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An Interview with Peter Levine

Somatic Experiencing Offers Something That Conventional Talk Therapy Doesn't

Peter Levine

By Peter Levine - To many therapists, Somatic Experiencing (SE) still seems bit mysterious, even mystical. Here, SE pioneer Peter Levine describes what a first session looks like and the skills an SE therapist needs to have.

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ASMR: Coming to a Practice Near You?

An Unusual Self-Care Tool Has Taken the Internet by Storm

Chris Lyford

By Chris Lyford - Some are speculating that ASMR, a soothing physical and emotional experience that 20 to 40 percent of people claim to have, triggered by particular sounds and images, may have therapeutic usefulness. But with the bulk of ASMR videos being created by non-therapists, it's also stirring up controversy.

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A Look Inside MDMA-Assisted Therapy

A Trauma Specialist Straddles Two Worlds

Marcela Ot’alora G.

By Marcela Ot’alora G. - As every trauma therapist knows, getting free of the debilitating symptoms of PTSD, if it happens at all, can take years. In my work on an MDMA-research project, I’ve observed close-up the profound effect psychedelic drugs can have in facilitating—and sometimes transforming—the often lengthy and difficult process of healing from PTSD.

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Inside the Ayahuasca Experience

Gabor Maté on When Shamanism Meets Psychotherapy

Gabor Maté

By Gabor Maté - Several years ago, I began to receive inquiries about what I knew regarding the use of ayahuasca in the healing of addiction. Since then, I've developed deep respect for the collaborative power of shamanic medicine allied with the insights and practice of depth psychology. Respect may be too mild a word—awe hits closer to the mark.

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Could Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy Be the Next Big Thing?

One Woman's Story

Lauren Dockett

By Lauren Dockett - Could the insights psychedelic and empathogenic drugs bring—the sense of spiritual grounding and vaporized defenses—finally help trauma survivors and those suffering from common clinical issues turn their lives around? One woman shares why psychedelic-assisted therapy was "the most profound healing she ever experienced."

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What Traumatized Children Need Most

Most Therapeutic Experiences Don't Take Place in Therapy

Bruce Perry and Maia Szalavitz

By Bruce Perry and Maia Szalavitz - While working with child survivors during the 1992 Waco siege, I found that we had a group of children that had essentially been marinated in fear. The only way we could get them the help they needed was to apply our understanding of how fear affects the brain and then consequently changes behavior. We quickly learned that people, not programs, change people.

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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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