Stuff to Check Out
A message from Laurie:
When people are in therapy with me, I often refer people to certain podcasts, websites, books, and so forth. Some of these resources are now being listed here, for ease of access, as this resource list has all references linked. I try to add new resources to this site as I discover them, so please check back regularly and see what is new!
Disclaimer: if you choose to listen to any of the listed podcasts, or read any books, but are not currently in therapy with me or another licensed and appropriately trained clinician, please be mindful. Some material may contain material which is "triggering". What this means is that it may bring up painful emotions or memories that you are not prepared for, and if you don't have someone who has the right skills to talk to, you could become overwhelmed and turn to negative strategies to manage your pain. Please know that listening to a podcast or reading a book is never a substitute for therapy.
There are so many GREAT podcasts right now! Some of them have to do with the field of mental health, and are incredibly informative. But guess what? Some people aren't exactly sure what a podcast is. If this describes you, see if this article helps. One thing I will say here so I don't have to say it again--most podcasts have sponsors (advertisers, etc.) which means there are a few minutes at the beginning, or in the middle, of the podcast where you have to tolerate the interviewer talking about products. It is a little annoying, but that is how they can pay their guests and pay themselves. Hang in there when you hear this and please keep listening!
Here are some of my podcast recommendations--please remember the trigger warning, and listen with discretion.
A new discovery is Laura Reagan, LCSW, who covers a range of issues relevant to individuals who come through my door in her interviews. The content is very strong and her interviewing style is understated and easy to listen to. You can scroll through her list (she has well over 100 podcasts) and likely will find something that you find useful.
For anyone who grew up in a family where a parent was an alcoholic, or someone had a serious mental illness, I think this is a great interview: Podcast 140: Dynamics Of Dysfunctional Or Alcoholic Families.
I would also strongly recommend Podcast #148, "Effects of Childhood Traumatic Stress on Physical & Mental Health" for anyone who knows there is a connection but would like to learn more.
Neil Sattin is a really thoughtful interviewer and takes the time to get into "the weeds" with each of the guests on this show, Relationships Alive, which features well known experts in the mental health field. He has two interviews with Richard Schwartz, the founder of Internal Family Systems therapy (IFS) which are wonderful--but the truth is, anything I have listened to by Neil seems to be pretty excellent!
Here are the two Schwartz interviews:
Rachel Grant is a coach who has a podcast called "Beyond Surviving" on childhood sexual abuse. Recently the podcast has been taken over by another individual and is now called Transforming Trauma. I haven't been able to listen to the new podcast, so am directing my clients, when they have relevant experience in their background, to focus on the older podcasts that are facilitated by Rachel. Some of these have been very useful to my clients, and do not have any explicit content.
Other names that I often recommend include: Tara Brach, Jon Kabat Zinn, Dan Siegel, and Thich Nhat Hanh. These are all excellent and renowned teachers of mindfulness and stress reduction. One disclaimer is that Tara Brach and Thich Nhat Hanh are both also Buddhist teachers, which may be a concern for some people with specific religious beliefs. However, none of their teachings exclude people from other faiths and they offer many insights that can be applied to anyone, regardless of spiritual or religious affiliation.
Most people at this point have heard of mindfulness, and I often talk about it in session. There is an "app" and website called Insight Timer that is very helpful to anyone who is trying to develop a regular meditation practice. It can be downloaded to your smart phone and allows free access to a healthy library of guided meditation materials. There is a very handy guide on the website that can help you understand the various styles of meditation. It is my recommendation that anyone in therapy seek guided meditations in the groupings referenced as "Mindfulness" and "Movement". These will help you become more connected to yourself and your body, which is of utmost importance for the process of healing.
That being said...there are times when meditation can be the wrong approach for people with trauma histories. I have known this for some time, and for example, encourage people to stay away from meditation styles that focus on achieving "transcendental" states. I was really excited to find podcast #128 titled "Mindfulness and Trauma" from Laura Reagan that touches really well on some of the risks of meditating or doing mindfulness practice in non "trauma informed" settings. The podcast touches on some other topics and meanders a bit, but I think it is well worth listening to.
The Beacon House, a treatment facility in the UK, has built a wonderful website, influenced by some world renowned experts on the topics of attachment injury, developmental trauma, and PTSD, offers some wonderful resources for understanding the impact of trauma on a child.
Many clients come in as adults and report that their behaviors and feelings confuse them. If I ask them, in a conversation about an upsetting situation, how old they were feeling when the thing was happening, people often say "I don't know if it means anything, but I am getting the answer 5 years old", or "9 years old", or "11 years old". In other words, we are often hijacked by the child inside of us, who is stuck in time and still bearing the wounds of a particular situation or incident. In order to understand what is going on in the present, we often have to try to understand what happened in the past, and why that child is stuck. Please take some time to look at these handouts and review the website. There are some real gems!
Looking for EMDR?
I am an EMDR certified therapist and so people come to me seeking EMDR. People often are curious about what EMDR is, and after we review it in session, I encourage them to go online and learn more information. EMDR is a powerful therapy if and when it is right for you. I am very careful to make sure that a person is at the right stage of therapy because it is an intensive form of treatment. My two go to websites for learning more about EMDR are below:
If you are looking for an EMDR therapist and I don't have any openings, please click here to see if you can find anyone else in your zip code or region.