Trauma & Attachment Therapy
Robin Shapiro’s psychotherapy book reviews, training reviews, clinical experience, and musing about trauma, attachment, and affect-based therapies.
Long Covid is Neurological!
More proof that Long Covid can be a neurological (not psychological!) condition. And this is why my MCS EMDR protocol, available for free at www.emdrsolutions.com/media , works to alleviate it. Psychological Distress Raises Risk of ‘Long COVID’ Jolynn Tumolo 09/29/2022 Preexisting psychological distress is linked with a heightened risk of
Proof that Dissociation can be seen in the Human Brain!
The University of Washington medical school does not believe in dissociation and will not teach its psychiatrists about it. Schools that teach only cognitive behavioral therapies do not mention dissociation. It's great to see this research that shows proof that it actually exists. https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-09-neuroimaging-dissociative-symptoms-reveals-wounds.html Novel neuroimaging study on dissociative symptoms
What we learned about marriage
My husband and I attended a wedding yesterday and, as a gift, wrote a note about what we had learned in our 30-year relationship. We learned from each other, from individual and couple's therapy, and from all the germane trainings and books I've digested over the years. Doug's main point
Is it Multiple Chemical or Neurological Sensitivities, or Both?
I recently worked with 2 clients who contacted me to work with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities. Both were sane, intelligent, highly functional people. Both had highly sensitive bodies. One was male, and one female. The female client had been exposed to very toxic smog, years before, then a gas leak in
The “I Love You” Exercise
I’ve been utilizing an old Sufi practice, taught to me by Jamal Ramah, as a basis for a daily exercise for myself and my clients. The original exercise starts like this: “Cross your hands over your heart, and say to your heart, ‘I Love You.’ Let the love and light
Clinical Issues in the Coronavirus Pandemic
Everyone in Seattle is going through the formal stages of grief. All have some anxiety and some of them are panicking. What are the stages? Elizabeth Kubler-Ross lists them as Shock and Disbelief: our vibrant city is dead. No traffic. No restaurants or bars or hair salons or schools or
Teletherapy in the Time of CoronaVirus
I live in Seattle, ground zero for the Coronavirus in the United States. Today, I had my first request from a client who wanted to have online therapy to avoid the virus. I said, of course and will do her session on Secure Video, a HIPPA-compliant platform for video meetings.
Breathing Ooouuuttt to Create Calm
38 years ago, when I did my first meditation retreat with Stephen Levine, we would do long OMs at the start of many other kinds of practice. Last night, 35 years after my last class, I started another meditation class, this time with Jamal Rahman, a Sufi teacher. With each
Interesting 45-minute documentary of DID woman who got her father put in jail.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsXFcbPbvI4 Interesting, somewhat sensationalized, video from the Australian 60 Minutes show, about a woman who went to the cops and won in court. The story is brutal, as is often the case for people with massive dissociation. The outcome is lovely. Check it out!
Online 2-Day Class of Easy Ego State Interventions
Hello, I'm going to be in Massachusetts on June 14 -15 teaching my ego state class. If you want to live-stream it (or show up for it) go to this website to sign up: http://www.markinickerson.com/registration/?action=evregister&event_id=127 Here's the program description: Participants in Easy Ego State Interventions learn how to see clients
My History with Ego State Therapy
I wrote this as a prologue to the Greek version of Easy Ego State Interventions and realized that it will make a good post: I have been looking through the lenses of ego state therapies since 1981. During that year, my first out of graduate school, I took a course
Problems with Dear Evan Hansen
Last night, I saw Dear Evan Hansen, the musical about an anxious, shame-filled high school senior. The play deals with broken families, suicide, OCD, social anxiety, and attachment. The music and the singing in this touring production was fantastic. I cried several times, and laughed a few. Still I was
Australian Prime Minister Apologizes to Sexual and Ritual Abuse Survivors!
Here is a link to speech by Scott Morrison, the Prime Minister of Australia, from 11/25/2018, apologizing for his society's lack of support for and belief of sexual and ritual and institutional abuse survivors. I would like to see every leader of every country make this speech. For the video:
Easy Ego State Intervention Workshops
Dear Readers, Ego state work has been around since before Freud, and in latter years, has been the main stay of many practices. Interventions can range from "How old did you feel when you were yelling at your wife?" to "Let's identify those dissociative states that take over your body."
Grieving the Loss of a Child
A participant in an overseas workshop sent an email request: "A patient of mine, a woman in her 80's, lo"st her son at the beginning of the year. She already took antidepressant drugs, but at the moment she no longer does. However, she still feels deeply sad. What are your
Differentiation and Integration in The Big Sick, Fun Home, and Trumpet
In the last three days I've had the pleasure of watching the fabulous movie, The Big Sick, the incredible musical Fun Home, and reading Trumpet, A Novel. All three are great art. The first two are based on the writers' lives. All are about "coming out", or not, to one's
Volk Decision: Washington State Therapists Now Liable for Violent Acts of Former Clients!
This is from Laura Groshong, the lobbyist of the Washington State Coalition of Mental Health Professionals and Consumers. I'm appalled by this decision and that we are now liable for every client we have ever seen! Changes to Practice of Mental Health Clinicians Based on Volk Decision April, 2017 Laura
Caring for Our Clients and Ourselves in the New Political Landscape
Two weeks ago, I gave a workshop for forty Seattle-area psychotherapists about getting their clients and themselves through the new political situation. People spoke about their fears, their clients' distress, and specific issues that have come up in therapy.( Steal all that you want, but give me credit, if you
Healing MCS and Graft vs. Host Disease
MULTIPLE CHEMICAL SENSITIVITY CASE On Friday and Saturday I gave a workshop about combining EMDR and Ego State Therapy. At the workshop, I did a demonstration with an attendee who was 8 months out from a horrible allergic reaction to crab meat. Since then she's had daily hives, breathing issues,
Treating Racial Violence and Harassment in the Trump Era
In mid-June, a woman with a young son returned to the park-and-ride in a suburban Seattle town. On the car was a note: "Kill all Niggers! I'm gonna kill you the next time I see you. KILL KILL KILL. KILL OBAMA." The woman called her white husband, who told her
Update and New Workshop
Dear Readers, (It appears that the many links in this post aren't working. You're going to have to drag and drop into your browser if you want to see anything online. Sorry!) It's been a busy year since I've posted anything. I blame Facebook and work in many other areas.
Breathing Ooouuuttt to Create Calm
38 years ago, when I did my first meditation retreat with Stephen Levine, we would do long OMs at the start of many other kinds of practice. Last night, 35 years after my last class, I started another meditation class, this time with Jamal Rahman, a Sufi teacher. With
Interesting 45-minute documentary of DID woman who got her father put in jail
Interesting, somewhat sensationalized, video from the Australian 60 Minutes show, about a woman who went to the cops and won in court. The story is brutal, as is often the case for people with massive dissociation. The outcome is lovely. Check it out! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsXFcbPbvI4
Online 2-Day Class of Easy Ego State Interventions
Hello, I'm going to be in Massachusetts on June 14 -15 teaching my ego state class. If you want to live-stream it (or show up for it) go to this website to sign up: http://www.markinickerson.com/registration/?action=evregister&event_id=127 Here's the program description: Participants in Easy Ego State Interventions learn how to see
“Love and Mercy”
I just saw the bio-pic about Brian Wilson's (of the Beach Boys) genius, decline, and fall into the hands of a sociopathic psychiatrist, who became his legal guardian. It's a good movie and a hard one to watch, especially for a therapist. Wilson is portrayed as a genius by Paul
The Science of Inside Out
I'm done with writing books, after finishing Easy Ego State Interventions last week, and going to the movies. Here's my favorite movie this week: Inside Out is a Pixar's delightful film about the inside of 11-year-old Riley's brain. Riley has just been dragged from her beloved Minnesota, house, school, and hockey team
Theodicy: Spiritual Views of Evil and Abuse That Help or Impede Healing
This article arose from a discussion on listserve that deals with clients who have suffered unspeakable abuse and torture. Rev. Lynn James wrote a wonderful response on the subject of Theodicy: Spirtuality, Evil, and Suffering, that is the best thing I've seen on the subject. She expanded it for Ellen Lacter's
Steps To Take When You Suspect A Family Member Is A Victim of Abuse
Written by Josh Anderson One in four women has experienced domestic abuse at some point in their life, according to statistics from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The National Institute of Justice. While not all abuse is physically apparent at first, over time signs of abuse become
Roy Kiessling’s Belief Schema Perspective for EMDR
Roy Kiessling, a prolific EMDR trainer and innovator, has come up with a great idea for EMDR. Instead of coming up with a different negative and positive cognition on the fly, right before processing, find the general negative belief or beliefs that underlie the client's life during the first stages
Why I love EMDR!
A friend of mine was home when her house was broken into last night. She got away, and the cops found the guy and arrested him. She posted the whole story on Facebook this morning. This afternoon, she posted this. I have her permission to repost. Please don't mention her
Trauma is Curable: My letter to the NYTimes
When I read Mark Epstein's op-ed "The Trauma that Life Brings" in the 8/3/13 New York Times, I had to reply. Epstein, a psychiatrist said that trauma and grief are inevitable and that there's nothing to do about them but wait it out and suffer. I like that he was normalizing
Installing the Future
Dissociative people often lack coherent narratives of their pasts (Mary Main & Dan Siegel). I'm finding that they often lack coherent visions of their futures. Today I "installed the future" in a formerly dissociative client, who has given me permission to tell this story. When "Linda" was 6 weeks old,
A Highly Sensitive Man
Years ago, when I read Elaine Aron's The Highly Sensitive Person, I could recognize the HSP people around me with the innate ability to sense, revel in, or be overwhelmed by their external and internal worlds. These folks (I'm not one) are the best cooks, among the most creative artists
CPT Codes: Professionals Only
"Here's the latest about the CPT codes from NASW. I'm so glad I haven't tried to bill yet: ***ALERT CPT Code Snag*** The use of the new Psychotherapy Codes became effective on January 1, 2013. However, many Social Workers have encountered problems in being paid under the new codes. The
Defining Rape and Sexual Assault
I've been working with survivors of rape and sexual assault since I started in the mental health field. Here are my definitions: Rape: The sexual use, involving penile, digital (fingers) or objects on a woman's, man's or child's body without that person's consent, with forced consent (threats) or if that
Psychotherapy Works! And Not Enough People Use It.
According to a meta-analysis of over 50 studies, psychotherapy works better than medication and (Suprise!) has less side effects. Drugs have better promotion and are easier to get, so more people use meds. Read about it here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120809190641.htm