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." I've been working with this

By |2018-04-16T12:30:12-07:00April 16th, 2018|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

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 person cannot conset due to

By |2012-08-23T10:38:15-07:00August 23rd, 2012|2 Comments

Penn State: Was the abuse too horrible to acknowledge?

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. What do you think?

By |2011-11-16T14:27:43-08:00November 16th, 2011|3 Comments

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

Dissociation Often Caused By Disrupted Attachment

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 in young adulthood." Read the

By |2011-06-29T23:40:32-07:00June 29th, 2011|1 Comment

A Meditation for Clients Who Have Complex Trauma

This meditation was generously shared by someone else's client who was neglected and abused as a child. She does it as part of breathing practice: breathing in each true line. In it she speaks to different parts of self and all parts of self, counteracting distressing and untrue beliefs and orienting parts to the present.

By |2010-05-19T20:38:10-07:00May 19th, 2010|0 Comments

Kathy Steele: Neurobiology of DID, on Science Friday

Kathy Steele, cocreator of the Structural Dissociation Theory, patiently defends the existence of Dissociative Identity Disorder to Ira Flatow and Numan Gharaibeh (a clueless psychiatrist) on NPR's Science Friday. Worth a listen: http://www.sciencefriday.com/program/archives/200911133  I've run into this blindness before, mostly in analytically trained psychiatrists, despite all evidence.

By |2009-11-13T20:35:04-08:00November 13th, 2009|7 Comments

Self Care for Trauma Therapists

As trauma therapists, we are privileged to watch our clients’ trauma fade from terrible, here-and-now experiences to mere memories; their dissociation shift to integrated presence, and their pain disappear. We are also privy to the gut-wrenching details of rape, accidents, war, and story after story of child abuse, domestic violence, and horrible neglect. The more

By |2009-10-20T17:05:48-07:00October 20th, 2009|2 Comments

Narcolepsy and EMDR Processing

A client has given me permission to post about her situation: the effects of Provigil, Prozac, and time on trauma processing:   Round 1, 15 years ago: She was bright, effusive, and had the odd habits of jerking her head up to look around and writing down everything I said. We worked for eight months

By |2009-08-09T13:50:01-07:00August 9th, 2009|10 Comments

Addiction, a form of dissociation, II

Ulrich Lanius, a clincial psychologist, researcher, therapist, and writer in Vancouver sent me this: "The connection between dissocation, depression and addiction is a fascinating one and more likely than not  related to attachment. An article written by Bessel van der Kolk some insight into this: http://www.cirp.org/library/psych/vanderkolk/ For more intensive reading, Alan Schore describes the effect between

By |2009-04-28T08:11:03-07:00April 28th, 2009|5 Comments

Is addiction a form of dissociation?

I read an article about how naltrexone, an opiate suppressant, curbs the urge to engage in kleptomania. I've had dissociative clients who have successfully used naloxone and naltraxone to vanquish their endogenous (internal) opiates, in order to be able to stay present and process traumatic events, instead of switching or spacing out completely. (See EMDR Processing w/ Dissociative Clients:

By |2009-04-15T23:33:28-07:00April 15th, 2009|3 Comments

UCLA Trauma Conference Day 2: Dan Siegel, Mindfulness

Daniel Siegel: A System's View of Disintegration & Integration (He's still cute, he's still brilliant, he speaks in easy-to-remember aphorisms and he's still heartful. What's not to like?) "Integration is the linking of differentiated parts. The concept is useful for assessment, tx planning and therapy. . .Presence is absent in trauma survivors. Presence begins with

By |2009-03-08T22:21:23-07:00March 8th, 2009|1 Comment

UCLA Trauma Conference 3/7/09 Day2: Porges

Stephen Porges, Demystifying the Mechanisms of Trauma: Maladaptive Consequences of Adapative Bio-Behavioral Reactions to Life Threat  Stephen Porges knows how to connect. I could listen to him talk all day.  I explain his Poly-vagal theory to every trauma client and every consultee. Today, after he answered a difficult question, in a most kind way, my

By |2009-03-07T21:47:02-08:00March 7th, 2009|2 Comments

UCLA 2009 Trauma Conference Day 1, van der Kolk & Shapiro

Day 1: Bessel van der Kolk is lovely. He's humble, he's funny, and he is the premiere researcher on the neurobiology and/or efficacy of trauma treatments in the world. And cute and brilliant, of course. Here are nearly random gems from 3 hours of notes: With trauma, there are no stories, only sensory experience: images,

By |2009-03-06T22:35:54-08:00March 6th, 2009|2 Comments

“The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook”

I'm reading piles of books in preparation for writing a trauma therapy survey book. My friend and colleague, Barbara Hinsz lent me Glenn Schiraldi's The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook. (McGraw-Hill, 2000) It's a great self-help book, one of the best I've seen. Schiraldi's a good writer. I never wanted to fix his sentences. He's simple without being simplistic.

By |2009-02-18T17:23:36-08:00February 18th, 2009|0 Comments

Waltzing With Bashir

Ari Folman has made a beautiful and devastating movie about trauma, dissociation, and war. As a young Israeli soldier, he was in the 1982 Lebanon war. When a friend came to him with troubling memories of that war, Folman realized that he had no memories about being in Lebanon. A therapist friend told him to

By |2009-02-08T18:24:40-08:00February 8th, 2009|0 Comments