Could Yoga Hold the Key to Healing a Patient’s Trauma?

Approximately 10 million women in America have been physically assaulted at some time in their life. Yes, that’s a sobering statistic. But the far-reaching effects of violence against women are even darker. Over a third of these survivors experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder with increased rates of depression, obesity and heart disease. So how do we even begin to approach the healing of such an overwhelming phenomena? The answer is complicated. And I wish current treatment methods showed better results. In a recent large-scale clinical trial, 78% of patients who underwent prolonged exposure therapy failed to overcome their symptoms after 6…

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Polyvagal Theory in Action – How Heart Rate Figures Into Trauma Treatments

How can the body become a resource for a patient who’s experienced trauma? Polyvagal Theory helps us answer this question by explaining how people process their environment and how the body regulates itself in the face of stress and trauma. Watch the video below as Stephen Porges, PhD shares one way to apply Polyvagal Theory when working with the body’s responses to traumatic triggers and stressful events. How could you use Polyvagal Theory in your work with patients? Please leave a comment below.

3 Ways Undiagnosed Trauma Disrupts Lives

When people have trouble paying attention, when they’re too emotional, or reactionary, or downright aggressive, what can we do to help them turn it around? Perhaps too often, these behaviors are addressed with medication for ADHD or bipolar disorder. But according to Bessel van der Kolk, MD, the problem (and the solution) may lie in knowing how to recognize the signs and symptoms of childhood trauma. Bessel walks us through the major markers of this kind of trauma in this short video – check it out, it’s just 4 minutes. Have you ever recognized any of these symptoms as potential…

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Why a Fresh Perspective Can Be As Precious As a Diamond

My good friend Judith, who is a psychologist in private practice, once told me, “If you can give me a new perspective on a patient’s problem, you’ve given me something of incredible value.” When you have a patient who’s just not making progress, it can be terribly frustrating for both practitioner and patient. But a new way of seeing a patient’s problem can unlock what once felt stagnant and stuck. In those discouraging moments, a fresh perspective can be as precious as the discovery of a rare, exquisite, glittering diamond. But how do we get those “a-ha” moments that can…

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On The Shoulders of Giants

Carl Rogers. Milton Erikson. Fritz Perls. Albert Ellis. Virginia Satir. These are some of the experts who shaped the interventions we use with patients today. And these experts stood on the shoulders of the giants who came before them. I’m thinking about people like Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Alfred Adler, Karen Horney, and Pierre Genet. The contributions made by all these pioneers have given us treatment approaches and strategies that help a large percentage of the people we see. But sadly, not all of them. So I’ve been wondering, “Where is the next generation of innovators who will help us…

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How Can We Expand the Circle of Healing?

Why does a particular treatment approach work with some patients but not with others? When I was in grad school, they used to say that in therapy, about a third of people get better, a third stay the same, and a third get worse. And from what I can tell, while we’ve improved some, we still aren’t helping as many people as we’d hope. But why is that? For just a moment, let’s imagine that this circle represents all of the people who are suffering: We help a large percentage of the people we see. Our treatments and approaches work…

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