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How Science Can Heal a Divided Electorate

November 23rd, 2012 by

How can both parties work together after President Obama’s re-election? Psychologist Jonathan Haidt offers some hard advice for liberals and conservatives.
http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_science_can_heal_a_divided_electorate

The Importance of Movement and the Imagination

August 20th, 2012 by

Please enjoy this video and introduction to a workshop on Aging called Poetic Movement give by Ilene Serlin, PhD This presentation was given at AgeSong – a residential care facility in SF run by a colleague from the Existential/Humanistic Institute.

http://www.union-street-health-associates.com/workshops.html#poetics-of-aging

The Power of Creativity and Expressive Arts Therapies in Working with Trauma

May 28th, 2012 by

On June 9, 2012 Dr. Ilene Serlin will lead the workshop Posttraumatic Growth and Expressive Therapies through CIP’s professional development series.  Dr. Serlin’s work with trauma engages nonverbal, symbolic approaches which reawaken cognitive functioning and generate transformation on a kinesthetic, sensate level.

Dr. Serlin will discuss cross-cultural examples from her work in Israel and the US to provide a context for an examination of the cultural bases for the diagnoses and treatment of PTSD.  Given the need for clinicians to work with returning veterans from Iraq and Afganistan and their families, clinicians can be trained to incorporate whole person methods into their own clinical practices.  A culturally sensitive understanding of trauma will explore community acceptance and resilience, with symbolic enactment of fragmentation and hopes for healing.

This is the second of two articles we are posting on Dr. Serlin’s work using expressive arts therapies with trauma in Israel.  http://www.union-street-health-associates.com/SF_Psych_0906.pdf

About Dr. Serlin: Dr. Serlin is a clinical psychologist and registered dance/movement therapist. She is the founder and Director of Union Street Health Associates and the Arts Medicine Program at California Pacific Medical Center. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, Past President and Council Representative of the Division of Humanistic Psychology of the American Psychological Association, on the Editorial Boards of the Arts in Psychotherapy, the American Journal of Dance Therapy, and the Journal of Humanistic Psychology, and has taught and published widely in the US and abroad.  To learn more about Dr. Serlin visit http://www.union-street-health-associates.com/about.html#about_ilene_serlin

To register for the workshop click here: http://www.cipmarin.org/pages/-shopping/shopping-sg__express.htm

Posttraumatic Growth and Expressive Therapies: A Workshop with Dr. Ilene Serlin

May 12th, 2012 by

On June 9, 2012 Dr. Ilene Serlin will present Posttraumatic Growth and Expressive Therapies, a workshop through CIP’s professional development series. Recognizing that trauma exists in the body as well as the mind, and that nonverbal and symbolic approaches are shown to reawaken cognitive function, this workshop will focus on the integration of sensate and cognitive modalities, as well as existential approaches that deal with the confrontation with mortality.

Given the need for clinicians to work with returning veterans from Iraq and Afganistan and their families, clinicians can be trained to incorporate whole person methods into their own clinical practices.  Dr. Serlin will discuss cross-cultural examples from Israel and the US to provide a context for an examination of the cultural bases for the diagnoses and treatment of PTSD. A culturally sensitive understanding of trauma will explore community acceptance and resilience, with symbolic enactment of fragmentation and hopes for healing.  This workshop will utilize a Posttraumatic Stress approach that is holistic and helps participants develop resiliency and courage.

To learn more about Dr. Serlin’s work read her article from The National Psychologist (2009), Working With Trauma in Israel: Lessons for America.

http://www.union-street-health-associates.com/national_psychologist.pdf

This is the first of two articles we will post that share Dr. Serlin’s holistic approach to working with trauma.

About Dr. Serlin: Dr. Serlin is a clinical psychologist and registered dance/movement therapist. She is the founder and Director of Union Street Health Associates and the Arts Medicine Program at California Pacific Medical Center. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, Past President and Council Representative of the Division of Humanistic Psychology of the American Psychological Association, on the Editorial Boards of the Arts in Psychotherapy, the American Journal of Dance Therapy, and the Journal of Humanistic Psychology, and has taught and published widely in the US and abroad.  To learn more about Dr. Serlin visit http://www.union-street-health-associates.com/about.html#about_ilene_serlin

To register for the workshop click here: http://www.cipmarin.org/pages/-shopping/shopping-sg__express.htm

Childhood Trauma and Psychosis

May 4th, 2012 by

A new meta-analysis of 27,000 research papers examines findings from more than 30 years of studies looking at the association between childhood trauma and the development of psychosis.    Researchers found that those who had experienced any type of trauma before the age of 16 were approximately three times more likely to become psychotic in adulthood compared to those selected randomly from the population.  The research suggests a strong relationship between environment and the development of psychosis, and provides clues about the mechanisms leading to severe mental illness.  As a clinician what are your thoughts about how childhood trauma affects the developing brain? What factors do you believe increase vulnerability or resilience to traumatic events?  How does this new information impact how you might work with patients with psychoses and other severe conditions?

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120419102440.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+sciencedaily/top_news/top_health+(ScienceDaily:+Top+News+–+Top+Health)

(Mis)diagnosing A.D.H.D. in Children

April 27th, 2012 by
Current research suggests attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is significantly over-diagnosed in children.  In a recent study, child and adolescent mental health professionals tended to give a diagnosis of ADHD based on unclear rules, rather than by adhering to recognized diagnostic criteria–with boys being substantially more often misdiagnosed than girls.  A second study found that many children were misdiagnosed with A.D.H.D. when in fact they had an entirely different problem: a sleep disorder.  As a clinician, how do you diagnose A.D.H.D. in children?  How does this research support or challenge your understanding and identification of the diagnosis?  What might the impact of this be on your clinical practice?

Can trauma be an opportunity for transformation?

April 4th, 2012 by

Contemporary research has begun to focus on the phenomenon coined as “post-traumatic growth”– how survivors of trauma rebuild and transform their lives in ways they may not have if they had not experienced acute suffering.   Trauma survivors are often forced to grapple with questions about existence, and through this search for meaning may end up developing more spiritually satisfying lives, renewed strength and deepened relationships with self and others.  How as a clinician do you think about trauma, resilience and growth?  How do your thoughts inform your approach to treatment of P.T.S.D.?

http://nyti.ms/GOsKSD

Time-Limited Dynamic Psychotherapy

March 7th, 2012 by

On March 31st Hanna Levenson, PhD and Sam Jinich, PhD will lead a seminar as part of our professional development series on Time-Limited Dynamic Psychotherapy and Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy.

To learn more about her perspectives on time-limited dynamic psychotherapy, here is an interview Dr. Levenson did on the topic with psychotherapy.net:

www.psychotherapy.net/interview/hanna-levenson

For more information about Hanna Levenson, see www.hannalevenson.com

To register for the workshop, please visit our website at:

http://www.cipmarin.org/pages/-shopping/shopping-sp__time.htm

 

Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy by Sam Jinich, PhD

February 28th, 2012 by

On March 31st Hanna Levenson, PhD and Sam Jinich, PhD will lead a seminar as part of our professional development series on Time-Limited Dynamic Psychotherapy and Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy.

Below is an article detailing EFT by Dr. Jinich.  To learn more about the presenters and their workshop, and to register visit our website at  http://www.cipmarin.org/pages/dev/development/seminars_professionals.htm

EMOTIONALLY FOCUSED COUPLES THERAPY

Sam Jinich, PhD

Most couple/marital therapies lack a theory of love as a foundation of their therapeutic technique and approach even though the primary focus for the therapy is related to love. They focus instead on theories that explore the need for separation and differentiation from our partners, on techniques to negotiate better agreements and contracts, on insights as to the deeper psychodynamic reasons why we choose who we choose to be our mates, and on understanding the reasons why we neurotically repeat the traumas and dramas and challenges of our childhoods. Couple therapist’s strategies are most commonly psychodynamic, cognitive, psycho-educational, and behavioral.

The kind of therapy I do with couples is based on an emotionally focused approach known as Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT), developed by Dr. Susan Johnson. When couples disagree, most repeat the following disruptive pattern: blame, criticize, defend, express contempt, distance, and emotionally or physically withdraw. Distress is not about how many fights you have or even if you resolve the fights. Distress is about how you fight, and whether you can retain some sort of emotional connection after the fight. While traditional types of marital counseling tend to be open-ended and seek to solve immediate problems, such as continual arguing, by focusing primarily on behavior change and communication skills, the EFT approach hones in on increasing a couple’s appreciation for how each partner feels in order to build trust and a secure base that they can each rely on. In this approach, couples learn to recognize the negative cycle they are stuck in, where one person criticizes and the other responds defensively or withdraws. Couples learn to identify the needs and fears that keep them stuck in that cycle. They learn to identify and express their underlying emotions from a more vulnerable position. Partners learn to empathize with each other and become more supportive of each other. Partners come together through the emotional needs they are each expressing, and can begin to comfort each other’s needs. As I see it, vulnerability is the necessary risk we must take in order to feel loved by our partners.

Until a couple is able to identify, acknowledge and ultimately forgive injuries, an emotional gulf persists between them. No matter how dissatisfying things have become and how unhappy or angry partners may be, they each need to feel safe in coming together to work out their problems. Each partner needs to understand the emotions dictating their actions. The emotions behind perceived problems are the key to understanding each other.

Thanks to recent advances in understanding the brain and its connection to our emotional lives, we can begin to understand the science behind emotions such as love.  As our species evolved, so did our brains. The first brain of our ancestors was reptilian. The reptilian brain is indifferent to the members of their species. They don’t feel anything when witnessing the death of their offspring. The second major development in our ancestor’s brains was the formation of the limbic brain. This is the center and source of emotions. After this evolution, mammals began to form close-knit, mutually nurturing social groups – families – where members spent time touching and caring for one another and playing. Mammals began to risk their lives to protect their offspring and their mate from attack. The newest development of the brain and the largest part of our brain is the neocortex. Speaking, writing, planning and reasoning, and what we know as awareness, all originate here.

John Bowlby’s Attachment research with infants serves as a foundational theory of love among adults. That’s because it is through studying our infants and babies and young children that we learn first hand about how we love and how we want to be loved. Babies constantly remind us of their needs and of our promise to them, and we all know how they react and feel when they don’t get held, soothed, fed, changed, or helped when they are in discomfort or pain.

Infants are born with their limbic systems open and unregulated. They are born with the capacity to feel deep emotions, but babies are not able to keep themselves in a state of equilibrium. In order to maintain equilibrium, babies require a consistent and committed relationship with one caring person.

This need to be LIMBICALLY REGULATED is a survival imperative. Deprived of this, the baby will fail to thrive and may die. (e.g. recall Harry Harlow’s studies with Rhesus monkeys. See a clip of the experiment by clicking on this link http://youtu.be/E2M6XBJEEFQ ).

All basic needs must be met through a relationship with a caregiver, and go far beyond the simple needs for food, sleep, and shelter. The mother or caretaker must attune to their baby’s signals, respond to the baby’s cues and engage with the baby. When in sync, both mom and baby feel positive emotions. If out of sync, the baby shows signs of stress, such as crying. (Protest). Humans find all kinds of ways to signal a need for re-attunement. Babies cry, and we adults fight, yell, attack, withdraw, etc.

Deprivation, rejection, and abandonment by those we need the most are felt as a traumatic stressor. Seeking and maintaining contact with significant others is essential for humans to survive, and it is a human imperative that lasts across the lifespan. Developing a secure ATTUNED dependence fosters autonomy and self confidence.  EFT therapy affirms the importance of healthy dependence.

What is a healthy marriage? Click on this link to hear Sue Johnson answer the question:

http://youtu.be/1dab34E4ON0

When relationships offer a sense of felt security, individuals can reach out to each other and to others and deal with conflict and stress positively. These relationships tend to be more stable and more satisfying.

EFT is a powerful therapeutic approach for working with couples.

EFT therapists:

        • Understand the drama of distress.
        • Can assess the strength of the bond between partners.
        • Can see how distress is maintained by absorbing states of negative emotion.
        • Can identify rigid and constricted patterns of interaction that make sense to the therapist, such as Attack, Blame, Pursue, VS Avoid, Distance, Reject, and Withdraw.
        • Can clearly see how these rigid patterns prevent the safe emotional engagement that is necessary for secure bonding to occur between partners.
        • Rather than view partners as sick, developmentally delayed, or unskilled EFT therapists view them as stuck in habitual ways of dealing with emotions, and stuck in habitual ways of engaging with others at key moments.
        • View emotion as the target and the agent of change.
        • Consider therapeutic change as requiring new experiences and key relationship events. The EFT therapist choreographs therapeutic enactments and creates opportunities for deeper connection and safe engagement in the therapy.

Watch a three minute clip of a therapy session demonstration with Sue Johnson.

http://www.psychotherapy.net/video/johnson-emotionally-focused-therapy

 

 

The Power of Introverts

January 30th, 2012 by

Introverts make up a third of the population, but sometimes feel alienated in a dominant culture geared toward extroverts. Often erroneously diagnosed with social anxiety and other disorders, introverts tend to be misunderstood and overly pathologized, but in reality offer important contributions to society. In her new book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, Susan Cain presents her perspective on introversion, examining misconceptions and offering possibilities for authenticity in an extroverted culture. What’s been your experience of introversion, in your practice and elsewhere? If you’re an introvert, how has that influenced your work? Join the discussion on CIP’s Facebook page!
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-power-of-introverts&WT.mc_id=SA_Facebook