Australian Prime Minister Apologizes to Sexual and Ritual Abuse Survivors!

Here is a link to speech by Scott Morrison, the Prime Minister of Australia, from 11/25/2018, apologizing for his society's lack of support for and belief of sexual and ritual and institutional abuse survivors. I would like to see every leader of every country make this speech. For the video: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zp5IgxPhee4 For the transcript: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/i-believe-you-your-country-believes-you-pm-s-apology-to-child-sex-abuse-survivors

By |2018-12-03T10:34:25-08:00December 3rd, 2018|Comments Off on Australian Prime Minister Apologizes to Sexual and Ritual Abuse Survivors!

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|Comments Off on Easy Ego State Intervention Workshops

Why I love EMDR!

A friend of mine was home when her house was broken into last night. She got away, and the cops found the guy and arrested him. She posted the whole story on Facebook this morning. This afternoon, she posted this. I have her permission to repost. Please don't mention her name in the comments."Quite a

By |2013-08-22T18:07:44-07:00August 22nd, 2013|2 Comments

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|Comments Off on Trauma is Curable: My letter to the NYTimes

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

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

Trauma and Trauma Therapy: Interview on “Public Exposure”

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

By |2011-05-31T16:08:42-07:00May 31st, 2011|Comments Off on Trauma and Trauma Therapy: Interview on “Public Exposure”

When Encouraging “Self-Care” Feels Like a Brush-Off

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/

By |2010-11-09T09:43:00-08:00November 9th, 2010|Comments Off on When Encouraging “Self-Care” Feels Like a Brush-Off

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

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

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

UCLA Trauma Conference Synthesis

I escaped the conference yesterday, and am typing in the dark this morning beside my snoring husband. I can’t see my notes, so let me tell you my impression of the conference: Trauma impacts the right hemisphere of the brain. Helpful trauma therapy targets the right brain. Left brain cognitions and interpretations don’t have much

By |2009-03-09T08:59:53-07:00March 9th, 2009|7 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|Comments Off on “The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook”

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|Comments Off on Waltzing With Bashir

Babette Rothschild: The Body Remembers

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

By |2009-01-31T18:04:25-08:00January 31st, 2009|Comments Off on Babette Rothschild: The Body Remembers

NYT’s PTSD in Iraq Vets article: Counting the Walking Wounded

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

By |2009-01-26T16:09:04-08:00January 26th, 2009|Comments Off on NYT’s PTSD in Iraq Vets article: Counting the Walking Wounded

Principles of Trauma Therapy, Briere & Scott

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

By |2009-01-26T10:36:34-08:00January 26th, 2009|Comments Off on Principles of Trauma Therapy, Briere & Scott

Projection: the Underpinning of Political Polarization

I woke up way too early musing on our polarized election. In Washington State, where I live, there are two close races, for governor and for congress. The negative advertising is relentless and fierce. One gubenatorial candidate is backed by the builders' industry, which is pouring millions of dollars into villifying and lying about his

By |2008-11-03T07:46:12-08:00November 3rd, 2008|Comments Off on Projection: the Underpinning of Political Polarization

Trauma and Temperment

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

By |2008-10-31T22:04:08-07:00October 31st, 2008|Comments Off on Trauma and Temperment

New Sybil movie. DID in the media.

CBS aired a new Sybil on Saturday, starring Jessica Lange as the therapist and Tammy Blanchard as Sybil. It was less fantastic and spooky than the original Joanne Woodward/Sally Field movie, and was a realistic depiction of a poly-fragmented DID person. The movie depicted realistic switching behavior, flashbacks, losing time, and amnesia between parts. It

By |2008-06-09T20:41:32-07:00June 9th, 2008|Comments Off on New Sybil movie. DID in the media.

Trauma Lecture

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

By |2008-05-15T08:13:28-07:00May 15th, 2008|2 Comments

MYSHRINK.COM

myshrink.com is a fantastic website/blog full of information about therapy, bodymind connection, anxiety, and depression. It has some of the most cogent explainations I've seen. It's a great resource for clients as well as therapists. It's written and overseen by Suzanne LaCombe, a therapist in Vancouver, BC. She writes clearly, has a sense of humor,

By |2007-11-14T07:32:48-08:00November 14th, 2007|Comments Off on MYSHRINK.COM

Reading Group: The Neuroscience of Psychotherapy by Cozolino

The next book in the reading group will be The Neuroscience of Psychotherapy, by Louis Cozolino (W.W. Norton, 2003). It's easier to read than you might think, and written by a psychologist, not a medical person, who struggled through the medical/scientific texts in order to bring we clinicians the good news. According to Cozolino, we

By |2007-10-23T18:19:41-07:00October 23rd, 2007|Comments Off on Reading Group: The Neuroscience of Psychotherapy by Cozolino

Long-Term Clients

I've been in practice since 1981. During that time, I've seen around 1000 clients and in the last decade consulted to other therapists about at least a thousand more. DSM diagnoses are one way to describe clients. Another way is by the length of time they stay in therapy. (Not counting analysands) Here is a

By |2007-07-29T21:13:08-07:00July 29th, 2007|4 Comments

The Trauma Spectrum, by Robert Scaer

The Trauma Spectrum by Robert Scaer (2005, W.W. Norton). According to Scaer: A. Trauma is a continuum. B. What you have to endure during moments of helplessness and hopelessness creates a freeze response. It's the frozen, uncompleted actions that make for PTSD. C. These moments can start prenatally (fetuses feel). The medical process of birth

By |2007-05-25T22:15:40-07:00May 25th, 2007|1 Comment

EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Program

I'm on the board of the Humanitarian Assistance Program of EMDR. We are a non-profit organization whose goal is to "expand access to effective mental health treatment for traumatized and underserved communities through direct service and training of local caregivers, anywhere in the world." HAP's current projects include training therapists in Lebanon, the West Bank,India,

By |2007-04-02T14:01:37-07:00April 2nd, 2007|5 Comments

Soldier with PTSD from War or Rape

PBS's Frontline has a new show about the psychological effects of the Iraq War on soldiers, including the culture of "suck it up" in the service that prohibits many soldiers from getting treatment, go here to read about it or watch it online. The New York Times Magazine has a cover story about rape and

By |2007-03-22T07:28:35-07:00March 22nd, 2007|Comments Off on Soldier with PTSD from War or Rape

Day II: UCLA Attachment Conference Day 2

John Gottman on Meta-EmotionsJohn Gottman is the relationship research guru of the world. He’s studied thousands of couples to find out what makes happy and long-lasting relationships and what makes miserable short-lived ones. Today he talked about research he did with Lynn Katz, starting in 1985 on Meta-Emotions: thoughts and feelings about emotions. They identify

By |2007-03-10T22:50:42-08:00March 10th, 2007|6 Comments
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