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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: 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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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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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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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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Facing Disaster in Your Own Backyard

Sometimes the Best Intervention is Not Intervening at All

Patrick Dougherty

By Patrick Dougherty - I went to the TV and turned it on. There to my horror was a bridge that I'd crossed hundreds, maybe thousands of times, and it was sprawling in a twisted heap. My clients were handling what was happening as well as they could. I didn't see any need to "help" anybody. In fact, I realized that the best help I could give was staying out of the way.

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On the Front Lines of Crisis Work

What Keeps a Clinician Going in High-Stakes Therapy?

Gary Weinstein

By Gary Weinstein - I've been doing crisis work for nearly 30 years. I've confronted a number of forks in my professional road, opportunities to take a less demanding route. But I've chosen to continue on this path, accompanying others who've been suddenly, often brutally, cast out of life's safety zones. The reasons I stay aren't simple, and they continue to shift and surprise me.

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