FEATURED ARTICLE

Toward a Healing Society: A Core Energetics Perspective

Holy Moly! Every day in this country seems like a roller coaster ride and you know what, a part of me welcomes this new wave, especially the “bad” and “ugly”. Some people think it’s being exaggerated since our new administration took office but that isn’t so, the status quo is now merely being exposed. I see this as a good thing. America must awaken to sexism, classism, heterosexualism, and unsustainable ecological practices. Beyond obvious prejudice, behind superficial masks of equality, beside our continued denial of rights to the vulnerable and the disenfranchised, we must openly acknowledge insidious issues that have been both denied and accepted as long as human beings have been alive. Exposing what has been obscured is essential to facilitate change.

Mind / Body / Spirit

Send Your Worrywort on Holiday

Worry can plague you. It digs and jabs, disrupts and jumbles: your sense of serenity dislodged. According to Rick Hanson, PhD, anxiety—a form of worry—allowed our ancestors to survive. Being able to sense danger, to determine if it was safe to approach, to avoid or move on allowed our ancestors to see another day. But when we focus on the bad, the good gets left behind. Luckily our brain can be trained . . .

Curiosity is one way out of Stuckness

Are you stuck in a rut of a self-fulfilling prophecy? One of the top complaints I hear from people who come into my office is...

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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PAST ARTICLES

Enlightenment & Events

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A Pioneering Music Project

We recently read a fascinating article in The National Geographic,January 1, 2019 highlighting what they called a "pioneering music project". A research team at the University Hospital in Geneva, Switzerland, working with premature babies, adapted special headphones and three specific songs for the babies to hear.
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.

BOOK REVIEWS

The Pursuit of Endurance: Harnessing the Record-Breaking Power of Strength and...

I’m curious about where their inner reserves come from and how they draw on them in the heat of misery, pain, suffering. Where does the resiliency come from? Is it from God? Instilled in our being at birth? Pharr Davis delves into these questions with intriguing responses; her own and others she’s met on the journey.

The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the...

The reading specialist in me refused to wait. Meghan Cox Gurdon’s essay in The Wall Street Journal (January 19-20, 2019), adapted from her new book, The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction, inspired me.

Take a Tool and Run with Dr. Heather Corwin

TTR 1:  This breathing technique helps calm the nervous system.  Research points to breath work decreasing arousal to enjoy a more relaxed state1,2.  In this vlog, Dr. Corwin demonstrates how we can take two minutes to breathe incorporating hand movements by alternating a connection of fingertips to thumb on each hand. In do so, we can slow down the pace of what’s happening (thinking, breathing, doing, etc.).  Clients report this tool helps them center before engaging with people, slow down to sleep, and take the edge off of anxiety. 1Holloway, E. A., & West, R. (2007). Integrated breathing and relaxation training (the Papworth method) for adults with asthma in primary care: A randomised controlled trial. Thorax. 2Nardi, A. E., Freire, R. C., & Zin, W. A. (2009). Panic disorder and control of breathing. Respiratory physiology & neurobiology, 167(1), 133-143.

Dr. Heather Corwin’s Take a Tool and Run is a monthly vlog that offers quick and effective tools to share somatic centering practices.

RSS Somatic Perspectives: Conversations on Psychotherapy

  • Janina Fisher: Integrating somatic approaches to trauma with ‘parts’ language February 1, 2019
    Trauma often inculcates fears of body awareness and incapacitating shame that complicate the use of somatic approaches. As Janina Fisher explored how to help such clients with befriending their emotional and body responses to trauma, she began to develop a way of helping them to understand themselves as fragmented and to become more aware of […]
    Somatic Perspectives
  • Nancy Eichhorn: Somatic Psychotherapy Today January 10, 2019
    Nancy Eichhorn talks about the magazine she founded 8 years ago, Somatic Psychotherapy Today. Audio only: Who is Nancy Eichhorn? I am a writer, editor, and teacher. Writing has always been my way to be me, to voice my experiences, my perspectives, my dreams and desires. Sitting with a blank white page, sensing the expanse […]
    Somatic Perspectives

Relational Mindfulness with Serge Prengel

Serge Prengel

Revisiting last month’s article about the Window of Tolerance, Polyvagal Theory...

Last month, I published an article with a very similar title to this one. It was exploring mindfulness within the context of the Autonomous Nervous System (ANS). The gist of it was captured in a few charts about the Window of Tolerance and the Polyvagal Theory. I realized that my point could be better expressed through a different set of visuals. The following is are-write of this article, including new visuals.

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...

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In Memory Of

Christa D. Ventling 1930-2019

With regret we share the recent news of Christa D. Ventling’s passing. According to Courtenay Young, she was a female pioneer in European Bioenergetic Analysis and in qualitative research in body psychotherapy.

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