Leading the Way in Trauma Therapy

Trauma Institute & Child Trauma Institute
Feb 28, 2017, 4:15 PM

It’s tough to repair a marriage following infidelity, even if both parties really want to. I’ve seen it over and over, variations on a theme:

  • Frankie cheats, and then says Sorry, and means it. But doesn’t address the root causes of the cheating, so Sorry doesn’t do much good. Johnnie wants to trust again, but knows better.
  • Or Frankie not only says Sorry but also goes to therapy and insists t ...
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Jan 9, 2017, 1:08 PM

Most of our intensive therapy clients achieve profound healing from their trauma and loss memories. This typically leads to a dramatic reduction of symptoms, which in turn enables them to pursue their goals more effectively. Once in a while, though, there’s a glitch. Days, or even weeks or months, after the trauma work is done, the client reports feeling destabilized.

There are three common re ...

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Sep 5, 2016, 9:36 PM

As the director of our intensive trauma-focused therapy service, I receive a lot of phone calls from people who would like to be feeling better and/or doing better. Some are in extreme distress. I’m often asked, “Should I be checking myself into an inpatient program, or going for intensive outpatient therapy?”

Here are the questions I ask, to determine how to respond:

  • Are you safe? If left to ...
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Mar 6, 2016, 11:49 PM

The standard of care in trauma therapy includes a stabilization phase prior to engaging in the trauma resolution work. This preliminary phase gives clients an opportunity to improve their affect regulation and coping skills, in order to be more successful in facing and overcoming their trauma memories during therapy. This standard has just been challenged in a critique co-authored by 21 promi ...

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Aug 31, 2015, 3:18 PM

We have a project looking for a home. We want to create a brief intensive trauma therapy diversion program for teens on their way into residential placement. The goal is to dramatically reduce time in residential placement, reduce costs accordingly, and improve outcomes. If it works – which it should – this can become a preferred alternative to typical longer-term residential care. Here are t ...

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Feb 26, 2015, 10:34 AM

Economic value is an important consideration in obtaining mental health care. Nobody wants to spend more than they have to, and that applies to individuals as well as grant funders, insurance companies, or government agencies. I’ve found that the idea of “getting it done” via intensive trauma therapy appeals to many people, but some wonder about the cost. Fortunately, economy and quality are ...

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May 6, 2014, 10:13 PM

Chicken and egg. Someone is unstable due to traumatization. So do you focus on stabilization interventions, which means the client continues to struggle with the trauma? Or do you take the leap, risking further destabilization, to treat the trauma and solve the problem?

For example, many substance abusers have been told by therapists, “You can’t work on your trauma until you’ve been sober/clea ...

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Dec 2, 2013, 11:20 AM

The last blog post focused on the value of the intensive treatment format. The main point was that if the client comes to solve a problem, why not just get it done, instead of dragging therapy out for months? The post led to much back-channel discussion, continued here. (And this time please just post your comments below, OK? Makes for a better discussion. Thanks.)

There are some situations in ...

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Nov 4, 2013, 1:40 PM

Why is therapy for an hour per week? Probably because:

  • You can fit it into a weekly routine.
  • Each session’s work can interact with the client’s life for incremental benefit.
  • This is what the insurance companies will pay for.

The fact that a convention exists for good reasons does not mean that it’s still the best way to do it today. The custom of the weekly therapy hour should be reconsider ...

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