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The Power of Expressive Arts

A Three-Part Process for Engaging the Body in Therapy

Cathy Malchiodi • 1 Comment

By Cathy Malchiodi - For thousands of years, humans have been turning to the healing rhythms of the arts to confront and resolve distress. Expressive arts therapy uses the body’s sensory and kinesthetic experiences as a foundation for the exploration of emotions and personal narratives.

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The Bottom-Up Approach of Somatic Experiencing

A Close-Up Look at Peter Levine's Work with a Trauma Survivor

Lauren Dockett • No Comments

By Lauren Dockett - Peter Levine is the originator of a form of body psychotherapy called Somatic Experiencing (SE), a captivating but sometimes puzzling approach. Instead of asking questions about events that might elicit pain, Levine focuses on the body, zeroing in meticulously on what’s happening in the moment. Here's how it unfolded with his patient, TJ.

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Helping Clients Befriend Themselves

A Sensorimotor Approach to Dealing with Self-Hatred

Janina Fisher • 3 Comments

By Janina Fisher - No matter how much we're loved and valued in our adult lives, judgmental parts within us are standing ready to condemn us as inadequate or undeserving. Using Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, I help clients suffering from self-hatred befriend the parts they unconsciously disown.

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Using Neuroscience in Therapy

Shifting Emotional States in an Instant

Frank Anderson • 3 Comments

By Frank Anderson - Most extreme reactions resulting from trauma fall under one of two categories: sympathetic hyperarousal and parasympathetic blunting. Understanding what happens in the nervous system when clients experience either orients me on how to go beyond my immediate reactions when confronted with trauma symptoms in the therapy room.

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A New Prescription

What Role Can Therapists Play in Addressing Chronic Pain?

Howard Schubiner • 3 Comments

By Howard Schubiner - Few people in the medical profession look at the disconnect between pain and structural abnormalities in the body. Could it be that we're attributing some of our physical pain to body disorders when the pain has an emotional source instead?

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Supreme Testimony

What Christine Blasey Ford Could Mean for Survivors

Lauren Dockett • 4 Comments

By Lauren Dockett - As trauma specialist Mary Jo Barrett explains, Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony has been empowering for many survivors of sexual assault. Will that change next week?

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Helping People Pleasers Set Boundaries

…And What to Do When It Backfires

Alicia Muñoz • No Comments

Alicia Muñoz - Boundaries bind. They limit, stop, and inhibit. But they also free people up to be themselves. In couples where one partner is a people-pleaser, things can get even more complicated.

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Athletes Get Real About Mental Health

What’s Behind the Recent Slew of Confessional Essays?

Lauren Dockett • No Comments

By Lauren Dockett - A growing list of professional athletes have begun going public with personal mental health concerns all on their own. They contain unflinchingly honest details from members of an elite segment of society who have historically been sent up as untouchable heroes. But why are these athletes opening up in this way, and why are they doing it now?

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What's New in Art Therapy?

Expressive Arts Therapy Pioneer Cathy Malchiodi Weighs In

Ryan Howes • No Comments

By Ryan Howes - Art therapy can help people of all ages process and recover from trauma. In the following interview, Cathy Malchiodi, President of Art Therapy Without Borders, explains her approach and talks about the growing movement to treat returning combat veterans with art and expressive art therapy.

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Working with Abusers and Their Families

Can Good and Evil Can Exist in the Same Person?

Mary Jo Barrett • No Comments

By Mary Jo Barrett - Families suffering from trauma, abuse, and neglect can begin to make the crucial distinction between a chronic state of overarousal and vigilance and "reality" only once a sense of physical and psychological safety has been established. Only after this first stage is it even possible to focus on changing dysfunctional mindsets, counterproductive behavior, and destructive family patterns.

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