Search Results for: compassion

A Compassionate Look at “Borderline Personality Disorder” From a Trauma-Informed Lens

DSM 5 terminology for Borderline Personality Disorder

When someone has a mental health issue or illness, therapists look to a diagnosis, so we can better understand it, gather information about it and treat it precisely as mental health professionals.

However, sometimes the terms themselves may add to the challenges in working with the patient. I admit, I’m troubled by the diagnostic term borderline personality disorder (BPD). The negative traits and pathologizing language usually associated with this term make it hard to use the terminology or diagnosis without also being extremely detrimental to the client. These kinds of terms can then worsen the problem of the stigma associated with mental illness, which we all have to confront. When we use certain terms, we may unwillingly subject people to prejudice, judgment and stigma that can prevent them from getting help, receiving compassion, and seeking out a trauma-informed approach to treatment. This is not okay!

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A Compassionate Guide to Talking about LBGTQ Issues

transgender issues

by Robyn E. Brickel, M.A., LMFT and Emily Sanders, LPC

On November 7, 2017,  Virginia voters elected Danica Roem to the Virginia House of Delegates. Roem is the first openly transgender state legislator in America. Her campaign focused on local issues, especially improving traffic problems, which resonated with voters. But she has also broken a cultural barrier that brings attention to the LBGTQ community. Her public life opens new opportunities for us to talk about transgender issues.

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To Heal Trauma, Free Your Most Compassionate Self

compassion in trauma-informed care

The experience of trauma makes a profound mark on a person. It doesn’t matter whether the injury is grave and evident, like the bruising of a battered person, or hard to see, like the emotional neglect of someone detached and withdrawn. Whatever the cause, when a person feels threatened, helpless, and unable to escape, that person knows trauma.

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Books: Mindfulness, Relaxation, Compassion, Personal Growth

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HAPPY FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE: FOUR STEPS TO CONTENTMENT, HOPE AND JOY – AND THE THREE KEYS TO STAYING THERE

Whoever said happiness was a pursuit wasn’t kidding. We search high and low, spend money we may or may not have, engage in all kinds of behaviors for good and ill, and still come up short in the happiness department. Happiness bec…read more

THE ANYWHERE, ANYTIME CHILL GUIDE: 77 SIMPLE STRATEGIES FOR SERENITY

How to conquer everyday stress with zen, a sense of humor, and techniques anyone can do any…read more

OPTION B: FACING ADVERSITY, BUILDING RESILIENCE AND FINDING JOY

From Facebook’s COO and Wharton’s top-rated professor, the #1 New York Times best-selling authors of Lean In and Originals: a powerful, inspiring, and practical book about building resilience and mov…read more

SELF-COMPASSION: STOP BEATING YOURSELF UP AND LEAVE INSECURITY BEHIND

 

THE MINDFUL PATH THE SELF-COMPASSION: FREEING YOURSELF FROM DESTRUCTIVE THOUGHTS AND EMOTIONS

“Buck up.” “Stop feeling sorry for yourself.” “Don’t ruin everything.” When you are anxious, sad, angry, or lonely, do you hear this self-critical voice? What would happen if, instead of fighting difficult emotions, we accepted them? Over his decades of expe…read more

TRAUMA-SENSITIVE MINDFULNESS: PRACTICES FOR SAFE AND TRANSFORMATIVE HEALING

From elementary schools to psychotherapy offices, mindfulness meditation is an increasingly mainstream practice. At the same time, trauma remains a fact of life: the majority of us will experience a traumatic event in our life…read more

FINDING YOUR RUBY SLIPPERS: TRANSFORMATIVE LIFE LESSONS FROM THE

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Why Compassion is Vital in Treating Opiate Addiction

compassion for addiction

Within the last few weeks, I have heard of two more young people dying from heroin overdoses. Tragedies like this are becoming ever more common.

Right now, in my opinion, there is a heroin/opiate epidemic going on. It’s spanning all ages, all races, all genders, and all socioeconomic statuses! It doesn’t matter if your town has a Starbucks or a beautiful, organic farmers market.

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Understanding Self-Harming Behavior: Healing with Self-Care and Compassion

Healing self-harm with compassion

The phrase “self-harming behavior” may call up images of troubled teenagers with cuts on their arms. But self-injury can occur for people of any age, in children, adolescents and adults, whether male or female. This is not at all a teenage fad!

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Why People with Eating Disorders Need Our Compassion

eating disorder recovery

From the outside, it seems puzzling that any person could develop an eating disorder like anorexia, bulimia or compulsive overeating. When we see someone starving themselves or eating themselves into obesity, the temptation is to criticize or correct them: “Just stop it! Can’t you see you’re hurting yourself?”

But criticism or judgment is the last thing a person with an eating disorder needs. If we want to help people

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How to Ease Holiday Stress With Self-compassion

Ease holiday stress with self care

Good cheer, happiness, family and a spirit of giving are a big part of the holiday season. But for many people, stress and loneliness are major players that upset plans to stay positive. If your tension level rises when the decor goes up, you are not alone. It is common for some people to feel more anxious or lonely as the season begins.

Holiday stress can trigger negative thinking that builds on itself. To avoid this cycle, we can take this opportunity to find new comforts and enjoy the holidays differently. We can take simple, meaningful steps for healthy self-care, and put some fun back into our celebrations.

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How is CPTSD Different from PTSD?

complex PTSD CPTSD

Trauma can take many forms. You may have heard of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Most people have at least heard of PTSD, as it relates to veterans. Did you know it impacts many others as well? Have you heard of complex post-traumatic stress disorder (complex PTSD or CPTSD)? People often ask how CPTSD and PTSD are similar and different. I want to help more people have a deeper understanding of what they are experiencing and ultimately get the help they deserve.

My goal, as a trauma-informed therapist, is to raise awareness and treat trauma of all kinds. When I use the word “trauma,” I am incorporating all aspects of trauma, all kinds of trauma that impact the nervous system. Trauma describes the adverse effect of any experiences that felt unsafe, physically, sexually or emotionally, or were perceived as a threat to life or survival. This includes profound emotional neglect and attachment trauma.

People can experience different kinds of symptoms depending on their experience. Trauma can come from a single incident, or from recurring incidents of emotional, physical or sexual trauma. Trauma that develops within an important early relationship, as with a parent or caregiver, can lead to attachment trauma that is complex, developmental and relational and anything in between. Relational, attachment and complex trauma are some of the traumatic variations we see most often at Brickel & Associates.

You may be asking what complex PTSD feels like or wondering if you’re facing PTSD or CPTSD. My goal is to help you see how the two are similar and different,

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Whitney Noftsier, MSW, LCSW

Whitney Noftiser, MSW, LCSWWhitney Noftsier is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in Virginia, California, and North Carolina. She is a therapist at Brickel and Associates, LLC in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia.

Whitney is passionate about helping clients identify, enhance, and apply their inherent skills and strengths to create meaningful change in their lives. Whitney works collaboratively with clients to identify goals and provides support on the path to healing.  She approaches therapy with empathy, compassion, and creativity.

Whitney has experience working with individuals (both adolescents and adults), couples, and families, providing therapy in a variety of settings including outpatient mental health practices, schools and military environments.  She works from a trauma-informed, systems perspective with all clients as they work toward healing.  Her work with couples and families helps to improve communication and enhance supportive relationships, while working toward growth and healing. Having focused her master’s degree studies on trauma-informed family practice, Whitney understands the complex effects of trauma. She creates a safe and secure environment for clients to address underlying painful experiences to achieve lasting healing.

Embracing the uniqueness of each client, Whitney uses an eclectic approach to therapy, based on trauma-informed practice from a bottom up foundation. She incorporates a variety of evidence-based modalities and interventions, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Motivational Interviewing (MI) to support clients in overcoming depression, anxiety and other mood disorders, as well as trauma, relationship stress, self-harm, addiction, and life changes and transitions.

Whitney is committed to professional development and

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