An Experiential Workshop for Psychotherapists, Counselors, Body Workers
and others in the helping professions
PRESENTER:  Narelle McKenzie, MA
 August 16, 2017                9:00 am – 5:00 pm     
Sandman Suites on Davie, Vancouver, B.C.
Registration Fee CAN$125

Today we live in a world where nothing is certain. We no longer live in small communities where everyone is known. No longer is there a job for life. We don’t know what to trust in the media—is it true or is it false? Our lifestyles have become more fluid, which can be challenging for our personal relationships.
Living in such a world brings unsettling disturbances to our sense of the ground beneath our feet. We long for more certainty in our lives and less unpredictability. Perhaps, however, the question is not “How can I make my life more predictable?” but “How can I develop confidence in living when I don’t know or trust that I have the resources to deal with the unpredictable?”

For those of us in the helping professions, this issue is even more complex. How do we suspend our training and knowledge and the transferential pressures of our clients, to be truly present in every session while still being with them in their uncertainty? What assists us to enter the world of our clients with an openness to their experience and process, at times not knowing where we are going?
This one day workshop will be blend of didactic and experiential sessions for members of the helping professions. We will explore how we can access our body and its inner resources so that we may develop greater confidence in living with both “knowing” and “not knowing,” and trusting in our capacity to deal with the unpredictable, as it will inevitably arise. We’ll explore how we might work with others to develop this capacity for themselves. Participants will experience how working from this framework enhances their comfort with not knowing, empowers the process of the client and embodies the spiritual with the emotional and the physical.  In particular, emphasis will be given to how attending to our body and theirs can help us be able to sit with our clients in their difficult feelings without necessarily trying to make them feel better, but in fact, to be able to increase their tolerance for those uncomfortable feelings.

Presenter  Narelle McKenzie is a registered psychologist and somatic psychotherapist in Melbourne, Australia, with over thirty five years experience of working in private practice with adults, adolescents, families, couples and groups. She has a Masters degree in developmental psychology and extensive experience and training in psychotherapy.   As part of her private consultancy, Narelle has led experiential and training workshops in somatic psychotherapy throughout Australia and in the USA and has taught courses in these areas at undergraduate and graduate level at universities in Australia.  She is the Director and a Senior Trainer of the Australian Radix Training Centre and The Radix Institute, USA, which offer national training programs in Radix body-centered psychotherapy.Visit radix.org or email information@radix.org for more information.

Radix Workshop Vancouver

Save the Date!!

Somatic Psychology Events Presents

” Keeping Our Bodies in the Room: The Relevance of Bodily Experience in Psychotherapy Training and Practice”

with William Cornell and Jon Sletvold

November 11-12, 2017, 9AM-5PM

David Brower Conference Center

Berkeley CA

This conference brings together two dynamic clinician-authors at the heart of the contemporary discourse on the place of the body and somatic experience in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. The program will combine conceptual elements with discourse, clinical and supervisory examples, demonstrations of training and supervision techniques, and a good deal of experiential work drawn from the speakers many decades as clinicians and trainers. This diversely formatted program will appeal to psychodynamic and analytic clinicians, those involved in the training and supervision of psychotherapists, and somatic psychotherapists  who want to experience the clinical and training styles of these internationally known body psychotherapy innovators. William Cornell MA is a body psychotherapist, author and international trainer integrating  relational psychoanalysis and somatic psychotherapy paradigms. His most recent book Somatic Experience in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy (2015) is among the latest volumes in the Relational Perspective Book Series. He is the author of Handbook of Body Psychotherapy and Somatic Psychology chapters on “Entering the Erotic Field: Sexuality in Body-Centered Psychotherapy” and “Entering the Relational Field in  Body Psychotherapy”. Bill has been a central figure in the ongoing dialogue between psychodynamic relational perspectives, two-body models of therapy, and the body psychotherapy community. Jon Sletvold,  Psy.D is the author of The Embodied Analyst – From Freud and Reich to Relationality, winner of the 2015 Gradiva Award from the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis. Jon is founding  Board Director, Faculty, Training and Supervising analyst at the Norwegian Character Analytic Institute, and former chair of the Psychotherapy Specialty Board of the Norwegian Psychological Association. He has  published articles particularly on the role of the body in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. He is co-editor of two books: Den terapeutiske dansen [The therapeutic dance] and Karakteranalytiske dialoger  [Character analytic dialogues] and the editor of Tage Philipson – Kjærlighet og identifisering [Tage Philipson – Love and Identification].

Registration and Information will soon follow this announcement.  Information on  early registration and discounts for students and alumni of co-sponsoring institutions will follow.

Professional CEUs will be available for most clinical professions.

Contact Mark Ludwig LCSW at mludwiglcsw@gmail.com for further information.

 

Experience AST MODEL® Live or LIVE STREAMED from anywhere in the world with Developer Caryn Scotto d’ Luzia, MA, SEP

Morning Program 10:00 am – 12:30 pm

Please join AST Model® developer, Caryn Scotto d’Luzia, on April 8th, in Laurel MD, outside  Silver Spring, Maryland for a LIVE Intro to the AST Model®.

This event will include 14 paradigm shifts of AST Model® theory, dynamic group work, and a live Demo. Find out what it takes to  move core stuckness forward.

Afternoon Program 1:00 – 4:00 pm

Watch Caryn work with clients on the spot weaving AST Model principles, techniques and attunement. Then hear her pull out and explain important teaching points and debrief the demos in details through Q A from students and participants.

Location: Private Address 15 Minutes Outside of Downtown Silver Spring, Laurel, MD 20707

register: https://www.re-embodylife.com/product/ast-model-live-silverspring/

or call 877-640-7337.

 

 

 

Help Your Clients Resolve Shame & Build Resilience

The gold standard in shame resolution endorsed by Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute and integrates easily with other approaches.

Experience AST MODEL® Live with Developer Caryn Scotto d’ Luzia

Please join AST Model® developer on May. 6th, from 1-4pm in Chapel Hill, NC, for a LIVE Intro to the AST Model®. This event will include 14 paradigm shifts of AST Model® theory, dynamic group work, and a live Demo. Find out what it takes to  move core stuckness forward. You will never experience shame  the same way again. Space is limited, and once filled, we will  take names on a waiting list basis. Don’t miss this rare opportunity.

https://www.re-embodylife.com/product/ast-model-live-intro-chapel-hill/

or call 877-640-7337

 

 

 

AST Model® for SEPs: 3 Semester Intensive Online Course: Intersection between Shame & Trauma Designed for More Effective Client Outcomes
taught by AST Model of Holistic Shame Resolution® Developer Caryn Scotto d’ Luzia, MA, SEP

Like trauma, specific skills are required to make it possible to fully resolve shame and end the redundant neuro-chemical looping of shame cycles. Yet, shame’s resolution has often been misunderstood by most models including somatic-based approaches. This online course will introduce SEPs to why the complex nature of shame sometimes makes its resolution elusive, and how through the AST Model®’s unique neuro-biological approach offers SEPs missing tools that can create sustainable and deeply gratifying shame relief and life-affirming shifts that transform lives.

AST Model®’s inspiring lens is designed to address working with shame’s challenges and clients with whom nothing seems to work. Participants will have the opportunity to learn to apply familiar SE concepts such as collapse, titration, orienting, protective defenses and uncoupling dynamics differently than in SE shock trauma sessions

or call 877-640-7337

 

When we help clients neurobiologically separate out early shame from grief, we bring them to the awareness of how present day experiences are actually a confusing entanglement of calling cards from the past. As the responses separate and integrate with support into the client’s present day self, a felt sense of choice and autonomy emerge.

A Client Scene:

“It happens every time no matter what I say or how nice I try to be. My husband starts scolding me and I collapse.” Megan’s gaze sadly drifts to the left.

“When you feel that in your body, how old are you?” I ask.

“Young. It’s like I want my father’s love, and I know I’m not good enough.” She shrugs.

“How does this feel to the adult you?”

“Well, I know the not being good enough is not true.” She shrugs again. There’s silence.

Read More here at Inside Shame Transformation Blog by Caryn Scotto d’ Luzia, MA, SEP, AST Model Developer

The Moving Body in the Healing Journey

Tina Stromsted, PhD., BC-DMT, interview with Ariana Gray

April 4th – 11th, 2017

Join me for this exciting free online summit! Filled with personal experiences and ground-breaking research, you will hear from 22 expert helping professionals who delve into everything from creativity and spirituality to finances, personal relationships, physical health, and the relationship with oneself.

My interview explores my journey as a Jungian analyst and Dance/Movement Therapist and how I integrate movement, and body wisdom into my professional practice. How do we maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle and emotional well-being when dealing with challenges and struggles that all helping professionals face? 

I will also be offering a free gift with my interview. 

The summit will run for seven days. Each day during the summit, you will receive an email that will profile three speakers. You will have access to every interview for 48 hours. Enjoy while you listen from home, your office, or on the go! 

Click here for more information and registration.

 

This workshop introduces participants to the basic principles and skills of the Hakomi Method to support personal and professional development. The goal of Hakomi is to uncover and alter unconscious motivations, beliefs and outdated frames of reference that negatively affect mood and relationships with self and others. The method uses experiments conducted in mindfulness and body awareness to gather information about unconscious processes. These techniques, coupled with the attuned presence of the therapist, access implicit memories and gently reorganize entrenched neural patterns.

In this workshop, you will: Learn how to turn awareness inward for self-study, and how mindfulness can infuse this exploration with a sense of curiosity and compassion. Explore ways the body archives experience and expresses our deepest beliefs about life. Practice using mindful experiments and the body to identify and eventually transform unconscious, limiting core beliefs.

The workshop will consist of a balance of talks, experiential exercises, discussion and personal reflection, with an emphasis on skills that can be readily applied following the workshop. This workshop offers the opportunity to experience the Hakomi method of psychotherapy. It is suitable for those working therapeutically with clients and those wishing to deepen their own self understanding. It will be of value to psychotherapists, counsellors, psychologists and other practitioners who are interested in learning more about Hakomi or are considering enrolling in the Hakomi Professional Training.

LOCATION:British School of Shiatsu-Do, London, England

DATES: 26-28, May 2017

SCHEDULE: Friday 17.30-20.30 Saturday 10.00-18.00 Sunday 09.00-15.00

COST: Early Bird Registration 280£ if registered by April 1, 2017, 310£ thereafter. Meals and accommodations are not included. NOTE: This workshop is a prerequisite for the Level 1 Professional Hakomi training.

CONTACT: Noella at info@hakomimallorca.com or visit www.hakomimallorca.com

Our Winter issue is online now.  The current focus is on prenatal and perinatal psychology and health. We have articles on birth and rebirthing, early trauma and ways to heal it, and body-centered pregnancy.

Erik Jarlnaes shares an in-depth view of his rebirthing process while Sharon King talks about her Matrix Birth Reimprinting and the need for a new paradigm. Kate White and Ray Castellino write about the Womb Surround Process and Alex Lobba discusses Leadership: The Art of Relationships. We have book reviews and author interviews/reflections with Stella Acquarone, Terry Marks-Tarlow, and co-authors Joann O’Leary and Jane Warland.

We invite you to visit our new website, subscribe to our RSS feed and our magazine, follow us on Facebook, and be part of our new energy as we transition from a quarterly publication to a weekly news feed. Our goal is to share articles, current events and information, videos of interest for viewing and more on a daily to weekly basis.

 

In gratitude,

Nancy Eichhorn

Founding Editor-in-Chief, Somatic Psychotherapy Today

www.SomaticPychotherapyToday.com

nancy@somaticpsychotherapytoday.com

nancy@nancyeichhorn.com

Embodied Recovery 

A trauma-informed, relationally-oriented and somatically-integrated treatment

for eating disorders.

Embodied Recovery – is a cutting-edge approach to the treatment of eating disorders that draws from the latest research in traumatology, interpersonal neurobiology, and child development.

This pioneering somato-psycho-social approach highlights the body as a “re-source” in the recovery process rather than a source of distress to be managed. Our core principles address the intersection between somatic organization, the subjective experience of self, and our basic human need for attachment/bonding and protective defenses. The science behind the training is supported by the contributions of pioneers such as Peter Levine, Dan Seigel, Stephen Porges, Pat Ogden, Bonnie Bainbridge, and Allan Schore.

Participants will:

  • Learn basic symptomology of and DSM V diagnostic criteria for Eating Disorders.
  • Understand benefits and limitations of traditional ED treatment for In-patient, Residential, PHP (intensive outpatient), and outpatient levels of care.
  • Understand the ethics, efficacy, and protocol for usage of a team approach to treating eating disorders.
  • Gain skills in comprehensive assessment using the somato-psycho-social model.
  • Increase ability listen and communicate through the language of the body to access unprocessed trauma and attachment injuries.
  • Expand knowledge of the nervous system phases and strengthen skills to support affect regulation in individuals with eating disorders.
  • Deepen understanding of the neurobiology of trauma and attachment and their effect on eating and digestion.
  • Select specific somatic resources to facilitate embodiment, increase somatic attunement between client and therapist, and enhance effectiveness of current

Visit our website: www.Embodiedrecovery.org for information on our upcoming NC training designed for somatically integrated providers. 

This intensive residential workshop is designed to give practical, ready-to-use tools to psychotherapists who wish to extend their professional experience to incorporate the role of the body and emotions in their clinical work with original and effective practices based on the Radix approach. Radix is a psychotherapy approach centered on the body which stems from Wilhelm Reich’s intuitions and promotes healthy changes which can be presently perceived by patients. The word “Radix” means root but also source; it indicates the life stream present in every human being which generates and integrates emotions, body, mind and spirit.

The Radix approach attends to this stream to free clients from unhealthy body and mind habits; it enables them to reach a higher level of vitality.

SOFT CHARACTER STRUCTURES
Clients with early developmental traumas may not have a solid character structure. They may also lack energy. These factors may make it difficult for them to bring the insights they gain in a psychotherapy session spontaneously in their everyday lives. With a body-centered approach that is sensitive to the resources of these patients, it is possible help them develop a will, originating in a felt sense of the body, and they will be better able to connect what happens in their sessions to their everyday lives.

THE WORK ON THE EYE-SEGMENT
Wilhelm Reich inaugurated a precious field in psychotherapy working on the eye neuro-muscular segment movements. The Radix approach uses its principles and develops them, also in the light of Stephen Porges’s research. The patients’ eyes become an element of diagnosis, a way
to monitor the patient’s state of consciousness at once and an area of great therapeutic importance. The work on the eye-segment is the most distinctive tool in the Radix approach, differentiating it from other body- centered approaches.

Workshop Leaders: Narelle McKenzie, Director of Training of The Radix Institute, and Melissa Lindsay, Trainer with The Radix Institute.

Location: The “Centro d’Ompio” is an international center located by the Orta lake in northern Italy that hosts international seminars, workshops and trainings.  To view it visit www.ompio.org.

Registration Fee: The 5-days Intensive Workshop fee is of Euro 600. Cost of accomodation and food at “Centro D’Ompio” is Euro 200 all inclusive.  See brochures for details.

radix-training-workshop-milan-italy

by Sheila Rubin, LMFT, RDT/BCT

How do you deal with profound disappointment? With things not going the way you wanted—or expected?

How do you deal with disruption/change/shock/disorientation/feeling like the bottom just fell out and you don’t know which end is up? Several clients have spoken lately of feeling confounded: “…Like being in the middle of deep water, so I can’t touch down anywhere, and I don’t know which way land is. There’s nothing to hold onto. I’m disoriented and don’t know what to do—but I can’t stay where I am and have to do something.”

We are living in interesting times. Recently we had an election that is likely to be affecting all of us in a big way. Some people are hopeful. Some are feeling profoundly shocked or disappointed. Some are struggling with friends and family who don’t share their perspective; they feel angry and are wondering how to deal with it.

One client speaks about her family members as dancing on the edge of a progressive pin, trying to figure out who to blame when there is no right action. Some teens and adults are marching to protest and stand up for dignity, showing their feelings, opinions. How could that go against family values? But sometimes it does. How can we have a deeper discussion beyond politics and into real issues? On several therapy listservs there are therapists asking each other how to support their clients who are suddenly dealing with an increase in hate, oppression, violence in their school or community—somehow it is in fashion to put down people who are different. Even in California, bullying has increased in some schools. I read in the paper that Gavin Newsom declared Bay Area schools to be bully-free zones with zero tolerance for bullying, whatever the reason.

I tell my clients about the paradox: If we see the others as haters, and we “hate the haters,” don’t we become haters too? In this paradox there may be no familiar or right answer. But if we hate the others we all become enemies.

After the election, clients came in in different stages of frozenness or shock. And my work with them was to help them find their way forward or find their way to acknowledging the shame of feeling less than and thinking that something was going to happen that didn’t happen.

When we don’t get what we want, there can be grief. Familiar stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.

We may also respond with any or all of the four responses to shame:

  1. Attack Self
    For example: Shaming yourself for not making sure your friends went to vote or not knowing how to take helpful action yet.
  2. Attack Others
    Find the bad guy. When we blame or shame others, there is such a possibility of derision and a breaking down of family or community. This is where bullying and aggressiveness comes from.
  3. Denial
    “It doesn’t matter anyway.”
  4. Withdraw
    Some people just want to withdraw and not be political, not be part of the conversation, not be part of what’s going on. That is a common reaction to shame.

How do you hold yourself when you’re going through emotional turmoil? How do you not just survive but make it a meaningful experience?

There is the possibility of honoring grief, honoring what is lost, by finding a way, through creative expression, to build something to remember what has been lost. Rather than using anger to harm ourselves or try to destroy the other person or idea, we find a way to deal with our grief or shame that can go into a poem or song or work of art. Then there’s the possibility of hope.

The Jungian archetype of the shadow is being unleashed in these times of turmoil. This is the part of the psyche that is usually hidden or repressed, or denied. It’s like the tarot card of The Tower, where everything is turned upside down.

This is a time of shadow when maybe we don’t know darkness from light, right from wrong. Our careful job is to find our way through. Shame and the shadow? Shame is the shadow, the parts of ourselves we want no one to see. Shadow often gets projected onto others in order to try to ignore it or not deal with it.

My students and clients reminded me that the election results fell on the anniversary of Krystallnacht, “Crystal Night”—also referred to as “Night of Broken Glass”—on November 9 & 10 in 1938, when the Nazis started going after the Jews, torching homes, burning synagogues and killing close to 100 people. Before anyone in the world could even imagine what would happen. It was the beginning of something profoundly dark. Some of my clients, whose ancestors went through that, are reliving the terror of that time as they fear for their families now.  After I listen with great care, I’m reminding them that there is a difference this time. The difference is that our eyes are open now. And we can make a difference.

What can we do? We can put love first, put family first.

And we can use the idea of healthy shame to help us get through, take us to a place of seeing the big picture. What can we do differently to express our views more clearly? Maybe, at some point, have more humor about the situation. (But maybe not yet!) If we see someone being bullied or attacked, can we say something and not turn away? When we see someone hurting can we show up? Can we have compassion? Compassion is counter-shaming, it is connecting. Compassion is love in action. The best part of compassion is being able to love ourselves and talk kindly to ourselves and others whom we maybe don’t understand. If we can do that, can we extend that compassion to a relative who is different? Can we still love them? I hope so!

One way to move beyond these reactions to shame is to work with what is coming up with through creativity—which could take the form of a poem, a creative gesture… Ultimately it’s about choosing a creative action rather than a destructive action.

On the day after the election, when many of us were in shock, my neighbor asked me how I was doing and if I wanted to hear something hopeful. Then he played me something his granddaughter had posted on YouTube. She was saying, “Well, if you’re down, you just pick yourself up, and then you try it again and you get stronger.” It was inspiring to hear the strength in her young voice!

Wishing all of us some light to see in the darkness.

This article originally appeared on www.SheilaRubin.com.

© 2016 Sheila Rubin
www.SheilaRubin.com

By Sheila Rubin, LMFT, RDT/BCT

Once I was working with a woman who was feeling very lost in her life. She wasn’t sure if she even wanted to start a new job or a new relationship. I asked her what her picture was when she imagined getting a new job, and all she could picture was what happened in her last job: her co-worker and even her supervisor putting her down. I asked her what picture she imagined when she thought about a new relationship and she couldn’t even imagine that; she just kept saying over and over, “The last one wasn’t very good, so there must be something wrong with me.”

One day she came into the session with a dream. In her dream, she was seeing friends from long ago. I asked her how it was to see those friends from long ago.

She said, “There must be something wrong with me because they stopped being my friends.” I said, “It sounds like when you want to move forward, you get these thoughts that there’s something wrong with you.” She said, “Yes,” looking down.

I asked her to draw what it felt like inside when she had that thought. Instead of choosing any of the brightly colored chalk, pencils, or markers, she picked the blackest black and slowly covered the whole page with it. I said, “Wow…. That’s really something. No wonder you can’t move forward.” I asked how it was to draw her picture like that and to have it so black and to fill the whole page. She seemed encouraged by my support and said, “There’s more.” So I asked her to draw the “more.” And then there was a whole other level of black on top of the black.

It was very black, kinda take-your-breath-away black. So I wanted to acknowledge the darkness so she wasn’t alone with it. Then I brought in play. We started playing with this picture of the blackest blackest black. First we positioned it right in front of her, then slowly I moved it until it was all the way on the other side of the room. We began a process of acknowledging this black from the different distances. When it was far away from her, at one point she started to feel a little bit of hope. Then she remembered a tree she used to climb back when she was a tomboy, before she started wearing skirts and having to act “right.”  I had her draw the image of the tree and then I had her feel the sensation inside of her of the tree supporting her, back when she was a tomboy. Slowly we began to work with this symbol of protection. The tree would protect her from the blackness. When she started to have thoughts that there was something wrong with her, she could imagine sitting in the arms of tree and the tree saying to her, “It’s okay. You’re going to be okay.”

A while after that she had another dream that she brought in. This dream was about the boss who had put her down. We worked on symbolism and talked about the different roles in the dream and worked in the Imaginal Realm with the psychodrama technique of surplus reality and Jungian active imagination. Surplus reality is an extension of ordinary reality where we can use imagination to have a conversation with someone as we wish we could or to complete something we wish we had been able to complete. We can call on support from memories, TV, movies or dreams. With my client I suggested bringing in images that might protect and support her. She imagined the boss and then imagined a serpentine monster coming up and wrapping its tentacles around the boss, who was trying to run away. The monster was saying, “Listen to her.” Then we brought her into the picture. She was eventually able to say to her boss, “I wrote those reports but you put your name on them.” And then we brought me into the picture. I named what was going on and said to the boss, “That shamed her.” Then she said, “I felt discredited. I felt like I didn’t exist.” And so I said, “She felt like she didn’t exist and that was shaming to her.” Finally she got to say what she meant to say all the time! Eventually I had her go back into the scene. This time the boss said, “I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to shame you.”

When later I asked her to do another drawing of how she felt, instead of the blackest blackest black of her original picture, she used all these different colors—orange, blue, yellow—and the image was kind of like a butterfly. I asked her what the butterfly was about and she said, “I’m feeling a lot better today. Lighter.” I told her that the butterfly is a symbol of new direction and transformation and, some people believe, resurrection—coming back to life again. For her it was a powerful symbol because there was movement, color and lightness. Even though the real boss in real life had not apologized, even though the situation hadn’t actually changed in reality, she felt very different inside. Instead of “There’s something wrong with me” she was able to realize there was something right with her. As she healed from the constriction of all-pervasive shame, her life force energy came back to her. And she now was able to go out on job interviews and eventually get a job that she loved. Even though the work with her was just in my office, we were working with her imagination. We were able to work with the shame so that it wasn’t holding her back anymore. She was able to be different in the world.

At one point she asked, “Do I need to call my ex-boss and tell him what an a**hole he was?” I asked her if she needed to do that or if she felt different enough from the work we had done that she didn’t actually need to tell him anything. And she realized she was fine and didn’t need to do it.

The Imaginal Realm is a place where I can gently guide the client if the shame is all-pervasive, when their thoughts or their body is stuck. By leading them through an expressive arts, creative drama therapy artistic process, I can help them find a different role they have inside. In the case of this client, she was stuck with the automatic thought “There’s something wrong with me.” CBT seemed to work in our early sessions but would not correct her automatic thoughts “something’s wrong with me” and core belief about her worthlessness when she was out in the world. When we challenged her automatic thoughts she would try on the new belief of “There’s nothing wrong with me,” but then she’d feel embarrassed because she didn’t actually believe it and didn’t want to admit that. So she hid her shameful thoughts from me during the session—more shame to hide. By working in the Imaginal Realm, we were able to bypass that part of her that was judging her and keeping the shame so stuck. I was working with the introjects in the client’s imagination, which is more effective than working directly with her issues out in the world when there has been all pervasive shame.

Using imagination: This is Winnicott’s “play space,” this is Moreno’s “Tele,” it’s the Jungian Imaginal Realm, Psychodrama’s “surplus reality”… By guiding a client skillfully into it and then out of it back to their life, we can heal their shame in the Imaginal Realm and give them back roles to re-incorporate into their life, including roles that they’ve never had before. This woman eventually chose to becoming a big sister and mentor for kids (tomboys). She found her next job with delight and anticipation and enjoyed her new role of survivor rather than victim.

In dipping into psychodrama I want to acknowledge Jacob Moreno and his wife Zerka Moreno, who created psychodrama. Zerka just passed away recently. Thank you also to Adam Blatner and Eva Leveton and Sylvia Israel from whom I learned directly about psychodrama and surplus reality.

© 2016 Sheila Rubin

This article originally appeared on www.SheilaRubin.com – more information can be found at:  www.HealingShame.com

Often I notice that in the back and forth of the day to day, we can lose ourselves in one thing after another. Sometimes when we can put a name on to something that’s happening and pause, it can allow us to stop and be in the moment in a more embodied way.

Let me give you a few examples. A couple from my practice told me how one day in the middle of their usual argument about who was going to pick up their daughter, who was going to buy the groceries, etc., instead of escalating the argument, the fellow said to his wife, “I want to thank you for choosing me so long ago.” She was surprised to hear this, because he’d never said it before, and she stopped everything to listen to more. He said that after talking to an old friend from high school, he’d been daydreaming about the past and he’d realized that his life had gotten more on track after their relationship had started, so many years ago. She was surprised and happy that he’d said that. And they paused in their morning routine for a deeper sharing of the amazing life that they had together. In the midst of the stress and the struggle, he said that to her. And she felt touched.

Another couple from my practice, who have been together for about 15 years, had a different issue. She would keep bringing up with him how alone she had felt in raising their children. He couldn’t understand why she kept complaining about the same thing, which had happened so long ago. He couldn’t understand what the problem was. He kept responding by saying, “What’s the problem? I’m here all the time. You’re not alone.” During a session, I had her tell her story and name the deep emotions under her pain, and I had him listen to her detail the emotion of feeling completely alone. He was then able to begin to understand that part of her pain came from his trying to talk her out of her feelings by continuing to tell her that she wasn’t alone. She felt as though it denied her experience and left her feeling unheard and very alone with her pain. By stopping to name the emotions—her shame of not being heard, which left her feeling isolated and alone, and his shame of believing that if she wasn’t happy it was his fault, which made it so that he couldn’t even hear her pain—they were able to hear each other, acknowledge what was going on, and move on from the past.

With another couple who was having difficulty communication. So during a session I had each of them do a “frozen sculpture” based on the dynamic between them, where they each took a posture relating to how they were feeling. Then I had them each give their postures a title. Partner A called her posture “Before the Storm” and Partner B called hers “The Ocean Wave.” When I had Partner B bring her sculpture to life, the other watched in horror, saying, “That’s terrifying! It’s like a huge ocean wave and I’m on the shore as it’s bearing down on me. It feels like I’m going to be washed away! That’s what it feels like when we get into an argument.” Then I had her take on a posture of how she felt in response to that. She curled up in a fetal position like a small child, looking away with a frightened expression. When her partner saw her in that terrified place, she asked, “Is that what happens when I get loud? I only get loud because I think you’re trying to run away from me.” Partner B responded, “I only run away from you because I get scared.” So in the session we worked with that: the ocean wave and the other running away scared. I had them play that out together. We named the parts of their cycle and found it didn’t matter where it started—it turned into a free flowing movement. Then I asked the partner who was the scared child, “What’s a different way this could be? How can we re-choreograph this pattern?” She said, “I wish the wave would stay over there and the ocean would be calm. Then I could come there more easily.” Then they played that out and found a different dance in the back and forth flow between them. She was able to move toward the ocean, and instead of a huge, intense wave forming, the ocean wave got smaller and there was actually a gentle movement back and forth from the dance. I pointed out the beautiful co-creation that was happening between them and had them name what this new dance was. Instead of “Crashing Waves” they called it “Our Ocean Dance.” Then they set a plan for how they could be aware of their dynamic outside of the session. Instead of one feeling the blame and shame of feeling too loud and frightening her partner and the other feeling the shame of being bullied in the “Crashing Waves” dynamic, they were about to do the “Ocean Dance.” Both were included and both participated without watching for their hurt or scared places.

Being able to name something and pause rather than just react in the usual ways can create space for deeper connection. When there is deeper connection there is less need to blame or feel shame. People feel connected and it is a fun connection.

Originally published September 5, 2016 on www.SheilaRubin.com.

 

Is Your Cell Phone Getting in the Way of Your Relationship?

I had a client a few years ago who called me very upset because his wife had thrown his Blackberry out the window.

You might be surprised, but attachment injuries can be caused by an electronic device!

Nowadays many kids as well as adults are texting or even talking on their cell phones during dinner, if they even eat dinner together. Often spouses are texting or talking on their phones while they’re trying to have a conversation with each other. There is something almost unnoticed that can happen when one person turns away from their partner or child—and toward the electronic device.

Sue Johnson says that we are wired to connect with each other. The building of a secure base happens when there’s a lot of eye contact and talking about things and checking in and being there for each other. Our nervous system is affected when we feel connected to the people in our lives. Our nervous system is also affected if we think we don’t matter to the people we’re close to. Bolby wrote: “We determine who we are through the eyes of those we love.”

Yes, technology is very helpful in finding a movie, a restaurant, a babysitter—but that same technology can get in the way of an intimate moment or trying to get one’s point across.

With the couple that came in about the flying Blackberry, I gently helped them unpack their emotions. The wife spoke of her frustration with her husband who, when he got home after being at work all day, instead of talking to her first thing, he was still talking to his electronic device. I asked her how she felt and she said she felt like she didn’t matter and didn’t mean anything to him. When she saw him look away from her, she felt invisible. Even though he tried to correct her by saying, “I’m talking to work—I’m trying to arrange things so we can go on our vacation,” she felt dismissed and completely in the shadows. Then, when they got to their vacation, she saw his Blackberry and exploded—by throwing it out the window.

I asked her to tell me more. She said, “I don’t know. I finally had some time with him. We were away by ourselves, we were in the woods, and I just really wanted to be together.” I asked if her throwing his Blackberry out the window was a way to feel more assured that she was going to keep his attention during the trip, and she said yes. She said, “I hate to feel this way. Sometimes I think he loves his Blackberry more than me.” I asked her how lonely it must be to feel like her husband was choosing technology over her. She said it was breaking her heart and she had kept her feelings inside until the moment she couldn’t take it anymore.

Her husband was surprised to hear that she had all these feelings, and he apologized for causing her pain. I asked him if he realized how much she was hurting, and he said he had no idea.

I had them look at each other then and acknowledge the hurt in her eyes. I also wondered if, when she was feeling like she didn’t matter, there was some embarrassment or shame around that. She said that she felt so much shame to be having these intense feelings about how much she hated his phone.

It turns out that he had some feelings of shame as well, that when he would come home and she didn’t greet him, he would feel bad, like he had failed. And so he was not feeling good about himself either. And it almost didn’t matter if he turned to his Blackberry first, so that he could avoid seeing the sad look in her eyes, or if she turned away in order not to feel the rupture. Both of them were disconnected and hurt and not able to talk about any of it, until the flying Blackberry incident brought them into therapy.

As we were together, we developed a new appreciation for his Blackberry as a way for him to stay connected with work yet without it getting in the way of their relationship. Sometimes he would leave it in the car or put it in his desk, and then he’d say to her, “You know, I’m choosing you. My Blackberry is in the car.” And they’d laugh together.

So what about other situations, such as two people watching TV together while one is on their device?

This happens a lot. It used to be that watching TV together was like “parallel play,” where people are not making eye contact but they’re watching the same thing and laughing and making their own comments about the show. So they’re together in a casual, free-flowing way. But now a change is that even though they’re sitting together, one or both are on devices and their attention is turned away from the shared activity. And so the bonding may be less than it could be.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s important to be aware of what’s going on and to have communication about it. Maybe to say, “I am going to watch the show with you, but I also need to be texting my friend or working or organizing my photos.” It used to be that people were working in separate places in the house, but now they can be working while sitting together, due to our wonderful devices.

All of this can be negotiated and talked about. Maybe you decide not to have any technology at the dinner table. Or you have a cell phone-free zone in the house. Each family is going to be different.

The vital thing is to understand the attachment issue, because if the attention is going to be broken, we need to be aware of how that affects someone and be able to talk about the feelings that come up.

Gershon Kaufman says that shame is the rupture of the interpersonal bridge. Ruptures can be subtle misattunements with attention. So, for example, if you shift eye contact from the other person to your technology, the other person may feel like there’s been a disconnection and feel shame.

So, the flying Blackberry incident was a couple years ago. Now many couples and families I work with have some attachment injury as a result of technology. It’s not the tech itself, it’s the moment of  turning away from relationship that can have one partner feel that they’ve been cut off; it may feel painful or shaming. In the dynamic with my husband, sometimes he hates it when I’m on my cell phone, so I ask him about it first, so he feels included, or I just make calls in my home office so he doesn’t feel excluded. When we were on our recent trip in the mountains, I put it away and I didn’t watch TV or do any cell phone work for about 10 days—and we’re so much closer now!

How is technology handled in your family?

This article originally appeared on www.SheilaRubin.com August 3, 2016.

Advanced professional training in Mindful Awareness in Body-oriented Therapy (MABT) will be held in Seattle, WA November 28 – Dec 2, 2016, through the Center for Mindful Body Awareness.  An evidence-based protocol designed to teach interoceptive awareness and related skills for emotion regulation. Particularly useful for individuals who are disconnected from their bodies due to stress, pain, & trauma. This in-depth course is designed to train professionals how to teach their clients to:

  • Access interoceptive awareness
  • Increase the capacity to attend to inner body experience
  • Integrate experience through cognitive appraisal
  • Develop skills and practices that can be  integrated into daily life for self-care

Early bird discount available until August 31st.

A newly published book titled Integrative Pain Management  covers integrative health strategies to address pain.  This book includes a chapter titled “Body Awareness and Pain” by Cynthia Price and Wolf Mehling that discusses the role of body/interoceptive awareness for helping people with chronic pain and provides a clinical vignette to demonstrate how to integrate this work into practice.  

Date: June 24th-25th, 2016

Time: 9-5pm

Location: American Mountaineering Company, Golden CO

Title: Eating Attachment and Somatic Education Training (EASE)

Fee: group and student fees available

Eating disorders are complex, multi-layered, and pernicious. And yet even the best evidenced-based interventions currently available have limited long-term outcomes. Paradoxically, the body, the very stage where the war is waged is often missing in most eating disorder treatment approaches. In recent years there has been burgeoning evidence in the role of the body in emotional regulation. Drawing from pioneers such as Peter Levine, Pat Ogden, Allan Schore, Bessel Van Der Kolk, and Dan Seigel, and Stephen Porges, the Eating, Attachment and Somatic Education Training (EASE) is designed to bridge the gap between traditional eating disorder therapy and cutting-edge approaches that highlight the crucial role of attachment, the body, and the neurobiological processes that govern affect regulation. This two-day training integrates theory with experiential and didactic opportunities for professionals to expand skills and discover the untapped resource of the body in healing from disordered eating.

Presenters:

Paula Scatoloni, LCSW, CEDS, SEP is a somatic-based psychotherapist and certified IAEDP supervisor. The former Eating Disorder Coordinator at Duke University, Paula has been providing lectures on the etiology and treatment of disordered eating for almost two decades. She also opened the first intensive outpatient program for eating disorders in the nation with Dr. Anita Johnson and provides an in-depth perspective on the role of metaphor as it manifests in the body. Paula is currently in collaboration with researchers in her area to design the first study on the use of Somatic Experiencing with individuals with bulimia nervosa.

Inge Sengelmann, LCSW, SEP, RYT-500 is a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, Dialectal Behavioral Specialist, and tantric hatha yoga teacher. She was the original clinical team member at the Oliver Pyatt Center and founding member of Miami’s first intensively-trained DBT consultation team. She has taught workshops locally, nationally, and internationally on eating disorders and related concerns. She is the author of It’s Time to EAT: Embody, Awaken, and Transform Our Relationship With Food, Body, and Self.

Contact Inge Sengelmann at ease4eds@gmail.com for more information or visit our website: www.EASE4EDS.com to register.

 

HealingRetreatTruroMay12-15

Join us (Andrew Hahn, Psy.D. and Joan T Beckett, LMHC) for a healing experiential weekend that will help you release traumas so you are able to live a fully engaged, feeling, thoughtful life.

The weekend begins with naming what you would like to change in your life. Over the course of 3 days we will work together, utilizing the wisdom of the body & the power of the collective to release & shift these limitations and enhance our capacity to live a vibrant, joyful life – bringing us to a re-membering of ourselves.

Space limited to 8 (several more than 8 if there are couples who share a bed). All rooms in the light & spacious beach home have an ocean view. Your dietary limitations taken into account.

More info: http://guidedselfhealing.org/Calendar%20of%20Events.html

www.guidedselfhealing.org

 

Are your clients stressed? Out of touch with what they’re really feeling? Getting stuck in story-telling?

With our Level One Focusing course and Healing Professionals Track, we’ll begin to teach you how the body-based practice of Focusing can help your clients go deeper and achieve greater change.

Focusing encourages people to engage with feelings that come up when they sense inside. With this type of attention, emotions get what they need in order to transform.

We’ll show you how even the most difficult emotions can be sources of positive change and growth.

FIND OUT MORE ON FOCUSING RESOURCES WEBSITE

Not Sure About Focusing Yet? Want a Free Taste of What You’ll Learn?

Let us show you how Focusing can help in as little as one hour. Join us on April 20th from 11:00am to 12:15pm Pacific for a Free* Inner Relationship Focusing Training Program Open House where you can hear about:

  • 3 powerful ways to shift emotional states to calm instead of stressed
  • How bringing more listening into relationships lets everyone get smarter and kinder
  • Why the body is actually wiser than the thinking mind about what really matters
  • And if you’re a healing professional, we’ll show you how Focusing can bring your work with clients to a whole new level

You’ll also meet our program faculty. Learn about the content, format and structure of the program. Please feel free to bring your burning questions about Focusing.

Secure Your Spot Today!

*toll charges may apply