Topic - Trauma

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

VIDEO: Changing the Brain to Take In the Good

Rick Hanson on 5 Simple Steps to Use Right Away

Rick Hanson

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.

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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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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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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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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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Where Do Therapists Stand on Marijuana Legalization?

Therapy Grapples with the Drug's Pros and Cons

Tori Rodriguez

More than 20 states have enacted laws to allow the sale of marijuana for medicinal purposes, and others have moved to reduce criminal penalties for possession of small amounts. But the more marijuana legalization reaches mainstream acceptance, the more the divisions of opinion within the mental health field---presumably the professionals who have the most scientifically informed perspective on the debate---become apparent.

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When the Therapeutic Alliance Makes Clients Dependent

When Should We Stop Seeing Difficult Therapy Clients?

David Treadway

After 22 years, I can still see Amy sitting there, cross-legged, with her arms folded across her chest. This case had been emotionally devastating for me. Amy began calling me at home. Then she began making hang-up phone calls, started cutting her wrists again and threatened suicide. Years after terminating therapy with Amy, she called me again, begging for me to treat her. I agreed. She was caught in the vortex once more and, like a complete fool, so was I.

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How Mindfulness Makes Therapy a Sacred Space

Jack Kornfield on Practicing Mindfulness in the Therapy Room

Rich Simon

What exactly is it that mindfulness helps bring into focus that our other theories and methods of therapeutic practice haven’t already addressed? For an answer to that question, we asked Jack Kornfield---Buddhist teacher, psychotherapist, and someone who’s been at the forefront of those helping Westerners grasp Eastern spiritual concepts and practices since the 1970s. In this interview, he describes how ritual---what he calls the experience of the sacred---and a concern with the larger mystery of our lives can deepen the therapeutic encounter.

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