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Helping Traumatized Communities Become Their Own Healers

After Decades, a 77-Year-Old Therapist and His Global Program Show No Signs of Slowing Down

Marian Sandmaier

By Marian Sandmaier - For almost 25 years, Jim Gordon and his team at the Center for Mind-Body Medicine has worked in war zones, refugee camps, and communities struck by natural disasters and mass shootings, both in the United States and internationally. And still doing this work at 77, he has no plans to slow down.

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Therapy in Post-Harvey Houston

What Takes to Do Psychological First Aid Well

Chris Lyford

By Chris Lyford - Disaster work is anything but therapy as usual. In the aftermath of August's Hurricane Harvey, clinicians at ground zero explain why the medical model of traditional therapy as most know it becomes irrelevant, and the simple but important components of effective psychological first aid.

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Mind-Body Medicine in Motion

How One Therapist is Using Meditation to Help Suffering Populations Heal

James Gordon

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.

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The Power of Community in Healing Trauma

Therapy in the Aftermath of the Paris Terrorist Attacks

Chris Lyford

By Chris Lyford - In the aftermath of terrorist attacks, such as the one in Paris, clinicians are increasingly aware that the most effective way of preventing or minimizing post-terror trauma isn’t some set of therapeutic techniques, but the power of community to help people feel connection and support.

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The Healing Combination of Therapy and Disaster Relief

How an Uncommon Blend of Therapy and Volunteerism is Changing the World

Chris Lyford

Fifteen years ago, psychotherapist Jeffrey Kottler never imagined he’d be stuffing nine duffel bags full of antibiotics and suture kits for a return trip to Nepal. But since founding Empower Nepali Girls (ENG) to provide scholarships to at-risk children, he's returned to the country several times each year with a small team to rescue girls from probable futures in sex slavery, putting them on the path to careers in medicine, engineering, and teaching. And Kottler isn't alone in his relief efforts. In fact, many therapists are redefining what it means to create a connection, the resulting product being an uncommon blend of therapy, relief work, and social justice advocacy. Here are a few of their stories.

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