Category Archives: Therapies

Concise articles about many therapies for the effects childhood trauma and related conditions such as complex PTSD and borderline personality disorder, including cutting-edge treatments such as dialectical behavior therapy, EMDR and body-focused therapies (such as somatic experiencing).

Vital Importance Of Understanding The Role Of The Body In Trauma Therapy

ptsd-holistic-treatment

Probably the best known expert working in the field of understanding how the body and our experience of the crippling effects of severe trauma are inextricably linked is former Harvard Professor, Bessel van der Kolk.

Bessel van der Kolk stresses the crucial importance of treating the effects of severe trauma in a HOLISTIC manner ; in other words, therapeutic approaches for trauma need to not only focus on the physical brain (e.g. by treating

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Sex Addiction Therapy

sex_addiction_therapy

Sex Addiction And Childhood Trauma :

We have seen from other articles that I have published on this site that those who have suffered significant and protracted childhood trauma are at higher than average risk of developing an addiction to sex in adulthood (for example, see my post entitled : Childhood Trauma And Its Link To Hypersexuality‘).

Blotting Out Emotional Pain :

One reason why those who have suffered childhood trauma may become addicted

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Considering Seeing A Therapist? An Overview Of Talking Therapy.

talking therapy

What Is ‘Talking Therapy’And What Conditions Can It Treat?

The term ‘talking therapy’ refers not to one specific therapy but to a category of therapies. As the phrase strongly implies, ‘talking therapies’ involve a client talking to a therapist with the aim of ameliorating their particular psychological difficulty (e.g. depression, anger, addiction, eating disorders, phobias, childhood trauma, relationship problems and family problems). Studies show that in many cases ‘talking therapies’ can be at least as effective, and, frequently, more effective, than medications for the treatment of a wide range of psychological problems.

Examples Of ‘Talking Therapies’:

As stated above, there are a variety of ‘talking therapies’ from which to choose. These include the following :

  • cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • counselling
  • psychodynamic psychotherapy
  • behavioral activation
  • mindfulness-based therapies
  • family therapy
  • interpersonal therapy
  • dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)

(NB The above list is not exhaustive).

Let’s briefly look at each of these eight examples of ‘talking therapy’ in turn :

talking therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy :

This type of therapy is currently widely used to help individuals with psychological difficulties and is evidence-based (i.e. supported by empirical research findings). It is a short-term therapy within which the therapist and client

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‘Right Brain Therapy’ : Possible Benefits For Trauma Survivors

right brain therapy

The Brain’s Two Hemispheres :

The brain is split into two hemispheres (or halves) referred to, simply enough, as the left hemisphere and the right hemisphere.

What Is The Difference Between The Brain’s Left And Right Hemisphere?

In terms of their functions, the LEFT HEMISPHERE is associated with :

  • logical and analytical thought processes
  • reasoning
  • language (including written language)
  • mathematics / numerical skills

whilst the RIGHT HEMISPHERE is associated with :

Controversy :

The above lists of functions derive from the work of

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Online Therapy

online therapy

If we have experienced significant and protracted childhood trauma in the early part of our lives we may, as adults, have many unresolved issues relating to this that can manifest themselves in psychological conditions such as, for example, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, feelings of worthlessness, intense feelings of shame, self-hatred, addictions, self-harm, dissociation, relationship problems, hypervigilance and emotional dysregulation (and this is not an exhaustive list). Indeed.

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Family Therapy And Adolescent BPD Sufferers

family therapy and adolescent BPD


Borderline Personality Disorder In Adolescents :

I have written elsewhere about why some mental health clinicians are reluctant to diagnose borderline personality disorder (BPD) in adolescents. However, when an adolescent is believed to be suffering from this extremely serious psychiatric condition, family therapy can be of potentially crucial importance.

What Is Family Therapy?

Quite simply, family therapy is a form of counseling that treats more than one member of the family in the same therapy sessions; this is predicated on the notion that the behavior

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Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) May Beneficially Change Brain Functioning

BPD, borderline personality disorder and reality testing

One of the most effective therapies for those suffering from borderline personality disorder (BPD) – as we have seen, BPD is closely linked to childhood trauma) is called dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).

What Is DBT?

DBT is based on the person’s need to change their behavior and their need to be accepted. The therapy was devised by Marsha Lineham, PhD.

What Does DBT Involve?

Typically, DBT involves :

  • individual psychotherapy (usually once per week), starting with changing the individual’s most concerning behaviors, then changing behaviors hindering therapy (e.g. missing appointments), and finally with ‘quality of life issues.’
  • skills training (within a group-therapy context). The four main skills that are taught are :
  1. MINDFULNESS
  2. INTERPERSONAL EFFECTIVENESS
  3. DISTRESS TOLEARANCE
  4. EMOTIONAL REGULATION

DBT changes brain

Research Suggests That DBT Can Beneficially Alter Brain Functioning :

THE STUDY :

Research conducted

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Right Brain Therapy : Benefits For Trauma Survivors

right brain therapy

How Useful Is Right Brain Therapy For Trauma Survivors?

Why is it that right brain therapy may be more appropriate for trauma survivors as opposed to therapies that concentrate largely upon the left brain?

Right Brain And How We Relate To Others :

One of the main symptoms of complex posttraumatic stress disorder (from which we may suffer if we experienced significant and protracted childhood trauma) is having problems relating to others.

The brain is made up of two halves, called hemispheres : the left hemisphere (or, left brain) and the right

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Ego State Therapy For Treatment Of CPTSD

ego states therapy

EGO STATE THERAPY is an approach to treating complex posttraumatic stress disorder (cPTSD) and is sometimes referred to as ‘parts work.’

In particular, this therapy is designed to help treat symptoms of CPTSD which come under the headings of :

  • avoidance symptoms
  • intrusive symptoms
  • depressive symptoms

Let’s briefly look at each of these three types of symptoms :

AVOIDANCE SYMPTOMS :

These include avoiding places, people, events and situations which remind one of one’s past trauma. However, individuals often employ psychological

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Somatic Experiencing Therapy : Healing The Dysfunctional Nervous System

somatic experiencing

Dr Peter Levine’s somatic experiencing therapy is predicated upon idea that the disturbing symptoms of PTSD are substantially caused by the adverse effect our traumatic experiences have had on the way our body and nervous system works.

In essence, Levine contends that if we are suffering from PTSD it means we have become stuck’ in the fight/flight/freeze response.

In order to understand this, consider how wild animals respond to danger; let’s use the example of a

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Prolonged Exposure Therapy And Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Major symptom of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and complex posttraumatic stress disorder (cPTSD)click here to read about the difference between these two conditions – are fear, anxiety and even terror induced by :

– situations related to the traumatic experience

– people related to the traumatic experience

– places related to the traumatic experience

– activities related to the traumatic experience

Prolonged Exposure Therapy Involves Two Specific

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What Is ‘Trauma Informed’ Therapy?

childhood_trauma

Many individuals who seek treatment and therapy for problems such as alcoholism, drug addiction, clinical depression, severe anxiety, anger management issues and eating disorders (or a combination of such problems) often have an underlying problem: they have experienced severe and protracted childhood trauma.

In other words, it is their experience of trauma that has significantly contributed to the existence of such problem as those mentioned above.

Such people are increasingly being said by

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Cognitive Hypnotherapy : Combining Hypnosis With CBT

The practice of cognitive hypnotherapy derives from recent discoveries in psychology and studies of the workings of the physical brain (neuroscience).

As can be inferred from the name of the therapy, it is a hybrid of cognitive behavioral therapy (click here to read one of my articles on CBT) and hypnotherapy (click here to read my article on what brain scans reveal about the effectiveness of hypnotherapy).

The use of hypnotherapy is becoming increasingly mainstream. For example, many

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The Amazing Power Of Visualization Therapy

visualization therapy

Despite the name of this therapy – ‘VISUALIZATION ‘ – it involves not just the visual sense, but can also make use of the other four senses (touching, tasting, hearing, smelling).

The therapy involves USING and DEVELOPING our IMAGINATION. It is called ‘visualization’ only because most people find it easiest to imagine SEEING IMAGES IN THEIR MIND’S EYE, compared to using the other senses imaginatively (although this is not true of everyone, of

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Socrates and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

 CBT beck socrates

If we have suffered serious childhood trauma the research indicates that we are more likely than those who enjoyed a relatively stable childhood to develop clinical depression during our adulthood (all else being equal).

I have discussed the link between childhood trauma and depression in my book : Childhood Trauma and Its Link to Anxiety and Depression (click here to view) and I have also written several articles available

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Metacognitive Therapy for Anxiety and Depression.

metacognitive therapy

METACOGNITIVE THERAPY (MCT)

Metacognitive therapy (MCT) was developed by Dr Adrian Wells and Dr Gerald Matthews in the early 1990s.  It shares elements in common with, but is distinct from, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).

The main difference is that whilst CBT concentrates upon the negative CONTENT of a person’s thoughts and strives to alter that content, MCT, in contrast, focuses not on the contents of a person’s thoughts but rather on the WAY IN WHICH THE PERSON THINKS – it aims to help the

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