FEATURED ARTICLE

The Role of Connective Tissue in Character and Armour Development

Will Davis recently shared a paper he’d written on the role of connective tissue in character and armour development. After re-evaluating Reich's concept of muscular armour, Will offered a different perspective: he felt that the holdings in the myofascial system were primarily present in connective tissue (CT), not the muscles per se as Reich assumed. Will emphasized the connective tissues’ protective response to stress, and its plastic ability, during certain conditions, to return to the prestressed, healthy state. A matrix, he says, that acts as a non-neural, instantaneous communication system throughout the body, is formed because of the semi-conductive quality of connective tissue. When I received his paper, I noted that it was 20 pages long. My initial instinct was, What? Magazine articles average 1500 words in length, not tens of thousands. And still, to honor my colleague, I read his paper. Thank goodness I did. I was fascinated by the content and pleased with the writing style—figurative language, first person, logical comparisons, concrete examples shedding light on conceptual renderings. I learned new content and enjoyed the experience. As such, I am sharing his paper with you. I offer some excerpts from his text (not in linear sequence as presented in the paper) and a link to download the PDF to print and read at your leisure.

Mind / Body / Spirit

Being with Helplessness

Living in a world of uncertainty, a world filled with violence and struggle, natural and human-made disasters, it can be easy to feel a sense of overwhelm and anger or perhaps a sense of collapse and helplessness in the face of such adversity. While some may set their feelings aside, maybe runaway by numbing out with food, drugs, alcohol, sex, etc., others may feel an intensity, a rage that compels them to fight against whoever or whatever stands in their way. Others may simply put their head in the proverbial sand or hang limp as if playing possum and yield to the dangers around them.

911 Memorial: Mt Grant Challenge 2018

Writing this post, I sense my heart is open, my soul calm, my spirit fulfilled, my being immersed in the gratitude for all that is here and now, in this moment, and for all who have given and continue to give their life, their liberty, their freedom to protect all of us, all over the world.

Specializations

Rewiring the Addictive Brain

In her latest publication, Rewiring the Addictive Brain, Dr. Laurel Parnell convincingly responds: combine EMDR to reprocess and clean things up and use resource tapping—a combination of positive imagery that activates positive resources internally and bilateral stimulation that serves to link this information together. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a powerful therapy for handling trauma (small and big).

Global Perspectives

Culture Bound Syndromes

The son of two immigrants from the West Bank, I grew up navigating a minefield of culture bound phenomena. I was taught that a sudden gust of air from opening a window or stepping out the door was grounds for immediate illness. We took great care to avoid sitting near an open window or hurrying out the front door on a windy day, fearing that the air could cause sudden onset of flu like symptoms. Of course, any time I exposed myself to this mysterious foe I immediately came down with a case of the sniffles or a generalized muscle soreness. This belief of ailment from the wind is not one unique to Arabic culture.

Witness: A Civil War Experience From a Child’s Perspective

The story shares how, at eight years of age, Quanei Karmue was living the American Dream in the sun-swept country of Liberia. His father was away on an extended business trip to solidify the family’s fortune, and he and his siblings were left in the care of their mother, a respected nurse, pharmacist, and leader in their close-knit community, a suburb where all the women were called “Auntie” and all the men “Uncle.” As a curious child, Quanei thought he had perfected his stealth and spying skills. He was drawn to adult conversation — he knew that was where you learned what was really going on in the world.
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Alice Ladas

Congratulations Hiroki Yamaji

SPT Magazine offers our congratulations to Hiroki Yamaji, the 2018 winner of the Alice Ladas Research Award. His study was titled: An Efficacy Study of Somatic Psychoeducation at a Japanese University. Hiroki addressed the question of whether an 8-week somatic psychoeducation course for college students could result in students developing somatic awareness and trust in the organism, and enhance integral functioning that included general mindfulness, stress resilience, interpersonal empathy, responsibility for self-care, and generic skills.

Human Baby, Human Being: Contributions from the Emerging Field of Pre and Perinatal Psychology

Matthew Appleton is pleased to announce an upcoming conference Bristol, UK. This keynote conference will bring together innovative pioneers who have changed our understanding of the importance of how our womb and birth experience impact us as human beings. Many of the presenters are highly respected authors, lecturers and workshop leaders in the emerging field of prenatal and perinatal psychology.

USABP Pioneer of Body Psychotherapy Award: An Interview with Stephen W. Porges

ome years back, when Dr. Porges was talking with the director of the National Institutes of Health, he boldly told the director that “We know too much to allow medicine to be practice the way it is.” Porges elaborated that “We know too much about the body to allow treatment to continue as is - without an appreciation of bodily states and how shifts in neurophysiological states influence the effectiveness of medical treatments. Current knowledge of the body needs to be infused into both clinical practice and how we live our lives." “I guess that statement defines me as a pioneer,” he said.

USABP Lifetime Achievement Award: An Interview with Judyth O. Weaver

Can you truly present a picture of a person, on a page, when the dimensionality of the being moves beyond the here and now, expands beyond the human container of skin and bones into the expanse of all cellular energy, where dualities shape the singular organism? No, not really, but one can share snapshots of a woman who has contributed much to the field of body psychotherapy, who has had an impact on many therapists’ lives and on countless clients’ lives. From dancer to sitter, from mother to teacher, from self to other, Judyth O. Weaver brings her essence into this life in wondrous ways.

BOOK REVIEWS

The Dynamics of Infidelity: Applying Relationship Science to Psychotherapy Practice

Infidelity can cause problems in any monogamous relationship, and couples often approach psychotherapists with these issues. With this book, Josephs aims to offer a practicable, evidence-based treatment plan that, in his view, is currently lacking in the field. Based on his experiences with patients, Josephs found that the available research was insufficient for the purposes of providing patients with holistic treatment that truly addressed the variable roots of infidelity. Geared towards psychotherapists and other mental health professionals, this book presents an thoroughly-researched, multifaceted treatment for infidelity.

Brief Dynamic Therapy

As part of the “Theories of Psychotherapy Series” from the American Psychological Association (APA), this book focuses the components and benefits of brief therapy. Intended for clinicians, Levenson’s book is informative and instructive as it is paired with a companion video that demonstrates the treatment. The brevity and organization make this book helpfully simple and user-friendly. Levenson utilizes tables, bulleted lists, and other visuals alongside her well-researched writing to clearly present this treatment as a viable tool for therapists.

Client Concerns

Therapy in the Moment: Dissociating to Make it Through the Present

What do you think of when you hear the word “dissociate”? Do you wonder what it means, or think “I never do that” or maybe, “that’s my go-to reaction”, or anything in between? What is dissociation? The dictionary tells us it is separation, disconnect of parts (dictionary.com). So how does it show up in our psyche? Dissociation can be any moment you might disconnect from the present moment. Generally, in psychology, it is discussed within the context of extreme trauma cases as a full separation from reality leading to disorders. Yet it is in our daily life as well.

I Admit That I Am Powerless Over My Client’s Substance Abuse...

My clients lie. Friends, family, colleagues, strangers, themselves, no one is excluded from their liar’s club, myself included. As the clinical director of an inpatient detox and rehabilitation center (addressing all forms of substance addiction), I was lied to by my clients so often I started to expect it. However, and this is even more important, I did accept it as a symptom of the disease called addiction. After five years at the center I realized that dishonesty in general and manipulative behaviors in particular, especially when clients were still struggling with active addiction and frequent relapses, were not embedded in their personality or characteristics.

Kirtan Kriya

Dr. Christopher Walling, PsyD, C-IAYT shared work he is doing at the Alzheimer's Research and Prevention Foundation during his webinar sponsored by the United States Association for Body Psychotherapy. He presented current research outcomes regarding the delayed onset of Alzheimer's as well as age related cognitive decline and ways to incorporate yoga and meditation to offset the loss of memory and cognition. He shared the work being done with Kirtan Kriya, a 12-minute daily meditation that is yielding significant research results that involve the posterior cingulate gyrus (increases in blood flow that allow the brain to grow new brain cells), and improvements in concentration, focus and attention. You can experience this process by clicking the video link on our homepage.

CARLETON’S CHOICE: BOOKS WORTH A READ

Dr. Jacqueline Carleton

Jacquie’s Pick of the Month

Dr. Jacqueline Carleton has guided interns in the art of literature review and academic critique for decades, and SPT Magazine has thankfully shared their reviews with our readers since our inception 8 years ago. It’s a pleasure to write with up-and-coming psychologists and researchers, to share in their discoveries and their opinions regarding books that are ‘hot-off-the-press’, the ones we prefer to publish. Older books, however, those published two years ago or more, have not been shared with the thought that they’ve been reviewed by many others that it was redundant news. Until now.

Dynamic patterns: The self-organization of brain and behavior – Review

Kelso claims that the brain is self-organizing therefore spontaneous patterns form and change via nonlinear or dynamic interactions to coordinate brain activity and respond to the environment. He suggests by studying these patterns we can determine the laws that govern dynamic behavioral patterns, which can help us unpack more complex phenomena like perceiving, anticipating, and laughing.

Reflections

Clinical Applications of the Polyvagal Theory: A Reflection

If Stephen Porges asked you to co-edit a book with him, what would you say? With my passion for Polyvagal Theory, my love of writing, and my friendship with Steve, my answer was an unhesitating “yes.” The process of bringing this co-edited book to publication has been a shared ventral vagal inspired adventure. In Clinical Applications of the Polyvagal Theory, Steve’s intention was to gather a group of clinicians whose work was informed by Polyvagal Theory. Although the beginning chapters are written by recognized leaders in the field of trauma, this book came out of Steve’s commitment to ask people who were emerging as leaders to write chapters. Steve wanted this edited collection to feature clinicians who were in the trenches creatively bringing Polyvagal Theory into their work every day with complicated clients. As he traveled and gave presentations, Steve would talk with people who were incorporating a foundation of Polyvagal Theory in innovative ways and invite them to be a part of our book project. We began calling our chapter contributors our “Polyvagal family”, and each time Steve emailed me to introduce a new potential author, he said, “Here’s another member of our family.” I came to know our chapter contributors through emails, phone calls, and Skype conversations. It was a sweet experience of autonomic attunement and the ease of connection that brings, in these beginning Polyvagal partnerships. This edited collection was a labor of love and a delicate process of helping our contributors incorporate the language of Polyvagal Theory.

The Sacred Path of the Therapist: An Author’s Reflection

There was a time when I couldn’t imagine how to integrate my spiritual path and my Western training as a psychotherapist. I was traveling down to Peru periodically over a 10-year period, stepping into the mystical non-ordinary world of the shaman, while working as a clinical supervisor in a psychiatric hospital. I felt hurled down to South America, as if literally picked up and thrown down there by the circumstances and synchronicities in my life. I knew I had a choice, but not really. Destiny was calling to a tradition so foreign from my upbringing, but it activated a deep knowing and memory of ancient wisdom and truth. My first book, Eyes of the Jaguar, was about the beginning of this mystical journey. I didn’t consider myself to be a writer and felt as if this book wrote itself through me. The words of the book refused to stop moving through my thoughts until I put them down on paper. It felt as if it was part of my spiritual initiation process, with a life of its own and an impact that I could not have known. I believed strongly in a holistic interrelated paradigm of body/mind/spirit, as taught in the shamanic tradition. I meditated on how to integrate it all, and the inner wisdom of my soul whispered back, “It will integrate.” I learned to trust my inner guidance, and as time went on, I was able to see the integration within myself. As the therapist and the shaman became one within me, my work became more integrated.

Somatic Praxis in Practice

The Problem with Embodied Research

By Jennifer Frank Tantia, PhD Back in 2011 when I began to recruit participants for my doctoral dissertation on therapists’ experience of intuition in the...

Rubenfeld Synergy Certification Training Program

The Ilana Rubenfeld Foundation (TIRF) is offering a comprehensive, 3-year certification training program. Synergists-in-training will learn and practice the art and skills of a proven and effective healing modality that powerfully combines respectful, listening touch with verbal processing.


RSS Somatic Perspectives: Conversations on Psychotherapy

  • Eva Gold on Buddhist psychology & Gestalt psychotherapy November 1, 2018
    In this conversation we talk about the convergences of Buddhist psychology/mindfulness with Gestalt therapy as well as how they are different in their emphasis and ultimate aims. This creates the ground for discussing the benefits of an approach that integrates the two—a Buddhist psychology informed Gestalt therapy (BPGT). This conversation is also available in video […]
    Somatic Perspectives
  • Michael Soth on the therapeutic relationship September 1, 2018
    In this conversation, we talk about the therapeutic relationship as a bodymind process between two people who are both wounded and whole. This conversation is available as a video, as well as audio only, and as a printable PDF transcript. Audio only: Michael Soth is an integral-relational Body Psychotherapist, trainer and supervisor (UKCP), with more […]
    Somatic Perspectives

Relational Mindfulness with Serge Prengel

Serge Prengel

Window of Tolerance, Polyvagal Theory & Relational Mindfulness

The model of Window of Tolerance and the Polyvagal Theory have been very useful to make sense of what we do in trauma therapy. What they have in common is the underlying assumption that life is interaction with threats and opportunities, and that much of our responses are implicit, modulated through the autonomic nervous system. This article proposes a simple integration of the two approaches. This integration helps further clarify what we do in therapy, and what we mean by mindfulness. Much of the article can be grasped through a few charts, with relatively few words of explanation.

In Memory Of

Stanley Keleman 1931-2018

We just learned that Stanley Keleman died peacefully in his sleep, August 11, 2018. He was the creator of Formative Psychology and the Founder of the Centre for Energetic Studies, Berkeley, CA. He gave endlessly and with goodwill to so many. He was also part of Spectrum DNA. His presence will live on through his professional community and through the work they do at Spectrum. Rest in peace dear one. Our condolences to all who loved and shared their lives with Stanley Keleman

In Memory: Joop Valstar, 1945-2018

In a world which is increasingly superficial and directed to appearances and the outside world Joop was a man of character and depth. Not to say that he didn’t care for his personal appearance – on the contrary, he did. He dressed with flair. Perhaps the first thing you noticed about him was his beautiful coat or hand-crafted shoes; then his tall stature, greying hair and marked face, which could crease with a grin and warmth, or with great seriousness.