Articles of Interest

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Brickel and Associates, LLCWhy Trauma-Informed Care Matters in Addiction Recovery
Robyn E. Brickel, MA, LMFT

Sometimes in addiction treatment, just getting free from using drugs or alcohol can hijack all our attention. I cannot stress enough how important it is to recognize trauma’s role when we talk about addiction treatment and recovery. The article ”The Link Between Trauma and Addiction” by the Maryland Addiction Recovery Center made this point so well. I want to follow up from a trauma-informed care perspective.

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Maryland Addiction Recovery Center - Reconstructing Lives Through Innovative Treatment Solutions5 Signs You May Be Enabling the Addict in Your Life
Maryland Addiction Recovery Center

There is little doubt that addiction is a family disease that impacts not just the addict but also affects the entire family unit. One of the ways this occurs is through enabling. Enabling, in the context of addiction or alcoholism, is a behavior of the family or friends that allows the addict to continue with their destructive lifestyle. The issue with enabling is that the family members and friends that are enabling often are ”well-intentioned” and either believe their actions are beneficial to the addict or through natural human instinct they are not capable of stopping or changing the behavior.

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Sharon Martin - Live well and love your lifeWhat Is An Avoidant Attachment Style?
Sharon Martin, LCSW

People with an avoidant attachment style struggle with deep intimacy and trust. They’ll unconsciously create situations and reasons to leave or sabotage close relationships. They tend to connect and then pull away when the relationship feels too intense. Their relationships tend to be shallow, as a result.

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WYG - What's Your Grief8 Tips For Supporting A Grieving Friend This Holiday
Litsa Williams, Co-Founder

Most people don’t intentionally set out to be unsupportive of their grieving family and friends. We know you may disagree, but let’s be generous and give people the benefit of the doubt. It is the holiday season after all.

Think about it, even people who’ve lost a loved one or, heck, people who’ve been trained in grief and bereavement sometimes struggle to know what to say or do. No one thought to make ”Supporting a Grieving Friend 101” a high school requirement (although I’m pretty sure it would be a lot more useful than that geometry class I took freshman year). No one gives you a handbook.

The result? Many otherwise caring people do or say totally misguided things; while many grieving people turn to their friends and family and fail to find the support they need. With this in mind, as a holiday gift to grievers and all those out there trying to support grievers, we’d like to provide you with 8 tips for supporting a grieving friend this holiday season.

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EMDRIA10 Trauma-Informed Ways to Ease Stress
Susanna Kaufman, MA, EMDRIA Staff

Many people in modern society experience feelings of constant stress or pressure, and prolonged experiences of stress can lead to serious mental and physical challenges. It is important to learn ways to help calm our nervous systems so we can better regulate and address the stress in our lives.

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Positive Psychology18 Ways to Handle Emotional Blackmail (+ Examples & Quotes)
Karen Doll, Psy.D., L.P.

Emotional blackmail is a dysfunctional form of manipulation that people use to place demands and threaten victims to get what they want. The undertone of emotional blackmail is if you don’t do what I want when I want it, you will suffer.

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Choose Help - Breaking FreeAdult Trauma Therapy for Complex Childhood Trauma
John Lee, Editor

In the first article in this series, we looked at how childhood traumas lead to a wide range of adult mental, emotional and physical health diseases and ultimately to early death.

So if you’ve got a trauma history, things can seem pretty bleak — but remember, statistics just represent an ‘average’ experience — you do not have to live this negative trajectory. By addressing your past, learning to cope with symptoms and ultimately reprocessing your memories so they no longer hold such power over you, you can earn a great health and quality of life increase.

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Sharon Martin - Live well and love your lifeEmotional Invalidation: A Form of Emotional Abuse
Sharon Martin

Have others minimized, shamed, or invalidated your feelings?

Having your feelings diminished, ignored, or rejected is a painful experience for all of us – but even more so if you’re a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) or survivor of abuse or other trauma.

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Sharon Martin - Live well and love your lifeHealing the Psychological Effects of Abandonment
Sharon Martin

Experiencing emotional abandonment in childhood can make us feel anxious, distrustful, ashamed, and inadequate – and these feelings often follow us into adulthood and make it difficult for us to form healthy, trusting relationships.

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Brickel and Associates, LLCHow to Heal Trauma By Understanding Your Attachment Style
Robyn E. Brickel, MA, LMFT

We have learned a lot from studies of babies and children that people grow up feeling different degrees of safety, acceptance and security in their first attachments.

Learning about attachment styles can help you understand yourself and your experiences in relationships better.

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Tiny BuddhaHow to Release the Painful Memories and Emotions Stored in Your Body
Jennifer Sterling

The events of our lives leave physiological imprints in our bodies, especially when we experience trauma or situations of extreme stress that cause the body to fight, flee, or freeze in order to cope.

In a perfect world, we would be able to release the trauma or soothe the stress response soon after it was triggered. But we don’t live in a perfect world, so we’re all walking around with physical imprints of past experiences (good and bad) stored in our bodies. Most of us don’t know how to release them because we don’t even realize they exist!.

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Psychology Today6 Ways to Set Boundaries Without Guilt
Sharon Martin, LCSW

Many of us avoid setting boundaries because we feel guilty when we set a limit or ask for something. Feeling guilty is understandable. However, not setting boundaries can lead to bigger problems.

Boundaries are important for several reasons. They create healthy relationships and clear expectations. Boundaries protect us from being hurt and taken advantage of. And they ensure that we use our time, energy, and money for the things that matter most to us.

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Psych CentralHow to Set Boundaries with Toxic People
Sharon Martin, LCSW

It isn’t easy to set boundaries with toxic people, but it’s something we can all learn to do and when we do, it’s empowering.

Ideally, people will respect our boundaries when we communicate them clearly. But we all know that some people will do everything they can to resist our efforts to set boundaries; they will argue, blame, ignore, manipulate, threaten, or physically hurt us. And while we can’t prevent people from acting like this, we can learn to set clear boundaries and take care of ourselves.

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Brickel and Associates, LLCLoving a Trauma Survivor: Understanding Childhood Trauma’s Impact On Relationships
Robyn E. Brickel, MA, LMFT

Survivors of childhood trauma deserve all the peace and security that a loving relationship can provide. But a history of abuse or neglect can make trusting another person feel terrifying. Trying to form an intimate relationship may lead to frightening missteps and confusion.

How can we better understand the impact of trauma, and help survivors find the love, friendship and support they and their partner deserve?

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Psychology TodayNarrating Trauma—From No Words to Your Words
Suzanne B. Phillips, Psy.D., ABPP

In the acute or immediate aftermath of traumatic events, most people don’t have a coherent story of what has happened because they have been surviving.

Months and even years after a traumatic event, people can become so terrified of re-experiencing the horror of a traumatic event that they will avoid any triggers of memory. Protecting themselves from pain with avoidance, they are unable to see in the triggered memory, the dream or flashback an opportunity to “make meaning”—to find the words, to begin to heal.

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Brickel and Associates, LLCSuicide Prevention — 10 Questions and Answers
Robyn E. Brickel, MA, LMFT

The tragedy of suicide has struck again, here in Northern Virginia. I am heartbroken to learn of four student deaths in three days, in nearby Prince William County. Each one was ruled a suicide. As we grieve more dreadful losses to mental illness, I must ask, how can we stop this from happening again?

”Tell your children you love and support them,” urges a message from the school superintendent. I wholeheartedly agree. Further, I ask you to do something more to help prevent another suicide, beginning today.

Underestimating the need for suicide prevention is disastrous. Let us make time now to overcome the stigma of talking about mental health, so we can help each other face and seek treatment for mental health concerns and distress. This will prevent a great deal of suffering and save more lives.

Suicide is a scary topic, but the cost of not knowing how to help, and the danger of overlooking the needs of people who are suffering is too great to ignore a moment longer.

Take a few minutes now, to consider these 10 brief but important questions and answers about suicide prevention.

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Sharon Martin - Live well and love your lifeWhat is Codependency?
Sharon Martin

Codependency is often misunderstood. It’s not just a label to slap on the spouse of every alcoholic. It encompasses a wide-range of behavior and thought patterns that cause people distress to varying degrees. I hope this article will help clear up some of the misconceptions about codependency and help you to understand codependency better.

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Brickel and Associates, LLCWhy I Take a Mind-Body Approach to Trauma Recovery
Robyn E. Brickel, MA, LMFT

Trauma recovery takes hard work, which survivors often wish could go faster. A new client recently asked me, ”Should I be exercising? Doing yoga? Meditating? What can I be doing physically to help me heal or recover more quickly? What else can I do to get through all of this?” It was a great question, so today, I’m going to address it in case you’ve been wondering too.

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Dr. Arielle SchwartzParts Work Therapy-Dr. Arielle Schwartz
Dr. Arielle Schwartz

One of the biggest reasons that we do not achieve our goals in life (or in therapy) is because we have unresolved conflicts between different parts of ourselves. This isn’t meant to minimize legitimate barriers—such as poverty, illness, lack of social support, or currently living in an unsafe environment—all of which can interfere with healing. However, if you feel stuck or unable to reach your potential despite your hard work, then parts work therapy might provide valuable insight.

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Psychology TodayLopsided Relationships: When Your Needs Always Come Last
Sharon Martin, LCSW

Relationships require mutual give and take. Both people need to demonstrate empathy and care for each other. They need to show interest in each other’s goals and ideas, and a desire to meet each other’s needs whenever possible.

Lopsided relationships lack this mutuality. One person consistently does all the giving and caretaking but receives little in return. This is not a recipe for a sustainable and fulfilling relationship. According to one study, individuals in lopsided relationships experienced more conflicts and physical aggression, and lower levels of relationship satisfaction, than individuals in more balanced relationships (Stanley et al., 2017).

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GoodTherapyMarried with Undiagnosed ASD: Why Women Who Leave Lose Twice
Sarah Swenson, MA, LMHC

When a neurotypical woman is married to a man who has the behaviors associated with autism spectrum (ASD), several things typically occur. Over the course of her marriage, she experiences herself as gradually disappearing. In the place of her former self emerges a person she barely recognizes.

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Grown and FlownHow to Help Your College Freshman When They’re Homesick

“I hate it here, I want to come home.” These are nine words, uttered by a brand new college freshman, that break a parent’s heart. We watched our kids work hard, we supported them in their journey to college, we dropped off an excited teen only days ago and…now this. They are homesick.

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Parent Encouragement ProgramLifelong Strategies for Dealing With Tantrums and Other Meltdowns

There is nothing more uncomfortable than a meltdown or tantrum for parents and children alike; nothing more socially awkward than one that takes place in public. If you’re parenting a young child, the holiday season is an excellent time to review strategies for managing the inevitable.

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Brickel and Associates, LLCHealthy Boundaries: When You Need Them, How to Create Them and How to Make Them Work for You
Robyn E. Brickel, MA, LMFT

We depend on our boundaries help us cope with challenges every day. They are a necessary part of life, but they can be hard to define exactly. What does it mean to have healthy boundaries, and how do you put them in place?

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The Washington PostTips To Combat Loneliness After A Move
Pam Moore

According to experts, there are steps you can take to ease your loneliness – whether you’re new in town during a pandemic in the dead of winter or just in need of more connections.

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Sharon Martin - Live well and love your life9 Practical Ways to Love Yourself
Sharon Martin, LCSW

You can be your greatest source of comfort. There’s no one better for the job since you will always have yourself and you will always know what you need. That being said, I know it’s not always easy to learn how to be kind to yourself.

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Positive Psychology30 Meditation Exercises and Activities to Practice Today
Leslie Riopel, MSc.

Meditation can do much more than boosting the brain, and it may even help you reduce your blood pressure, fight anxiety, and help you fight pain. In this article, we will look at some of the many activities and exercises you can do so you can take advantage of this wonderful state of mind.

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Fairfax County Public SchoolsThe Power of Mindfulness
FCPS & Fairfax County Government

It is important to take steps towards minimizing stress. One way to do this is through the incorporation of mindfulness. This is a particular way of paying attention, of purposefully bringing awareness to what is happening in this moment. It can be applied to the five senses, thoughts and emotions by learning the skill of focused attention.

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HomeAdvisor logoCreating the Optimal Living Environment for a Child with ADHD

Children with ADHD often need help keeping their bedrooms and environments organized. In fact, creating an environment in which there’s a place for everything and everything is in its place actually allows many children with ADHD to thrive.

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ADDitude logoHelping Your Teen Navigate ADHD on His Own Terms
Peter Jaksa, Ph.D.

I saw Donny for an ADHD evaluation shortly after his eleventh birthday. Like many parents, his mother, Christine, reacted to diagnosis of her adolescent son with mixed feelings: sadness that he was not perfect and that the attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD) wouldn’t go away – and concern about the implications for Donny’s future.

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Postpartum Support VirginiaWhat to Expect….When You Arrive Home
Postpartum Support Virginia

The first 2-3 weeks are an intense period of transition: baby transitioning to the outside world, and mom transitioning to motherhood. Allow time to adjust to this new life. Parenting can be joyful, but the first few weeks can be a great deal of work. Life for newborn baby consists of eating, digesting, sleeping, and crying, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. New parents often find themselves exhausted and overwhelmed, asking “How did this little baby change our lives so much?”

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Huffington Post logo6 Signs You Were Raised By A Narcissist
Anna Almendrala, Huffington Post

To outsiders, your dad is a larger-than-life social magnet who attracts people from all walks of life. Or your mom is the perfect woman, always looking to please and juggling everything with ease.

But behind closed doors, all pretense falls away. Only you, their child, knows what it’s like to endure their cold shoulders for days on end over a minor infraction, or bear the brunt of constant, age-inappropriate demands for perfection and strength. You know what it’s like to be parented by a narcissist.

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Narcissist Abuse Support logo8 Reasons For Ghosting And What To Do

It’s a shock to the heart whenever you care about someone who suddenly cuts you off without any explanation. If you insist on one and get a response like, “I just don’t feel it anymore,” it isn’t satisfying. You still want to know “WHY?”

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Narcissist Abuse Support logoAn Anonymous Story Of Co-Parenting

I have a stalker. He doesn’t lurk in the bushes by my house with binoculars. He doesn’t follow me to work or spy on me while I run errands. But he still inserts himself into my life and the effects of his actions are present in my home. He is the father of my child.

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