Guided Imagery and PTSD: A Different Approach to Treatment

When I visualize a traditional therapist’s office, and then a military boot camp . . . . . . I come up with two very different images. It might seem obvious to those of us within the helping professions that, in order for treatment to be effective, we need to match the intervention to the person sitting in front of us. But what if our own life experiences are so vastly different from our client’s that we’re barely speaking the same language? And, is it possible we don’t even realize the degree to which unfamiliarity with another’s way of life…

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Depression and Traumatic Brain Injury: Can Mindfulness Help?

Woman Depressed. Series

It can happen in the blink of an eye . . . . . . a healthy person on the way to work is suddenly blindsided by another car, and the aftermath can impact not only the driver, but her family and friends as well. Months, maybe even years of surgery, physical therapy, care giving, and treatment may follow and, in the case of traumatic brain injury (TBI), lingering depression may result. That’s why Michel Bédard, PhD, and fellow researchers at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine wanted to look at the effectiveness of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) to reduce…

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Food, Farming, and New Year’s Resolutions: Starting the New Year Off With Purpose

For many of us, ringing in the new year means setting goals – maybe replacing a bad habit (or two) with a good one, or doing something completely out of the ordinary. Just a quick internet search tells me it’s likely that a lot of us may even be setting similar intentions . . . . . . like eating better, and getting healthy. What you choose to eat can have lasting effects on your body, and your brain, which may be why diet is such a popular new year’s resolution. But food isn’t only important for good health. For…

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What does Beethoven have in common with Jimi Hendrix?

Trauma: what does Jimi Hendrix and Beethoven have in common

Last night, I went to a concert at the auditorium at the University of Connecticut. An orchestra from Germany was playing the music of Beethoven, but I came away with an appreciation of . . . . . . Jimi Hendrix? It might sound rather unlikely, but bear with me here. Because as it turns out, there’s a bridge over the gulf that separates the musical styles of Ludwig von Beethoven and Jimi Hendrix. You see, before the concert last night, I went to an eye-opening presentation led by Alain Frogley, Professor of Music History at the University of Connecticut….

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Our Hearts Go Out to Sandy Hook Elementary

Tragedy at Sandy Hook

How can this keep happening? That was my immediate thought upon hearing the tragic news of this latest school shooting that took place yesterday in my home state of Connecticut. The unthinkable has happened again, this time at an elementary school – 26 dead, 18 of them children, at the time of this writing. The details, I’m sure, will keep trickling out for weeks to come. But the heartbreak is here and now, and the wounds of such trauma run incredibly deep for the families whose lives have just changed irrevocably. And even though in our work as practitioners we’re…

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Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Female Rape Victims

PTSD can occur when someone experiences a single traumatic event. But what happens when a person is exposed to a traumatic environment over a long period of time? Healing from PTSD is challenging enough, but a person with a history of trauma who is re-traumatized is often likely to develop what’s called complex PTSD. Patricia Resick, PhD and her colleagues studied the potential for healing in women with an extensive history of trauma who were diagnosed with complex PTSD as a result of rape. She randomly assigned them into cognitive-processing therapy, prolonged exposure, or a wait-list control. Results showed that…

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