Posts by Bill Bray

Relationship Conflict and the Transformative Power of Feeling Safe

Posted by on Jan 28, 2018 in Research | 0 comments

Emotional flooding. Psychologist John Gottman, PhD, explains what it means: “(Your body mobilizes) so that it can effectively cope with emergencies that might injure you. The way this works is that in situations you perceive as ‘dangerous’…a series of things happen in your body. It can even happen without your awareness. For example, suppose you are driving down the highway at night and suddenly see headlights in your lane coming right at you. You swerve onto the shoulder and narrowly avert a collision. If we were to examine your physiology at the moment, we would find...

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Vicarious Traumatization (VT)

Posted by on Nov 22, 2017 in Research | 0 comments

On November 6, 2017, CNN reported that of the 30 deadliest shootings in the US dating back to 1949, 18 have occurred in the last 10 years. Two of the five deadliest have taken place in just the last 35 days. On Sunday, November 5, 2017, a gunman opened fire inside a small community church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, killing 26 people; the fifth-deadliest shooting in modern US history. On October 1, 2017, a gunman opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on a crowd of more than 20,000 gathered on the Las Vegas Strip for a music festival. He kills 58 people and...

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The Value of Negative Experiences

Posted by on Sep 17, 2017 in Research | 0 comments

February 5 was NOT a good day for me. In the words of the popular children’s writer and psychoanalyst Judith Viorst, it was a “Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” My car was broken into while jogging, involving the theft of my wallet, credit cards, and checkbook. I remember the sick feeling in my stomach as I spotted the shattered back window from a distance. Looking immediately into the console of my car–where these items were kept–only confirmed my fears. Everything was gone. Those of you having experienced identity theft know the feeling all too well. Exacerbating...

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Internal Family Systems (IFS)

Posted by on Jul 23, 2017 in Research | 0 comments

Last month, I took a day off from seeing clients to attend an Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) seminar. The seminar was led by Frank G. Anderson, M.D. Dr. Anderson completed his residency in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and was a clinical instructor at Harvard. He is currently the chairman of the Foundation for Self Leadership, which is the organization for Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS). Dr. Anderson maintains a private practice in Concord, Massachusetts, and has maintained a long affiliation with Bessel van der Kolk’s Trauma Center at the Justice Resource Center in...

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The Gift of Therapy: Reasonable Happiness

Posted by on May 26, 2017 in Research | 0 comments

The other day I finally purchased a book I had passed by multiple times; each time thinking “I should read that book.” The book is The Gift of Therapy; An Open Letter to a New Generation of Therapists and their Patients (2002). The author is the emeritus professor of psychiatry at Stanford University, Irvin Yalom, M.D. Obviously written to and about a professional reading audience, Yalom calls the book a “nuts-and-bolts collection of favorite interventions or statements…long on technique and short on theory.” Although Yalom urges therapists to work from a variety of approaches, he...

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