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November 20, 2015 by Kathy Brous

Grief Recovery Handbook, Part 2

GRH-Millions-LackTools-for-Grief

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Part 1, I summarized the Grief Recovery Handbook (GRH) instructions for making a lifetime Loss History Graph; then figuring out which personal relationships dealt us the most of these losses; and then how to write a separate “Grief Recovery Completion Letter” to each of those persons. (“Millions lack tools for Grief,” by the GRH website GriefRecoveryMethod.com)

Complicated? Overwhelming?  Sure.  But wait – there’s more!

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November 6, 2015 by Kathy Brous

Grief Recovery Handbook, Part 1

Grief-Recovery-Handbook-20th-Anniversary-Expanded-EditionThe “Grief Recovery Handbook” by John James and Russell Friedman is an invaluable tool for healing emotional pain and loss.  It saved me after the death of my parents and my divorce, which all happened at once.

It shows us how to write “Grief Letters” to our  “dearly beloved,” and read it to a listener. This simple eye contact with another human, who need only be silent and accept our grief, pain, and yes, tears, creates astonishing healing.  “This is why…God put tear ducts in our eyes,” says Dr. John Townsend.  “Someone should be looking at us when we are crying…Then we know that we are not alone, our tears are seen and heard.”

If you’ve lost a dearly beloved, you could just buy 2 copies, find a “grief partner” who’s also had a loss, and follow the book.  The grief letters may be straightforward for you, and then you’ll be “complete” and heal.  You may not need this blog.

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October 9, 2015 by Kathy Brous

Psychotherapy and Love

Thich-nhat-hanh-PlumVillagedotOrg

Photo credit: PlumVillage.org

I went through three bad therapists before I found my current one, and for the first two years, I kept asking him the same question:  “You’re just a hired gun, right?  ‘What’s love got to do with it?’  What good can this really do me, since it’s just business?”

Then one day I was reading Thich Nhat Hanh’s “The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching”.  On page 5, Nhat Hanh writes this of his youth in Vietnam: “I grew up in a time of war. There was destruction all around – children, adults, values, a whole country. As a young person, I suffered a lot. Once the door of awareness has been opened, you cannot close it.  The wounds of war in me are still not healed. There are nights I lie awake and embrace my people, my country, and the whole planet with mindful breathing…”

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September 25, 2015 by Kathy Brous

How EMDR Helped My Early Trauma

Guest Blog by Amelia

[Amelia is the pen name of an EMDR therapy client of Dr. Sandra Paulsen, pioneer of new EMDR protocols for developmental trauma/early trauma (ET).1 Amelia is now with Paulsen colleague D. Michael Coy, MA, LCSW.  She graciously provided this blog to inspire others to seek healing. –Kathy Brous]

Sandra-Paulsen-BookIn 2013, I began working with Sandra Paulsen, PhD. I am very grateful for the early childhood trauma (ET) work we did.   It was a stunning process that gave me understanding and resolution of significant traumas.  I learned to understand “ego states” and gained a view of the numerous parts of me that acted as protectors throughout my life.   The use of “the conference room” was difficult and surprising at first, but with Dr. Paulsen’s encouragement and compassion for “the little one” inside me, it quickly became easier for me to imagine a conference room in which I could see “parts of my self” sitting around a table.

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September 11, 2015 by Kathy Brous

New EMDR Therapy for Developmental Trauma

Paulsen-Sandra-PhotoGuest blog by Dr. Sandra Paulsen (left) & D. Michael Coy, MA, LCSW

[First I discovered it deep within myself and called it “trauma since the sperm hit the egg.”  Then I read that Bessel van der Kolk calls it “developmental trauma,” in his drive to have it finally recognized by the psychiatric profession. Dr. Allan Schore calls it “trauma in the first 1000 days, conception to age two.”  Earlier it was “complex PTSD” or C-PTSD.  In EMDR therapy, Dr. Sandra Paulsen, therapist Katie O’Shea, LCPC (who began this work), and D. Michael Coy, MA, LCSW, use “Early Trauma” (ET).  The science is in Chaps. 16 & 20 of Paulsen’s 2014 book.Well: “ET, phone home!” Dr. Paulsen & friends have good news: they’ve created new EMDR therapy protocols to heal developmental trauma. -Kathy Brous ]

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy “enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that result from disturbing life experiences,” says Dr. Francine Shapiro’s EMDR Institute website. Standard EMDR therapy has been shown to heal traumatic memories with a conscious, visual component, also called “explicit” memory. As EMDR clinicians, we have seen frankly astounding changes in our clients, both in how they see themselves and in how they experience and take initiative in the world.

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August 21, 2015 by Kathy Brous

My Neurofeedback Journey, Part 2

Tina-Hahn-ACEs-Too-High-photo

My Neurofeedback Journey, 2 of 2
by Tina Marie Hahn
— as told to Kathy Brous

Tina added on July 11: I am experiencing major changes in my brain functioning so fast with neurofeedback, although as of this writing, I have only been doing it for three months. But in six months I seriously don’t think I will recognize myself anymore, and I say that after decades of struggle.  I truly recommend checking out neurofeedback, for anyone who has failed all the traditional approaches to trauma. Now back to my journey…

Major Trauma Release

On April 27, it had been about three weeks that I’d been working with the BrainPaint® desktop home neurofeedback machine.  I’ve been doing about 1.5 hours of neurofeedback a day. That turned out to be a little too much for me as a beginner, so I gave myself a break the last two days.

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August 7, 2015 by Kathy Brous

My Neurofeedback Journey, Part 1

Tina-Hahn-30-monthsMy Neurofeedback Journey, 1 of 2
by Tina Marie Hahn
— as told to Kathy Brous

I am Dr. Tina Marie Hahn, MD, advocate for Trauma-Informed Care and Communities, and survivor of actually ten Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). As a pediatrician, I screen parents and children alike for childhood trauma. That’s me at 30 months old and my background story is here.

I’ve been excited for some time to try neurofeedback, after listening to a talk given by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk and Sebern Fisher and reading Dr. van der Kolk’s latest book “The Body Keeps the Score” and a blog on Sebern Fisher’s work with neurofeedback here.  I then read three books on neurofeedback, including Dr. Fisher’s book “Neurofeedback in the Treatment of Developmental Trauma: Calming the Fear-Driven Brain” and decided to research several electronic neurofeedback systems for home use.

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July 24, 2015 by Kathy Brous

Can School Heal Kids?

Can School Heal Children in Pain? – Guest Blog by “Paper Tigers” Director James Redford, original date June 3 (photo courtesy of Mr. Redford).

aredfordAfter learning about the overwhelming effects of childhood trauma, I decided to make a film about a school that’s adopted a “trauma-informed” lens.

Documentaries are no walk in the park. They take a lot of time and money; they have a way of making a mockery out of your narrative plans.

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July 10, 2015 by Kathy Brous

‘Paper Tigers’ Film: ACE Trauma Can Be Healed

“Resilience practices overcome students’ ACEs in trauma-informed high school, say the data” — A Guest Blog by Jane Stevens, Founder of ACEsConnection.com

Paper-Tigers-Cast-Crew-Seattle-Premier-5-28-15

Cast and crew of Paper Tigers after Seattle screening; photo by Jane Stevens

Three years ago, the story about how Lincoln High School in Walla Walla, WA, tried a new approach to school discipline and saw suspensions drop 85% struck a nerve. It went viral – twice — with more than 700,000 page views. Paper Tigers, a documentary that filmmaker James Redford did about the school, premiered May 28 to a sold-out crowd at the Seattle International Film Festival. Hundreds of communities around the country are clamoring for screenings.

After four years of implementing the new approach, Lincoln’s results were even more astounding: suspensions dropped 90%, there were no expulsions, and kids’ grades, test scores and graduation rates surged.

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June 26, 2015 by Kathy Brous

How to Tap for Emotional Relief

Tapping-Points-2015-Nick-EBook-diagram

Click image to enlarge

I’ve used Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), aka tapping, for years, as I wrote in Part 1 on  “what is tapping.”

Now for how to tap.

“The basic technique requires you to focus on the negative emotion at hand: a fear or anxiety, a bad memory, an unresolved problem, or anything that’s bothering you,” says Nick Ortner, author of “The Tapping Solution.”

Then, “while maintaining your mental focus on this issue,  use your fingertips to tap 5-7 times each on 9 of the body’s (dozens of) meridian points”.1

“Tapping on these meridian points, while concentrating on fully feeling and accepting the negative emotion, will allow you to resolve and displace those learned, habitual reactions this feeling would ordinarily trigger,” he writes.

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