Edition: Febrruary 1, 2015
The Body Keeps Score: Brain, Mind, Body in the Treatment of Trauma
by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk
“Trauma is a fact of life. Veterans and their families deal with the painful aftermath of combat; one in five Americans has been molested; one in four grew up with alcoholics; one in three couples have engaged in physical violence. Such experiences inevitably leave traces on minds, emotions, and even on biology. Sadly, trauma sufferers frequently pass on their stress to their partners and children.
“Trauma is an experience that overwhelms your capacity to cope. People feel helpless, overwhelmed, scared, horrified; at the core of trauma is horror. When a person experiences traumatic events, the aftermath can be extremely debilitating. Trauma not only affects the mind, but can have lifelong effects on the body.”
Dr. Bessel van der Kolk is a psychiatrist who has been treating people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other types of trauma for more than 40 years. He founded the Trauma Center in Brookline, Mass., and is author of the new book The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma.
New Ways Of Treating Trauma
More from van der Kolk as he tells Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson (NPR) about new ways to treat trauma, focusing on ways to making the body feel safe. Listen to this interview about the crucial role the body plays in the trauma experience.
“Neuroscience has really helped us understand that you can’t talk yourself out of being in love, or being angry, or hating particular people because these are not rational processes, and reason has only very limited capacities to override these more primitive survival issues. And so, you need to not rely on reason, you need rely on mastery of your body, safety of your body, finding peace in your body . . . It’s not one size fits all. You need to find some way where your body once again feels like ‘I am in control of myself.'”
Listen Now ...
“Relationships are the graduate school of mindful practices and mindful practices create healthy relationships.”
Premarital counseling is quite the challenge. Family Systems’ guru Ed Freidman was fond of saying the couple is coming together at the speed of light and no pastor or counselor has discovered how to intercept such rapid relational travel. But we continue to try. Eve Eschner Hogan, a relationship specialist, and author of The EROS Equation: A SOUL-ution for Relationships gives some helpful hints about relationships in this blog.
In her blog Real Love featured regularly in Spirituality & Health Magazine Eve shares skills, principles, and tools for creating healthy, harmonious relationships—with friends, family, lovers, co-workers, and the world at large. - See more ...
Seeing God Differently—the Life of Contemplation
“By naming God everything that makes God God, we come daily to see God differently, to see God wholly. More than that, by naming God the sum total of created goodness, we come to see the rest of life differently as well. In the first place, we see God present to every distinct moment, every separate segment of life. In the second place, we come to see every distinct moment of life, every gracious mortal being around us charged with that presence. We come to see that every facet of life—all of them, each of them—as glints of the Divine. We get a fuller picture of God. At the same time, we get a deeper understanding of the sacredness of a creation that shares in this divinity.
“When we name God fully, all of life becomes an exercise in contemplation. We touch the divine dimensions of ourselves. We see God everywhere. We feel divinity everywhere. We recognize God everywhere. And, eventually, we become what we think about. We become what we see, make holy what we touch, make sacred what we are.
“In this tradition, no single name names God. . . . Clearly, if God is really God, no one name can possibly hold all the allusions, say all the concepts breathe in one breath all the qualities that are God. That awareness changes the way we see both God and life.”
--Joan Chittister, In Search of Belief, 1999.
Rabbi Rami: How Do I Make My Space More Holy?
“One way to alter your life is to altar your living. An altar is basically a flat space on which you place objects that, when you contemplate them, shift you from your basest self to your best Self. I have an altar in my office on which I place a variety of religious icons from different traditions, as well as photographs of my rebbe, guru, roshi, and dog. I don’t worship these images, but looking at them reminds me to cultivate an open heart, open mind, and open hand” - Find out more ...
Meet: monthly 1 ½ hours
Where and when:
Alliance: Christ UMC, 470 E. Broadway – Third Thursdays, 1:00 PM
Ashland: Christ UMC, 1140 Claremont Ave. – Second Wednesdays, 1:00 PM
Cleveland: East Shore UMC, 23002 Lakeshore Blvd., Euclid – First Thursdays, 1:00 PM
Medina: Granger UMC, 1235 Granger Rd. – Third Wednesdays, 1:00 PM
New Philadelphia: First UMC, 201 W. High St. – Second Thursdays, 9:00 AM
(February’s Group will convene at Baldwin Wallace for their Faith and Life Lecture Series. See details below.)
Sandusky: Trinity UMC, 214 E. Jefferson St. – Second Thursdays, 2:00 PM
(February’s Group will convene at Baldwin Wallace for their Faith and Life Lecture Series. See details below.)
If you are interested in being part of one of these groups, it would be helpful if you let us know for planning purposes. For questions and to receive information about a particular group, please call our office 330-456-0486 or email us at email@example.com
The Program in Pastoral Care and Counseling encourages the spiritual formation of our pastors believing a strong spiritual base is the greatest resource a church leader can possess. It helps us weather the many storms of ministry and deepens the incredible joys ministry provides. Following is a list of Spiritual Directors in our area. We encourage you to take advantage of this rich resource. This listing will appear in each edition of our bi-monthly webpage updates and new names and contact information will be provided as we learn of them and have permission to include them. If you are a director or know of a director that is not included here please let us know.
Debbie Baker - firstname.lastname@example.org
Bruce Batchler-Glader – email@example.com
Harry Finkbone - Finkbone1@gmail.com
Liz Nau – firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer Olin-Hitt – email@example.com
Sharon Seyfarth Garner – firstname.lastname@example.org
Baldwin Wallace University Faith and Life Lecture Series
Lindsay-Crossman Chapel, 56 Seminary St., Berea
Baldwin Wallace University Faith and Life Lecture Series with Sr. Kathleen Deignan presenting: "Meeting the Masters of Cosmos and of Soul: Thomas Berry and Thomas Merton," and “Finding Our Way to an Ecological Age: Berry and Merton as Guides.”
Merton and Berry are two of the most remarkable 20th century spiritual masters. As prophets and culture critics, both wisdom teachers announced the perils and crises of our moment. As visionaries and poets both saw the new frontiers of human spiritual evolution, languaged them into clarity, and charted revelatory maps to guide us forward from our wasteland worlds into regions of greater vitality, depth and solidarity with all life. As midwives of the New Creation, both labored in the Great Work of our time: to birth the new human person for an ecological age.
Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time
by Tony Schartz and Catherine McCarthy
“Most of us respond to rising demands in the workplace by putting in longer hours, which inevitably take a toll on us physically, mentally, and emotionally. That leads to declining levels of engagement, increasing levels of distraction, high turnover rates, and soaring medical costs among employees.
“The core problem with working longer hours is that time is a finite resource. Energy is a different story. Defined in physics as the capacity to work, energy comes from four main wellsprings in human beings: the body, emotions, mind, and spirit. In each, energy can be systematically expanded and regularly renewed by establishing specific rituals—behaviors that are intentionally practiced and precisely scheduled, with the goal of making them unconscious and automatic as quickly as possible.” Read full article ...
Are You Headed for an Energy Crisis?
Please check the statements below that are true for you.
__ I don’t regularly get at least seven to eight hours of sleep, and I often wake up feeling tired.
__ I frequently skip breakfast, or I settle for something that isn’t nutritious.
__ I don’t work out enough (meaning cardiovascular training at least three times a week and strength training at least once a week).
__ I don’t take regular breaks during the day to truly renew and recharge, or I often eat lunch at my desk, if I eat it at all.
__ I frequently find myself feeling irritable, impatient, or anxious at work, especially when work is demanding.
__ I don’t have enough time with my family and loved ones, and when I’m with them, I’m not always really with them.
__ I have too little time for the activities that I most deeply enjoy.
__ I don’t stop frequently enough to express my appreciation to others or to savor my accomplishments and blessings.
__ I have difficulty focusing on one thing at a time, and I am easily distracted during the day, especially by e-mail.
__ I spend much of my day reacting to immediate crises and demands rather than focusing on activities with longer-term value and high leverage.
__ I don’t take enough time for reflection, strategizing, and creative thinking.
__ I work in the evenings or on weekends, and I almost never take an e-mail–free vacation.
__ I don’t spend enough time at work doing what I do best and enjoy most.
__ There are significant gaps between what I say is most important to me in my life and how I actually allocate my time and energy.
__ My decisions at work are more often influenced by external demands than by a strong, clear sense of my own purpose.
__ I don’t invest enough time and energy in making a positive difference to others or to the world.• • •
How is your overall energy?
Total number of statements checked: __
Guide to scores
0–3: Excellent energy management skills
4–6: Reasonable energy management skills
7–10: Significant energy management deficits
11–16: A full-fledged energy management crisis
What do you need to work on?
Number of checks in each category:
Guide to category scores
0: Excellent energy management skills
1: Strong energy management skills
2: Significant deficits
3: Poor energy management skills
4: A full-fledged energy crisis
5 Tips For Managing Your Energy, Not Your Time
Jenny Blake (author, blogger, life coach and yoga teacher)
“Rather than treating our life and businesses as a marathon, we treat them as sprints and recovery (recovery being key here!).
“We all know we are going to have big sprints — that’s what makes pursuing a project or business so exciting. But it’s imperative that we build in equal parts recovery.”
Tips to Make Room for Recovery
The East Ohio Conference Pastoral Care Office:
1445 Harrison Avenue NW · Suite 301
Canton, Ohio 44708
Toll Free: 866-456-3600
Office Hours: Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
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