Archives for July, 2010


PTSD, Addiction, and Healing with Horses: Part Two

Angel Smile Farm Let’s talk about the horses! Can you describe how you incorporate working with horses? What does a program or session look like?

In both trauma and addiction, interpersonal relationships are a stumbling block.  In trauma the fear of intimacy, loss in relationships, and broken trust is so profound that many traumatized people isolate to the point of alienation from human-human contact.

In addiction there is often an initial fear of social or interpersonal relationships that feeds the addiction and then the addiction becomes priority over any human relationship.  Both groups of people have to start from the beginning with relational experience and they are often stunted and years behind in their emotional/relational growth process.

Horses are both empathic and intuitive creatures. They are also without judgment, betrayal, or dishonesty that can be found in personal relationships.  They work as a bridge between human-human bonding and teach people who have experienced emotional pain to come back to affection and intimacy in a healthy way.

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Inception: Have Your Dreams Changed Your Life?

The new film Inception has brought dreams and dreaming back into the public eye. With new and not so new insights into dreams and nightmares (and more insights into nightmares),  there are still plenty of people who doubt the importance of dreams. Of course others including us, feel dreams have  impacted how we reflect on and understand our lives. What do you think? What do your friends think?
Weekly Poll Number 4
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PTSD, Addiction, and Healing with Horses: Part One

Part One

Welcome, Teresa. Thank you for taking the time to talk to us.

The same feelings that are part of a traumatic reaction are exactly the same feelings that can trigger a relapse to substance abuse. We see so many people whose trauma precipitated their initial drug or alcohol abuse. Can you tell us a little bit first about the work you are doing in trauma and addiction—two subjects that are often related.

I have worked both in settings that emphasize treatment of trauma as the primary area of focus as well as in settings where addiction was the primary issue.  In both I have found that the overlapping qualities between addiction and trauma are overwhelming and, much as you stated above, those “uncontrollable” feelings that can be at the core of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are similar to the “uncontrollable” feelings that lead to self-medication, addiction, and relapse in addiction.  This is often why, also the two diagnosis and issues overlap. 
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God in Therapy: Feel This!

*CR and I wrote and pre-posted this yesterday.

Today is Tisha B’av, a major Jewish fast day that commemorates the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem (as well as commemorates other tragedies throughout history). We are mourning for the Temple, and all it represents—true freedom, peace on earth, and spiritual connectedness. It is considered to be the saddest day of the year, when grieving is mandated.

Observant Jews abstain from food and water for over 24 hours as well as follow mourning customs usually reserved for the loss of a loved one. We’ll not discuss the other observances (as well as the nuances), of this day. Instead, we'll focus on one of the features that has contributed to our psychotherapeutic outlook—that of the commandment to literally feel an emotion, in this case, grief.

This bears repeating: Jewish law requires not just behaviors and rituals, but actually asks of us to feel emotion. For example, we are commanded to love God, which begs the question: How do you “command” a feeling?

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Weekly Poll: Economental Health

With real unemployment numbers hovering around 17 percent (or higher, depending who does the tallying), we've talked with professionals who've seen a rise in the number of people contacting them about symptoms of anxiety and depression. But is the economy and unemployment to blame? This week's poll asks for your opinion--is the economy affecting the mental health of the people you know?
Poll 3
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Those People

Who are we talking about?  You know. Those people. The ones who aren’t as (fill in the blank yourself, if you like): intelligent, open-minded, generous, kind, intellectual, deep-thinking, politically astute, as we are.

They’re the same “those people” who don’t possess the common-sense, logic, broadmindedness, compassion, sophistication, wisdom, insight, gravitas, humor, we do.
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