art intervention with children

Riding the Waves of Grief through the Holiday Season

"Should you shield the valleys from the windstorms, you would never see the beauty of their canyons."- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross   I so admire Latinx culture, specifically the emphasis on celebrating the lives of their deceased loved ones on a special day, Dia de los Muertos. November 2 marks this tradition, originating in Mexico, to honor ancestors by creating altars with cherished photos, favorite foods, candles, and sugar skulls. Family members gather at grave sites and altars in the home to share stories of their loved ones who have transitioned to the next place, finding comfort in family support through holding the space to narrate the story of their ancestors impact on their lives.  A general spirit of celebration and remembrance is the emphasis, including laughter and camaraderie. Death is not feared. It is merely a passage to a different phase of transcendence.

holiday self care

10 Self-Care Strategies During Trying Times

"Keep close to Nature’s heart... and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean." - John Muir As a mother, a therapist, a partner, how good am I to any one if I am not taking care of myself? Not so good at all. Those of us in the helping professions (or roles that give out a lot of nurturing energy) especially need to take a pause and focus on replenishment and self-care. When our cup is not topped off, we run on fumes. And that's not helpful to anyone, least of all our selves.

#metoo movemenet

When the News is a Trigger: 10 Ways to Lower Stress

"Within you,  there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat any time and be yourself." - Hermann Hesse   With the latest news cycles churning out politically heated and disturbing information on a daily basis ad nauseum, many trauma survivors are finding they are particularly triggered. Specifically with the recent two-week-long-Kavanaugh-confirmation-to-the-Supreme-Court-drama, sexual abuse survivors (both male and female), are reminded of feelings of hopelessness, powerlessness, and lack of safety. Regardless of what side of the political spectrum you fall on, if you have a trauma history, you are likely quite triggered when you see news which portrays themes of assault survivors being ridiculed and chastised, blamed and shamed, and devalued and discounted. Many feel that politics has taken on an entirely new level of impacting mental health for many people who feel disenfranchised, stigmatized, and shunned. Below are some suggestions for riding this wave of political trauma:

attachment trauma

5 More Nuts and Bolts of the Traumatized Brain (Part 3)

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it." - Helen Keller

**This article is Part 3 of 4 in a series entitled The Nuts and Bolts of the Traumatized Brain - See Part 1 here, Part 2 here**

Continuing the discussion of the human brain and the subsequent impact of trauma exposure, today's article will focus upon five additional tidbits of information. Prior articles (see above) have addressed the role of the...

Antisocial Personality Disorder

Zombieing: A New Term in the Dating World

So now that we know what "ghosting" is, there is a new concept called "zombieing" in the dating world.  If you have read up on "hoovering", then you will know what "zombieing" is: "A Hoover is a metaphor taken from the popular brand of vacuum cleaners, to describe how an abuse victim trying to assert their own rights by leaving or limiting contact in a dysfunctional relationship, gets “sucked back in” when the perpetrator temporarily exhibits improved or desirable behavior." Essentially, "zombieing" is when an emotionally unavailable and/or abusive potential suitor initially "ghosts" on their dating partner. Then this person resurfaces months (and sometimes years later) like a "zombie" to recycle the potential relationship/contact/ego fuel.  It's akin to rising from the dead, like a zombie, and coming back for more lifeblood. Yikes! The time period between Halloween and Valentine's Day is a time when survivors of abusive relationships with a narcissist (or other types of psychological abusers) may experience what is known as a "hoover"...often times narcissists will circle back to prior sources of narcissistic supply to see if they can tap (or suction up like a vacuum) prior targets' attention/affection/adulation to fill their psychological cautious and don't be tempted with a re-hook! And beware that a hoover can happen any time of the year, and often without warning!