Leading the Way in Trauma Therapy

Jul 1, 2014, 2:41 PM

How different things will be when we better understand how trauma can affect people!

“Michael” was a mid-40's married professional who had been subjected to extensive childhood abuse. In the course of his work with a particular client, the abuse memories became activated and his first-ever manic episode ensued. After a couple of months, at the urging of his wife, he came for therapy. Howev ...
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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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Apr 6, 2014, 8:30 PM

Perhaps the most frequent theme across posts in this blog is the promotion of psychotherapy for healing – via memory reconsolidation – as opposed to only symptom management, coping skills, emotional support, etc.

This seems to strike a chord, and the blog post Got Memory Reconsolidation? has received the most “hits” (visits) of any so far. Therapists say (in various ways), “Yes! This is what I ...

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Mar 5, 2014, 12:18 PM

What makes trauma treatment work? And what can make it work better? This is the first in an irregular series of posts focusing on key elements of trauma treatment.

A person’s trauma history can take up so much of the visual field that her primary sense of identity may be as a trauma victim or survivor. After healing has occurred, she’ll typically say something like, “Okay, it’s too bad [the tr ...

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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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Oct 5, 2013, 7:39 PM

Since developing Progressive Counting (PC) in 2007, I’ve been teaching it quite a bit, often to therapists who are already trained in other trauma resolution methods. I enjoy the reactions: typically surprise and excitement for how well PC seems to work, how quickly, and how smoothly, relative to other trauma treatments. I’ve also heard two typical objections that I find curious:

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Sep 4, 2013, 7:36 AM

Much has been made of the importance of non-specific factors (such as empathy, therapeutic alliance, etc.) to therapy outcome, and rightly so: therapists who use the common factors get better outcomes (Duncan, Miller, Wampold, & Hubble, 2010). However, that does not mean that only the common factors matter. For example, it’s well established that the trauma-specific treatments actually do tre ...

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