authenticity

3 Reasons Why “Fake It Til You Make It” is Great Advice

Change. Loss. A Slump. Trauma. There’s a lot of ways to get thrown off balance and feel like you’ll never get up. We often think that healing will bring back our equilibrium but sometimes, in order to heal, we need to get some equilibrium first. I know a lot of people who spend all their time acting like they’re feeling great when they’re not, and that’s a terrible way to live. I’m not talking about a permanent move toward acting like things are perfect. I’m not talking about lying to yourself or anyone else when things are really tough right now. I’m talking about setting into motion a habit of functioning as though the world is still turning. It’s really the sort of thing people mean when they talk about putting one foot in front of the other. So here are three steps to get your started.
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General

Check Out These Trauma Posts!

Last week I wrote that it was After Trauma’s two year anniversary. That’s a long time in the life of a blog, and also for trauma work. The previous post celebrated the top 5 most liked posts. This post is the five posts that I’m most proud of (excluding the ones from last week), and that didn’t get the attention I thought they deserved.

Posts I think You’ll Enjoy

5 Types of Book Resources That Can Help
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books

Two Years After Trauma: What’s New

After Trauma started 2 years ago. Since the last anniversary, I left DC Rape Crisis Center, moved to Ghana and started working with children and adults who have developmental disabilities. In the next year, I plan to move back to Washington, DC and resume private practice with adults who have complex trauma. That’s a lot of change! And as I grow as a clinician and a human being, I hope that After Trauma continues to deepen and grow as well. To honor this occasion and the commitment it takes to continue a blog for two years, here is a review of this year’s most popular posts. Next week, I’ll share some of my favorite posts that you might have missed.

Top Posts

Infertility is Trauma, Physical and Emotional
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trauma therapy

I Want Training–Where Do I Start?

In a previous post, I discussed the development of my therapist toolbox, and how many therapists gradually integrate complementary skills that they can use with many different clients. Today, I want to go deeper where this knowledge is and how do people get it. This is both for new therapists, but also clients who want a clearer picture on therapist training, and so they can ask their therapist what they mean if they say they have trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy, for example.
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trauma therapy

Is this Therapist a Well-Trained Professional or Unqualified Hack?

I once met an art therapist who was providing individual therapy for PTSD and had just learned what a flashback was—from the client she was treating. Yet therapist can also mean licensed clinician with years of training and supervision. Meanwhile a good friend of mine just became a coach after years of rigorous coursework and consultation—and this on top of the fact that she’s a licensed professional counselor. (Denver peeps check her out). But there are other life coaches with only a few hours of training. Obviously, "therapist" and "coach" can mean a lot of different things. Here’s your guide to sorting out the highly trained professionals from the unqualified hacks (or to prevent you from accidentally paying money to a hack-creating organization when you’re trying to become a qualified professional!).

Certificates, Accreditations and Licenses, Oh My! What Does This Stuff Mean?

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boundaries

Are You Re-Enacting These Trauma Patterns in Therapy?

Patterns that reenact past traumatic relationships can be introduced into therapy by either the client or the therapist.   When a client is playing out previous experiences, it can be therapeutic for therapist to skillfully manage the introduction of one of these dynamics. Conversely it can be traumatic for an unskilled therapist to confirm the client's previous experiences of unhealthy interaction. When a client introduces one of these dynamics, a skilled therapist will pass through the content (why can’t you call my landlord) and explore the process of the issue (what does it mean when I say “no”. Other people in your life said “no” and sometimes that was life-threatening, like when you were being abused and asked for help).
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books

4 Great Books About Trauma That You Didn’t Know Were About Trauma

I’ve been reading a lot of really good books lately that are teaching me things about trauma and I can’t resist the urge to pass along some of their wisdom. These books are not overtly about personal trauma experiences, but they teach about how systems respond, how people can be resilient and above all, recover and just may teach you something about your own experience.
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General

Lessons from the Sea

Ever watched the tide roll in, á la Smokey Robinson? Every year seems to bring new ways to be entertained and it’s often difficult to be content watching more repetitive phenomenon, like a crackling fire or a sleeping baby. Yet both of these can be transfixing, and as more people practice mindfulness they discover the peace that comes with centering on a recurring act. I think of watching high tide rise. In typical American fashion, I am searching for the apex, that point where it will go no higher. How high will that be? How will I know?

Lesson One: No Constant Rise

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