Yesterday I was so clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.
By Claire Dorotik-Nana, LMFT
One of the foremost experts in the field, Bessel Van der Kolk describes trauma as a breakdown of the attuned physical synchrony, and is quoted in the New York Times, “Trauma has nothing whatsoever to do with cognition. It has to do with your body being reset to interpret the world as a dangerous place,” (Interlandi, 2014).
By Roger Saint-Laurent, Psy.D, and Sharlene Bird, Psy.D
Daniel – Seeing Life in Two Dimensions
Meet Daniel, a man in his 60’s, who is suffering from symptoms of anxiety, hyper-vigilance, difficulty trusting others, and frequent depression. These symptoms have hurt the quality of his life, especially his primary relationship, where Daniel provokes too many arguments.
We all get lost in the dense forest of our lives, entangled in incessant worry and planning, in judgments of others, and in our busy striving to meet demands and solve problems. When we’re caught in that thicket, it’s easy to lose sight of what matters most. We forget how much we long to be kind and openhearted. We forget our ties to this sacred earth and to all living beings. And in a deep way, we forget who we are.
By John Amodeo, PhD
Somatic approaches to psychology can be summed up by the expression, “The issues are in our tissues.” While I value a variety of approaches to psychotherapy and personal growth, I have a special affinity for somatic approaches that have gained popularity for good reason.
By Juli Fraga
Even if we know it's not true, trauma can make us feel like we're the only one going through it. “What’s the sad thing you never talk about?” comedian and artist Michael Kruz Kayne asked his Twitter followers on Nov. 19.
By Soph Sam Davis, Ph.D.
For many people who have experienced trauma, practicing mindfulness can bring up painful and overwhelming emotions that they don’t necessarily have the resources to deal with. The focused attention of mindfulness can send a traumatized person into a state of heightened emotional arousal, which can be disorienting and even trigger dissociation. Whether it’s from a single traumatic event, or from physical or emotional needs having been consistently not attuned to or abused, trauma leaves a lasting imprint on our physiology. Essentially, it means we are unable to regulate our nervous systems out of a state of emotional distress.
By Stuart Shanker D.Phil.
There is a profound difference between self-regulation and self-control. Self-control is about inhibiting strong impulses; self-regulation, reducing the frequency and intensity of strong impulses by managing stress-load and recovery. In fact, self-regulation is what makes self-control possible, or, in many cases, unnecessary. The reason lies deep inside the brain.
By Wendy Salazar, MFT,
People are drawn to the helping professions for many different reasons. They may feel a calling to assist in relieving others’ suffering and to help them heal from their emotional wounds. They may have been traumatized themselves and wish to share the coping skills they’ve learned with others going through similar issues. Or they may feel caring for others brings meaning and a sense of purpose to their lives.
By Rande Brown
In her 2010 book Mixing Minds: The Power of Relationship in Psychoanalysis and Buddhism, psychotherapist Pilar Jennings notes, “It is very possible to have a deep and rich spiritual life that reaps all manner of spiritual rewards while core psychological patterns and struggles remain untouched.” Without a doubt, mindfulness is a helpful tool, but nothing can replace the healing power of a relationship with a well-trained and dedicated listener.