• The Body Keeps the Score: Brain Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma
  • Dr. van der Kolk describes the effects of trauma in the body, brain and mind. A particular emphasis is put in the bodily manifestations of trauma and the fact the traumatic past events remain in the body as a present threat. He discusses the uselessness of traditional therapeutic techniques and introduces EMDR as a successful treatment for PTSD, explaining its technique, how it works and presenting some data that supports its effectiveness. As a conclusion, Dr. van der Kolk says that the aim of treating PTSD is to deactivate trauma and reset the limbic system, allowing for a reconnection with the body....

  • MBT Treatment: “What works for Borderline Personality Disorder?”
  • In this video Professor Fonagy explains the concept of mentalization: what it is, its uses in the relationship with others and the self, how it develops in the human mind and the risks of losing this capacity. He creates a multidimensional model with 4 dichotomies that need to be balanced for an optimal mentalization function. Using this model to understand BPD, he shows the several difficulties these patients have to access mentalization. While other therapeutic techniques ask the patient to use mentalization capacities they don´t have, MBT tries to balance the functioning in the 4 dimensions to help patients achieve mentalization. ...

  • Technique and Beyond: Therapeutic Enactments, Mindfulness, and the Role of the Body
  • The article two simultaneous clinical journeys to discover the implicit self: the conscious and the unconscious. The explicit, conscious journey pertains to what the therapist believes she is doing as a clinician, supported by theory and technique. Therapeutic methods, meant to be learned but then be set aside and not reflected upon in the therapy hour, guide interventions that emerge spontaneously within the dyad. With somewhat predicable outcomes, this journey can easily become conscious, and thus explained, rationalized, reflected upon, and voluntarily changed mid-stream. For the explicit journey, body-oriented, mindfulness interventions from Sensorimotor Psychotherapy bring to light the implicit self of the patient, and new physical actions that foster integration between explicit and implicit parts of the self can be discovered and executed....

  • Addictions and Trauma Recovery
  • The author addresses the role that addiction plays in the lives of trauma survivors. Furthermore, she points out how addictions act as a coping mechanism and what happens during abstinence. The therapist, she claims, must be aware of the reasons behind why the addiction started in order to best be able to help the patient as he or she begins to overcome the addiction. Additionally, she explains how helping the patient understand how the addiction aided him or her and how the therapies will help him or her cope in a different way is necessary for a true recovery....

  • Understanding Maltreating Mothers: A Synthesis of Relational Trauma, Attachment Disorganization, Structural Dissociation of the Personality, and Experiential Avoidance
  • Treatment options are limited for families in which the child has severe and intractable disturbances of emotion and behavior, in which there is suspected or confirmed maltreatment by the mother, and in which the mother has her own history of childhood neglect and abuse. This paper proposes a model for understanding mal- treatment in mother–child dyads, drawing upon the developmental psychopathology, behavior, and trauma literatures. At the core of this model is the hypothesis that a mother’s maltreating behav- ior arises from unconscious attempts to experientially avoid the reemergence of an attachment-related dissociative part of the per- sonality that contains the distress arising from her own early experiences of attachment relationships. The implications of this model for therapy are considered. ...

  • Trauma Reveals the Roots of Resilience — Fosha
  • After September 11, a friend sent me the following quote from Hemingway, a gift I want to share it with you."The world breaks everyone and afterward some are strong at the broken places." I cannot think of a better way to capture what our aim is than to say that through our work, we try to help our patients –and ourselves-- become stronger at the broken places. In the process of doing the work, we also sometimes discover amazing places that have always been strong and were never broken. Not so infrequently, in the course of dealing with tragedy, with destruction, with misfortune, and evil, we are taken aback by the miracles that we are privileged to witness. Steeled for the worst, we encounter the best. It is not only that some are strong at the broken places; it is also that, through trauma, others become strong, and discover they’re strong in ways they never knew. For sometimes trauma awakens extraordinary capacities that otherwise would lie dormant, unknown and untapped. Without the trauma, they would never see the light of day....

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