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"If you don't make the time to work on creating the life you want, you're eventually going to be forced to spend a lot of time dealing with a life you don't want."

- Kevin Ngo

Image by Bart Zimny

Chronic Stress & The Brain

Stress isn’t always a bad thing; it can be handy for a burst of extra energy and focus, like when you’re playing a competitive sport or have to speak in public. But when it’s continuous, it actually begins to change your brain. Madhumita Murgia shows how chronic stress can affect brain size, its structure, and how it functions, right down to the level of your genes.

What is EMDR Therapy?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an extensively researched, effective psychotherapy method proven to help people recover from trauma and other distressing life experiences, including PTSD, anxiety, depression, and panic disorders.

SE Scope Tool

SCOPE stands for Slow down, Connect to body, Orient, Pendulate, and Engage.  This is a quick and effective somatic exercise for people that deal with intense stress each day. Please print it out and practice this exercise each day to build your coping skills. SE strategies are healing and will support recovery from stressful and traumatic life experiences.

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Therapist Bookshelf

The Deepest Well: Healing the Long Term Effects of Childhood Adversity by Nadine Burke Harris, M.D.


Getting Past Your Past: Take Control of Your Life with Self-Help Techniques from EMDR Therapy by Francine Shapiro, PhD

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D.

The Complex PTSD Workbook: A Mind-Body Approach to Regaining Emotional Control and Becoming Whole by Arielle Schwartz, PhD

Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight by Linda Bacon, PhD

Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D.

Helpful Videos

Exercise & The Brain

What's the most transformative thing that you can do for your brain today? Exercise! says neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki. Get inspired to go to the gym as Suzuki discusses the science of how working out boosts your mood and memory -- and protects your brain against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's.

Helpful Printouts

Trauma and the Brain

This handout provides a brief overview of the major brain functions, Amygdala, Hippocampus, and Prefrontal Cortex, impacted by traumatic experiences.  The Amygdala is also known as the "alarm" as it signals something stressful being experienced. The Hippocampus is the part of the brain that deals with learning and memory.  The Prefrontal Cortex is responsible for thoughts, behavior, and controlling emotions. EMDR is useful to help the brain reprocess traumatic experiences.   

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SE - Language of Sensations

The Language of Sensations is a list of descriptive words that speak to the various sensations felt/experienced in the body. This handout can be helpful for those that struggle in describing the felt body experiences. Print out the handout to practice increasing your familiarity with your felt body experience.  For example, think about that last time you experienced a joyful moment. As you recall this joyful moment, do a body scan and notice what you feel inside. Use the handout to find 3 different words to describe your body's felt sensations that indicate this memory is a joyful one. By bringing awareness to your felt body experiences, you can effectively manage your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.  

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