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
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
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
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!
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 proving that their particular realities
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 . . . and it's just exposure
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"
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 plot line shows a survivor
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
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 about the book and me
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 film shows the stifling lives
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 from a trauma early in
I've had to confront evil again. In my every day life, I see it all the time. 60% of my clients have been sexually, physically, and emotionally abused by the adults, mostly their parents, who were in charge of them. As a consultant I hear therapists' most horrific cases. I read the newspapers.This political election
I've written about medical trauma, especially surgeries, creating PTSD. This article shows a simple way to prevent traumatization in some instances.
Here's a 6 minute video of a Gulf War soldier's PTSD diagnosis with brain scans and then treatment with EMDR. He had a scary childhood, fear for his life in combat, and then was retriggered by witnessing a horrible accident.
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.
Video of military woman with PTSD: Video Article about military women with PTSD: Article Check out Damien Cave's article in today's New York Times. Women are less likely to be granted disability on the grounds that they weren't in combat, even though they are seeing plenty of action in Iraq. Unrecognized, they feel shame about
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
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
The name of the workshop was "The Body Remembers: The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma Treatment". The main point was: therapists do too much trauma therapy too early and should do much more preparation before they do the "memory processing" and should often do no trauma processing at all. She talked alot about helping people
The New York Times published this article today. If you haven't starting gearing up to work with soldiers, get some training now. There are online trainings, in-person trainings, and books. You can even start by watching movies: In the Valley of the Elah is supposed to be a great one. Understand that, so far, EMDR
I'm doing research for my next book, Trauma Treatments, and just finished John Briere and Catherine Scott's Principles of Trauma Therapy: A guide to symptoms, evaluation and treatment. (Sage Press, 2006). It's a good book, full of common sense and practical advice about trauma survivors. Briere and Scott do a good job explaining the effects
I recently took on several new clients and am on my 3rd session with several new people, I'm struck by how much temperment affects people's experience of trauma. Some people have iron constitutions. It's hard to scare these people. It takes a truly life-threatening trauma for them to experience PTSD symptoms. Others are traumatized by
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
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'll be giving a lecture about trauma, PTSD, Structural Dissociation, the Polyvagal theory and the use of EMDR to impact PTSD on Saturday morning, May 17 from 9:30 to 12. Frank Kokorowsk will copresent with a dynamite multi-modal trauma treatment that he's been using with homeless people. There are 2 CE's for everyone and it's
I went to an organizational meeting for the Soldiers Project NW(SP)last night. Forty-two people were there. Therapists from all over the Puget Sound region, one from Yakima, and even one from California. About 10 were veterans. Several had worked for the VA. The rest were people who heard about it and wanted to help. Several
Nicole Brodeur featured "The Soldiers Project" in her Friday Seattle Times column. This some of what she said: " Trisha Pearce, who lives in Stanwood, is starting a Northwest chapter of The Soldiers Project, a network of licensed mental-health counselors who offer free psychological treatment to active-duty soldiers, National Guard members, reserves, veterans and their
http://arstechnica.com/journals/science.ars/2008/03/18/study-identifies-gene-x-environment-link-to-ptsd is a link to a website that discusses the connection between a stress-related gene and the likelihood of developing PTSD. The new issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association features an article by Dr. Kerry Ressler and several co-authors found that specific variations in the gene appeared to be influenced by child
Nancy Lieurance sent me a link to an amazing video, "Color Red" (like "code red") In ten minutes, Shahar Ben, an art therapist, shows how she uses music, EMDR bilateral tapping, and movement to help Israeli children through Gazan rocket attacks, healing and releasing trauma during the attack. It's brilliant work and I defy you