Lila, our 18-year-old long-haired cat had a message for us all about how to live one's last day, so I let her ghost-write this post. 1. Try to keep a normal schedule.2. Stay hydrated.3. Connect with the people you love.4. Accept help: it's nice to have someone else brush your
A few days ago, there was a shooting in my neighborhood. An unmedicated bipolar guy shot up a cool hipster cafe (Cafe Racer), a woman in another part of town and himself, leaving six people dead, and the extended community around the cafe in shock and grief. I was asked
Nicholas Kristof writes about the brain disease that may be underlying the suicides of Iraq & Afghanistan war veterans: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/26/opinion/kristof-veterans-and-brain-disease.html?_r=1
I've never been much of a texter, but I have a 13 year-old client with PTSD and a few anxiety disorders for whom texting is an important part of her therapy. Both she and her mother gave me permission to share some texts. Therapist=T. Client=C. Last night: C :-(
Dr. Richard Friedman in "Why Are We Drugging Our Soldiers" shows the correlation between Ritalin and Adderall prescriptions and increased PTSD. He cites several studies showing that these drugs enhance the memory of fear-provoking events. Scary and makes all kinds of sense. Read it!
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is in the news again. Robert Bales murdered 16 civilians in Afghanistan. He has TBI, drinks too much, and just saw a friend lose a leg. Why does TBI matter? Traumatic brain injuries are head injuries that can occur from a direct blow to the head,
It starts with a horrible car crash. Jason Isaacs flips his car in a California canyon. Either his wife (in one reality) or his son (in the other) dies in the crash. Every time he sleeps, reality switches. He has two therapists, one for each reality, who are set on
Three years ago, while I was at the at the Olympus Women's Spa celebrating the publication of EMDR Solutions II, a woman in the same jacuzzi interrupted my conversation to attack me about my obvious misperceptions about EMDR. "Everybody knows it doesn't work . . . it's woo-woo-bullshit . .
http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2011/12/11/led-child-who-simply-knew/SsH1U9Pn9JKArTiumZdxaL/story.html?s_campaign=sm_fb A lovely article about the supportive family of male twin who knew from the beginning that she was female, and the courageous family that supported her through her life.
Robert Trivers On Deception. Great one hour talk on self and other deception research. Entertaining and informative. His book is The Folly of Fools. The smarter the kid the more he or she lies Being "out" is good for the immune system. Talking about trauma is also good for the
David Grand's Brainspotting is a powerful technique for clearing trauma and strengthening internal resources. It started as an offshoot of EMDR and has become, through the innovations of Grand and Lisa Schwartz, its own effective therapy. Here are two ways I've been using it for resourcing. 1. With fragile, dissociated,
Here are two similar views of the Penn State child abuse debacle. One from the anonymous humble2humble blog (obviously by a man of faith who understands child abuse): http://humble2humble.blogspot.com/2011_11_01_archive.html. The second is by David Brooks, from yesterday's NYT's: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/15/opinion/brooks-lets-all-feel-superior.html Both speak to the commonality of denial and avoidance. Both are great writing.
An overseas reader asked what I do with body-image issues. I wrote her this: If it's full-blown dysmorphia, there's a chapter by DaLene Forester, "Image is Everything" in my book, EMDR Solutions 2, but if it's regular "I don't look like Twiggy, so I'm not okay" distress, I start with
Last week, I was contacted by a sincere, heartful, intelligent man who wanted to hire me for EMDR consultation. After a 45 minute conversation, I turned him away because he doing “reparative therapy”, seeking to "help" gay people become straight. He uses EMDR and other methods to target the attachment
Paul Matiuzzi's blog post nails the controversary about "empirically-based treatment" for therapists: Read it here: http://everydaypsychology.com/2011/09/yale-psychologist-calls-for-end-of.html Empirically-based research is a helpful guide to what works for some people some of the time. I absolutely follow the research in my field. But if something doesn't work for the client in front
Twenty-seven years ago, when I worked with my first DID client, I became the "go to" person for soothing the young, distressed ego states. As a result, I was on-call 24/7, never took longer than a week's vacation, and was constantly fielding emergencies. Finally, a savvy consultant told me to
The Names of Love is a hilarious, serious, heart-breaking, heart-warming French movie that I recommend to everyone. It deals with generational PTSD, Holocaust survivors, war survivors, culture, temperament, politics, art, political correctness, and sex as a positive political tool. (Did I say that it was French?) Here's a website: http://www.namesoflovemovie.com/ One
John Gottman and Bob Navarra gave a useful workshop about working with couples in recovery from addiction, in Seattle yesterday. Here are some of the take-aways: "Mastery, Not Perfection" A wonderful thing to say to anyone learning a new skill ,is the "perfect" thing to say to recovering addicts, who
You get an email or call from an overseas potential client who is coming to your town and wants psychotherapy for a compelling trauma. They want to pay you in advance, because it's hard to move money from there to here. When the check comes it's much larger than you
At my third day of a family celebration, I've been watching the genetic trends in my extended family. There is much discussion of who looks like whom. Two Asian mothers in this primarily Eastern-European Jewish family have added some gorgeous, great kids. I've been watching temperament. First I noticed that
Andrew Leeds' Sonoma Psychotherapy Training Institute posted a great article on its blog: Developmental Pathways to Dissociation. They quote Dutra, Bianchi, Siegel, and Lyons-Ruth saying that ". . . lack of positive maternal affective involvement, maternal flatness of affect, and overall disrupted maternal communication were the strongest predictors of dissociation
Marsha Linehan created DBT, a comprehensive mindfulness and cognitive therapy to work with suicidal, especially Borderline Personality disordered clients. She recently revealed, in a NYTimes article, that she was an out-of-control self-destructive Borderline client as a teenager here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/23/health/23lives.html?_r=2&src=tptw I like DBT. With the addition of ego state therapy and
These articles refute the myths that introverts are anti-social, shy, and wimpy. My resident introvert husband endorses both of them. Carl King's review of The Introvert Advantage (How To Thrive in an Extrovert World), by Marti Laney, Psy.D. called 10 Myths about Introverts. A funnier, snide 2003 Atlantic Article by Johnathon Rauch
I stumbled on an interesting blog. What makes it unusual is that it's by a man, beautifully written, spiritually and religiously and literarilly informed. The writer deals with themes of shame, humility, power-over, abuse, right speech and right action. He's not sanctimonious at all. He seems to know whereby he
The New York Review of Books carried and a scathing and mostly right-on article about the medicalization and over-medication of mental illness by Marcia Angell. It's a review of three books about the history of psych meds, the power of the drug companies, and the minimization of psychotherapy. Read it
I was interviewed by Stan Emert on his cable TV show, "Public Exposure" a few weeks ago. Here is the YouTube link to the show: http://youtu.be/KsFoHFQxx4o Topics include trauma definitions, PTSD, EMDR, Ego State Therapy, and a minute of traumatic grief. Due to a neck injury, I've been unable to spend
Tim Brunson at the International Hypnosis Research Institute wrote a nice review of TTH. He liked the book though he thought it didn't have enough hypnosis in it and wanted it to discuss research and wished the "Self-care for Trauma Therapists" chapter was longer. Otherwise he said extremely positive things
I went to the opening night of Seattle's production of Next to Normal, the amazing Tony-winning dramatic musical about a bipolar mother, her family, her delusions, her therapy, and her slow, painful growth. Components: amazing 3 story set, great singing, great score (though a little loud), believable story, believable characters
Due to last year's audit, I now know that self-employed people and businesses must file 1099 forms to anyone whom they pay more than $600. Every consultant, your landlord, and the person who cleans the office. Since I own my office and don't pay rent, I sent three 1099's, one to
David Schnarch and the dynamic duo of Ellen Bader and Pete Pearson tell us that the secret to happy marriage is the level of differentiation of each spouse. (Differentiated people show completely who they are and what they want, even when the other partner doesn't like it or agree. They
Some of the best therapy I've seen on screen is in a great new movie, The King's Speech. Geoffrey Rush plays Lionel Logue, an Australian speech therapist who tackles the debilitating anxiety-driven stammer of Colin Firth's, "Bertie", who become the king of England on the eve of World War II. The
James Risen writes about a soldier, Staff Sgt. David Senft, with PTSD who kills himself in Afghanistan. The article lists many things that predict successful suicide: Senft came from a distressed "broken" family. He had many attachment disruptions in childhood. He had been on multiple tours of duty. He had PTSD
"What Attachment Theory Can Teach about Love and Relationships" by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller, in the January 2011 Scientific American is a good introduction to attachment styles, how they affect our ways of relating, and how to get conscious control over some of our dating styles, despite our early experience.