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Saving My Younger Self

Black Therapists Rock Member Profile

Psychotherapy Networker

Therapists who grew up in the communities of color they serve often have the social capital and particular wisdom to better understand clients’ core needs and make therapy accessible and meaningful. Here, Black Therapists Rock member Nicole Thompson takes us on her own journey from a Philly kid steeped in adversity, to an urban school psychologist who’s gone back to the old neighborhood and found her calling.

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VIDEO: Helping Clients Envision Personal Transformation

...While Still Validating Their Pain

Courtney Armstrong

How do you help clients access resourceful states when they’re feeling hopeless and helpless? In this short video, trauma specialist Courtney Armstrong explains.

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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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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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When Therapy Takes a Personal Toll

A Therapist Working with Abusers Reaches a Crossroads

Michelle Cacho-Negrette

By Michelle Cacho-Negrette - I made my first appointment with Gloria one autumn afternoon. I needed a still point, a peaceful promontory in the ocean of loud, unrepentant excuses I heard daily from the men I treated in a batterer-intervention program, men who committed unspeakable violence against those they claimed to love.

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How Our Everyday Behavior Can Heal Trauma

Simple Therapy Techniques that Create Hope

Yvonne Dolan

As therapists, we often elicit negative emotions, believing that they must be purged before there'll be room for hope and other positive emotions. We're particularly anxious to assuage trauma survivors, whose desperate, unbearable pain seems to demand immediate relief. But favoring positive emotions and subtly trying to subdue negative ones can backfire. How do we get beyond this impasse? We can begin by looking again at the ways people have found consolation and support in the thousands of years before psychotherapy was developed. Throughout history, human beings have found rough relief and a modicum of comfort in the immediate obligations and habits of ordinary, daily life.

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Dealing with Trauma Anxiety on the Spot

The Mechanics of Fight-or-Flight Responses in Trauma Clients

Babette Rothschild

My approach to trauma work is rooted in an experience I had in college. A friend asked me to teach her to drive---in a new car my father had just given me. Sitting in the passenger seat next to her as she prepared to turn on the ignition, I suddenly panicked. I quickly realized that before I taught her how to make that powerful machine go, I had to make sure that she knew how to put on the brakes. I apply the same principle to therapy, especially trauma therapy.

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Revolution on the Horizon

DBT Challenges the Borderline Diagnosis

Katy Butler, Katy Butler

DBT was no walk in the park: it required team treatment, including weekly individual therapy, a year-long "skills training" class, telephone coaching and supportive supervision for the therapist. But it offered clients and therapists alike a way out of chaos--a systematic clinical package that integrated the technical and analytical strengths of behaviorism, the subtleties of Zen training, the warmth and acceptance of relationship-centered therapies and the often undervalued power of psychoeducation.

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Applying the Brakes

In Trauma Treatment, Safety is Essential

Babette Rothschild

My approach to trauma work is rooted in an experience I had in college. A friend asked me to teach her to drive--in a new car my father had just given me. Sitting in the passenger seat next to her as she prepared to turn on the ignition, I suddenly panicked. I quickly realized that before I taught her how to make that powerful machine go, I had to make sure that she knew how to put on the brakes. I apply the same principle to therapy, especially trauma therapy. I never help clients call forth traumatic memories unless I and my clients are confident that the flow of their anxiety, emotion, memories, and body sensations can be contained at will.

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