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02.06.17

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  • Watch Hill Therapy is a small group practice in downtown Chicago. The mission of the practice is to provide excellent, comprehensive services to trauma survivors with varying degrees of past trauma. The practice is expanding and we are seeking a highly qualified therapist to join our team. Watch Hill Therapy offers individual, couple’s, family and play therapy, as well as EMDR and EFT. In addition, we provide teaching and consulting services. Therapists in the practice treat a range of issues directly related to traumatic stress (including childhood sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect and other parental or caretaker abuse, sexual assault, PTSD, dissociative disorders, etc.), as well as relationship issues, marital & divorce issues, self-harm, suicidal ideation, eating disorders, addictive disorders, anxiety, depression, attachment/family of origin issues, LGBTQ relationships and issues, and grief & loss. Psychotherapist Requirements: Clinician must be fully licensed (LMFT, LCPC, LCSW, Licensed Clinical Psychologist) or nearing full

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  • I recently viewed the trailer of Shyamalan’s new movie, “Split.” Based on the trailer, the premise of the movie and its main character distort the truth about Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), which was once known as Multiple Personality Disorder. DID is a legitimate, painful and severe traumatic stress response. However, I believe that the movie’s depiction of its character with DID and dissociative responses is not accurate and unfortunately adds to the confusion, judgment, and shame around experiencing the kinds of trauma that create dissociative experiences.

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  • “Many abused children cling to the hope that growing up will bring escape and freedom. But the personality formed in the environment of coercive control is not well adapted to adult life. The survivor is left with fundamental problems in basic trust, autonomy, and initiative. She approaches the task of early adulthood――establishing independence and intimacy――burdened by major impairments in self-care, in cognition and in memory, in identity, and in the capacity to form stable relationships. She is still a prisoner of her childhood; attempting to create a new life, she reencounters the trauma.” – Judith Herman, Trauma and Recovery I am incredibly honored to do the work that I do as a therapist, especially a therapist that works with those who have been hurt by people in their lives that were supposed to care for them. In this world we do well when we are cared for consistently, when we

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  • Pause for a moment and notice how your body feels. What words might you use to describe the feelings you notice? How do the muscles in your neck, your shoulders and back feel? How does your jaw feel? How does your chest and belly feel in this moment? What is your breath like? Your heartbeat? How is your posture? And what might this all suggest about how you are doing in this very moment? What might this indicate about your past, your story, and the patterns you’ve developed throughout the course of your life? We all have a multilayered and sometimes complicated relationship with our body. For some it may feel like a distant object that is unfamiliar and strange. For others it may feel like a hostile entity that is unsafe and threatening. Even when the body feels like a safe refuge this can conflict with media messages that

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  • Yet another holiday season is upon us. Just as we finish washing the Thanksgiving dishes, it’s time to start the holiday shopping and string those lights. Many people look forward to the holiday season – the familiar traditions, delicious holiday treats, and much anticipated time with family and friends. Great expectations awaken. Parents set a course for a magical holiday experience for their children. Grandparents look forward to ushering the new generations of family into historic traditions. And children can barely contain themselves thinking of Santa’s soon to arrive gifts. Yet underneath the anticipation and excitement is a reality: the holiday season can deliver a major dose of stress. And while couples, too, hope to share the special season together, this added stress makes it one of the most trying times of the year for partner relationships. Causes of Stress With mounting commitments and competing expectations, patience begins to run thin and this added stress may push couples to turn

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  • Autumn always seems to arrive with a bittersweet embrace. The drying leaves, the fading cricket songs, and the occasional smell of wood fire, all usher in an unmistakable sense of nostalgia. As we turn our collective gaze downward to brace for the deepening chill, we try our best to navigate a range of mixed emotions. Sometimes these emotions consist of depressive features such as loneliness, sadness, and a lack of energy. So it is often with reluctance, and even trepidation, that we bid farewell to summer’s warmth and green. Meanwhile autumn, with winter at its heels, invites us to slow down and acknowledge the full range of our emotional experience as the world around us undergoes a considerable shift. Looking up, we witness the leaves let go of their hold and descend to the earth. And yet we know this is not the end of their journey, only a new

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  • “What the mind has forgotten, the body remembers long after.” ―Lilias Folan With September 11th here again, I am finding reminders of the tragedy from 2001 everywhere around me. This morning, fellow gym members were discussing their memories of hearing about the plane crashes. While describing their varied experiences, some who witnessed the events from New York City, some from their televisions from across the country, all re-experienced some of what they felt that day 14 years ago. Many of us who witnessed 9/11, whether directly or indirectly, can vividly recall our memories of that day. Where we were. Who we were with. How we felt. What we did during and after. In recalling your memories of that day, you may notice some uncomfortable sensations in your body. Maybe you get the urge to cry and feel intense sadness behind your eyes. Maybe you get that same heavy feeling in

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  • Being in relationship is difficult. It’s, perhaps, one of the most demanding domains of our lives. As a couple therapist, I repeatedly see the challenges couples in relationships face: fear of commitment, incompatibility, differing values, growing apart, infidelity, loss, disappointment, and divorce. It’s a long list and certainly not complete. In relationship, the potential for suffering – hurt, sadness, and exhaustion – is high. Sharing your life with someone and letting him or her get close means that when things go wrong, it matters. The emotions you feel can be intense and turn your world upside down. Yet despite this daunting list, most people rarely choose to give up and go it alone. Why? Neuroscience over the last 20 years has taught us that we are wired for connection. We have learned that our brains are social organs that develop and change in interaction with other brains. This means that the

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  • “Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths.” – Etty Hillesum According to the Center for Disease Control, up to of 80% of doctor visits are stress related.  On average, people have approximately 50 stress responses a day.  Think about it.  What are all of the things in your daily life that put stress on your mind and body? There are different kinds of stressors and each one is going to impact you in a different way.  Some categories are: Stress from daily routines (i.e. related to the pressures of work, family and other daily responsibilities) Stress brought about by a sudden negative change (i.e. illness, death of a loved one, loss of a job) Traumatic stress (i.e. a major accident, assault or natural disaster) Physiologically, the body responds to each type of stress in similar ways. The sympathetic nervous

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