Rethinking Trauma: The Third Wave of Trauma Treatment

As someone who’s been practicing for a while, I’ve seen our view on the treatment of trauma go through substantial development. Our research, theory and treatments have all advanced considerably in the last 40 years.

And as I reflect upon this, I’m seeing 3 waves in the evolution of our outlook.

Looking back at when I first began to practice (in the late 70’s) our understanding of trauma was really quite limited. Of course we recognized the fight / flight response ever since Hans Selye introduced the notion back in the 50’s.

Our Prevailing Treatment Option for Trauma Was Talk Therapy

But our prevailing treatment option was talk therapy.

The thinking at the time was that by getting clients to talk about their traumatic event, we could “get to the bottom of” their issues and help them heal.

We were aware of the body and knew it held some power. But few practitioners used it in treatment (except the relatively few who worked with Bioenergetics, Rolfing, Feldenkrais, Rubenfeld, and to some extent Gestalt therapy).

But we were very limited in our ability to explain how body work, or for that matter, a talking treatment, affected the brain (and we had very little evidence-based research for it either). We just didn’t have much of a roadmap to guide us where we wanted to go.

That was the first wave.

Over time, researchers and clinicians started to recognize the limits of talk therapy. We realized that talking about a traumatic event held certain risks. At times, we inadvertently re-traumatized patients, especially if interventions were introduced too soon, before the patient was ready.

We also saw the memory of trauma as more often held in the right brain, the part that doesn’t really think in words.

So we began to use interventions that weren’t as dependent upon talking, interventions like guided imagery, hypnosis, EMDR, and the various forms of tapping.

We began to use interventions that weren't dependent upon talking
And as the science surrounding the brain’s reactions to trauma became more sophisticated, clinicians grew to understand more about what was going on.

We began to realize that not everyone who experiences a traumatic event gets PTSD. In fact, most people who experience a traumatic event don’t get PTSD.

And so researchers started to develop studies to determine who did and who didn’t get PTSD. We looked for what factors might predict greater sensitivity to trauma.

And we modified our thinking to add freeze (later known as feigned death) to the fight/flight reaction.

Just adding that piece clarified our thinking about what triggers PTSD.

It also began to expand our treatment options to include sensory motor approaches.

And we started to see how more vastly intricate and multifaceted multiple trauma was compared to single incident trauma.

But I believe a third wave of trauma research and treatment innovations has just begun to crest.

And it’s only come recently.

In just the past year and a half, pioneers in the field of trauma therapy have once again discovered more effective methods for working with trauma patients.

Because of all the research that’s been done, we are much better able to predict who gets PTSD and who doesn’t. Not only that but we’ve got a good handle on why certain people get PTSD.

And as brain science has revealed how different areas of the brain and nervous system respond to traumatic events, we don’t think so often about whether trauma is stored in the left vs right brain.

We think in terms of three parts of the brain, the pre-frontal cortex, the limbic brain and the lower, more primitive brain. And we’re much more sophisticated in thinking about which part needs our intervention.

Brain Science is Changing What We Know about Trauma

We understand that the lower brain can command the shutdown response, totally bypassing the prefrontal cortex, totally bypassing any sense of “choice” for the patient.

And we see more clearly the part that the vagal system plays in this shutdown response.

We understand more of the role neuroception plays in feeling safe.

Knowing how the body and brain react to trauma opens the door for the third wave.

We are now beginning to use techniques like neurofeedback (based upon but a long way from the biofeedback we used years ago,) limbic system therapy, and other brain and body-oriented approaches that include a polyvagal perspective.

These are techniques I couldn’t have dreamed of when I began clinical practice, and for the most part, they weren’t prevalent five years or even two years ago.

But these are powerful tools that can offer hope to those who have been stuck in cycles of reactivity, shame, and hopelessness.

I’d like to share with you some of the leading edge research and treatment options that this third wave has introduced – for more information, just click here.

And I’d like to hear from you:

What changes have you seen in your work with the treatment of trauma? Please leave a comment below.


Please Leave A Comment



  1. David Dressler says:

    Are you familiar with NeuroKinetics? (Important to spell it that way exactly or you get an equipment company in the US or somebody doing some kind of bodywork in Australia.) NeuroKinetics is a traumatology clinic in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I worked there for awhile. I was the communications person who described this cutting-edge trauma technique to the public, physicians, insurers, and media. I will attempt that here.

    NeuroKinetics was developed by Dr. Philippe Souvestre, an MD licensed in France. The technique was used in the French Aerospace Agency on astronauts! Did you know astronauts are traumatized–not when they go into space or through a rough landing back on Earth–but by their safe return to their home planet? Astronauts show all the symptoms of physical and emotional trauma: dizziness, imbalance, depression, anxiety, emotional instability, acting-out…. And for no apparent reason.

    But there is a reason. In space, the brain begins to mutate. It starts to change in ways it has never done in millions of years…in response to the absence of gravity and an horizon. These are two of the most fundamental ways in which the human brain orients in the world: vertically by sensing gravity, horizontally, which means three-dimensionally being able to move in all directions on the world (walking, turning, etc.). Babies have to do this orienting when they learn to stand up and walk. It is fundamental to brain development.

    Gone! in a few weeks living in space.

    Shocked–traumatized–on return to the gravitational field of Earth. In a word: disoriented in the central nervous system.

    The definition of trauma at NeuroKinetics is the inability of the CNS to adequately process incoming stimuli from the peripheral nervous system. What does this mean for therapy?

    It means that massage therapy for the tense muscles coming from stress does not relieve the source of trauma because the messages from the PNS (musculoskeletal system sensory nerves during massage) are not being integrated by the brain in the usual (pre-trauma) way.

    It means that verbal psychotherapy doesn’t work because the words heard by the traumatized person’s hearing apparatus are not being received and interpreted by the brain in the way the speaker intends or the way they would be interpreted pre-trauma. So, the astronaut-patient may not be helped or may act out in response.

    What does work? What does affect the CNS? Drugs. But they have side-effects that add to the trauma, so in the end they don’t work.

    Here is the unique NeuroKinetics treatment for trauma that is both physical or mental, sudden or slow developing….

    We know that information travels by two essential means from PNS to CNS: via nerve pathways and by hormonal signalling. The fight/flight/freeze reaction is one typical example of neuro-chemical transmission. But in trauma, these pathways are compromised so that signals do not get through accurately and are not properly processed by the brain.

    But did you know there is another pathway?

    Russian research as well as European has discovered that cells communicate by what is called “bio-photonic light.” Cells emit light. They “talk” to each other by way of this bio-photonic light. As long as a person is alive, these cells are still communicating, uninterrupted by the trauma or any other means. Think what this means….

    In the NeuroKinetics treatment chamber, a patient with (say) traumatic backpain steps onto a platform. Her feet are standing on two detector plates connected to a computer. This person has chronic scoliosis and is in pain due to a motor-vehicle accident perhaps years ago that did not resolve with various physical therapies, chiropractic, massage therapy, etc., and no amount of counseling has helped much. The plates are now warming up, ready to….

    …emit biophotonic light into the soles of her feet. There is a pleasant sensation in her feet… In less than thirty seconds, she lurches slightly and is standing up straight for the first time in perhaps years. She steps off the platform, dazed, amazed, saying “What happened? I feel so much lighter! The pain is gone!” I witnessed this. It happened.

    I tried the treatment myself. I could feel my feet warm, and then a second later I felt my heart “open” the way it does when having a revelation or emotional insight, and I began to cry. But no thought content. I asked Dr. Souvestre what had happened. I said it felt like I “got” some insight but there was no cognitive content. He said “You ‘got got'”. He later elaborated a bit and said that the light had been transmitted cell-to-cell from my feet to my brain, and my brain “got” the message clearly, completely, re-orienting its processes. I gather this happens during an insight that changes one’s understanding during effective therapy. In my case, I wasn’t in need of therapy so there was no content change, just what felt like a white light going through me.

    The point here is that there needs to be a direct, uninterrupted connection between the outside world and the inside world of the brain in order for the brain to re-orient after any kind of trauma. When the neuro-chemical pathways are compromised–as they are in any serious trauma–this reorientation cannot take place and peripheral therapies (those affecting the CNS via the PNS which is compromised) don’t work adequately. The good news is that the biophotonic pathway remains unaffected and messages from the external world to the brain can be transmitted cell-to-cell-to-brain via this light.

    NeuroKinetics had an 85% success rate at the time a few years ago when I worked there. This figure was supported by research in the literature as well. Part of the reason for its success is the two-hour assessment that went on for every potential patient. No one was admitted who did not show a strong likelihood of being cured by this approach.

    The clinic also used other therapies–acupuncture, EFT, homeopathy, but biophotonic light was the key to success.

  2. MrSportPsych says:

    The Psychophysiology Lab and Biofeedback Clinic at ECU uses biofeedback and psychophysiology to help Americas wounded warriors heal the emotional wounds of war.

    Carmen Russoniello, PhD, LRT, LPC, BCIAC was the President of the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. He is currently Associate Professor and Director of the Psychophysiology Lab and Biofeedback Clinic at East Carolina University. Dr. Russoniello teaches undergraduate and graduate biofeedback courses through a first of its kind global classroom initiative and directs a biofeedback program for Wounded Warrior Marines at Camp Lejeune. The novel biofeedback intervention involves EEG and heart rate variability feedback and includes the use of virtual reality. Dr. Russoniello is himself a former Marine machine gunner and decorated Vietnam combat veteran.

  3. Deb Schneider-Murphy says:

    We’ve gone through many waves of learning about trauma, and we’ve developed many paths and many approaches to healing as we continue to learn more and more.

    I have found the work of Ruella Frank, PhD to be a fascinating, effective, RELATIONAL and EMBODIED approach to mental health treatment, and specifically, trauma treatment. Dr. Frank has studied early non-verbal communication and how these earliest of relational patterns can determine things like susceptibility and resilience later in life. She looks at movement patterns between child and adult that get reenacted between therapist and client. These patterns communicate need, create contact or misattunements, and make up the process of repair.

    It is the RELATIONSHIP that becomes the medicine, the means of rewiring the brain, the means of restoring health, and learning to trust in Benevolence.

  4. Aub, Allied Health Professional, Canada says:

    In 2012, had a note on their web page about neurofeedback. something to the effect that while some practitioners had seen ‘amazing results’ there was still little in the way of research based evidence to back this up. Today, the same site promotes its neurofeedback services. What has changed? Did anyone make new discoveries or is this third wave the precursor to the 4th, 5th, and 9000th waves that will crest and crash?

  5. Debbie Bohnet Los Gatos CA says:

    I need referrals to local practitioner’s in Santa Clara County doing this kind of work who are also skilled and experienced with multiple personality or whatever it is called.

    My brother was severely and repeatedly traumatized for at least 6 years starting as a 10 year old and has what looks like to me different personalities that helped him out at the times.

    Now he is so complex but I see him as someone quite extraordinary to have survived so far.

    All they want to do is drug him but what about helping him resolve his issues which he has expressed a great deal of anguish about?

  6. MichaL Curry,HealingTouchP,SantaFe, NM says:

    I have been practicing trauma healing since Hurricane Katrina. I learned an energy technique that is called Head to Heart Reconnection. It begins to reset the amygdala in the brain. It literally follows the fight-or-flight in the body. The other great aspect about this technique is that you can teach it to clients to do on themselves. Dr. Harvey Zarren & I have been using this technique for years. I have many stories about this & would love to share them with you.
    thanks for all you do–MichaL Curry

  7. elena says:

    Nice wrap-up, Ruth.

    I’m looking forward to the next layer coming forward, to unlock Attachment-Bonding traumas in the mother-baby dyad and family circle (our first relationships)- in the womb, birth experience, neonate, infant and toddler. I think these earliest experiences will open our eyes to CORE INJURIES and EMOTIONS,to how we PROJECT and mirror these in a reciprocal direction, and how to repair relationship–what might be most easily described as broken-heartedness.

  8. Rokhsareh S. Shoaee, LPC, LMFT/PhD, Annandale, VA says:

    I enjoyed reading your piece on “The Three Waves of Treatment of Trauma.” I have been using new neuroscience research, tools and techniques in my practice with individuals, families and couples. I certainly see the great impact on treatment of my clients, especially professionals who may not believe in therapy at all. Thank you.

  9. Robert Kinstler, Software Engineer, Townsend, Massachusetts says:

    If the understanding of trauma and treatment has increased so dramatically in recent years, why are the distinctions between single-event trauma (e.g. rape, natural disaster, violent attack and other traumatic events), repeated traumatic stress (e.g. combatant, hostage, refugee, prisoner, ghetto dweller) and chronic childhood traumatic stress not being elucidated? Could it be that the fear of losing professional standing by contradicting the DSM 5 is causing self-censorship? A quick search of the NICABM web site confirms that c-PTSD and DTD are forbidden terminology. It’s a sad state of affairs when van der Kolk is gaining so much attention, but his work to have these disorders recognized is ignored.

  10. B. Savage, Canada says:

    A gentle correction: “Freeze” and “Feigned death” are different responses. “Freeze” is a very alert, very aroused, very tense, state of immobility – a sympathetic nervous system response. “Feigned death” is a state of collapse rather than arousal, with an absence of muscle tension – a parasympathetic response.
    Thanks for all your postings, Ruth!

    • Sylvie T, Canada says:

      B. Savage, thank you for this precision. An important one. They are indeed two different responses. I’ve experienced both. They sure feel different­.

      And thanks to everyone for your comments. I’ve learned so much from the webinars and the postings on trauma in the last two years !

  11. Barbara Belton, M.S., M.S., Colorado says:

    Read this post with some tears in my eyes….as I travelled this path on, as they used to say, “the other side of the desk”. Am amazed at 66yrs of age how much I’ve learned, how far I’ve come, and how deeply I’ve healed. Not sayin’ I’m done yet, but…well you understand. So often along the way I met just the right person or persons who held gifts of knowledge, insights for me and offered them with open, compassionate hearts always affirming my ability to find my way….like you, Ruth and NICABM. Thankyou seems faint praise in light of the bigness of the gift! I offer you and all those who walk this path professionally my own deepest gratitude for your persistence, your insistence on believing there are and finding answers…your sisterhood and brotherhood call us home!

    • Net says:

      September 25, 2012I wish I didn’t have the fraadgrance senadsiadtivadity. It really limadits where I can go and who I can be aruond. The chronic pain is bad enough.Today, I have a lot of pain, which is typadiadcal. Can’t take drugs, so movading aruond is very slow. I have numeradous tools for the emoadtions, but as you well know, they can still be very difadfiadcult. I’m getadting betadter at using them, though.Right now, as I am catchading up on blogs, I’m draped in a few heatading pads for the more painful areas, breath deep, and sip hot green tea. I look out the winaddow and enjoy the vibrant autumn coladors along the mounadtainadside, and the birds freadquentading the feedaders. It’s imporadtant to try and find ways to self soothe like this whenadever the chance arises.Thank you so much for asking.

  12. Jill, Healing , CA says:

    checking to see how the posting process works

  13. Jill, says:

    Checking to see if my entry was posted

  14. Jill, 12 Step attedee says:

    I am wondering why no one ever mentions the positive contribution that 12 Step programs have made . I look for therapists who are oriented towards the combing therapies of all kinds with all that 12 Step offers. Also , it is my experience that the sex addiction field of therapy offers rigorous treatments for both the traumatized addict and co-addict.
    I am appreciating the webinars , last years series as well. I take what I like and leave the rest . I have gained much in the way of healing and am encouraged so much that I can heal . Without 12 Step meetings I don’t think I would even be here. It has been and continues to be the cornerstone of my healing.

    • Barbara, Psychotherapist Western Australia says:

      Yes Jill you are correct. The many benefits of 12-step groups are often overlooked. They can provide a great sense of belonging and acceptance for some which can slowly work toward healing attachment/developmental trauma through members “loving you until you can love yourself” and the sense of “shared experience”.
      There are many other useful benefits in 12-step groups….someday I may endeavor to illustrate these many ways in writing. Cheers from down under

  15. George Patrin, MD, MHA says:

    Esta Rose – I recommend you look at the ACES website for the most inclusive definition of “trauma.” Adverse Childhood Events” (ACEs). It’s definitely not all about Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) although the lay public might think so. The emotional traumas are perhaps, the most debilitating and long-lasting.

  16. Esta Rose psychoanalyst/psychotherapist NYC USA says:

    I have enjoyed the audio webinars. They both refresh and teach.
    Can someone define “TRAUMA” for me? I am not sure what a “significant incident” or a chronic “significant condition” as opposed to a trauma. It must be subjective on the one hand
    or is there another way to define it.
    Thank you,
    Esta Rose

  17. Carl Robbins, LCPC, Baltimore, MD says:

    I am disappointed that your essay does not discuss the robust evidence base for treatment of PTSD that includes a number of studies demonstrating the efficacy of Prolonged Exposure, Cognitive Process Therapy, and EMDR (which you do cite). According to the National Center for PTSD – reviewing meta-analyses of trauma treatment research:

    “Evidence-based treatments for PTSD work. All of the treatments we discuss—CPT, EMDR, PE, and SSRIs—help people with PTSD more than no treatment at all and more than alternative treatments that are available in the community. For people with PTSD, the best bet for recovery is evidence-based treatment.”

    The difference between the 4 interventions mentioned and alternative treatments is profound in terms of effect size.

    Ruth, I appreciated the regard and reference to the evidence base (on treatment outcomes, not just neuroscience) in your seminars on mindfulness. I don’t understand why you wouldn’t bring the same rigor to this discussion of PTSD.

    Where do you see the effective (in fact, superior) Cognitive Behavioral interventions in your 3 waves? Certainly, CPT and PE should not be regarded as traditional “talk therapy.”

    To include tapping and guided imagery but not PE is a puzzling choice.

    • Julie, Nurse and Psychology student, Penna says:

      I spent quite a bit of time on the National Center for PTSD website, and found it very helpful. However, in their analysis they more or less dismiss hypnosis as an alternative therapy with scant evidence base. I looked at their references, and they were basing that on one article from the Netherlands with a tiny sample size, and half the subjects actually in bereavement. There is a substantial body of research related to hypnosis in PTSD, whether as the primary therapy or an adjunct. So I began to think the authors decided what the important therapies were beforehand and didn’t make much effort to include anything else. It made me view the website more critically.

  18. Gertrude, healthadviser, traumasurvivor says:

    Thanks for this Ruth. Being in those therapïes earlier were just subsequent traumas or edged them even more into the groves of my brain. Some therapists really caused harm, brought me close to suicide. But this new wave, Bessel van der Kolk speaking in a lecture, not yours, got my hopes up again. I went to the wrong kind of Neurofeedback first. The Zengarmethod. Which claims to influence the brainwaves unconsciously. Since your lecture of Bessel, i did some further googling and had a trialsession with the right kind of NeuroFeedback. To be able to come even close to the 300-400 sessions Sebern Fisher mentioned, i will have to learn the method myself, as i did many other methods, and go into a process of occasionally a practicing with a therapist, a measuring of QEEG and having the discipline to practice myself at least twice a week or more. For many traumapatients, a career, an healthy income never happened. We are living of low sensitive budgets and still have to continue living, often for others. Like i have for my children, grandchildren, even when contact has broken with 2 sons, 3 grandchildren, next monday 4. You once talked about secondary trauma for therapists. You have no idea how it is for children growing up with a mother like that or trying to stay when that mother goes deeper into the process of healing without any therapy. I can just listen to your lectures, read books, do an online workshop and/or buy the equipment myself. i guess in a way with an inability to allow anyone in, possibly being my own therapist is the only safe way for me. Wish the professional field would dive into that more as well into realizing it is like Russian Roulette to have the luck to find a good or even adequate therapist, capable of real help. In an earlier webinar by Pat Ogden i got the impression she also did not know how to treat prenatal trauma. Seems in between lectures she found out how to approach it. Not talking the best suggestion i heard in a long time. I doubt if many therapists would dare that approach. I also loved the approach of a belgian psychiatrist, which i did some 20 years ago, Karel Ringoet, who made his clients/patients go back into the womb, a construction hanging in the deep end of a swimmingpool, which one entered with divinggear. There i was lucky of the psychologist taking a special interest in me. I could connect with her being a mother herself, and through that make a connection with my own imprisonment inutero. The man was ridiculed when giving a lecture at some congress in London at that time. Maybe something for you to look into. Maybe these times are ready for his therapy. I never heard of limbic therapy, but will look into that. Another bodytherapy is Kahunamassage. I had one session, and it reached me, then my therapist fell down the stairs and tore a sinew, and for 4 years she did not heal, after which i had to end the not working talktherapy she replaced it with.

  19. Letha Marchetti, Occupational Therapist; San Rafael, Ca. says:

    Having survived a nasty auto accident, and begun Somatic Experiencing treatment, I soon realized the symptoms I saw in the children I treated were my own.

    It was a major help as I provided OT to recognize that, indeed, these young children had been overwhelmed. A difficult birth, being adopted & other attachment ruptures are typical for my clients. Using body based, sensory informed treatment (combined with parental education) has been my most effective approach. Of course, I must avoid the word “trauma,” lest a parent become traumatized.

  20. Elsa, writer, thinker, poet, Canada says:

    The changes are fascinating – and make so much sense. Thank you, Ruth, for being so central in bringing this out much more into the world. Elsa

  21. Brigit Viksnins, SEP, RCST, Silver Spring, MD says:

    Looking forward to the wave when practitioners are trained in detailed tissue and fluid hands-on work (limbic therapy), mindful presence, embodiment, advanced energetic and autonomic awareness, self- and co-regulation (+IPNB), secure attachment, verbal trauma-related skills, completion of unfinished motor patterns, thawing of frozen parts (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, etc), cultivation of health after transformation of dysfunction…. When not only healthcare practitioners but also teachers, parents and more of society would have a clue about what is possible in healing. Yes, the healing field is moving in a positive direction. Thank you, Ruth, for what you have created to help spread the word of what is possible now!

  22. Camilla Mowbray, Equine therapist, psychology undergraduate, Sydney, Australia says:

    I am very new to this field, but have been drawn to trauma recovery through my work with horses. The opportunities for opening up new treatments are phenomenal, and I hope to be able to be involved in delivering some really good, evidence-based programs over the coming years.

  23. Mario says:

    All very interesting. Whatever the method, it has to become safe to fully occupy one’s body. And many of us don’t, whether we’ve been traumatised or not; so what’s going on there? I believe that the shame aspect and the sense of victimisation is a very important element to work with. Our existential dilemmas and the body’s vulnerability can often produce a sense of shame. This may be why Peter Levine speaks of trauma having the potential to open to spiritual awakening; that aspect of our being that is invulnerable – providing we can remain grounded. Donald Kalsched describes trauma as any experience that is overwheliming to the psyche. How much of the psyche’s content is displaced onto the body, who knows? Is this why the body becomes hated? Then the task to have the perfect body or at least a better body becomes the goal – commonly seen in eating disorders. So we not only need to feel safe in the body; but safe in the mind too. How do we fully occupy our mind – the psyche, the soul, our grounded conscious being? All very interesting to me.

  24. Tracey Rowe, Social Worker, Australia says:

    Working in the field of out of home care, (foster care and residential care)I have studied through the Australian Childhood Foundation, they have great resources on their website. I have working in the field of social care for over thirty years both with adults and children. What strikes me is some of the early learning links into the recent research, we did not always know back then why working within Rogerian principles worked but now we know about the importance of relationships and establishing safety upon the brain. Also, Intendive Interaction (Dave Hewitt) had some amazing results working with people with learning disabilities and autism. My training and subsequent study on neurobiology explains why this was so successful. More research should be done in this area, we need not to work in silo’s but incorporate this knowledge about the brain across other fields.

  25. Lili Hudson, hypnotist, Nashville, TN says:

    Not receiving the confirmation email. Your series are of such high value, I don’t want to miss. Please resend.
    Thank you

    • NICABM Staff says:

      Hello Lili,
      I am sorry that you didn’t receive the email from us that contains the link to watch the broadcast. I have just emailed that access link to you so that you have it for the remainder of the Rethinking Trauma program. Please let us know if you have any other questions.
      NICABM Staff

  26. Robert Royeton, Pre-school teacher and Parent Coach, Walnut Creek, CA says:

    I haven’t worked specifically with trauma…at least with adults. I worked as a child therapist in the 70’s and 80’s. I did work with children who had experienced trauma. I used play therapy and worked with the parents helping them to re-bond with their child. I was in London and was aware of the work John Bowlby was doing. I was working blind. In fact one 3 and a half year old had been kidnapped and wasn’t found and rescued for over a year. I did see the little girl in play therapy, but mostly I worked with the parents. The father was actually blind and I used his blindness as a metaphor the work we were doing. I knew that we had to try to re-build attachment. Well, the story goes on, of course. I just wanted to share a little.

  27. Don St John says:

    Love your synthesis of third wave approaches. I predict a fourth wave. In my forth coming book i argue against the model of trauma/no trauma. (Based on my forty five years of personal healing–near death at birth, extreme abuse, violence, serious beatings, constant verbal assaults, etc throughout childhood; and upon my professional experience as a psychotherapist, movement teacher and structural integrator). I argue for a model and ideal of coherence–based on the biochemistry/quantum physics of Dr Mae-Wan Ho, I believe we all have a great deal of room to grow in the direction of coherence. Simply defined, coherence is a state in which both individual autonomy and global cohesion are maximized. I argue this applies to the body-its tissues, structure and movement. It applies to our psyche, identities, beliefs and emotions. And it applies to our relationships. Hurray for the right brain, body oriented treatments coming in; but let’s go further. We’re all on the same bus.

  28. Sandi Wilson, Clinical Psychology says:

    My first PTSD case was in the mid-70s. I used talk therapy, visualization, the two chair technique, and some body work to treat her. Since she did not have clear memories of some of her experiences but was having nightmares giving information, I helped her to reframe the nightmares to her mind’s attempt to give her information and help her understand what happened to her. I definitely was flying by the seat of my pants on this one, believe me. Back then, I don’t think anyone in my sphere of practice had ever heard of working the way I was working, even my supervisor. My work was more intuitive than learned skills but she and I learned together and she improved significantly during her treatment.

    A few years ago I became certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy, and have used it with traumatized children, and adapted it for adults to some extent, but I find a combination of treatment approaches to be most helpful when working with people who have developed PTSD subsequent to trauma.

  29. Connie, Psychotherapist, C) says:

    What exciting time it is for working with trauma. It has changed my appoach to working with trauma to a more body centered approach.

  30. Laura Plumb Ayurvedic Medicine says:

    Truly with all due respect, you are not the pioneers. The sages who first taught Yoga understood all this. That is why Dr. Bessel van der Kolk repeatedly cites Yoga as the prime tool for trauma recovery. With respect and gratitude.

  31. Corina Vanana Valcan says:

    Many persons observed that now a lot of their colleges and people they know have this traumas but a lot of them can forget about the traumas. The answer how, it is to have a good education, without lies and also be connected to a spiritual, religious side. Yoga, Reiki and natural medicines are also a very good side for them and in case some of such trauma persons can collaborate between them is a more happier possibility. Most of all to concentrate on their mind and stay equilibrated.

  32. Martha Woods, support group for trauma says:

    In the post below our group has predicted more workplace violence on the horizon. If you can acknowledge what we are saying we would love to hear from you.

    please post a comment or call me at 25 three, 32 six, 4 four 85.


  33. Martha Woods, support group for trauma says:

    The main changes we see in Stop The Bullies is that workplace bullies are getting sicker, sneakier, and more malicious. It is a sport to these people, and the Targets are getting more injured. Most have to stay in the abusive environment to survive.

    We are also seeing more and more people who have been bullied out of their jobs and have NO financial resources whatsoever. Most find themselves with a diagnosis of PTSD, whether or not there was some physical abuse by their bully. This group of people is SINGULARLY unable to pay for treatment. Mostly, bullying happens not to the inept (who simply get fired) but to the conscientious employee who has years and years of civil service with excellent performance record.

    Please note: It is not the fired employee who is in this position – it is the employee who is tortured then fired some years later. These are the kinds of situations where people return to the workplace with a gun or knife.

    We predict more work violence as long as America does not care about these victims. This is not to condone the violence, but when someone’s ENTIRE LIFE is masticated (i e they lose their job, career, health, health insurance, retirement, home and family) that person is left bewildered and unable to pay for even the simplest mental health care.

    While I applaud Ruth and her colleagues for disseminating this information, I hope they spare a thought for our folks – people who were maliciously bullied out of their jobs – They need mental health care as much as the combat vet. Our group members who have been in hand to hand combat and have also experienced one of these bullies tell us that the constant and merciless abuse for 8 hrs a day at the hands of a malicious bully and over a number of months or years – they tell us the workplace bullying is worse – WORSE. WORSE than for 9-11 rescuers – WORSE than being a train driver and have someone throw themselves in front of your train .

    Who should pay for their mental health care? If employers had to pay, then they would rehabilitate their bullies or fire them. We have one bully who was not removed until she bullied 24 people out of their jobs. This woman grabbed her subordinates IN BETWEEN THE BREASTS !!

    Please could someone respond to this post? Thanks. You can also call me at 2 five 3, 32 six, four 485. Thanks.

    • Stop The Bullies - support group for Targets says:

      We are here for you!

    • Lois Psychiatric Nurse practitioner, Atlanta, GA says:

      I agree with the incredible increase in workplace bullying and victimization. From an anecdotal standpoint, I was the victim of workplace bullying and ended up having what we term as “a nervous breakdown”…I think it more a breaking point in the stress/diasthesis model-the point that tipped things over (I also have significant childhood trauma) and I think that the bullies so to speak are targeting folks who already have baggage. This work is instrumental in so many ways, which is why I went back to school to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner, focusing on trauma. Odgen’s work is critical to being able to move past and incorporate trauma from any situation and release the energy that trauma holds.

      • Stop The Bullies - support group for Targets says:

        Lois, our group members concur with what you are saying.

  34. Margaret Jones Callahan, MA, RCC BCATR, MBAT teacher says:

    I appreciate your series a lot as you keep refining your “up-dates” of our field and I try to stay connected to your work.
    I have worked with the freeze response with clients for many years using MBAT, mindfulness based art therapy approach, with specific techniques for generating new resources, and releasing old patterns of response to trauma. I notice that you do not include art therapy in your series. Is there reason why?
    Thanks for all you do.

  35. Roro, psychotherapist, Ca says:

    Mindfulness plus meditation have been very helpful.

  36. Eileen Balint says:

    I am not a therapist. I am someone who tries to understand PTSD from the inside out as well as from the outside in. I sincerely hope that this third wave moves us closer towards realizing that as long as a division exists between the analyzer and the analyzed … it will be business as usual. The Mindfulness Movement comes closest to understanding that a psychological dualist approach between client and therapist only perpetuates the past and therefore inhibits moment to moment awareness and insight.

    • Fanny says:

      Home run! Great slingugg with that answer!

  37. Dawn Matejka RN Trimont, MN says:

    I am adding this because it is important part of the healing modalities to know.
    Healing can be very complicated… For me, EMDR brought emotions I had never before experienced and realizations that brought me to my knees. With this came a long process of acceptance, forgiveness and then grieving the loss of what I once believed was my truth.
    It has been a lonely process, for what is discussed in the privacy of the counseling hour has not been something I could ever share with anyone, including the wonderful friends and family members of my life.
    My goal, from the moment I first met my therapist was to leave counseling whole, grateful and without a feeling of dependency on him. As I heal, I now start the process of leaving the only person who knows everything I wish had never happened. The dependency I tried to avoid has been un-avoidable, the gratefulness that I feel is profound for this man, who with integrity and professionalism, provided a safe haven for this ‘journey out’. After 6 years of intentionally entering (and sometimes forcing myself to enter) that room, I am finally at peace. I am slowly telling close friends (who do not pry) some of my journey, but only if it also helps them or someone else. Details are never important, but how one faces adversity in a proactive way is important to all of us.
    I have never seen a book that provides a roadmap out of counseling. Maybe one of you can write one? My goal is to leave counseling permanently, without this being another loss and with the knowledge that I am indeed capable of living the rest of my life finding my own answers and knowing that I am finally ‘done’.
    He has told me that he will help me with this too. And I believe that he is right… :-)

    • Letha Marchetti, Occupational Therapist; San Rafael, Ca. says:

      _Waking the Tiger_ by Peter A. Levine is my recommendation for you.

  38. Dr. Robert Blundo, Professor, Wilmington, NC says:

    As a teacher and as a Vietnam PTSD client, I have seen them all. I have not found EMDR or talking helpful. My experience was so constant and consistent and over a very long time that it is different than a particular event. I was also as a medic in a field hospital that I was faced with constant traumatic injuries, day and night. Relationships and feeling understood and recognizing what I was experiencing made sense given my experiences was very helpful initially. Also, the neuroscience has opened me up to mindfulness work. I still rely heavily on Medication. Things can get very strange and come at moments you are not expecting them.

  39. Caryll Cram psychotherapist Fort Collins, CO says:

    Thank you for this concise depiction of the evolution of PTSD. The biggest change for me has been in recognizing how the body can identify what the true issue is for each event and each individual. Understanding the Polyvagal theory has certainly helped clarify some thoughts but for my practice more refined muscle testing (using indicators from the mind-body to identify specific focus areas and determine most appropriate modality or process) has made all the difference.

  40. estrid, psychotherapist, los angeles, california, usa says:

    I work in a setting where unfortunately, the clinician in charge, is not keeping up to date on newer research. This is frustrating. It is limiting. I want to stay on top of new approaches, I appreciate your efforts.

  41. Rupa Cousins, The Connected Self says:

    Hello Ruth,
    I am so happy you listed Rubenfeld, when relating to some “exceptions,” in your article above, using genle hands on and verbal exchange, it has been helpful for over 30 some years. I have been a Rubenfeld Practitioner for many years, and it is so true that how the body contracted or compressed has stories to tell and when investigated reveals a reflection of a life lived, trauma included. I am also an Alexander Technique Teacher which has for over one hundred years focused on the juncture of head, neck and spine and how habitual compression along with stress and trauma relates to “flight, fight or freeze.” It seems it is all coming together now with new research and I am excited to participate in your series.

  42. Art Blank Jr. M.D., psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. Chevy Chase MD USA says:

    New understanding of the role of the body in reactions to psychological trauma, and body -based treatment, are a welcome development. However, some current conventional wisdom about”talk therapy” is mistaken, and without some important clarifications, we run the risk of losing the mind. Both aspects of the person–mind and body– are wounded by Trauma. The failures or even harmful effects of “talk therapy” are due to a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of psychological trauma and PTSD. What occurs with a traumatic wound is an inability to process, digest, incorporate effectively, the events which have occurred. Since the person cannot integrate the experience, it is indeed counterproductive to promote simply repeating the traumatic event in words. The kind of “talk therapy” which IS helpful, and sometimes vital, is talking in a kind of relationship, and with an understanding of how the mind works, where the traumatized person can grow and develop the new structures and processes of mind with which they can harmoniously integrate and understand what they have experienced. The interactions of two subjectivities in psychodynamic therapy focused on growth, not repetitive trauma-viewing,
    make this possible. EMDR, yoga, meditation, and one or another of the somatic experiencing therapies, in concert with psychodynamic therapy, offer many persons the healing they need. . The role of psychodynamic therapy has been extensively documented in the psychoanalytic literature by such authors as Mardi Horowitz, Krystal, Judith Herman, D. Laub, Nanette Auerhahn, and many others.

    Art Blank Jr. M.D.

    • Theresa, Retired Psychologist, USA says:

      Dr. Blank —

      You are so right! I experienced severe, ongoing trauma throughout my childhood and adolescence, and I was dysfunctional in many areas of my life. I had a total of about 20 years of talk therapy with various licensed practitioners. Much of it was probably more harmful than helpful. One of my therapists, however, was internationally known, and I admired and envied her. In therapy, she sometimes spoke of her own problems and issues as examples. She made the talk therapy into a kind of conversation between equals, and sometimes asked my opinion about things as if she really cared what I thought and believed. As I look back on these sessions, I see that they changed me by giving me self-confidence and a feeling of adequacy for the tasks of life, whatever they might be. Other traumatized patients may have benefited from talk-therapy in other ways, but this is how it helped me. I would not say that it totally relieved me of the effects of my trauma, but it cleared away some of the cobwebs and paved the way for further healing. I was not ready to hear directives or recommendations from anyone until I had repeatedly engaged with a respectable, successful person who elicited my comments and opinions and listened to them respectfully and attentively, bestowing upon me the dignity that I was silently craving.

      • Fanni says:

        Наташа & Katya, now I am really cfoeusnd about the language to use when talking to both of you. A nice discussion! I am glad Katya raised one issue I was going to raise too, viz. “where did all these girls who were great at mathematics in school [and let me add, in their undergrad and graduate studies] disappear to?” Well, I am not sure I am totally convinced by Natasha’s reply to this. Here at MSRI they worry about this issue, and here is the statistics that bothers them: among math Ph.D’s in the US, women constitute about 30%. At the same time, the fraction of female applicants to practically every program at MSRI is about 10%. Why is this happening? There is probably a combination of several factors at play here, and actually I am not even sure this is such a bad thing. After all, pure math is not a prestigious subject in this country, it is not very well paid (although I am not complaining :) ), it can be quite frustrating at times, etc. Maybe women are just too smart and too practical to go there (this is definitely my explanation of why women are not as good in chess as men).But MSRI does not see things this way, so does everything possible to stretch 10% of female applicants into as close as possible to 30% of participants. Frankly sometimes it’s not pretty.Returning to the issue of “connections for women” meetings, let me also reiterate that an absolute majority of young female participants are enthusiastically supporting this idea and insisting on continuing this tradition. In this country you don’t ignore things like this. To summarize my attitude, I find Natasha’s negative view a little oversimplified. I think it is a complicated issue, and I don’t have a clear-cut answer in my head.

      • Reno says:
      • Migz says:

        there is nothading that can be done and that I would just have to avoid fraadgrances where posadsiadble. There are more and more fraadgranced prodaducts comading out, which makes it more limaditading for me. Our home is what hubby and I decided we would conadtrol, since I need a safe place. I seek out fraadgrance free prodaducts, which is actuadally halethadier in genaderal. I’ve learned there can be many toxadins and irriadtants in fraadgrances. My mother’s home is fraadgrance free so it is a safe place for me. I try to do more outaddoor activadiadties, which is theradaadpeuadtic in itself. It’s helped me appreadciadate nature more. I love social gathaderadings and havading peoadple over, but when we have a get together at our house, we ask peoadple to be fraadgrance free when they come. When we are invited someadplace, I have to ask if they use any fraadgrances on themadselves or in their home. The answer deteradmines whether or not I’m able to attend. When we go shopadping I avoid fraadgranced stores, or walk out quickly if I notice it when I enter a shop. I have two best friends who are fraadgrance free when they know they will be around me.It’s amazading I was able to have a good career for 18 years in an office enviadronadment (and with lots of travel), but there didn’t seem to be as many fraadgranced peoadple and areas until more recently.

  43. Joanie Lane specializing in PTSD Therapy says:

    Thank you for this series Ruth. I am getting so much out of this and it is a wonderful tool for trauma therapy.

  44. Theresa, Retired Psychologist, USA says:

    Over the years I have watched “alternative” practices, like EFT and TFT, become accepted in the mainstream and substantiated by science. I remember the days when I was frowned upon for using Heartmath and EFT in schools with disruptive and learning disabled students. We have come a long way. The future of psychology looks brighter to me now than it did 20 years ago.

  45. Dr. Viviane Carson, California says:

    Yes, you’re right, Ruth. Developing new ways of working with trauma have been absolutely necessary to help patients to heal, especially for severe cases. I had to help myself first before I could help others. I have been working with a method I developed over the past 35 years that I call “Psychobiophysical Healing”TM which works on seven levels through the brain and the heart and which has helped all patients with PTSD, and most psychological as well as physiological conditions to heal from the root cause. I treat people from anywhere in the world on Skype in addition to my private practice in California. I have enjoyed listening to you and watching you and your series with all those illustrious teachers and therapists and am looking forward to more! Thank you for all your work, Ruth. Please go to my website for more information at:

  46. Harry, Physician Psychotherapist, Certified in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Toronto, Canada says:

    Yes, trauma treatment has changed, and continues to change.
    It breaks my heart to see survivors of trauma still re-traumatized over and over again through insurance assessments that force them to re-tell their stories in words.
    If only the rest of the world would keep pace with these advances, our approach to education, to social justice and even to how we approach collectively dealing with endemic stress would change.

    From a sensorimotor psychotherapy viewpoint, we make a clear and profound distinction between freeze (tonic immobility with high sympathetic outflow) and feigned death (collapse and loss of sympathetic outflow) – there are many different reasons why this distinction is important and it will make a good question for Pat Ogden during your interview with her.

  47. Joseph Maizlish, MFT, Los Angeles CA USA says:

    Each wave’s success, know it or not, included the gradual and usually unconscious learning to apply self-regulation, learning to recapture the body by moderating the alarming arousal or freezing responses which are adaptive during traumatic events but which can be ignited by recollections and associations long afterwards. If the arousal/freezing responses do not overwhelm the individual’s capacity for self-regulation but do challenge it, verbal recounting MAY be accompanied by release from the alarming internal states, as may the desensitization encounters with the place and the situation. For everyone, including those who are too reactive to benefit from the earlier “waves,” direct training and practice such as yoga, forms of relaxation, or even simply (!) consciously monitoring of the body can use that basic but often unrealized factor in what has made any of the “waves.”
    Twenty-five years ago I wouldn’t have understood what I wrote just now! But we were using it nonetheless — just less consciously and less effectively.

  48. Dawn Matejka says:

    Dear Ruth,
    Thank you for putting together these ‘Trauma Series’. As a RN in a major Medical ICU, I witnessed very traumatic happenings for our patients and their families. I was able to draw on what I have learned through these webinars to be a more affective caregiver.
    I am also a care receiver, having struggled for many years with nightmares, strong and ‘very difficult emotional and physical feelings’ when I least expected them and the frustration of trying to explain what was happening physically to a psychologist only to be told “you just need someone to listen to you” and “why would you want to know what happened? Just live your life!”
    I became very good at coping. I learned how to turn off fear in seconds until the next nightmare or unexpected “trigger”. At times, life inside of me was like living in a nightmare, as the people around me witnessed instead my smile or my children joined me as I attempted to make wonderful childhood memories for them… We camped, hiked through woods and our home was a gathering place for their friends. I ‘went through the motions’ and dreaded alone time because I didn’t have these distractions.
    Six years ago, I found a therapist who has patiently helped me learn how to tolerate the fear I would experience “out of the blue” or in the middle of the night. I have been able to take partial memories and make peace with them. Forgiveness has been a huge piece of my healing.
    He and much of the material on your Webinar, along with the books that many of your speakers have written, are the reason that I am starting to feel like I once felt many years ago. The most important factor has been belief and validation of what ‘I EXPERIENCED’ and a focus on ‘leaning into’ rather than ‘running from’ the strongly negative feelings or fear.
    With new found energy, I am finally starting to wake excited about my day; I feel stronger and very hopeful that this will continue. I am realistic, for I have found that the ‘strong feelings’ have not magically gone away, but when they do come, I am able to acknowledge them, tolerate them, let them pass and refocus on what is present. I keep photos of my grandchildren,beautiful sunsets and good memories handy for these moments. And they do pass :-)

    As I go through this transformation,
    I am humbled…
    …as a dream
    wakes me with the past,
    …as I realize
    that the past 6 years were for naught
    but hushing the response of fear.

    No quick fixes
    to what is unknown,
    to what stays below the surface,
    …or for the woman who quietly
    and finally
    begins to rest.
    I have learned how to live
    with reality
    in it’s totality.

    Again, thank you.

    • Sherry Belman, MA, LMHC, New York says:


  49. Mitch Swergold, Coach, LifeStudent, Miami, FL says:

    Awesome. Great description. Thank you.

  50. Annie Combrink Social Worker counsellor South Africa says:

    I am working according the EMDR method and used EFT as well very affectively. This method helps people in a very quick way to process the trauma. It is exciting to experience understanding the way of trauma and the brain.

  51. Carol Brown Training Supervisor Mansfield Ohio says:

    I am fascinated with the ongoing study and understanding of trauma and the brain. It is exciting to see attention paid to a good medical assessment as well as trauma assessment. Team work or other comparisons and collaboration of professionals seems essential and welcome. So much to learn……

  52. Chris Williams, CBT/CFT Therapist,UK says:

    I appreciate your sharing of information on the latest developments arising from the understanding offered by neuropsychology. In reference to PTSD one change being discussed locally to me is intervention time after trauma event. There has been historical criticism of intervening too soon with talking therapies after trauma, and of course diagnostic criteria asks us to identify trauma symptoms still present three months following. So interventions generally recommended to support ‘stabilising’ only. The Berkshire Trauma Service advised on a more idiosyncratic approach, if treatment appears indicated sooner, perhaps following assessment of resilience and psychological mindedness (for CBT interventions) then to go ahead and treat.

    Thanks and all the best Chris.

  53. Patricia Murphy, LCSW, Oceanside, CA says:

    I am still finding EMDR and TFT very effective, and am excited about Dr. Allan Botkin’s discovery of IADC and am taking his training in Illinois later this month. He developed it while doing EMDR at a veteran’s hospital in the Chicago area. It completely clears long-standing grief from loss through death, in one or two sessions. I highly recommend his book, Induced After Death Communication: A Miraculous Therapy for Grief and Loss, by Allan L. Botkin, PsyD and Craig Hogan.

    • Karthik says:

      It sounds to me like the cernurt situation in most math departments is likely to select for women who don’t mind or even prefer to be in the minority – the women who aren’t happy to have so few women in the department would presumably be that much more likely to leave to do other things. And it seems from the comments people made at the panel that events like this can help to keep those women from leaving for reasons that have nothing to do with their abilities in math, and to attract other women who might otherwise be wary of entering such a male-dominated field. That seems to me to be a good enough reason to have events like this, to begin with.But more than that, to me, this event more than proved its usefulness with that first question that was asked, about how being pregnant might affect a woman’s career. Can you imagine such a question being asked at a panel where all or most of the participants were men? Even if there was a woman brave enough to ask such a question, would a panel of men even know what to say? And yet it’s clearly an important question that many women struggle with. (As I can tell even from the comments to this entry alone.) Isn’t it good to have a place where women can discuss such issues and give advice to each other and discuss their experiences, without each woman having to feel like she has to reinvent the wheel alone, stuck as she is as the only woman in a faculty of men, at what has to already be a difficult time in her life?There are clearly questions about what it’s like to be a woman in mathematics that men can’t answer. Is it really so bad to provide a place where such questions can be discussed?

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    • Sang says:

      You dear sweet woman. I am working on week 2 of coinmg out about my oldest 2 siblings. My brother, my senior by 6 years ,sexually abused me (no penetration) from 5 to 13. It’s really my sister ,senior by 5 years, that disturbs me the most. I cannot confirm but I think she has a personality disorder that attributes to her overwhelming sense of power. I am a 55 year old woman and I have an acute sense of right and wrong, and she is wrong! She has gathered up all members of our family ,about 11,and has threatened them that if they believe my accusations against our brother they will no longer be a welcome member of the family. In all your research of your book how often have you heard similar stories? Where do I go to participate in this workshop of yours?

    • Matilda says:

      Hey, that’s the grsaeett! So with ll this brain power AWHFY?

  54. Irene Lyon, SEP, Feldenkrais Practitioner. MSC. says:

    YES YES YES! (did I say YES?) = )

    I’m a Somatic Experiencing practitioner, Feldenkrais Practitioner and assistant at the master level is Peter Levine. This is SO refreshing to see and read.

    For those interested, I did an interview with one of my colleagues, also a high level assistant within the SE world, on the topic of Neuroception, would LOVE to share.

    Here it is:

    Irene xo

  55. Deborah Clements Canada says:

    I live in a Canadian city of over one million people, Calgary AB. In my opinion we are in the dark ages here. The go to therapy is still CBT. DBT is staring to make an appearance but the wait lists are very long. I have been constantly traumatized physically and mentally by the psychiatric system here in Calagry and had given up on my healing journey. A friend in the U.S sent me information on current treatments and I finally feel some hope that I can be healed. Many of my questions regarding ineffective treatment have been answered. Thank you for all the information you send it has helped me immensely.

  56. Irene, Hakomi Practitioner, Mexico says:

    Huge! difference, from lost to could be found, from hopeless to you ca do it, from bear it to heal it.
    I am wondering if in the series anyone is talking about working with the limbic system; and talking about the freeze specifically.
    What exactly is best used with freeze?
    How do you determine witch part of the brain is triggered or in unbalance in the client?
    what works best treating each part of the brain?

    Tose are my main concerns… besides many point you mention in the next series,

  57. Paula Susan, Trauma & Relationships , Mt. Laurel, NJ says:

    My practice is totally integrative, with components of the myriad masters with whom I have studied. (I’ve taken some of your webinars.) The process that impresses me the most, is the direct root to deep healing, using EMDR. I facilitated transformation in a man who had repeatedly raped his wife for twenty years. The rage and self-loathing in him from his past fueled his evil. I’ve facilitated people’s healing of seizures (some of them from anxiety), resentments in marital relationships, the shame that is often under layers of justification with affairs, the impact on affairs and the ruminating that often occurs with the wounded partner.
    Acknowledging my “addiction” to learning, I have created some of my own “processes” including aspects of neurolinguistics, journalling, cognitive/behavioral, attachment theory, Imago and the list will never end when I experience something that could enrich my help for people who are suffering – with trauma, with self-esteem issues, with anger, depression….
    Our responsibility, our privilege, our love for our clients can change their brains in ways that open their lives and their ability to love themselves and others. What we do will radiate out into families, workplaces, the world. I am awed by my choice of career. Thirty-two years and still learning. Thanks to people like you who have much to offer. However, whomever we can thank for neuroplasticity and our ability with our own limbic system to engage others and lead them into a whole, healthy way of being! It’s awesome!

  58. Shirley, Psychoanalyst, NYC, NY says:

    Nice overview. And there was also an ancestor of the first stage espoused by misguided followers of Skinner, who thought that mere survival and will power would do the trick. I remember a professor, who proudly described his cure of a shocked and traumatized dog by repeatedly returning the animal to the site of trauma without repeating the shock. While the “cure” was eventually somewhat effective for the dog, presumably because of what we now know to be processes of memory, it was also traumatizing for psych students to hear. Applying this flooding method to humans, especially those with what we would now call dis-regulated attachment, was actually cruel as well as misguided and authoritarian. Survivors of battle shock in WW2 and Vietnam had to endure this “pull up your socks and get on with it” treatment. It is a remarkably visible shift in consciousness in our field that we have sought for more effective and empathically related methods and even found the rationale in neuroscience to support them.

  59. Isabella Mancuso says:

    Please do not discount that the internal injuries can cause seemingly mental health issues (due to the clinicians perspective), when in reality it is the injury, the damaged tissue itself that is causing the bodily responses.
    Vagus nerve can be affected by intestinal blockage pressing on the nerve. Clearly here we would remove the blockage and free the vagus nerve (which by the time the blockage is removed the nerve may be damaged), and NOT treat as so called PTSD or mental illness. CORRECT DIAGNOSIS is imperative, as there are many negligent MD’s all too willing to hand over a mental illness dx when in reality they have missed the correct physical disability, while they pass on from doctor to doctor the mis-Dx and while patient gets “sicker and sicker”. There may be a degree of ptsd at work, yet if the patient is denied the means to heal or attend to the physical body, the “mind” stuff becomes mute.
    As stated above the intestinal blockages need detoxing, proper amounts of stretching and exercise as well as stress management.
    Too many times, also brain injury and brain/vessel abnormalities are overlooked and poo pooed. This is not only detrimental to client but may be deadly when mishandled. For if you call a patient severley depressed due to lethargy and lack of motivation when in fact they have a brain injury with blockage and vessel malformations and slow blood flow through vital conscious areas, ((slowing breathing capacity))of the brain, to treat this as mental illness is wrong, IT IS A PHYSICAL injury needing medical NOT psychological intervention. Once the patient is properly breathing, getting sufficient oxygen to body organs, the brain can “think ” again, and they are oheir way to wellness.
    JUST A NOTE: Bloodwork may look good, chest x-rays ok…..but when arterial blood gas is done the overwhelming lack of oxygen is startling….BE SURE there is a FULL medical evaluation before DX any mental illness, so many are dx with mental illness when there is an organic physical cause easily remedied. This is how (we) you may be putting trauma upon trauma.

  60. AnnaMaria Life Coach The Netherlands says:

    I have also followed the changes and I am amazed at what we knoe at the moment. I am especially interested in brainentrainment and how to combine it with other brain and bodyoriented approaches.

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