IN THE SPOTLIGHT
John Chitty, RPP, RCST®, (1949-2019) had many passions in his work: The two-chair method (working with polarity and pendulation), babies, relationships, energy medicine, states of health versus pathology, and autonomic nervous system state change. He had advice for every occasion from personal tragedy to business practice. He told several stories over and over again, which clued me into things he was most passionate about. One of them was the following, stated in an adamant and sometimes outraged insistent tone: “I have people coming in here and telling me that they want to get to root of their trauma to be rid of it once and for all. Well, I don’t think that you need to get to the root of trauma; all you need is state change. (picks up hand and points at me) State change is the name of the game (inflection and repeated pointing with every word).” “Yes sir!” I’d say.
TAKE A TOOL AND RUN
Take a Tool and Run with Dr. Heather Corwin
TTR 4: Dr. Heather’s Corwin explores how music and dance can help remind you who you are to ground into the moment. By bridging the outside expression with inner life and memories, you can let your body and motion lead your mind into a great space when needed. Let your body help you ease your mind so you can take this tool and run!
Dr. Heather Corwin’s Take a Tool and Run is a monthly vlog that offers quick and effective tools to share somatic centering practices.
Take a moment right now and see where you stand with your body. Close your eyes and bring your awareness to your inner experience. Do you feel intimate, comfortable and confident in this physical space? Place a hand on your abdomen. Do you feel connected and loving? Or, are you distant, awkward, or judgmental?
Matthew Appleton in conversation with Emma PalmerThe 8th and 9th of June 2019 will see the hosting of a fascinating two-day conference here in Bristol in England. The Human Baby, Human Being: Contributions from the emerging field of pre and perinatal psychology conference is being organised by Conscious Embodiment Training and ehealth Learning. An important aim of this landmark event is to bring together professionals interested in the long-term effects of prenatal and birth experiences.
The Sacramento sky is scattered with fluff. The trees, covered in pink and white blooms reminiscent of the bedspread my mother chose for my childhood bedroom, are on a mission to make me sneeze. As I hold a tissue to my nose and behold the beauty around me, I wonder:Do flowers ever get tired of blossoming? Does it start feeling like the same old thing year after year until there are no surprises left?
How many of us have been studying trauma resolution for many years?I started healing prenatal and perinatal trauma 20 years ago when a client remembered her birth on my table during a Biodynamic craniosacral therapy session. At first, I was curious about her experience and wanted to help. But, when I started tracking feelings of anxiety in myself while working with her, I committed to learning more about prenatal and perinatal experiences. It turns out we had similar birth experiences as babies. I asked myself, How could her experience affect me in present time? That question opened the way for my energy to flow into the work that has become my passion.
My journey involves a deep and prolonged exploration of the Polyvagal theory (Porges, 2011). In my quest to understand when intimacy, emotional expression, and connected communication are possible, I delved deeply into Porges’ research with the vagus nerve and its role in the evolution of the nervous system. His insights provided a road map for me and my clients to a fuller emotional life as we connected with our interoceptive awareness of emotions that motivate our behavior, their influence on our relationships, and the conscious choices we have.
Much of pre- and perinatal therapy orients to early traumas. While important to acknowledge, understand, and liberate from shadow, my mission in this field is to also highlight the amazing potential of little embryos in the womb developing from one tiny cell into complex individuals. How much of that potential to become also hides in shadow?
- Alaine Duncan & Kathy Kain: Restoring inner balance May 1, 2019Combining Eastern and Western trauma physiology, Alaine Duncan and Kathy Kain introduce a new map for body-oriented clinicians to help restore balance in their clients. Using concepts from Acupuncture and Asian Medicine (AAM) alongside descriptions of the threat response from Western bio-behavioral science, they describe common physical symptoms, emotional presentations, and paths for healing for […]Somatic Perspectives
- Andy Fisher: Ecopsychology March 1, 2019This conversation is a wide-ranging exploration of the new field of ecopsychology. It includes discussions of how the lived body and Buddhist psychology figure in this field, as well as the radical implications of reconnecting our minds to nature. Audio only: Andy Fisher, PhD, is a major figure in ecopsychology, having tracked and reflected on […]Somatic Perspectives
Relational Mindfulness with Serge Prengel
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.
Adreanna Limbach’s new book Tea and Cake with Demons relies on Buddhist teachings to improve our self-worth and explore our insecurities. Limbach believes that the Buddha represents our capacity to be present in our own lives and come to know the “fundamentally whole” versions of ourselves. The book explores this mindset through the lens of Buddhist teachings and the Four Noble Truths. Limbach has divided the book into three parts: Waking Up to Worthiness, The Four Noble Truths, and The Eightfold Path.
There is a hackneyed tale of two young fishes. As they are swimming in the sea, they encounter an old fish who asks them, “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” The two fishes pass him by without saying a word and then one of them looks over to the other one and goes, “What is water?” In his new book, How to Think Like an Anthropologist?, Matthew Engelke takes on the daunting task of asking us about the water: our culture.
Lynn Grodzki’s new book, Therapy with a Coaching Edge, guides professionals who are interested in a model of therapy that incorporates a coaching approach. She begins with a description of the basic model, which is comparable to a combination of traditional psychotherapy and life coaching. She then explores a set of nine specific coaching skills, including asking motivating questions and being more reactive. Grodzki has designed the book to be flexible and suitable for people with varying interests so that professionals can either adopt the complete model or select the concepts and skills that appeal to them the most.
Early in the writing of the first draft of It’s Never Too Late: Healing Prebirth and Birth At Any Age, I discovered there were steps, especially in the embryo’s story, that even after studying, I had difficulty envisioning. At the time I wondered, could I leave these hard to reach, yet essential steps out of my written examination? Would anyone besides experienced embryologists and biodynamic craniosacral therapy teachers notice? It didn’t take long to come clean with myself, that if I skipped intricate steps in my understanding, I would only further reinforce what was at the root of my amnesia, and that in order to be whole myself, I had to find out what was going on.
CARLETON’S CHOICE: BOOKS WORTH A READ
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.
Shift into Freedom by Loch Kelly is a great primer on mindfulness. Surprisingly, he doesn’t rely on the cache of overused words like meditation, mindfulness, or awakening to legitimize his approach. While the western world often uses words like awareness and attention interchangeably, he defines attention as using the mind to focus, while awareness is a heart-centered way to experience life.