FEATURED ARTICLE

The Sweetie Pie Syndrome by Ronan M. Kisch, Ph.D.

Sweetie Pie Syndrome typically starts in childhood — it is usually characteristic of females, but it does occur in males. This condition begins as young children are either ignored by or are demeaned by a parent or parents. This behavior can also be role modeled by a parent. As a result of this chronic neglect, abuse, for example, these children develop a sense that a) there is something wrong with them, b) they are basically unlovable, and/or c) if they do not do things to be accepted, they are unworthy. They then develop a behavioral repertoire of constantly trying to do good things and help others to gain a sense of worthiness and lovability. But no matter what or how much they do, the dysfunctional parent perpetually ignores or fails to respond with recognition, positive reinforcement and love. So, the children invest in doing more.

Mind / Body / Spirit

Being a Captive of Our World

Where do you feel like a captive of your world? is it that you cannot quit your job? your relationship? your way of being with your parents? Your health? Where does it feel like you have no power? Where do you feel like you can change everything else about your life, but this one thing and you’re stuck with it?

Meditation can change your brain!

“I cannot say this frequently enough. The goal of meditation is not to clear your mind but instead to focus your mind for a few nanoseconds at a time and whenever you become distracted just start again. Getting lost and starting over is not failing at meditation, it is succeeding.” (Harris, 2017) A consistent meditation practice can contribute to white matter changes in areas of your brain that directly impact self-regulation.

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

  • 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
  • Steven Hayes: Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) January 1, 2019
    In this conversation, we talk about Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) within the broader context of the human condition.  Audio only: Steven C. Hayes is Nevada Foundation Professor in the Behavior Analysis program at the Department of Psychology at the University of Nevada. An […]
    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.

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