Site Updates



UPDATE TO “FURTHER RESOURCES & READINGS (HEALING JOURNEY)” to include a link to a drug & alcohol rehabilitation website that discusses the link between trauma, PTSD and addiction issues.

APRIL 11th 

New Article ~ BBC news report on research into the way memory is encoded in the brain. 

I have located this article in MEMORY under the Neurobiology tab. It is of interest because the research challenges the accepted wisdom that memory engrams are first encoded into the hippocampus in the limbic area, and only reach the neocortex a few days later after REM sleep and sorting of day residue.


APRIL 8TH 2017

New section in the Gallery – titled “Depictions from helpless victimization to triumphant empowerment”

This new section showcases a survivor’s artwork through an eight-year therapy with an arts therapist. I have placed the presentation after the gallery section titled ‘Healing and Moving On’, as it seemed to me to depict a wide view of the long healing journey. Thank you to the brave survivor who felt to share her work with us, and to the therapist who facilitated the sharing process.



Extracts from Therapy Sessions

I have posted the first of a series of extracts from therapy sessions with clients who have histories of childhood trauma and abuse. My reason for adding this section to the website is to provide evidence of the multi-modal nature of trauma therapy. My experience in this field is that survivors of childhood trauma and abuse need multiple intervention strategies in their healing journey.  As I’ve discussed elsewhere on this site, there is a tendency in the therapy world for people to become proficient – and enthusiastic – about a particular mode of therapy, such as EMDR, or CBT, or Arts Therapy, or Psychodrama, and to focus on using that strategy to the exclusion of other ones. I don’t believe this is in the best interest of clients. The different strategies perform slightly different functions in the brain, so all are good and helpful, but ALL of them require talking therapy as well. Whatever creative mode is used, debriefing, discussing and analysing in language is important for neural integration.

So I will post examples of therapy sessions that demonstrate the combination of creative modes with talking and cognitive behavioural strategies.



The Simple Strategy to achieve any goal

Article by Dr Sarah McKay. An interesting contribution to CBT practice, offering a strategy to bypass the tendency we all have of not following through on well-intentioned promises to the self. Well worth considering as a tool in one’s tool-kit. Extract from this article will be found under “Articles/discussion of general interest”.



Where Mindfulness, EMDR, Emotional-Release and Inner Child work Meet

Van der Kolk included these therapeutic interventions in his top 5 list of recommended therapies for healing PTSD and Complex PTSD (Developmental Trauma Disorder). In this discussion I consider what might be the common factor that has elevated these strategies to the top of our lists in the trauma field. I use the term ‘inner child work’ instead of ‘Internal Family Systems Therapy’, as the term ‘inner child’ is more generic. However the term ‘internal parts-of-self’ would be a more inclusive way to describe this kind of therapeutic strategy.


OCT 13th

Bilateral Drawing as alternative to EMDR

Cathy Malchiodi has contributed a valuable discussion to the field of EMDR, or bilateral processing. She describes how drawing with both hands can have a similar function to the left-right eye tracking of EMDR. I believe this is an important addition to the EMDR field, as the finger-tracking process does not suit all people. Knee tapping and headphones with alternative music tracks are other options which have been found to suit child clients who can’t cope with the eye-tracking process. But art-making may be a more comfortable approach for both young and adult clients as well.

OCT 12th

From Gut to Brain: the Vagus Nerve

The importance of ‘the gut’/digestive tract in trauma research is only just going main-stream. We will start to see and read the subject more frequently, as the flow-on effect of the worldwide research machine accelerates. Back in my days at the Jamillon Centre , Spensely and Johnson/Nikakis considered the vagus nerve to be an important element in the understanding of how trauma affected the body, but, as so often has been the case, it needed neuroscience to catch up and be able to demonstrate the biology involved.

As much as possible with this website, I present information that is backed up by research and (at least some) neurobiological evidence. That’s the particular ‘take’ of this website.

I haven’t included much information about the vagus nerve, but my interest in the link between digestive problems and trauma has been growing, as I see it so often among my clients. Now that the issue is being presented as a tri-partite phenomenon (i.e., brain, vagus nerve, gut), I feel ready to include a page devoted to the subject. Just as trauma is now an open subject, so digestive problems is increasingly recognised as a serious issue in the population. It is no surprise to find that they are biologically connected.

OCT 10th

Bessel A. van der Kolk and Daniel J. Siegel

There are many significant clinicians and researchers who have contributed to the field of Trauma and C/-PTSD over the past two and a half decades. So why do I feature van der Kolk and Dan Siegel on this website, devoting two menu sections to their work? I address this question with an overview of my journey in this field and the key figures who influenced me.

Oct 8th

Articles of Interest Update: “Art Therapy for Syrian Refugee Children”

This article caught my interest particularly, because it gives some specific examples of how the traumatised children act out their trauma. The charity involved is The Red Pencil, out of Singapore, and is giving some researchers an opportunity to monitor the effectiveness of art therapy for trauma.

Sept 14th

Psychotherapy update:

An additional section in “Psychotherapy” under the “Healing” tab. Addresses the issue of clients who feel that the therapist is only listening to them because they’re paid to do that, therefore it’s not a real relationship.

Sept 9th

Dissociation update:

Extract from Brown’s article on the two types of dissociation. This extract is on a separate tab, under ‘Dissociation’, and is titled ‘Cognitive Processing and DID’. It offers a fairly dense overview of the pathways by which we process incoming information, and how the process of compartmentalisation might be connected to the formation of alternate personalities.

Sept 8th

Articles of interest:  “Trauma Recovery is an Oxymoron” 

by Odelya Gertel Kraybill, Ph.D.

Sept 2nd 

Dissociation update: 

The updated information on Dissociation is now available, though a bit more is still coming.

August 26th

Dissociation update:

One of the frustrating things about the subject of Dissociation is that we don’t really know what it is, at this point in the development of neurobiology and neuropsychology.  My section on Dissociation, under Trauma, while not being incorrect, is by now somewhat out of date. It’s time to write up the research findings that have evolved over the last ten years.

There seems to be sufficient consensus amongst the scholars in this field for me to present a new overview of the current theories and hypotheses around the phenomenon of Dissociation. Some of the theories around cortical and neural network functioning are really complex, utilising dense medical language that just takes all the fun out of reading it. So my job is to wade through it, translate it and summarise it, so it can provide readers with information that is useful for the therapeutic purposes of healing from trauma.

I’m currently busy wading, and will publish an update as soon as I can.





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