Topic - Trauma

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

The Dearth of Social Context in Psychotherapy

Ken Hardy on Why Therapy Needs to Address Race and Class

Ken Hardy

As a profession, we’ve become increasingly focused on our economic survival and seem to have turned a blind eye toward the broader social condition, voicing little about matters that aren’t central to our professional interest. A tendency to ignore the wider social context is reflected in our increasing embrace of more manualized approaches to therapy, predicated on the notion that cultural differences don’t matter much, and you can apply techniques more or less uniformly across different treatment populations. But no professional group is more qualified to address relationship conflict than we are.

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How Effective is Modern Psychotherapy?

The Qualities of Good Therapy, and Where Today's Clinicians Stand

Mary Pipher

Over the past few decades, therapy has made great strides. However, there are areas in which I think therapy may have also gotten worse. The essence of therapy remains the relationship, and the greatest gift to a client with virtually any problem is a focused, curious, empathic listener. But right now, pressure to speed up therapy can undercut the sanctity of the therapeutic relationship. Like good cooking, I think good therapy takes time. In many ways, we’re treating people in therapy offices as if it were 1960. But it’s a really different time, and there are a lot of issues we’re not approaching because we don’t know how.

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How Our Everyday Behavior Can Heal Trauma

Simple Therapy Techniques that Create Hope

Yvonne Dolan

As therapists, we often elicit negative emotions, believing that they must be purged before there'll be room for hope and other positive emotions. We're particularly anxious to assuage trauma survivors, whose desperate, unbearable pain seems to demand immediate relief. But favoring positive emotions and subtly trying to subdue negative ones can backfire. How do we get beyond this impasse? We can begin by looking again at the ways people have found consolation and support in the thousands of years before psychotherapy was developed. Throughout history, human beings have found rough relief and a modicum of comfort in the immediate obligations and habits of ordinary, daily life.

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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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Bridging Mind and Body in Trauma Treatment

How Bessel van der Kolk Pioneered a New Trauma Therapy

Mary Sykes Wylie

Bessel Van der Kolk first became aware of the world of trauma in 1978, when he decided to go work for the Veterans Administration, not to study PTSD (it hadn't been recognized yet as a formal diagnosis), but to get the government benefits to pay for his own psychoanalysis. While there, he discovered the reality of PTSD---and the beginnings of a stunning, nationwide phenomenon. Since then, the trauma field has gone from obscurity to become one of the most innovative and supported specialties in mental health. Trauma researchers have set off an explosion of knowledge about psychobiology and the interaction of body and mind. And van der Kolk, as much as anyone else in the field, has defined the current framework for understanding trauma.

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Sensory Integration Therapy for Defiant Children

When Faulty Sensory Processing Affects Behavior

Karen Smith

In our culture, we don't take kindly to children who refuse to do what they are told. We label them with euphemisms, such as difficult, willful or spirited. When these kids show up in my office as early as age 3 or 4, their parents---often tearful, angry, guilt ridden---want quick advice about how to win the battles they are losing. Because we assume that these children are neurologically and physiologically capable of doing what we ask them to do, we may describe them as inattentive, hyperactive or clumsy and complain that they are stubborn, angry or oppositional. In fact, they are all of those things---but for a reason. That reason is faulty sensory processing.

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Internal Family Systems, Guidepost for Sexual Intimacy

Richard Schwartz on Better Sex through the IFS Approach

Richard Schwartz

No other area of a couple's life holds as much promise for achieving intimacy as sex. I used to instruct that couples issue a moratorium on sex and assign exercises that allowed them to show affection to each other without any sexual expectation. Not anymore. My goal now is to help partners reach the kind of soul-deep connectedness in their sexual encounters that can transform their lives and their relationship with each other. Within each of us is a complex family of subpersonalities. As a result, intimacy has two components: the knowing and revealing of one's secret parts and also the sense of awe and belonging that comes with Self-to-Self connectedness.

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