Retaining agency is not resistance to treatment…it is in fact a sign of health

The catch - 22 I thought about the other day: The mental health system tells clients/patients/consumers that they need better boundaries while expecting them to ignore their boundaries.

What does it mean to heal?

Healing to me does not mean returning to what one was before something went wrong. Wholeness does not necessarily mean normal. And even the word recovery is problematic because, frankly, I don't want what I had before. Who wants to go backwards anyway?

Fight or flight? Try FIGHTING. Kickboxing scratches that itch.

Woke up to energy that was needing expression. Fighting. I turned on youtube and searched kickboxing. OMG where have you been all my life? Anyone with stifled fight or flight energy (from PTSD) would likely benefit from this at some point. I've been stuck in passive attention. That is over. What a most delicious RUSH.... Continue Reading →

There is a drive to not only survive but to thrive: coming back from trauma

What gets called mental illness, is, in large part, a reaction to trauma. It’s quite simple really. When we start listening to people’s stories of pain rather than numbing them out and effectively silencing them with neurotoxic drugs we will start healing them. Until then people will remain broken. One of the most basic needs for a wounded human being to heal is to be seen. Recognized. Validated. Yes. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

Healing after Trauma: Ten Steps Forward, Nine Steps Back

By Will Meecham - Ten years ago it wasn’t uncommon for me to be depressed and near suicide for days on end, with few ‘breathers’ between episodes. Nowadays I feel down only occasionally and for brief periods. Even better, my baseline is more optimistic and enthusiastic. Rather than living with a stubborn low-grade depression and rare hypomanic lifts, I now enjoy a background state of sweet (if slightly sad) acceptance with occasional hours of serenity–or even bliss–during meditation. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

Psychiatry ignores trauma says Dr. Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score)

Psychiatry Must Stop Ignoring Trauma, says Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, Yes, please, and thank you for saying so! Of course psychiatry must not just stop ignoring trauma, it must stop retraumatizing the already traumatized. It's clients. The very vulnerable people who seek help and end up being harmed further. Not only are hospitals and a lot of standard treatment horribly abusive the medications have been found to be further agents of trauma. It's also true that coercion, subtle or otherwise, is the rule in psychiatric care and that the United Nations has also declared forced treatment to be a form of torture. … [click on title to read the rest]

Somatic Wisdom Technique Part 2

In the first part of the discussion about developing “Somatic Wisdom”, we used a technique that involved scanning the body for any distress and then using a four part process to describe it and name it. In this post, I will discuss how we can access the body’s innate wisdom to learn ways to transform any stuck energy and release it for better health and emotional well being. Again, the point of this practice is to engage the wisdom of the body to discover areas of distress. Physical distress in the body has an emotional component that often lays dormant without our conscious knowledge. These charged emotional states are essentially messages from our body. When we take the time to tune in and really listen the messages become clearer and more apparent. The simple process of scanning and listening often gives us strong insight into the emotional and spiritual reasons we are feeling uncomfortable. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

Newsweek covers the Hearing Voices Movement

Newsweek did an article on the Hearing Voices Movement. I missed it a few days ago. It's a very positive report. This is big. How wonderful that such a mainstream magazine took this predominantly positive stance. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

The soft animal of the body

By Will Meecham Bessel van der Kolk’s 2014 book, The Body Keeps the Score, reminds me of how strongly both my physical and mental condition have been shaped by trauma. Spinal arthritis, abdominal pain, chronic muscle aches, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and many other problems combine to form an inner ledger of the abuse, bereavement, and neglect of my childhood and the uproar, frustration, and terror of my adult experience. Why should this be? Why should trauma have such profound effects on body and mind? It’s useful to remember what it means to live as a human organism. There are many ways to explore this, but let’s try an outside-in approach. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

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