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The Power of Expressive Arts

A Three-Part Process for Engaging the Body in Therapy

Cathy Malchiodi • 1 Comment

By Cathy Malchiodi - For thousands of years, humans have been turning to the healing rhythms of the arts to confront and resolve distress. Expressive arts therapy uses the body’s sensory and kinesthetic experiences as a foundation for the exploration of emotions and personal narratives.

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The Bottom-Up Approach of Somatic Experiencing

A Close-Up Look at Peter Levine's Work with a Trauma Survivor

Lauren Dockett • No Comments

By Lauren Dockett - Peter Levine is the originator of a form of body psychotherapy called Somatic Experiencing (SE), a captivating but sometimes puzzling approach. Instead of asking questions about events that might elicit pain, Levine focuses on the body, zeroing in meticulously on what’s happening in the moment. Here's how it unfolded with his patient, TJ.

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Helping Clients Befriend Themselves

A Sensorimotor Approach to Dealing with Self-Hatred

Janina Fisher • 3 Comments

By Janina Fisher - No matter how much we're loved and valued in our adult lives, judgmental parts within us are standing ready to condemn us as inadequate or undeserving. Using Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, I help clients suffering from self-hatred befriend the parts they unconsciously disown.

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Using Neuroscience in Therapy

Shifting Emotional States in an Instant

Frank Anderson • 3 Comments

By Frank Anderson - Most extreme reactions resulting from trauma fall under one of two categories: sympathetic hyperarousal and parasympathetic blunting. Understanding what happens in the nervous system when clients experience either orients me on how to go beyond my immediate reactions when confronted with trauma symptoms in the therapy room.

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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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Helping Traumatized Communities Become Their Own Healers

After Decades, a 77-Year-Old Therapist and His Global Program Show No Signs of Slowing Down

Marian Sandmaier • No Comments

By Marian Sandmaier - For almost 25 years, Jim Gordon and his team at the Center for Mind-Body Medicine has worked in war zones, refugee camps, and communities struck by natural disasters and mass shootings, both in the United States and internationally. And still doing this work at 77, he has no plans to slow down.

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The Art of Not Knowing the Answer

A Trauma Specialist Shares Her Most Therapeutic Moment

Mary Jo Barrett • No Comments

By Mary Jo Barrett - My very first case was the Byford family. The father was serving a six-month sentence for domestic abuse. During a home visit several months into treatment, the daughter, Laura, announced, “Dad is getting out of jail today! And he’s coming here!” My mind went blank. Her mother looked at me. Suddenly, it was as though I passed whatever strength I had to her, and she then passed it back to me.

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VIDEO: Janina Fisher on Collaborating with Clients in Trauma Treatment

The Secret to Tapping Into Inner Resources

Janina Fisher • 1 Comment

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 New Prescription

What Role Can Therapists Play in Addressing Chronic Pain?

Howard Schubiner • 3 Comments

By Howard Schubiner - Few people in the medical profession look at the disconnect between pain and structural abnormalities in the body. Could it be that we're attributing some of our physical pain to body disorders when the pain has an emotional source instead?

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A Look Inside MDMA-Assisted Therapy

A Trauma Specialist Straddles Two Worlds

Marcela Ot’alora G. • 1 Comment

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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