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 in Eric Berne’s Transactional Analysis

By |2019-05-16T10:52:12-07:00May 16th, 2019|0 Comments

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

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

By |2012-08-19T15:44:59-07:00August 19th, 2012|0 Comments

Stalkers: Classification and Treatment

Stephanie Rhys wrote a helpful article about Stalkers on Robert Muller's fantastic Trauma and Attachment Report blog right here: http://trauma.blog.yorku.ca/2012/06/29/in-the-mind-of-a-stalker/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+trauma-report+%28The+Trauma+and+Attachment+Report%29

By |2012-06-29T20:29:29-07:00June 29th, 2012|0 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

Next To Normal: the bipolar musical

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 (even the imaginary one), and

By |2011-02-23T15:02:43-08:00February 23rd, 2011|1 Comment

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

Why We Do Trauma Therapy

Here is the last paragraph of the Introduction to Trauma Treatments Handbook, Protocols Across the Spectrum. You're seeing it before the publishers do. Before I send it in, do you have anything to add about why we do this work? I'll publish what you write, unless it's spam.   As trauma therapists, we are privileged

By |2009-11-20T17:29:27-08:00November 20th, 2009|12 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

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

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 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

Internet Dating: coaching and therapy

Near the end of many therapies, when the trauma has been cleared, the distressed ego states have been integrated, and the clients are making concrete changes in their lives, many single clients think about finding a mate. They turn to online dating, which brings up piles of therapeutic issues: "Am I lovable, attaractive enough, capable of

By |2009-02-07T07:49:38-08:00February 7th, 2009|4 Comments

KENSPORTAL.COM

Check out this great therapy resource. It has forms, great links, directories, and information about client populations. If you do therapy, you'll find something useful on it. I met Ken Eisenberger a few weeks ago at a workshop and he turned me onto his helpful, free website. Check it out at http://www.hiddenhillcounseling.com/kensportal/

By |2008-10-31T21:50:49-07:00October 31st, 2008|0 Comments

Therapy During Troubling Times

More than half of my clients have mentioned the economy and/or the election in the last two weeks. Some of them are in real world trouble, having lost jobs or facing foreclosure or eviction due to the "downswing" Many are troubled by the divisive discourse in the political realm. What do we do when the real world intrudes on

By |2008-10-28T22:01:51-07:00October 28th, 2008|0 Comments

Procrastination

According to Daniel Goleman, in Vital Lies, Simple Truths, (1995, Simon & Schuster), when we avoid thinking about or doing that which makes us anxious, our brains reinforce us  with really pleasant chemicals. Thus we have epidemics of procrastination and avoidance.     With this in mind, I've developed several strategies for my avoidant and procrastinating clients. I

By |2008-10-02T21:35:18-07:00October 2nd, 2008|0 Comments

EMDR and Depression poster

I applied to the EMDR International Conference to lead a 3-hour workshop on Treating Depression with EMDR. I wrote four chapters about it in the new book, EMDR Solutions II, for Depression, Eating Disorders, Performance, & More. Instead of a workshop, I was invited to do a poster. I know how to write. I know

By |2008-09-10T08:17:55-07:00September 10th, 2008|2 Comments

Why I Love Doing Psychotherapy

I love doing therapy. I'm two weeks back from vacation and I've seen the whole caseload, from a brand new person to clients returning to treatment after years away, to people in the midst of the muck, and one person who is over her debilitating anxiety and done with the process. What do I love?

By |2008-07-10T21:50:05-07:00July 10th, 2008|8 Comments

More Therapeuitic Aphorisms

Jonathan Kandell sent me these aphorisms. And I can't seem to change the formatting, though I've tried, several times: "In my office I have some variation of ACT up "Accept the reality of the momentChoose to do something meaningfulTake action!" I vary this depending on my mood... sometimes it's "Accept all feelings and thoughts .

By |2008-05-09T21:09:29-07:00May 9th, 2008|0 Comments

Why Book Editing Is Like Doing Psychotherapy

The Book has a title now: EMDR Solutions II, for Depression, Eating Disorders, Performance and More. It has a cover photograph, too. and the photo has a story. (Full disclosure--the photographer is my husband.) See it and read it at http://www.dougplummer.com/archives/ireland2/fall9.html I'm in full-blown editing mode: going through each chapter, attaching a header, reformatting it,

By |2008-05-05T21:10:47-07:00May 5th, 2008|1 Comment