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Healing After Betrayal

It Takes These Two Therapeutic Approaches

Steven Stosny

By Steven Stosny - Intimate betrayal strikes at the core of our capacity to trust and love, violating the fundamental expectation that gives us the courage to connect deeply—the belief that the person we love won’t intentionally hurt us. This requires therapists to reach a balance between validating their clients’ pain and empowering them to improve their lives.

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Growing Up Transgender

Parents and Their Transgender Children Find a Healing, Validating Community

Marian Sandmaier

By Marian Sandmaier - Until very recently, most families with transgender children had never met another family like theirs. Now, parents and children from the trailblazing Ackerman Institute’s Family & Gender Project talk about their experience of joining a healing community that offers acceptance and a validating mirror of their own experience.

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A Polyvagal Primer

A Three-Part Exercise That Taps Into the Nervous System to Create Safety and Trust

Deb Dana

By Deb Dana - The three elements of our autonomic nervous system—ventral, sympathetic, and dorsal—act as our largely subconscious surveillance system, working in the background to read subtle signals of safety or threat. That’s why I help clients create a clear map of their own autonomic nervous systems, so they become aware of their patterns of response to ease and distress.

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Creating Neighborhoods of Healing

A Trauma Therapist’s Passage with Chicago Gang Members

Mary Jo Barrett

By Mary Jo Barrett - I'm on a five-day camping trip with 20 gang members as part of a program called Pride ROC. Most of these guys have suffered repeated abuse and severe poverty, seen friends and family members shot, stabbed, or fatally overdosed on drugs. Not surprisingly, every one of them suffers from complex trauma—which is why I’m here as a therapist, trying to apply what I know and use in my office in a place far away from the comfortable world I usually inhabit.

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A Guide to Finding Courage in Difficult Times

An Excerpt from David Whyte's "Consolations"

David Whyte

By David Whyte - According to poet David Whyte, the focus of psychotherapy is restricted to the individual’s biography—a good start but too small an arena for the capacious human soul. In the following excerpt from Whyte's Consolations, he urges us to move beyond the edge of our familiar, known world.

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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

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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The Healing Power of Childhood Memories

Peppering "Little Doses of Happiness" Into Your Daily Life

Rhegina Sinozich

By Rhegina Sinozich - If you really want to help people open a doorway to a different way in life, therapy needs to give them powerful experiences—positive ones. I've learned that the most powerful and effective way to get therapy off on the right note is to help clients access the power of the hope and openheartedness that’s embedded in childhood.

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The Healing Power of Crying

...And Why Calming Your Client Can Actually Backfire

Jeffrey Von Glahn

By Jeffrey Von Glahn - Many clinicians are unaware of the difference between clients' therapeutic crying and situations in which clients are forced to deal with an overwhelming incident. Just a minute or two of deep therapeutic crying can bring about profound changes. And facilitating therapeutic crying isn’t complicated. Most of the time, the less the therapist does, the better.

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Why Would Anybody Become a Therapist?

Reflecting on the Soul of Our Professional Identity

Barry L. Duncan

By Barry Duncan - It’s no secret that this is a tough time to be a therapist. In public agencies, we’re underpaid, overworked, and held to unattainable "productivity standards." So why would anybody choose to enter such a field? Recent findings reveal that therapists stay in the profession not because of material rewards, but because they value connecting deeply with clients and helping them to improve.

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Changing Our Contract with Life

A Therapist's Story of Battling Chronic Pain

Kevin Anderson

By Kevin Anderson - This is the story of one of the most turbulent storms in my personal and professional life. After the storm, I learned there’s something about healing from deep emotional suffering that feels like death and rebirth—the kind that asks us to be open to changing our contract with life.

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