Freud’s definition of trauma included a break in the stimulus barrier, and that characteristic of trauma is still relevant today. Boundaries are ruptured in many ways – from too-loud sound to too much energy, too much arousal, or victim/perpetrator dynamics infringing on your actual physical body with violence. David Wallin says that many therapists have some level of disorganized attachment, [...]
Trauma is the emotional and psychological reaction to a negative event. According to Peter Levine, the founder of Somatic Experiencing, trauma is experiencing fear in the face of helplessness. Fear plus helplessness equals trauma. While many experiences might trigger trauma, individual responses vary dramatically and cause a range of personal suffering. Different financial means, medical conditions, living situations, family landscapes, [...]
As therapists, a strong understanding of attachment theory can inform nearly every aspect of your clinical practice, since attachment informs adult behaviors and relationships. How we respond to trauma often depends on attachment history and emotional resources developed early on, and can include medical conditions, birth trauma, or temperament. We are looking here mostly through the lens of caretaking patterns [...]
It’s a time of high anxiety and uncertainty that can begin to feel pretty grim. Sometimes, taking time to disconnect from the media and sit in the sun or spend some time away from digital contact can be as important as reaching out to one another. As always, your emotional well-being can impact your immune system, so if you need [...]
The global social landscape has changed almost overnight due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are both recommending self-isolation as much as possible, and social distancing when it is necessary to go out. Some states have even implements stay inside orders to slow the spread of this [...]
In this turbulent upheaval caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), more people than ever are experiencing anxiety, stress, depression, and trauma due to the uncertainty surrounding the global pandemic. Fears around becoming ill, or caring for a sick family member, can escalate pre-existing mental health conditions. Add the stress of potential loss of employment, and mental health becomes a daily [...]
We are now a few weeks into the new year. It’s notoriously the time when resolutions begin to fall by the wayside, and that inner critical voice starts shaming you for failing. Many people talk about resolutions like they are a joke – because they often are. Based on unrealistic dramatic changes, resolutions give way to the reality of day-to-day [...]
Many people view the New Year as a blank slate or a fresh start. If you are someone who has dealt with attachment injury, you might face additional obstacles. Fortunately, whether you are 23 or 93, you are designed to heal and can always bring more secure attachment into your life. As with any pursuit, developing secure attachment is a [...]
We are racing into the time of the year when the car feels like it’s in warp speed, making stops all over town and creating stress with every winter storm and red light. Let’s take a moment to check ourselves as we head into this holiday with a positive attitude and a plan to keep things manageable (and enjoyable!) When [...]
PRACTICE: My Community Visualization Reassurance is important for all of us, but especially for those of us who are ambivalently attached. Keep this in mind if you have an important person in your life who lives with the ambivalent adaptation. Reassurance and staying in regular contact—through email, texts, or phone calls—calms an over-activated attachment system like nothing else. This doesn’t [...]
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