

Embracing the Client's Capacity for Resilience and Recovery

Michele Weiner-Davis

When we learn that clients have experienced tough childhoods, sexual or emotional abuse, or significant losses, we often make immediate assumptions about their current struggles and the kind of treatment they require. In many ways, the information we gather about problematic pasts biases and blinds us. But human beings are far too complex to assume that we know how any single person assimilates his or her experiences. So why not assume resilience? Why not trust people’s abilities to rebound from adversity?

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The Therapeutic Goldmine of Song, Dance, and Mindfulness

Testimonials from the 2015 Psychotherapy Networker Symposium

Symposium Student Scholars

John Kabat-Zinn sparked my interest when he recounted the time Oprah asked him, "Is there life after death?" His reply to her: "Oprah, I'm interested in the question, 'Is there life before death?'" Living fully is dependent on our capacity to practice mindfulness. The idea that acknowledging a feeling, even acknowledging pain, can reduce suffering is so powerful. Over time, I have realized what John Kabat-Zinn illustrated so beautifully this morning. Mindfulness is realized in a world full of human beings, people waiting to be seen and heard, and in search of ways to live more joyfully and with less suffering. We therapists have the privilege of being present for people who are doing just that. In this moment, I feel gratitude.

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Recovering the Lost Roots of Child and Family Therapy

Using Family Therapy's Origins to Fix a Broken Mental Health System

Cloe Madanes

During the height of the family therapy movement, the healing power of the family was respected, and medication and out-of-home placements were considered a last resort. For a variety of reasons, that era has passed, and countertherapeutic economic forces have come to dominate treatment decisions. We need to reexamine our values as a profession and rediscover the activism of the days when the DSM didn’t so thoroughly limit our perspective and clinicians were encouraged to think beyond narrow diagnostic categories and embrace the fuller complexities of human systems.

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Couples Therapy, Brainspotting, and Truth in Love

Testimonials from the 2015 Psychotherapy Networker Symposium

Symposium Student Scholars

I had the pleasure of attending the Brainspotting seminar with David Grand today. What fresh and amazing information! I am drawn to anything that involves the brain because it brings the scientific information I need to the often less concrete world of talk therapy. Brainspotting is a process by which the client can access encapsulated trauma or other mental health issues without using extensive "talk therapy." Knowing that clients can often get wrapped up in telling stories, accessing the information using BSP gives clients another way to process their distress without going too deeply into the narrative. I also appreciated that BSP is exceptionally client-driven. Therapists are encouraged to "be the tail of the comet." The client, BSP teaches, "is the head."

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