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 both, and I was horrified

By |2013-08-09T20:30:46-07:00August 9th, 2013|0 Comments

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, her mother became gravely ill

By |2013-04-26T18:27:24-07:00April 26th, 2013|0 Comments

Using Brainspotting to Resource Positive States

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, stressed, and deeply anxious or

By |2011-12-01T08:30:11-08:00December 1st, 2011|1 Comment

In Ego State Therapy, Let the Client Run the Internal Show.

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 put the "oldest, wisest part"

By |2011-08-20T17:22:40-07:00August 20th, 2011|0 Comments

Trauma Treatment Handbook: Protocols Across the Spectrum

My copy of the new book arrived today. Here is what Diana Fosha says about it:"This is a thorough, accessible, and very practical book, filled with resources and sound ideas, filtered through the intelligence and experience of a savvy, compassionate, down-to-earth, and very experienced clinician. It is like a travel guide to the land of

By |2010-08-17T19:22:38-07:00August 17th, 2010|5 Comments

Lessons Learned While Writing A Book for Psychotherapists

I'm 13 chapters into writing Trauma Treatments Handbook, Across the Spectrum. Here's the advice I'd give anyone doing the same thing: Get a second screen for your computer. Keep the reference page, internet search materials, etc. open on the second screen. It will save you days of searching for the right open file. Start the

By |2009-09-07T20:28:46-07:00September 7th, 2009|5 Comments

More Therapy During Troubling Times

In the face of overwhelming recession-based stress, therapy works again. With permission from my client, I'll tell you her story: Several people were laid off at her job, a small business, which is a recession-vulnerable business. The newspapers are full of bad news. Other people she knows are out of work. Boeing, a major employer

By |2009-03-20T07:20:41-07:00March 20th, 2009|2 Comments

Multiple Chemical Sensitivities

With my client's permission, here's what I did to clear out Multiple Chemical Sensitivities in 8 sessions: Client: Late 50's, professional, intelligent, a "highly sensitive person" (Elaine Aron), a good connector, with a supportive husband and a circle of good friends. Symptoms: Ears would hurt, throat and tongue swell, face turned red, etc., at the

By |2007-08-08T10:19:14-07:00August 8th, 2007|3 Comments

Brainspotting Class

David Grand brought his Brainspotting (BSP) class to Seattle this weekend. He was ably assisted by Lisa Schwarz, who teaches about using BSP with dissociative and other fragile clients. Lisa and I helped with the practica parts of the training. Brainspotting is a powerful, flexible, client-centered therapy that appears to go more deeply and more

By |2007-05-07T16:11:03-07:00May 7th, 2007|3 Comments

Positive Affect

Happiness, Joy, Giggles, Aha!s,Shared Humor. What place does positive affect have in therapy? In my opinion, a big one. Delving deep and bringin to consciousness avoided trauma responses, anxiety, anger, hatred, and shame are important elements of any therapy. First you find them, then you process them in some way, so that the client is

By |2007-04-05T07:58:31-07:00April 5th, 2007|0 Comments

Eye Movements

I'm switching sides in the great EMDR bilateral debate. While I diligently taught eye movements in my EMDR basic training, I tended to use theratappers or knee taps with the majority of my clients. In all cases, the traumas cleared, the clients integrated their experiences, and we installed their new awarenesses ("It's over." "I'm safe."

By |2006-12-25T16:47:29-08:00December 25th, 2006|0 Comments