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Trauma Therapy Meets Theater

An Unusual Program is Helping Vets Rewire from War

Ryan Howes • No Comments

By Ryan Howes - Therapists know that words can heal. But what if the words were in iambic pentameter and delivered from a stage? Veteran and professional actor Stephan Wolfert is testing a PTSD intervention that for decades has been pairing classical theater training with the science of trauma.

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VIDEO: Peter Levine's Secret to Releasing Trauma from the Body

Watch Healing in an Actual Session with a Combat Veteran Suffering from PTSD

Peter Levine • 1 Comment

Among the first to fully realize that humans have an innate psychophysiological capacity for overcoming trauma, Peter Levine developed Somatic Experiencing, a simple yet profoundly effective mind-body healing technique. Here, he explains how trauma gets stored in the body, and shares a video from an actual session where he helps a PTSD survivor erase trauma-induced tics.

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Four Strategies for Working with Vets

...And the One Question You Should Never Ask Them

Alison Lighthall • No Comments

By Alison Lighthall - Despite good intentions, therapists working with combat veterans face several challenges. To start with, engaging combat veterans in counseling of any kind. The first session may afford your only opportunity to ease the suffering of the veterans you encounter. You have to make every interaction with them count. Here's a blueprint for making it happen.

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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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Is Marijuana a Boost or Bane to the Therapeutic Craft?

Where the Therapy World Falls on the Marijuana Legalization Debate

Tori Rodriguez • 2 Comments

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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Helping Therapy Clients Cope with the Reality of Death

Clinical Wisdom to Combat Fear, Anxiety, and Grief at the End of Life

Barry Jacobs • No Comments

For 17 years, managing responses to death has become part of my work, whether originally my intention or not. I’ve aspired to helping families hang tough through medical crisis, but now spend some of my time hanging crepe. I’ve now accepted the variety of ways people react to their dying. All of these ways of facing death are utterly ordinary and human. Throughout it all, I've learned that as difficult and awkward as confronting death can be, this work also gives me a richer sense of my client, the cast of characters in their world, and the drama of their life.

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A Breathing Exercise Regimen for Anxiety Disorders

Unlocking the Power of Deep Breathing to Combat Panic Attacks

Graham Cambell • No Comments

Anxiety attacks anything and everything in a person's life. Sometimes the targets are the mundane activities that others take for granted. At other times, it attacks more fundamental functions, such as one's ability to work or to love. We are used to thinking of people who are afraid to speak in public or to drive across a bridge as anxious. We are all familiar with a few stereotypical worrywarts. But anxiety influences a much broader range of behaviors. To the ordinary observer, people who are rude in a restaurant, obnoxious at their child's soccer game or overly exacting of their employees might seem simply self-centered. But often, these individuals are dealing with a wide variety of inner phantoms.

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Helping A Combat Vet Face His Vulnerability

Connecting with the Shut-down Client

Kathryn Rheem • No Comments

Resonating with clients’ inner experience is key to working effectively with emotion in therapy. With traumatized and shutdown clients, however,  it is easy to talk about, but extremely hard to do.

 

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