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The Power of Expressive Arts

A Three-Part Process for Engaging the Body in Therapy

Cathy Malchiodi • No Comments

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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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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Is the PTSD Diagnosis Sending the Wrong Message?

Helping Veterans Move Beyond Victimization

Roy Clymer • No Comments

By Roy Clymer - My main objection to the way we understand and use PTSD is that it tempts all of us—providers, society, and veterans—to view the veteran as a victim. We owe it to veterans to give them a form of help that fully acknowledges their experience of unimaginable terror and horror. More than this, however, we must convey to them that they're affected, but not damaged, and they're capable of responsible, rather than simply reflexive, behavior.

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VIDEO: Peter Levine's Secret to Releasing Trauma from the Body

Watch Healing in an Actual Session with a Combat Veteran Suffering from PTSD

Peter Levine • No Comments

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. Here, he explains how trauma gets stored in the body, and shares a video from an actual session where he helps a PTSD survivor erase trauma-induced tics.

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Four Strategies for Working with Vets

...And the One Question You Should Never Ask Them

Alison Lighthall • No Comments

By Alison Lighthall - Despite good intentions, therapists working with combat veterans face several challenges. To start with, engaging combat veterans in counseling of any kind. The first session may afford your only opportunity to ease the suffering of the veterans you encounter. You have to make every interaction with them count. Here's a blueprint for making it happen.

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VIDEO: Bill Doherty Explains Why Therapy Isn't a Science...

...It's a Conversational Craft

William Doherty • No Comments

What do the masters of truly good therapy have in common? According to couples therapist Bill Doherty, they know how to balance their desire to guide therapy with their ability to empathically listen. It's this quality that drives home the truth about therapy—at its heart, this work isn't a science. It's a craft.

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Does Energy Psychology Really Work?

Tapping Pioneer David Feinstein Shares What Made Him a Believer

David Feinstein • No Comments

By David Feinstein - About a decade ago, something came along to challenge my bedrock beliefs about therapy: Energy Psychology, a method based on tapping on selected acupuncture points to address psychological problems. What could possibly have possessed a seen-it-all therapist like me to embrace an approach that many consider the latest incarnation of snake oil? What follows is the answer.

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Could You Connect with This Client?

A Guide to Doing Couples Therapy When One Partner Won't Open Up

Kathryn Rheem • No Comments

By Kathryn Rheem - Probably no aspect of couples work is more critical, or more difficult, for therapists than engaging a distant, emotionally shutdown partner. Since the feelings being avoided are often regarded as terrifying, humiliating, and deeply threatening, doing this work is a delicate therapeutic balancing act. It requires moving forward with both gentleness and persistence, without being deflected by clients’ profound unwillingness to become engaged.

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A Look Back at the Evolution of Trauma Treatment

Are Clinicians Still Turning a Blind Eye to a Key Factor?

Mary Sykes Wylie • No Comments

By Mary Sykes Wylie - In the 1970s, no sooner had the definition of PTSD been signed, sealed, and delivered, than many clinicians began to realize that the new diagnosis by no means encompassed the experience of all traumatized clients. In the case of trauma expert Bessel van der Kolk, many of his traumatized clients shared one other feature: they all reported histories of childhood abuse.

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Is Virtual Reality a Game Changer?

VR is Therapeutic. But Could It Change Therapy as We Know It?

Michael Greene • No Comments

By Michael Greene - Virtual reality challenges some of our physical and emotional boundaries, altering our immediate experience of what’s real and blurring our sense of being separate from what we’re watching. Put on VR goggles and headphones and you enter a new environment, experienced from a first-person, 360-degree perspective. Researchers have already been tapping into this powerful sense of immersion to pioneer various types of VR-based therapies. But is VR really a game changer?

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