DEVELOPING PSYCHOLOGICAL SKILLS
The month of March was an exciting time as I was honoured to meet the innovator herself Dr Marsha Linehan. She ran a workshop on skills for distressed and high-risk populations. If you're not a health professional and wondering who Dr Marsha Linehan is?, think meeting someone like Steve Jobs who co-founded Apple. Marsha founded and developed Dialectal Behavioural Therapy (DBT) and is as Byron Clinic describes "a living legend". She has paved the way in psychotherapy and treatment of high risk populations such as suicidal behaviours, Borderline Personality (BPD)Disorder and drug abuse. Her treatment combines Behavioural Science and Zen concepts as she's a "Zen Master" herself. Her Zen concepts include acceptance and mindfulness practices.
I also met and workshopped with another giant in the field Janina Fisher. She brought forward a clearer understanding that trauma leaves its' imprint psychologically and somatically that stays long after the trauma is experienced. The message is clear with trauma that the body continues to respond as if the danger was ever present (Must read: The Body Keeps The Score by Bessel van der Kolk). Janina's teachings emphasise the understanding of the trauma but also transforming how the mind, body and soul remembers it with healing gains.
You may have noticed that I'm passionate in the treatment of complex trauma and truly understanding the legacy that trauma leaves with a person. When trauma is experienced a person changes in their own makeup but we outwardly see this as an "emotional self". Being compassionate to ones self and nurturing the traumatised parts was a key lesson that I learnt from Fisher. Also, noticing your own body's reactions and what gets activated in the context of trauma. Linehan comes from a behavioural model where all behaviour is learnt and new behaviours have to be learnt in all relevant context. I definitely understood the value of "wise mind" and "radical acceptance" in her teachings.
The overarching message remains the same, trauma leaves it's mark on the survivor and the process towards healing and recovery takes significant insight into one's self. A better understanding of the experience of trauma allows for the healing process to continue.
Hope you enjoyed the snippets inside my professional journey and remember to stay mindful in every moment of your day!