Working with Sexuality: Arousal in session

There are a number of issues that come about when working with clients around sexuality, and there are a few that are especially relevant to Rubenfeld Synergy, as it involves touch.  The most obvious of these is a client becoming sexually aroused during a session. During the second year of my training, I began toContinue reading “Working with Sexuality: Arousal in session”

Are emotions universal?

An interesting profile in Boston Magazine of Lisa Barrett, a psychologist who is working to challenge the long-held belief that there are six universal emotional facial expressions.  The work of Paul Ekman, who first pioneered this field, is now being seen as too simplistic: [E]motion isn’t a simple reflex or a bodily state that’s hard-wiredContinue reading “Are emotions universal?”

Today is World Listening Day

By chance on BBC this morning, I caught a story about the fact that today is World Listening Day, as established by the World Listening Project.  Given that the work I do has a strong basis in listening, and that in fact Ilana Rubenfeld’s book is called The Listening Hand…well, my ears perked up, soContinue reading “Today is World Listening Day”

A safe space to speak your truth: how do we cultivate safety?

Many of my readers will likely have heard the term “safe space.”  This phrase is sometimes used as a term of art in therapeutic circles, referring to a place where people can speak freely and honestly without fear of judgment or ridicule, but it is also often used in communities organized around oppression – i.e.,Continue reading “A safe space to speak your truth: how do we cultivate safety?”

Double Edge, again: becoming one with presence

Yesterday, I spent more time with the wonderful folks at Double Edge Theatre, out in Ashfield, MA.  Their highly physical Open Trainings, as I’ve described here before, are rigorous, inspirational, and transformative, and I would encourage anyone who is not mobility-challenged to try one. Here are some moments from this one, particularly as they relateContinue reading “Double Edge, again: becoming one with presence”

How our brains and bodies work together to create empathy

Photo by Fer Kazalz Two new studies in neuroscience, revealed at the British Neuroscience Association Festival of Neuroscience earlier this month, show the ways our bodies respond to and mirror other people’s emotional states. I’ve written a bit here about empathy and emotional mirroring, and how powerful our bodies can be at not just recognizingContinue reading “How our brains and bodies work together to create empathy”

The healing power of music

I’ve written here before about how music touches lives, opens hearts, and even brings back memory.  Music may not be entirely unique to humans, but it is definitely a primal need: throughout our history, music has soothed us, aided us in celebration and in mourning, been indispensable in our rituals, driven cultural revolutions, fueled protests,Continue reading “The healing power of music”

Vulnerability and shame

Last week, I saw a client for the first time, and she had a profound experience on the table.  Afterwards, she asked me what she could expect to get out of this work, and I answered as best I could.  In the moment, though, I was thinking: how could she not see? That client hasn’tContinue reading “Vulnerability and shame”

How touching saves lives

I stumbled across this beautiful article today, by Dr. Alex Lickerman, a Buddhist physician.  He tells the story of an ER patient who was so terrified of needles that the prospect of having her blood drawn had her shaking, rigid, and in tears.  Not knowing what else to do, the doctor took her hand, whichContinue reading “How touching saves lives”