IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Heart Open Body Awake: Four Steps To Embodied Spirituality

Reviewed by Nancy Eichhorn   I recently received a copy of Susan’s newest book, Heart Open Body Awake: Four Steps To Embodied Spirituality, from Shambhala Publications,...

PODCAST WITH MICHAEL OSTROLENK

PODCASTS

Michael Ostrolenk is a licensed psychotherapist who completed his MA in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology at John F. Kennedy University and did post-graduate studies in somatic psychology at the California Institute for Integral Studies .  He is certified in Spiral Dynamics and Wade Mindsets.  Michael is Head Instructor  for SEALFIT’s Unbeatable Mind Academy as well as a personal development coach. Michael is also the host of #ORadio , a podcast which explores individual and social transformation.

Welcome to “The Emergent Human where we explore Optimizing Health, Embodied Spirituality, and Post Conventional Living.

Today I speak with Ruth Culver who is an IFS somatic psychotherapist based in Brighton, UK. She works with adults and teenagers, in groups and individually, with a particular interest in trauma, attachment, and resilience. We discuss her Survive/Thrive Spiral graphic which integrates Internal Family Systems with Polyvagal theory. She breaks down both systems and how they are useful in working with trauma. We also touch upon Constellations work as well as intuitive drawing.

To learn more about Ruth’s work check out https://www.calmheart.co.uk/​ .
For a video about the Survive/Thrive Spiral visit youtu.be/GlNhFXMOQpM​

Today’s show is brought to you https://www.somaticpsychotherapytoday…​

Shout out to former U.S. Navy SEAL Chriss Smith’s new Trident Mindset online program. Trident Mindset is an online mindset training program created by Navy SEALs, intelligence operatives, and neuroscientists
www.tridentmindset.com/

We will close out today’s show with one of my favorite singer/song writers Stuart Davis and his song “Savoring Samsara”. www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKYdI19XKJY

BODY MIND SPIRIT

My Stuffed Co-Therapists

In my office I have stuffed animals - a rabbit, a dog, and a bear that sit together on one of my sofas. They represent an alternative somatic psychotherapy. Treatment with them involves talk, but it also involves touch and somatic awareness. Clients usually don’t notice them. However, often in therapy, themes emerge that arise from my clients' repressed bodies. These themes deal with both present and past events and how these clients were treated by their parents. This information is presented to me both quickly and as an affectionless series of stories. I stop my clients. I encourage them to take full slow breaths, to place their feet hips' width apart on the floor. Then I ask them if there is a feeling beneath the story that they are telling me. Often, after the breaths, they come back to the story slower but void of feelings. At this point I change the focus and ask them if they are drawn to one of my co-therapists — the bear, the dog, or the rabbit—and let them make their choice. After choosing, their fingers may start to caress or grip the co-therapist of their choice.

The Shattered Oak: An Author’s Reflection

My mother’s life was not easy. She dealt with and battled domestic violence, child abuse, suicide, and eventually mental illness. She was affected by and surrounded by the nature of mankind’s cruelty. And yet, she gave my siblings and I her gift of strength. In writing The Shattered Oak, I came to terms with her thought process and experienced her level of bravery and reliance. I finally comprehended her intense strength, courage, and determination by acknowledging her survivor skills and her deep love of faith that provided her comfort that she was never alone.

Using the Original Tuning Board in Somatic Experiencing®

The Tuning Board is a somatic tool that addresses this problem of a non-resilient ability to return to a fluid vertical nervous system. It is increasingly known and used for this purpose in the SE community as well as among other somatic therapy practitioners. A unique balance board device, the Tuning Board gives the individual the task of relating to a comforting constant motion while the spine is in a state of vertical orientation.

The Pandemic, Zoom and Polyvagal Theory

I recently saw a pre-publication version of an editorial by Stephen Porges, “The COVID-19 Pandemic is a Paradoxical Challenge to Our Nervous System: A Polyvagal Perspective.” In it he says, “The pandemic impacts on our biological imperative to connect.” Polyvagal theory says that as mammals we need to connect to co-regulate. In fact, we use the minimal cues that come from the face and the tone of voice of each other to co-regulate our nervous systems. These cues let us know we are safe. The problem is that during the pandemic, we are being given the imperative that we need to stay away from each other in order to be safe.
video

A Polyvagal Approach to Covid 19

We are so pleased to be able to share a recorded version of a conversation Deb Dana had recently with Liam O Mahony, Accredited Psychotherapist and Addiction Counsellor and Co-Founder of PCPSI* on a Polyvagal Approach to COVID-19.

The body remembers: Saying #MeToo

It was reassuring hearing the title of Babette Rothschild’s book (Rothschild, 2000) all those years ago, recommended to me by my core process psychotherapist. ‘The body remembers’. Yes, it does, my body, turning towards me, nodding - suddenly engaging - a door opening inside. The body remembers. This body remembers, and what a journey it’s been – so far – in my body stepping through that door and in deepening my understanding of trauma and working with trauma in myself, with clients, with supervisees, and with trainees.

RELATIONAL MINDFULNESS

RSS Relational Implicit: Conversations on Psychotherapy

  • Mark Schenker on addiction, part 1: What is addiction June 1, 2021
    Mark Schenker defines addiction and talks about his integrative model. Mark Schenker is a licensed psychologist with 40 years of experience working with patients with substance use disorders. Dr. Schenker has written “A Clinician’s Guide to Twelve-Step Recovery” (Norton, 2009) and the chapter “Addiction Treatment Settings” for the APA Handbook of Clinical Psychology (APA, 2016). […]
    Relational Implicit
  • Gregory Kramer about Buddhism & psychotherapy March 1, 2021
    In this conversation, Gregory Kramer compares the perspectives that psychotherapy and Buddhism have on dealing with human suffering. Gregory Kramer teaches, writes, and is the founding teacher of the Insight Dialogue Community. His primary focuses are sharing a relational understanding of the Dhamma and teaching Insight Dialogue, an interpersonal form of Buddhist insight meditation. He […]
    Relational Implicit

Relational Mindfulness with Serge Prengel

Embodied Spirituality

In my work, I am accustomed to thinking in terms of embodied experience. That is, mind and body are not separate entities. I think of the mind as an emerging property of the human organism. Where does the notion of spirituality fit with this kind of outlook? The word "spirituality" refers to "spirit". Traditionally, spirit is seen as immaterial, the opposite of flesh and blood. It is what animates the body, gives it life. In many traditions, it is something that leaves the body after death, and continues to live on its own once disembodied. So, essentially, the word "spirit" evokes the very opposite of "embodiment." There is such a chasm between these two notions that it makes it hard to conceive that they could be integrated. Indeed, if you only contemplate these two propositions as logical statements, you simply cannot find a way to reconcile them.

SPT BOOKSHELF

Book Reviews

Heart Open Body Awake: Four Steps To Embodied Spirituality

Reviewed by Nancy Eichhorn   I recently received a copy of Susan’s newest book, Heart Open Body Awake: Four Steps To Embodied Spirituality, from Shambhala Publications,...

The Garden of Love and Loss

By Judith Sarah Schmidt, PhD Reviewed by Nancy Eichhorn, PhD Books come to me at the moment I need them. It may sound strange that a...

Passion & Presence: A Couple’s Guide to Awakened Intimacy and Mindful Sex

One simple sentence says it all: “Great sex is a mind-set, not a skill-set.” Maci Daye embodies the essence of her new book, Passion & Presence: A Couple’s Guide to Awakened Intimacy and Mindful Sex, in this short statement. Yes, readers receive exercises to practice concepts presented throughout the book, but the crux of success resides in mindfulness including presence, curiosity, and authenticity, and a commitment to one’s self, one’s partner and the relationship.