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The Evolution of Trauma Treatment

Bessel van der Kolk Shares His Hope for the Future of the Field

Bessel van der Kolk

By Bessel van der Kolk - My hope for the field of trauma treatment is that we learn how to help people bring their imaginations more fully to bear on their possibilities. More recently, we’ve been exploring the capacity to rewire brains that are stuck in freeze and terror and develop a sense of self-compassion that enables people to integrate their dissociated self from the past into in a calm state of mind in the present.

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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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VIDEO: The Self-Compassion Approach to Trauma Treatment

Creative Strategies That Dig Deeper

Lisa Ferentz

It’s important to honor all of your client’s inner parts in therapy. But accessing them to fully engage in healing work isn’t always easy. Here, trauma therapist Lisa Ferentz explains her creative approach for helping clients access these tough-to-reach inner parts.

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VIDEO: Janina Fisher on Collaborating with Clients in Trauma Treatment

The Secret to Tapping Into Inner Resources

Janina Fisher

For many traumatized clients, even beginning to explore a traumatic event can be an act of bravery. According to therapist and trauma expert Janina Fisher, in order for clients to take this first step, they first need to be empowered. In the following video clip, she explains how to make this happen.

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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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VIDEO: Peter Levine Shares a Personal Story About Trauma

What Does It Take to Ward Off Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

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. In this clip from his 2014 Symposium address, Levine shares a personal story about a traumatizing event in his own life, and explains the remedy that helped him ward off post-traumatic stress.

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My Greatest Clinical Learning Experience

Finding the "Genuine Hero" in Even Your Most Troubled Clients

Lisa Ferentz

By Lisa Ferentz - In the early days of the trauma field, clients were seen as one-dimensional bundles of dysfunction and pain, who needed to relive their trauma before progress could be made. But an increased interest in post-traumatic growth has allowed many therapists to see that insight and healing can occur not only in the midst of devastating experiences, but even because of them.

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Reclaiming Your Life After Unfathomable Trauma

A Therapist Shares Her Ordeal, and the Steps it Took to Reclaim Her Former Self

Janice Starkman Goldfein

By Janice Starkman Goldfein - On January 4, 1994, trauma became a lived reality for me. That evening, I was grabbed from behind and heard a low, menacing voice say, "If you cooperate, I won't hurt you." In the days, weeks, and months that followed, I struggled not to allow the attack to defeat me. I had to learn how to control the fear, stop the flashbacks, and handle the anger, while dealing with an overwhelming range and intensity of feelings.

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VIDEO: Lisa Ferentz on Planting the Seeds for Post-Traumatic Growth

Removing the Glass Ceiling for Trauma Survivors

Lisa Ferentz

It’s not always easy to tell trauma survivors in the midst of deep suffering that one day they’ll find meaning in what happened to them. But according to trauma specialist Lisa Ferentz, trauma survivors can emerge from their nightmarish experiences stronger than before, and there's a sensitive, measured way to go about planting the seeds for post-traumatic growth.

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