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Category: Embodied Dialogue Series

‘Sharing Our Collective Wisdom: A Call to Action’ with Ruth Lanius, Elspeth Bradley and Jan Winhall

The Felt Sense Polyvagal Model™ (FSPM™) teaches people how to emotionally regulate by connecting with two powerful embodied processes: interoception, felt sensing, and neuroception, rewiring dysregulated autonomic states.

The Four Circles Harm Reduction Practice is an FSPM™ practice that develops upon the Three Circle Practice (Cairns, 2001). It includes graphic elements and is used to help people engage and deepen their embodied connection by locating their state and practicing outer circle safety-seeking behaviors every day for reducing harm.

In this dialogue, therapist Travis Goodman will share his experiences on how he integrates the FSPM™ with EMDR to treat trauma and addiction.

CONTINUE READING ‘Sharing Our Collective Wisdom: A Call to Action’ with Ruth Lanius, Elspeth Bradley and Jan Winhall 5 min read

‘FSPM and the Four Circles’ with Travis Goodman

The Felt Sense Polyvagal Model™ (FSPM™) teaches people how to emotionally regulate by connecting with two powerful embodied processes: interoception, felt sensing, and neuroception, rewiring dysregulated autonomic states.

The Four Circles Harm Reduction Practice is an FSPM™ practice that develops upon the Three Circle Practice (Cairns, 2001). It includes graphic elements and is used to help people engage and deepen their embodied connection by locating their state and practicing outer circle safety-seeking behaviors every day for reducing harm.

In this dialogue, therapist Travis Goodman will share his experiences on how he integrates the FSPM™ with EMDR to treat trauma and addiction.

CONTINUE READING ‘FSPM and the Four Circles’ with Travis Goodman 3 min read

‘Microtraumas contributing to the Children’s Mental Health Epidemic’ with BG Mancini

Food, sensory input, digestive health, lack of exercise, and diminished parental availability can influence children’s brain development, impacting children’s external behavior and ability to deeply connect.

Interoceptive cues of non-safety triggered by these inputs are significant barriers to coregulation and self-regulating, creating more trauma.

Just knowing what contributes to the early developmental signs of inflammation and what these truly look like in the body and brain can make everyone an aide for a child and family to find the right resources, and majorly alter outcomes.

CONTINUE READING ‘Microtraumas contributing to the Children’s Mental Health Epidemic’ with BG Mancini 2 min read

‘Applied Polyvagal Theory in Yoga’ with Arielle Schwartz

Dr. Arielle Schwartz, author of seven books on trauma recovery including Applied Polyvagal Theory in Yoga and Therapeutic Yoga for Trauma, will discuss the science behind vagus nerve stimulation and guide you through gentle practices support your wellbeing.

You will learn how to naturally stimulate the vagus nerve in areas of the body where the vagus nerve travels close to the surface of your skin such as on the sides or back of the neck and on areas surrounding the ear. She will share with you the foundations of her yoga teachings integrating Science, Soma, and Soul as a foundation for a deep, meaningful connection to your Self and why having safe community spaces is essential to the healing journey.

CONTINUE READING ‘Applied Polyvagal Theory in Yoga’ with Arielle Schwartz 3 min read

‘The Importance of Embodying Emotion in All Therapies’ with Raja Selvam

Research in cognitive and affective neuroscience in the past twenty five years has clearly established the importance of embodying emotions for improving outcomes and treatment times in all therapeutic approaches. In the short presentation, Dr. Selvam will discuss how therapists can go about improving their practice in all therapy modalities through the practice of embodying emotions, with clinical examples.

CONTINUE READING ‘The Importance of Embodying Emotion in All Therapies’ with Raja Selvam 2 min read

‘IFS and Compassion for Addictive Processes’ with Cece Sykes

Clients with addictive process issues too often feel cast adrift from general therapy. Yet sending off clients to ‘get treatment’ in order to be ‘ready’ for help is distressing and stigmatizing for hurting clients, and often leaves them with nowhere to turn. What can psychotherapists do to better support such individuals?

The Internal Family Systems (IFS) model offers a paradigm shift. Rather than viewing addiction as a unique and self-destructive pathology, we see addictive behaviors as desperately trying to help. United in their drive to do ‘whatever it takes’ to protect the system, the parts engaged in soothing, escapist activities are committed to addressing underlying pain. Starting with acceptance and a non-judgmental context, we help clients to explore the inner intentions and reasoning behind high-risk parts. We build relationships, gain their trust, and ultimately help connect to the underlying trauma and attachment wounds they protect, that fuel the process.

CONTINUE READING ‘IFS and Compassion for Addictive Processes’ with Cece Sykes 2 min read

‘The Restoration of the Hijacked Self’ with Ruth Lanius

“The compulsion to repeat the past through traumatic re-enactments or engaging in reckless behaviours is frequently one of the few ways that allows traumatized individuals to ‘feel alive’. It is well known that individuals with PTSD – particularly when associated with developmental trauma – often report a sense of self that does not exist entirely, illustrated eloquently through statements, such as, “I do not know who I am,” or, “I feel like I have stopped existing.”

Research suggests that these experiences may relate, in part, to the reduced functional connectivity of the default mode network, a brain network critical to the experience of a sense of self, observed during rest among individuals with PTSD. Critically, however, enhanced default mode network connectivity has recently been observed when individuals with PTSD are triggered by reminders of their trauma, suggesting that the sense of self may ‘come alive’ under conditions of threat and terror. It is therefore possible that some individuals with PTSD may seek situations involving threat or terror in order to experience of a semblance of a sense of self and a related sense of agency, which may be lacking in the absence of extreme hyperarousal states. Ruth will focus on how we can work clinically to help traumatized individuals ‘feel alive’ and safe without engaging in traumatic re-enactments and/or reckless behaviour.”

CONTINUE READING ‘The Restoration of the Hijacked Self’ with Ruth Lanius 3 min read

‘Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy’ with Andrew Tatarsky

“I began working as a counselor in the addiction treatment field when the disease concept abstinence-only model was the only acceptable approach; anything else was considered blasphemy. Over those early years in my career, I realized that this approach was not only not helping the overwhelming majority of people struggling with addiction, but was traumatizing many of them. I was forced by this recognition to challenge this model’s basic assumptions and break its rules in my clinical practice and I discovered a powerful and effective alternative that I have come to call Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy (IHRP). Many years into the evolution of IHRP I became aware, in my own personal therapy, that an addiction treatment trauma that I experienced when I was 15 years old, unconsciously brought me into the addictions field, sensitized me to what was wrong with it and inspired my passion to create an effective alternative based on empathy, respect, collaboration and empowerment.”

CONTINUE READING ‘Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy’ with Andrew Tatarsky 3 min read

‘Mindfulness in Early Addiction Recovery’ with Linda Thai

Sensory Processing Disorder and Sensory Processing differences are a significant risk factor for addiction. Studies show that children with sensory challenges can struggle with social anxiety and social engagement. These feelings of being different, being too much, being too sensitive, of not belonging, and stimulus-seeking behaviors then become predictive factors for victimization as well as for early onset of substance use in the teen years. Early onset substance use is a significant risk factor for adult addiction.

Linda will draw upon a decade of experience teaching mindfulness meditation and yoga in diverse community-based and mental health settings, and emphasizes the importance of meeting individuals where they are on their mindfulness journey. Rather than imposing a rigid practice of silent seated meditation, a scaffolded and titrated approach is suggested, recognizing that mindfulness without self-regulation skills can be unintentional torture.

This is where cultivating an innerstanding the eight sensory systems can offer key insights for enhanced self-regulation in early recovery, which can then open doorways for co-regulation.

CONTINUE READING ‘Mindfulness in Early Addiction Recovery’ with Linda Thai 3 min read

‘Why Addiction isn’t a Disease’ with Marc Lewis

In this interview, Marc will share his own journey of addiction and how he developed the learning model over many years of study. As Marc’s career has evolved over time, his new interest has brought him into the field of psychotherapy and Internal Family Systems (IFS). He is curious about a part of the self that is often present with those of us struggling with addiction. Together we will explore this question: Can we sense the part of us that repels self-compassion? He describes a client who calls this part of himself ‘the bouncer’, the part of himself that rejects self-love. Many of us notice, or partly notice, this rejection of self-compassion. But where does it come from? IFS alerts us to parts with opposing agendas. What does it feel like to reject self-love or self-acceptance? Together we will explore the roots of addiction and self-compassion with my friend and leading expert in the field. I hope you can join us.

CONTINUE READING ‘Why Addiction isn’t a Disease’ with Marc Lewis 3 min read
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