We Agree – Yoga for Your Patients is Just Plain Dumb

You’ve suggested. You’ve coaxed. You’ve helped your patients to understand the benefits. We know your patients may be full of resistance, and you know what? We feel your frustration.

You’ve suggested. You’ve coaxed. You’ve helped your patients to understand the benefits. We know your patients may be full of resistance, and you know what? We feel your frustration. To convince the un-convinceable we present…

The Top 3 Reasons Your Patients Should NOT Practice Yoga

1. That emotional baggage you’re carrying around is heavy enough to be considered strength training.

The emotional stresses your patients carry with them can sabotage their chances at living a fulfilling life and maintaining satisfying relationships. The weight of these stresses can be intensely burdensome. Yoga practice is designed for healing, both mental and physical, from the aftermath of emotional trauma.

When you’re treating a patient that is struggling with emotional wounds, following a chakra-based practice can be beneficial. In “A Yoga Practice for Healing Emotional Trauma,” Mary NurrieStearns recommends the following affirmations:

  • I am safe.
  • I am alive.
  • I choose.
  • I feel.
  • I express.
  • I know.
  • I am.

Go ahead. Take these affirmations for a test drive. We double dog dare your patients to try these for a week and see how they feel.

2. Because being wound tighter than a boa constrictor wrapped around its prey feels awesome. And we know your friends love it when you call to say hi, yell about your coworkers, and then slam the phone down without asking about their day.

Chronic stress can suppress functions that aren’t needed for immediate survival. It lowers immunity, impacts the digestive system, and can even interrupt the reproductive system. Stress can also impact your patient’s sleep schedule. No matter what your client is striving to improve about their mental health, when their physical health is suffering, treating their mental well-being will be challenging.

But how do you combat the patient who tells you they simply can’t find time to practice yoga, and cutting out taking the kids to soccer practice isn’t an option? There are plenty of yoga breathing techniques that can be practiced in traffic, in front of the computer, or while standing in line. Even these short sessions bring stress relief, and help your patient manage the discomforts of anxiety. Have your frantically busy patients try this:

3. You love being locked up so securely that you are impervious to any emotion. We’re sure your partner feels twitterpated when you gush your lukewarm feelings.

Everyone wants to love and be loved. It’s human desire. But when we can’t express our feelings, thoughts, and desires to the people that matter most in our lives, our relationships suffer. It can be a challenge to dis-armour ourselves and unveil our innermost heart. But when we start to expose this side of our body we discover deeper connections to those around us.

Yoga not only improves the physical health of our hearts, but it can kindle within us the ability to heal ourselves. For patients struggling to open their hearts, try poses geared to the heart chakra such as sphinx, camel, cat or fish.

For your clients seeking comfort and healing, we hope they open their mind to the practice of yoga.

What’s your favorite reason for practicing yoga?
Tell us in the comments below!


There are thousands of victims. Will you help them heal?

A message from Bessel van der Kolk.

Traumatized people chronically feel unsafe inside their bodies: The past is alive in the form of gnawing interior discomfort. Their bodies are constantly bombarded by visceral warning signs, and, in an attempt to control these processes, they often become expert at ignoring their gut feelings and in numbing awareness of what is played out inside. They learn to hide from their selves.

For those struggling to heal from traumatic experiences, there is new hope: Neurofeedback.

Neurofeedback is a technique in which we train the brain to help improve its ability to take care of itself. By challenging the brain, much as you challenge your body in physical exercise, nuerofeedback can help your brain learn to function better.

But for so many traumatized children and adults, neurofeedback remains out of reach…

For this reason I have created a free CE video giving an in-depth discussion of the promising way to rewire the brain – through neurofeedback.

You’ll learn what neurofeedback is, how we study it, and see the remarkable results that we’ve obtained thus far.

I’ll also tell you why right now, neurofeedback is not eligible for insurance reimbursement and what you and I, together, can do about that.

I appreciate your dedication to improving trauma treatment and committing yourself so much to the mental health profession.

Please, enjoy my free CE seminar – and share with your colleagues to help me get the word out.

Bessel van der Kolk

P.S. Here’s that link again, and please take a moment to share this post on social media with your friends and colleagues! Sharing is easy, just click the icons below.

Are you ready to start a group practice?

You’re a successful therapist, and it’s taken years to build up your practice to this point. But what now? There’s only one of you and only so many hours in a day to see clients. If you have the enviable problem of too many clients, adopting a group-practice model could be a good career move.

In today’s business of therapy, clinicians must approach their work as equal parts therapist, salesperson, and manager. Creating a group practice not only helps you delegate office work such as marketing and administrative work, but it also creates a relatively passive income stream.

Switching from having a solo practice to running a group practice is a major transition. It can be a sustainable strategy to generate referrals, market your practice and increase revenue & reimbursement, but be prepared to ask yourself some serious and practical questions.

Do you have enough office space to support a growing practice?

Generally, you need at least five hours a week of unused office space to start a group practice. Maybe it’s time you aren’t in the office, or would rather not be in the office (such as nights and weekends). Before you upgrade your space, make sure you have the cash flow to support the extra expenses.

Can you be an effective boss and delegate tasks with authority and confidence?

For a group practice to run smoothly, you need to create, test, and revise clear systems for every aspect of the business. This includes clearly outlined policies on dress code, handling money, processing session information, assessing staff performance, handling phone and email inquiries, and assigning new clients to clinical staff. Don’t forget about the new logistical responsibilities you will need to manage, such as tracking referral sources, creating monthly reports on individual and group performance, calculating profit-and-loss statements, and doing payroll.

Getting comfortable determining what tasks can be performed by others and delegating these tasks will help you share the office responsibilities with new staff and save you from being overwhelmed with clerical work.

Are you ready to let go of a certain amount of control when it comes to dealing with clients?

When bringing in new staff you also bring in new personalities. If you heard someone speak to a potential client in a tone different from yours, how would you react?

Are you comfortable hiring and firing employees?

Hiring staff is a lot like dating. A lot of people look good on paper, but you never know how compatible you are until you spend time with them. A therapist that comes highly recommended may also come with an approach that doesn’t mesh with your current therapy culture, or they may underperform. And yes, those who underperform may have to be fired. It’s important to be decisive when it comes to making your goals and expectations clear, even it if means people may not always like you.

If you’ve answered yes to the questions above, it might be time to transition to a group practice. Remember, speed bumps and potholes along the way are normal, and there’s a learning curve here! Bringing a positive long-term attitude will be necessary for success.

Would you consider starting a group practice?
Tell us why or why not in the comments below.


This post is based on an article originally brought to life by our partner, Psychotherapy Networker.

Click to read the full article, “The Challenge of Becoming the Boss: How to Make a Group Practice Work,” written by Joe Bavonese and Casey Truffo.

Psychotherapy deal4

It’s Just a Little Crush: When client relationships lean romantic.

When a client ruffles your feathers in all the right ways, how you respond determines your ethical standing. Here’s one therapist’s confession…

In our consultation group, the subject of falling in love with a client was once broached purely theoretically, and everyone became uncomfortably quiet. Nobody shared a personal experience. The message we gave each other was clear: Whatever you do, don’t talk about having a crush on a client!

I want to break our conspiracy of silence so that we can get help when we need it. And believe me, when it came to Scott, I needed help.

Scott was 34 years old when he was referred to my therapy center by the courts. He had a violent and explosive past. He was unmarried, childless, and an amateur jazz musician. He was gorgeous, at least to my taste: tall, well-built, and (like many men with a history of violence) charming, intelligent, and a champion at forming relationships.

Bemused, Bothered, and Bewildered

In my initial work with Scott, I could see that he was uncomfortable to be in a relationship in which he was not totally in control. Usually, I quickly get a feel for how to establish a collaborative relationship where I am, nevertheless, in charge. Not with Scott.

With Scott, I was flirting instead of guiding.

In session, he worked hard to please me and often told me what a fabulous therapist I was. I’d heard it all before, but this time, I did not use a client’s compliments as therapeutic material; I simply let them wash over me. I loved participating vicariously in his exciting life, and I was flattered that he kept me emotionally present even when we were apart.

Instead of keeping him engaged in the process, I was working hard to keep him engaged in our relationship. This was not the Mary Jo I knew.

The worst part was the terrible isolation I felt. For two months, embarrassed and ashamed, I struggled internally and alone. I didn’t tell my husband, Dennis, or anyone else.

In Consultation Group

I finally addressed my crush in my consultation group. We began exploring my feelings. “What is he bringing up in you?” they asked. “What’s getting stirred?”

As I began to talk openly about my feelings, I realized that danger existed only if I behaved unethically. I was clear on my marital and professional responsibilities. I was not about to act out my crush.

Scott reminded me of my own carefree younger days, when I’d first fallen in love with Dennis. Dennis made me feel special then–he read everything I wrote, told me I was brilliant and came to my speeches. We hiked and lifted weights together, went out for dinner and stayed up talking long into the night.

I told Dennis about what had been going on. We started working out together again and taking walks without the kids. We went away together and spent a wonderful weekend in New Orleans.

With time, I stopped feeling like a deer frozen in the headlights. I began working with Scott with an easier mix of head and heart. Our consultation group also changed: we began taking greater risks with one another and the therapy we did subsequently improved. We commented on the new level of intimacy we had reached together.

Scott finished therapy six months later without ever having known about my crush.

Have you had a crush on a client? How did you handle it?
Tell us in the comments below.

Don’t put your career at risk. Learn how to protect yourself when boundaries blur.

This post is based on an article originally brought to life by our partner, Psychotherapy Networker.

Click to read the full article, “The Crush,” written by Mary Jo Barrett.

Psychotherapy deal4

Why master EKG interpretation? Here’s one good reason…

Suddenly, your patient goes into wide complex tachycardia with a rate of 155. You immediately go to assess the patient and find the patient awake with a blood pressure of 90/60. You do a 12-Lead EKG and discover the axis to be extreme. What do you conclude about your patient’s rhythm?

Suddenly, your patient goes into wide complex tachycardia with a rate of 155. You immediately go to assess the patient and find her awake with a blood pressure of 90/60. You do a 12-Lead EKG and discover the axis to be extreme. Tell us your conclusion about the patient’s rhythm in the comments below.

Why master the 12-Lead EKG?

Reading the 12-Lead EKG correctly can save your patient’s life. The 12-Lead EKG is an inexpensive, noninvasive, risk free diagnostic tool. As a nurse, you can’t use it too much, and you can’t learn too much about it.

But if you’re like many nurses, the only chance you get to interpret EKG rhythm strips is when a patient is in distress. Being able to quickly and confidently assess complex cardiac patients allows you to respond effectively and avoid life-threatening complications.

Effective EKG interpretation is not only essential for positive patient outcomes, but also for professional career growth.

Check out this case study…

Karen M. Marzlin, DNP, RN, CCNS, CCRN-CMC, CHFN, understands the pressures of managing a patient during crisis. She teamed up with Cynthia Webner, DNP, RN, CCNS, CCRN-CMC, CHFN, to present the EKG Mastery Series where they take participants through the foundations of EKG interpretation. Here is your invitation to transform your career, and your patients’ lives… Become an EKG Expert.

SongwritingWith:Soldiers—Rebuilding lives shattered by PTSD

Flashbacks, nightmares, intrusive thoughts…lingering symptoms that plague combat veterans struggling with PTSD. Now there is an innovative treatment for those looking to heal. Check it out…

Whether they have been wounded, shot at, or tragically witnessed death, thousands of military service members are struggling to cope after returning home from war. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can occur after any person, civilian or service member, experiences trauma.

While there are many treatment options for service members struggling with PTSD, there is now a unique program helping soldiers rebuild trust, release pain, and forge new bonds through song. It’s called SongwritingWith:Soldiers.

SongwritingWith:Soldiers (SW:S) uses songwriting as a catalyst for positive change. In SW:S workshops, service members are paired with award-winning, professional songwriters to craft songs about their experiences, often about combat and their return home.

Want to learn more about this unique program?

Join Bessel A. van der Kolk, M.D., world-renowned trauma expert, as he presents the 26th Annual International Trauma Conference. This year’s conference will feature SongwritingWith:Soldiers in the Experiential Interventions track.

What do you think about this innovative program? 

Tell us what you think in the comments below!

SongwritingWith:Soldiers, Scott TRAILER from Mercy Lamp Productions on Vimeo.

Reserve your spot today! The 26th Annual International Trauma Conference presents current research findings on how people’s brains, minds, and bodies respond to traumatic experiences; how they regulate emotional and behavioral responses; and the role of relationships in protecting and restoring safety and regulation.

Interested in educational opportunities with Bessel A. van der Kolk? Click here.

Can adding an iPad® to therapy increase your patient’s cooperation?

Your iPad is a powerful tool for more than just games and streaming video. Explore how you can use tech beyond apps to motivate and engage your patients.

Love ’em or hate ’em, iPads® are everywhere, and the younger generations have fully embraced the technology. If you’re a parent, you know how hard it can be to get the technology out of a child’s hands. As groups such as the American Academy of Pediatrics stress to limit screen time for children, you have to ask: Is using an iPad in therapy interventions a benefit to your patient?

When you think beyond apps, games, and streaming video, the answer is yes.

Before integrating an iPad into a patient’s therapy routine, it’s important to first consider the social, physical, and cultural environments of your patient. Next, evaluate what the patient needs, what the environment supports, and match specific tools to their individual treatment plan. An iPad may be a great tool, but pencil and paper, a computer, or manipulatives might work better for the student for reasons as individual as the student themselves.

Lorelei Woerner-Eisner, OTR/L, suggests asking yourself these questions before using an iPad with a patient.

  • What are the goals for iPad implementation?
  • How successful has therapy been prior to iPad implementation?
  • What therapeutic problems does the iPad solve?
  • What can the iPad do that’s not possible without it?
  • What is the role of the patient in iPad use?
  • How can we make the application of the iPad in the therapy setting more organic and fluid?

Not sure how you would integrate an iPad in a therapy session? Here are two unique ways that go beyond the apps.

How do you integrate technology into your therapy sessions?

Tell us in the comments below!

Want more ways to integrate iPads into your therapy practice? Watch the full video on iPad® Interventions for Occupational Therapists.