For a therapist, I make a lot of faces.

There’s a long, and arguably harmful, tradition of therapists being trained to be “blank slates.” This is the style of therapy we still see sometimes in TV and film: the client talks, struggles to express feelings, maybe even blows up in frustration. And the therapist, sitting back in the chair, takes notes, looks up blandly,Continue reading “For a therapist, I make a lot of faces.”

“Exhaustion is the body working to find comfort in a discomforting world.”

Two days ago, when I heard of the mass shooting in Orlando that has since then been an unavoidable theme in every waking moment of my life, my first response was that shot to the heart, punch in the chest sensation that then slowly seeps down into my stomach. The horror, dread, rage and sadnessContinue reading ““Exhaustion is the body working to find comfort in a discomforting world.””

The Body Keeps the Score – but we knew that

Yesterday I finished Bessel van der Kolk’s monumental work,┬áThe Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma. This book, the result of more than three decades of research, direct service, and tireless curiosity by this Dutch psychiatrist, tracks the development of the profession’s understanding (or more often, lack of understanding)Continue reading “The Body Keeps the Score – but we knew that”

Facing (bodying) the fragility of life

It is hard to know what to do in the face of such shocking news. I found myself struck by a strange and nonspecific sadness, the strange regret – guilt? – that I never got to know him well, that now I never will. I’ve been near tears several times today, but never all the way to breaking. Some part of me seems to say, What right do you have?

When your body is a prison

I had the pleasure recently of listening to Invisibilia, the relatively new podcast that spun off from Radiolab with Lulu Miller. The first episode concerns thoughts – one of the many invisible forces that powerfully influence our lives. The second story in the podcast follows a very bright young man named Martin, who, at 12,Continue reading “When your body is a prison”

Shakespeare helps restore the body’s story to prisoners

At the recent conference of INARS, the professional organization around Rubenfeld Synergy, we talked a great deal about the restoration of movement to the body, and how restoring movement can give us our sense of soul back. In an interview with Bessel van der Kolk, he spoke of how in trauma, the body gets stuckContinue reading “Shakespeare helps restore the body’s story to prisoners”

Owning yourself fully: Bessel van der Kolk and healing trauma through the body

The big issue for traumatized people is that they don’t own themselves anymore. Any loud sound, anybody insulting them, hurting them, saying bad things, can hijack them away from themselves. And so what we have learned is that what makes you resilient to trauma is to own yourself fully. -Bessel van der Kolk In theContinue reading “Owning yourself fully: Bessel van der Kolk and healing trauma through the body”

More awesome body-mind connection techniques at the Mind Your Body Expo

Yesterday I had the opportunity to go to an exhibition of dozens of workshop presenters and vendors on more holistic approaches to health at the Natural Awakenings Mind-Body Event. Amid some things that admittedly felt quite woo-woo, I found some really great practitioners and doctors doing work in ways that align with what I’m seeingContinue reading “More awesome body-mind connection techniques at the Mind Your Body Expo”

Tsarnaev, heartbreak, and the violence borne of suffering

Last week, the federal courts sentenced young Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death for his crimes in the Boston Marathon bombing. I don’t talk politics much here, but I will say on the record: I was hoping against hope that it would be life without parole. I hoped – and even believed – that we were betterContinue reading “Tsarnaev, heartbreak, and the violence borne of suffering”

Weekly sharing series

I’ve been working to use Facebook more reliably, and I’m looking to launch a series for each day of the week where I say a little something, post a little finding, share a song or a story or an exercise, each day of the week. But because it’s cuter if I do it this way,Continue reading “Weekly sharing series”