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
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
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 self and one's family and
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
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
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
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"
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 more than a few minutes
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
Dr. Kathleen Young, writes in her wonderful blog: Treating Trauma in Chicago, about when self-care is interpreted as abandonment. Read the article and the comments, then look at the rest of this great blog: http://drkathleenyoung.wordpress.com/2010/11/08/does-self-care-mean-others-dont/
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
Here is a 9 minute video of me talking about how trauma therapy works. Expect more pieces of this video in the future. My husband, the videographer and photographer, Doug Plummer made the video.
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
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
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
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
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
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,
Yesterday I held my new book in my hands. It's hard for me to make meaning of 14 months of work being encapsulated in a 1 1/2 pound book. As I paged through it, I recalled the process of writing; my appreciation of the content of other people's chapters; editing squabbles; waiting, waiting, waiting for
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.
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
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
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/
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
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
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
Dear Readers, Excuse me for the dearth of posts this summer. Last night I sent in the the 26 chapters, "Front Matter" and Glossary for the book on which I've been spending 20 or 30 hours each week. I had whittled my practice down to two days each week. I belayed most of my social
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?
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 .
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,