The “I Love You” Exercise

I’ve been utilizing an old Sufi practice, taught to me by Jamal Ramah, as a basis for a daily exercise for myself and my clients. The original exercise starts like this: “Cross your hands over your heart, and say to your heart, ‘I Love You.’ Let the love and light fill your heart. Then use

By |2020-08-15T17:13:35-07:00August 15th, 2020|Comments Off on The “I Love You” Exercise

Clinical Issues in the Coronavirus Pandemic

Everyone in Seattle is going through the formal stages of grief. All have some anxiety and some of them are panicking. What are the stages? Elizabeth Kubler-Ross lists them as  Shock and Disbelief: our vibrant city is dead. No traffic. No restaurants or bars or hair salons or schools or colleges are open. No music

By |2020-03-16T17:54:03-07:00March 16th, 2020|Comments Off on Clinical Issues in the Coronavirus Pandemic

Teletherapy in the Time of CoronaVirus

I live in Seattle, ground zero for the Coronavirus in the United States. Today, I had my first request from a client who wanted to have online therapy to avoid the virus. I said, of course and will do her session on Secure Video, a HIPPA-compliant platform for video meetings. I had no hesitation because

By |2020-03-12T16:37:01-07:00March 12th, 2020|Comments Off on Teletherapy in the Time of CoronaVirus

Treating Racial Violence and Harassment in the Trump Era

In mid-June, a woman with a young son returned to the park-and-ride in a suburban Seattle town. On the car was a note: "Kill all Niggers! I'm gonna kill you the next time I see you. KILL KILL KILL. KILL OBAMA." The woman called her white husband, who told her to get out of there

By |2016-08-02T19:03:03-07:00August 2nd, 2016|Comments Off on Treating Racial Violence and Harassment in the Trump Era

CPT Codes: Professionals Only

"Here's the latest about the CPT codes from NASW. I'm so glad I haven't tried to bill yet: ***ALERT CPT Code Snag***   The use of the new Psychotherapy Codes became effective on January 1, 2013.  However, many Social Workers have encountered problems in being paid under the new codes.  The reason for this is because

By |2013-02-07T20:21:43-08:00February 7th, 2013|1 Comment

Lessons from a Dying Cat

Lila, our 18-year-old long-haired cat had a message for us all about how to live one's last day, so I let her ghost-write this post. 1. Try to keep a normal schedule.2. Stay hydrated.3. Connect with the people you love.4. Accept help: it's nice to have someone else brush your hair, when you can't do

By |2012-06-02T16:57:45-07:00June 2nd, 2012|1 Comment

Trauma and Grief Explained and Self-Help Instructions

A few days ago, there was a shooting in my neighborhood. An unmedicated bipolar guy shot up a cool hipster cafe (Cafe Racer), a woman in another part of town and himself, leaving six people dead, and the extended community around the cafe in shock and grief. I was asked to present a bit about

By |2012-06-02T16:45:54-07:00June 2nd, 2012|Comments Off on Trauma and Grief Explained and Self-Help Instructions

Robert Trivers On Deception

Robert Trivers On Deception. Great one hour talk on self and other deception research. Entertaining and informative. His book is The Folly of Fools. The smarter the kid the more he or she lies Being "out" is good for the immune system.  Talking about trauma is also good for the immune system   The more homophobic

By |2011-12-01T21:10:43-08:00December 1st, 2011|Comments Off on Robert Trivers On Deception

Linehan, creator of Dialectical Behavior Therapy, reveals her own struggles.

Marsha Linehan created DBT, a comprehensive mindfulness and cognitive therapy to work with suicidal, especially Borderline Personality disordered clients. She recently revealed, in a NYTimes article, that she was an out-of-control self-destructive Borderline client as a teenager here: I like DBT. With the addition of ego state therapy and a trauma remover like EMDR,

By |2011-06-23T20:07:51-07:00June 23rd, 2011|Comments Off on Linehan, creator of Dialectical Behavior Therapy, reveals her own struggles.

Attachment Theory and Adult Relationships

"What Attachment Theory Can Teach about Love and Relationships" by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller, in the January 2011 Scientific American is a good introduction to attachment styles, how they affect our ways of relating, and how to get conscious control over some of our dating styles, despite our early experience.

By |2010-12-29T14:21:37-08:00December 29th, 2010|1 Comment

EMDR-Humanitarian Assistance Program and Doctors Without Borders

I spent yesterday afternoon at a fundraiser for EMDR-HAP's Haiti project and last night at "Living in Emergency", the new Doctors Without Borders/MSF film, followed by a live discussion with MSF staff/volunteers. I'm left with two feelings: overwhelmed that there is so much untreated physical and emotional trauma in the world and gratitude and hope that volunteers

By |2010-06-13T14:01:27-07:00June 13th, 2010|1 Comment

Andrew Leeds Positive Affect Training

Susan Kravitz and Katy Murray, the wonderfully effective stewards of the Southwest Washington Regional meeting, organized a training for EMDR therapists in Olympia, at which they played an audiotape of Andrew Leeds teaching about enhancing positive affect. (2007, Learning to Feel Good About Positive Emotions, from the 2007 EMDRIA conference worshop on the Positive Affect Tolerance Protocol) This is what I

By |2010-05-19T21:25:21-07:00May 19th, 2010|1 Comment

Social Anxiety Treatment

(Dear readers, I'm deep into writing Trauma Treatment Handbook and have been neglecting my blog. Here's an email exchange that the correspondent has graciously given me permission to post.) From the asker: I just came across your site while researching heart rate coherence.  I have Servan Shreiber's book(s) and actually had forgotten about heart rate coherence until

By |2009-07-05T11:25:02-07:00July 5th, 2009|1 Comment

Book Signing Parties!

    Book Parties EMDR Solutions II for Depression, Eating Disorders, Performance & More Robin Shapiro, Editor & Looking Through the Eyes of Trauma and Dissociation: An Illustrated Guide for EMDR Clinicians and Clients by Sandra Paulsen Meet both authors at each party.  2: 00, April 19th, 2009 at 6203 28th Ave NE, Seattle, WA

By |2009-03-26T07:26:53-07:00March 26th, 2009|Comments Off on Book Signing Parties!

Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy

As I've been reading up on trauma therapies, I've been delighted at how attachment research and theory is permeating the new therapies. A few years ago I was delighted with videos of Dan Hughes working with distressed kidsusing his DDP technique. Last week, Arthur Becker-Weidman sent me an article that he and Hughes published in Child &

By |2009-03-19T10:18:37-07:00March 19th, 2009|Comments Off on Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy

Trauma Therapists Need Consultation

I just heard another horror story of humiliation in a consult group from a new consultee. It makes me almost as furious as finding out a therapist has been sexually exploiting a client. Another breach of professional ethics by someone who should know better! Grrr! So what is consultation supposed to do? In my less than humble opinion a

By |2009-03-04T23:19:52-08:00March 4th, 2009|Comments Off on Trauma Therapists Need Consultation

The Emotional Stress of Unemployment

Good NPR story of a woman who was doing fine, losing it when she lost her job.

By |2009-02-13T18:22:53-08:00February 13th, 2009|Comments Off on The Emotional Stress of Unemployment

“Trauma and the Body”

Trauma and the Body (2006, Norton) is the new must-read book. Pat Ogden, Kekuni Minton, Clare Pain (with one chapter by the Lanius siblings) have written a comprehensive book about using "bottom up" processing  to stabilize clients, clear trauma, and integrate people into healed lives. The book is readable, it incorporates all my favorite theories

By |2008-02-23T10:05:03-08:00February 23rd, 2008|Comments Off on “Trauma and the Body”

“Do-gooders can become the worst cheats”

MSNBC's Jeanna Bryer writes about how people who consider themselves the most "morally upright" can become the biggest cheaters. If they consider cheating "morally wrong", they won't do it. If it is a means to a "moral end", they will cheat, more than other people. Interesting research. Here's the link:

By |2007-12-02T14:24:18-08:00December 2nd, 2007|Comments Off on “Do-gooders can become the worst cheats”

EMDR Therapist Network

There's a new website in town: the EMDR Therapist Network. It has nice descriptions of EMDR and how it works and a referral list. Check it out at

By |2007-09-06T23:28:05-07:00September 6th, 2007|Comments Off on EMDR Therapist Network


I'm musing on the evidence of polarization in both a post by Doug Plummer on his Dispatches blog and some of the responses. Click here to read them. Two things come to mind, M. Scott Peck's definition of evil: (From Wikipedia, originally from Peck's book, People of the Lie) An evil person: Projects his or

By |2007-06-10T08:04:10-07:00June 10th, 2007|Comments Off on Evil

Reading group titles

The last book we're reading before the summer break is The Haunted Self: Structural Dissociation and Treatment of Chronic Traumatization by Onno van der Hart, Ellert Nijenjuis, and Kathy Steele. (Norton, 2006) We'll meet on June 22 to discuss it and I'll do my review. Here are some books we're considering for next fall and

By |2007-06-02T22:41:13-07:00June 2nd, 2007|1 Comment

Introversion Explained

My resident introvert just sent me this informative and funny article, Caring for Your Introvert, by Johnathon Rauch, in the newest Atlantic. To read it click here. My clients have been telling me to read The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney. Not all highly sensitive people are introverts, and not all introverts are highly

By |2007-04-25T20:13:13-07:00April 25th, 2007|2 Comments

UCLA Day 2 1/2 & 3

Dan Hughes on IntersubjectivityIntersubjectivity is when I know that you know that I know that we’re feeling the same thing at the same time. I know you feel me in your gut and I feel you in my mine. Crying together, laughing together, or good sex creates intersubjective experiences. So does good therapy. According to

By |2007-03-11T21:37:34-07:00March 11th, 2007|2 Comments

Marketing your practice

Someone asked me last week how I have marketed my private practice. After 26 years of practice in the same town, I've got a perpetually full practice. It wasn't always that way. What's worked for me in the past?        Paid referral services. The therapist pays a monthly or yearly fee, fills out

By |2007-02-11T12:13:16-08:00February 11th, 2007|Comments Off on Marketing your practice

Therapy Book Group

READING GROUP DATES: Fridays, 10-12 @ Robin’s house, potluck lunch is optional (If you're in the Seattle area, email me for directions.) Come with your answers to these questions: What is the main theoretical basis of this method? From this point of view, what exactly do you do with a client in front of you?

By |2006-12-25T16:53:46-08:00December 25th, 2006|Comments Off on Therapy Book Group

PTSD in returning soldiers

NPR had a distressing story about soldiers with PTSD. Not all bases are the same. Some take better care of their personnel. Some don't. I'm on the board of the EMDR-Humanitarian Assistance Program. Among other things, our organization gives low cost trainings to military psychotherapists and VA therapists. It's disheartening to hear what is happening

By |2006-12-06T21:47:09-08:00December 6th, 2006|Comments Off on PTSD in returning soldiers

Laurel Parnell: Guide to EMDR

Laurel Parnell's A Therapist's Guide to EMDR is essential reading for every EMDR clinician. Parnell's clear, practical, and comprehensive instructions will assist new EMDR practitioners to master the mechanics and variations of EMDR, and experienced clinicians will find new tools and perspectives to help with thier most difficult cases. Parnell writes about EMDR as it

By |2006-12-06T21:36:50-08:00December 6th, 2006|1 Comment

Trauma video

Here's a link to nice news video about a Gulf War veteran, who upon witnessing a horrible accident, was beset with images/affect from the war and from his abusive childhood. EMDR at the Amen Clinic cleared the trauma. There's some good before and after brain images.

By |2006-11-28T16:24:16-08:00November 28th, 2006|Comments Off on Trauma video

Whatever Works

   As a psychology undergraduate working at a psychiatric half-way house in late 70’s Seattle, I had my first therapeutic epiphany. The clients were severely mentally ill. The pay was minimal and the working conditions drab. The consultation was amazing. Mike Flowers and David Calof were consultants to SMHI, the community mental health center to

By |2006-11-18T17:40:30-08:00November 18th, 2006|1 Comment
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