Clinical Applications of Polyvagal Theory: The Emergence of Polyvagal-Informed Therapies

What happens when a question sparks a search? When a curious mind latches onto a quest to find answers that make sense, not just...

Anorexia Nervosa: Focal Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

Anorexia nervosa. Two words that often summon an image of emaciation: the kind where skin hangs off bones, darkened sockets shield distant eyes refusing to see, the smell of one’s body feeding on itself, the remnant of a cannibalization process meant to perpetuate life.

Easy Ego State Interventions: Strategies for Working with Parts

Ever wonder why a fight with your significant other deteriorates into a middle school shouting match? Or why a contentious conversation with a parent throws you into a temper tantrum? Chances are you are experiencing reality in one of many different ego states.

The Art of Healing from Sexual Trauma: Tending Body and Soul Through Creativity, Nature,...

Ardea writes with bodily expression, with movement in color, in text, in breath: “My pelvis feels inflamed, wobbly, twisted. It’s heavy like an overloaded water balloon. When I breathe and pay attention to my pelvis, I feel sadness well up, as though there’s an artesian well bursting up from my lower abdomen to fill my heart with sad, sad, waters. My hands feel prickly as all these waters overflow from my heart. They gust out in shaky waves down my arms and hands”.

The Pocket Guide to the Polyvagal Theory: The Transformative Power of Feeling Safe

I am, admittedly and unabashedly, enthusiastic about Stephen Porges’ work. I’ve attended his workshops, learned his process for measuring heart rate variability as an indicator of vagal tone, interviewed him for several articles published in this magazine, and have read his books and articles. This review is clearly biased. And with that said, I will offer my honest opinions and not side step points that for some may or may not be considered 100 percent positive. For those new to Porges’ work, he is noted as the originator of the Polyvagal Theory (PVT), which is his perspective of how our autonomic nervous system, dependent on phylogenetic transitions/shifts that occurred between reptiles and mammals, resulted in specific adaptations in vagal pathways regulating the heart, which in turn impact our lives.

The Body Keeps the Score

Bessel van der Kolk’s, The Body Keeps The Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, takes a detailed, well-researched, and multidisciplinary approach to discussing trauma and how it can be treated clinically.

Writing as a Way of Healing: How Telling Our Stories Transforms Our Lives

“Writing has helped me heal. Writing has changed my life. Writing has saved my life.” These powerful first sentences of Louise DeSalvo’s Writing as a Way of Healing: How Telling Stories Transforms Our Lives immediately conveys the author’s strong belief in the curative power of writing. She posits that writing helps people recover from “thorny experiences” and can help heal those suffering from a variety of situations, from dislocation and violence to rape and racism (4). DeSalvo is a professor of English and Creative Writing at Hunter College and is the author of over a half dozen books, so her advice is rooted in her own personal experience using writing as an instrument of healing.

Intimacy from the Inside Out

Intimacy from the Inside Out (IFIO) by Toni Herbine-Blank, Donna M. Kerpelman, and Martha Sweezy is geared toward psychotherapists who are seeking an alternative method for practicing couples therapy. IFIO therapy stems from Internal Family Systems therapy (IFS), a model developed by Richard Schwartz in the 1980s as an approach to working with individuals and families, then later expanded to include couples. IFIO couple’s therapy involves a two-step process of planning for the predictable universal issues that couples face and responding skillfully to other unexpected factors. Couples entering IFIO therapy often hold the two goals of feeling safe within their relationship and reestablishing intimacy. In the initial session, the therapist meets with the couple to inquire about hopes and goals, assess their ability to accept differences in each other, and then offer a perspective on the possibilities of treatment.

The Smell of Rain on Dust: Grief and Praise

In the United States, ruled by an unsustainable culture of big businesses, politics, and greed, we are insatiable. Constantly searching for more nourishment, we are never full. Everyone is living in this perpetual state of emergency, but we still feel alone in the struggle. In the United States, ruled by an unsustainable culture of big businesses, politics, and greed, we are insatiable. Constantly searching for more nourishment, we are never full. Everyone is living in this perpetual state of emergency, but we still feel alone in the struggle. In The Smell of Rain on Dust: Grief and Praise, Martín Prechtel coalesces ancient wisdom and modern life. We seem to be far from our ancient roots, but Prechtel reconnects us by exploring issues such as war, money, and politics through the lens of a shaman and offers an invitation to heal our distressed souls through grief and praise.

The Intelligent Body: Reversing Chronic Fatigue and Pain from the Inside Out

Written by Kyle Davies Foreward by Gabor Mate Reviewed by Monica Spafford   In The Intelligent Body: Reversing Chronic Fatigue and Pain from the Inside Out, author Kyle...
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