How Spirituality Can Play a Role in Trauma Treatment

Clinicians who work with trauma know that one of the fundamental treatment issues is processing feelings of loss. The experience of loss can permeate clients’ lives and often manifests through grief, sadness, or rage. Whether it’s the loss of innocence, boundaries, privacy, protection, trust, secure attachment, or power and control over their own bodies, trauma...

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The Rise of Teen Dating Violence and Ways You Can Intervene

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. This issue is far more prevalent than people think. In the Unites States one in three teens will experience emotional, sexual, or physical abuse in their relationship with a significant other before reaching adulthood. And when these dysfunctional and toxic interpersonal dynamics are normalized in adolescence they increase...

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Psychodrama and Parts Work: Providing a ‘stage’ for practice and healing

Psychodrama is a holistic therapy that offers clients the opportunity to “act out” situations, emotions, interpersonal scenarios, and experiences that impact mind, body, and their spiritual wellbeing. It’s often thought of as a form of group therapy, but it’s more accurate to think of it as individual therapy that is executed within a group. Psychodrama...

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Highlighting Our Clients’ Resiliency

Everyone faces adversity at some point in their lives. Sometimes it feels like a bump in the road and sometimes it feels like we are forced to climb Mount Everest without a map or the proper hiking boots. What’s so remarkable is how often we manage to successfully navigate even the most difficult challenges. What’s...

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PTSD and Flashbacks

Most clients understand the concept of a flashback once therapists explain the phenomenon of reliving a painful past experience so vividly that it feels as if it’s happening again in the present time. They can also comprehend the concept of triggers; the sensory, emotional, interpersonal, and environmental stimuli that is reminiscent of past trauma and...

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Honoring Sexual Assault Awareness Month

  View image | gettyimages.com   Many years ago I was asked to give a speech for “Take Back the Night” a rally that was being held in Dupont Circle in Washington, DC.  I had never heard of the event but knew it was being sponsored by a rape crisis center.  My talk focused on...

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Helping a Partner Who Engages in Self-Destructive Behaviors

As Valentine’s Day approaches couples become more mindful of the ways in which they can show their love through caring gestures and gifts. Flowers, cards, candy, and jewelry often communicate feelings of affection and gratitude. It’s easy to acknowledge and celebrate a meaningful relationship, especially when it’s uncomplicated and fulfilling. However, many people are in...

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How to Respond When Trauma is Disclosed

Recently I gave a training to a large group of primary care physicians and nurse practitioners in Florida. As I walked them through the “red flags” they are likely to see when treating a patient who is a survivor of trauma or abuse, I realized, through no fault of their own, that their mental health...

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Working With War Veterans: A New Paradigm

When we look at the longstanding history surrounding the treatment of war veterans in VA hospitals, the focus has traditionally been on encouraging vets to come together in support groups to share their war stories. The long held belief was that the repetitive processing of these painful experiences, done in the presence of other soldiers...

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When Therapists Do Harm

There is a mantra in the mental health field, a code of ethics that we all live by: “first do no harm.” This seems like an obvious idea but, in truth, the definition of “doing harm” may not be universally understood and agreed upon. The relationship that is forged between a client and his or...

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