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Therapist Uncensored Podcast

Learn to use the sciences of the mind to help you understand what makes you emotionally tick. Two Austin therapists and their world-recognized guest experts break down the research in modern attachment, relational neuroscience and trauma in a challenging but entertaining format to keep you off autopilot and moving towards closer connections. www.therapistuncensored.com

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TU59: Are You Cool, or Just Cut Off? Dismissing/Avoidant Styles of Relating in Adulthood

Are you cool or just cut off - you may think you are calm cool and collected, but ask around. :) This episode hangs with the next 2 in discussing attachment patterns in adulthood and are core content of the podcast. Well, at least when it was recorded, we keep learning a lot and updating our model so tune in and see where we go with it over time ok?


3 Apr 2018

Rank #1

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TU60: Preoccupation in Relationships – Signs and Solutions to Anxious Attachment

Improve your sense of security and communicate more effectively inside yourself, and with those you love by understand preoccupied/anxious attachment.  Begin to learn to manage your body’s reactivity in relationships by learning about preoccupied/anxious attachment and how it relates to unconscious regulation of the brain.Dr. Ann Kelley and Sue Marriott LCSW, CGP discuss the Insecure Preoccupied, or Anxious/Ambivalent side of the attachment spectrum. This discussion can stand alone, but it also continues as a soft Part 2 from last episode TU59: Are You Cool or Just Cut Off – Dismissing Attachment. The hosts begin to really go into how to use the attachment spectrum to identify where you might fall and how to move towards a more secure place.Find out how anxious attachment is formed and passed on, as well as how starting anxious affects relationships later in our adult life. You’ll learn how to manage relationships better by turning inwards and regulating yourself rather than focusing on others to calm you down. Therapist Uncensored co-hosts Kelley and Marriott will also provide basic tips towards identifying where you are on the attachment spectrum and how to move from anxious attachment towards security.Watch our new video introduction to attachment here, and support us on Patreon below:TU60: Podcast episode show notes-0:00-10:00Introduction and recap on attachment, organized & disorganized categories of attachmentRed side of the attachment spectrum – preoccupied attachmentTransferring preoccupied attachment from parent to child (sometimes out of fear of mis-parenting), children reacting to parents’ state of mind. Body can’t relax if caretaker is harboring unsettling feelings.Anxiously attached parents are better at attuning to fear in their childAnxiously attached parents can’t tolerate their own anxiety when child gets too far away. Find the balance between letting children go of and have fun and being there when they need it.10:00-20:00Very young secure children calm down when parents return after being separated. "Angry ambivalent” children will go to the parent but won’t let them soothe them, won’t trust that parent will remain there.Identifying your attachment type and handling it in your adulthood. We’re already attuned to other people and we’re used to the sense of rejection but it’s hard to attune to your own body and figure out what YOU want.Hyperactivation is an exaggeration of a normal healthy response (e.g. looking for closeness), being perceived as “clingy” or receiving disproportionate “blame”. Over-activation occurs in the red zone (as opposed to under-activation in the blue zone).20:00-30:00Underlying assumption that if you’re rejected or abandoned, you’re not OKYou can’t always look to the other person to soothe you; this might be your own history at play.If you fall on red side of spectrum, try to scan externally less and instead check on how you’re doing. Identify your own body cues for triggers (separation, defining yourself and feeling separate, etc.), focus inwards.Be selfish (at least in your body scan)! Have your “personal policy”. Learning to hold off on talking about things until you calm down.30:00-40:00Learning how to use “soft tosses” in communication with preoccupied individuals. Figuring what you really want out of a conversation (it might not just being proved right). Understanding your own state of mind and the other person’s simultaneously. Giving your partner a “credibility statement”.Red side should move towards self. Blue side should move towards others.Wrap up, tips, and outro.Resources for this episode:Attached The New Science of Adult Attachment by Amir LevineA Secure Base by John Bowlby, The father of attachment! Mary Main, Mary Ainsworth both primary researchers with Bowlby.Mary Main and the Adult Attachment Interview  Good summary, check it out!!


16 Apr 2018

Rank #2

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TU05: How Attachment Impacts Adult Relationships – Attachment 101 Part 1

Attachment 101: Part OneSecure relationships are what we are shooting for, with ourself and with close others. Secure relating is connected to neural integration and road maps we have internalized from our childhood. The capacity for security is within all of us no matter our histories.Even if we did not get security as a child, we can develop into it as an adult.There are different types of security and insecurity, and we discuss it on a continuum where we all can relate to the different modes of relating rather than only using separate, distinct quadrants. This is an important point of these episodes so that we aren’t trying to categorize or diagnose anyone in particular but we are able to use the concepts to improve our relationships:Attachment Styles Avoidant/Dismissive is a kind of organized insecurity that deactivates and by-passes distress. While here, we unconsciously need attachment, but we often do not perceive or have difficulty expressing the need or desire for others. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps, I’ll give you something to cry about, Lone Ranger… Anxious/Preoccupied attachment is a kind of organized insecurity where we have difficulty calming down after reaching distress. We are afraid of loss or abandonment – those who identify here can misread negativity into interactions and respond accordingly. There is also another category from the research, called disorganized insecurity. This kind of insecurity has most to do with loss and trauma. This is healable and the brain and body can recover by working through whatever the trauma or loss may be. See Stan Tatkin.  A part of us is always able to relate in the optimal level and we can keep gaining insight and creating connections so we can deepen and grow the best part of ourselves.Special thanks to our guest psychotherapist, Traci Campbell. ResourcesAdditional resources for this episode: Stan Tatkin – Wired for Love John Bowlby – A Secure Base: Parent-Child Attachment and Healthy Human Development Mary Main, Mary Ainsworth both primary researchers with Bowlby. Clinical Application of the Adult Attachment Interview – Howard and Mirium Steele (followed Ainsworth interested in using attachment theory in therapy settings) Steven Porges – The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological Foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-regulation Stan Tatkin, Your Brain on Love Dan Siegel – Mindsight and Earned Secure These and other resources have been collected for you on our Resources page!


8 Sep 2016

Rank #3

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TU73: Building Grit Through Self-Compassion With Dr Kristin Neff (replay)

Self Compassion is an antidote to shame, the underpinning of narcissism. It is fierce accountability that is core to psychological health… who knew?  Most of us think of it as being soft on yourself, but our guest will reveal the surprising power and science of self-compassion in this episode.Co-host Dr. Ann Kelley interviews Dr. Kristen Neff, an Associate Professor at the University of Texas at Austin and a foremost author and expert on Self Compassion.Self Esteem vs Self CompassionThis is not feel-good, la-la, therapy-talk, it’s real science. Learn the important distinction between these two concepts and how one can lead to psychological instability, self-criticism, stress, competition and difficulty within ourselves, our relationships and our culture. You really want to get this right and may be surprised! Treating yourself as your own best friend.Misperceptions of Self Compassion It’s NOT a free pass, or being easy on yourself. It can be “fierce” and “protective” and “motivating.”Science shows that the warmth and support of self-compassion promotes health and increases the chances of success in accomplishing goals, whereas negative self talk and kicking one’s own butt doesn’t work because it creates a system of threat and self-sabotage.Steps to Self Compassion Dr. Neff outlines the three elements of self-compassion: Mindfulness vs. Over identification:The first step is to be mindfully aware of ourselves and our emotions, but from a place of non-judgement. Common Humanity vs Isolation: The second step is to recognize the common humanity in our feelings and behaviors rather than seeing ourselves as the “best” or the “worst.” Recognizing that pain is a normal part of human existence, as is suffering and personal inadequacy. Self-kindness vs. Self-Judgment: Being kind to oneself rather than self-condemning, is at the coreSelf Compassion as an antidote to shame, the underpinning of narcissismDr. Neff discusses research which highlights the increase in narcissism in our current culture. She highlights our culture’s tendency to be competitive and to place individual value as contingent on how we compare to those around us. This leaves us extremely vulnerability to the development of narcissism and other psychological difficulties. We discuss the importance of teaching self-compassion to our children and to maintaining an active, loving presence with oneself in order to build self-value without a need to downgrade or succeed over others.Self Compassion in our political climateDr. Neff speaks frankly about her perceptions of the current political climate. She sees self and other compassion as essential to help our country deal with the discord and disharmony around us.RESOURCES:Additional resources for this episode: Kristen Neff:  (visit this it has tons of great resources including free mp3’s) Kristen Neff: Self Compassion Step by Step, The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself (Audio CD) Brene Brown: The Gifts of Imperfection Karen Bluth, forward by Kristin Neff: The Self-Compassion Workbook for Teens Jean M Twenge and W. Keith Campbell: The Narcissism Epidemic Living in the Age of Entitlement Self Compassion Test  Brene Brown “courageously present” rather than “mindfulness” Horse BoyFoundation in Elgin, TX The House Boy movie  These and other resources have been collected for you on our Resources page!Tweet


15 Aug 2018

Rank #4

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TU90: Attachment Avoidance and the Difficulty Opening Up, with Robert T. Muller

Troubled attachment is a natural outcome of challenging life experiences or trauma. But, there’s another outcome that we want to talk about: intimacy avoidance.It’s hard enough to open up in relationships. However, when your life experience has challenged you, avoidance is sure to follow. You may have found safety in hiding (a.k.a. cloaking). Yet, that cloak can clog up our current adult relationships. Dang it! Sorry to tell you what we imagine you already know – 🙂Gotta lose the cloak, friend.Sue Marriott & guest, Robert T. Muller, talk from a place of totally getting it. “Talking the talk” is so much easier than “walking the walk”!We all gotta work on losing the cloak. even as therapists. 😉Today’s guest expert: Robert T Muller PhD is author of the newly released, Trauma and the Struggle to Open Up, as well as the psychotherapy bestseller,  Trauma and the Avoidant Client, Attachment-Based Strategies for Healing.He has published numerous articles on trauma, attachment, and psychotherapy. He enjoys being a professor of Clinical Psychology at York University and a Fellow of the International Society for the Study of Trauma & Dissociation.Dr. Muller is an international speaker with over 30 years of experience. In addition, he has a clinical practice in downtown Toronto.In TU 90, we discuss avoidance: What is “self-deception”? When the truth in trauma is unspeakable, we edit the truth as a coping mechanism. How does avoidance form?  Humor as a coping strategy has a deeper meaning. What is “Post-traumatic” growth? What fundamental questions do we have to reckon with? Let’s talk about forgiveness with trauma. What is “rushed forgiveness”? Why is there a felt pressure to forgive? Dr. Muller shares his own personal experiences with listeners. He opens up about his father’s trauma as well as his subsequent trauma. Dr. Muller talks about his interest in the subject of trauma. What can therapists do in-session? Allowing client critiques can level the playing field.Want to hear more related to Avoidance?Listen to this episode where Dr. Dan Brown discusses Complex Trauma. And, check out this episode with Bonnie Badenoch on Establishing Neurological SafetyThis Episode’s Resources are listed below! Purchase Trauma and the Struggle to Open Up, From Avoidance to Recovery and Growth by Robert T. Muller. Purchase Trauma and the Avoidant Client, Attachment-Based Strategies for Healing by Robert T. Muller. Check out Dr. Muller’s articles on Psychology Today’s blog on mental health.Who doesn’t love special offers?We’re on Patreon! Become a Super Neuronerd, a Gold Neuronerd or an Out and Proud PLATINUM NEURONERD today! 🙂 Join our exclusive community of Therapist Uncensored Neuronerds for just $5 a month! Gain access to private, more in-depth episodes and exclusive content. Help us create a ripple of security by sharing the science of relationships around the globe!NEURONERDS UNITE! Click here to sign up.We’ve partnered with Audible! Our listeners get a free audiobook plus a 30-day free membership. Cancel at any time!GET MY FREE BOOK!Tweet


14 Feb 2019

Rank #5

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TU105: Narcissism – What is Going on Under the Defense with Sue Marriott and Ann Kelley

Hey everybody, we are BACK and ready to take off on Season 4!!! Wahoo!Narcissism – This time we focus on how it’s created and what is going on behind the narcissists defenses. Later we will address Malignant Narcissism, which is in a class all to itself! It deserves an entire episode, but for today we will look at what causes it, healthy and pathological degrees of it and what is really going on under the hood of the person afflicted with narcissism.We really heard the requests wanting to hear more about some of the diagnostic pieces of attachment, trauma and the relational sciences. Specifically, narcissism and borderline personality disorder are of great interest to many of you.  We put our heads together about how to best do this in a way that honors those who are struggling with these issues and those in relationship with them. To do this, we are going to weave conversations about narcissism and borderline personality disorder throughout the season. It may be snippets in a podcast about something else, or entire episodes focused on these concerns.Today, we’re going to get started on narcissism.Greek version of the myth:Narcissus, was the son of River God Cephisus and nymph Lyriope. He was known for his beauty and he was loved by God Apollo due to his extraordinary physique.Narcissus was once walking by a lake or river and decided to drink some water; he saw his reflection in the water and was surprised by the beauty he saw; he became entranced by the reflection of himself. He could not obtain the object of his desire though, and he died at the banks of the river or lake from his sorrow.According to the myth Narcissus is still admiring himself in the Underworld, looking at the waters of the Styx.Healthy Narcissism (!?)We all have some element of Narcissism and if we don’t, we get run over in life. We don’t want to be a doormat but we also don’t want to be on a High Horse above it all. We all have narcissism, it’s healthy entitlement.Functional narcissism is about your sense of Self, healthy entitlement and being inside yourself, and really rolling with who you are as a person. It’s being confident instead of being overly in-tune to others opinion of you.Problematic NarcissismIf it’s a character trait rather than a moment in time, it’s all about defense. This defense protects the smallness and inadequacy and shame at it’s core, and to compensate, grandiosity is born. That or the opposite, which we will discuss, but if I attack the hell out of myself then I protect myself from you having less than positive feelings about me because I beat you to it.Basically, it’s about deriving self-esteem from outside affirmation in order to maintain internal validity.Narcissism is an injury to the Self, where we’ve had to give ourselves up in service of the other or blow ouselves up to feel “enough”.It is associated with the avoidant/dissmissing attachment category, or the blue side of the attachment spectrum.Narcissistic Tendencies Versus a Disorder (from a Psychologist’s Perspective)It’s only in the much higher degree and more rigid degree of the trait that we would call it disordered or problematic. This is NOT a judgment. We mean it’s problematic for the person who suffers from it and that it infiltrates most every relationship to a point that it significantly impairs daily functioning or social relationships. Not that a person with true Narcissistic personality disorder would notice this distress, because everyone around them are “stupid” or “the best.” You can imagine stupid one’s are differentiated from them and the best one’s reflect their version of themselves.Narcissistic Injury:Example: The blue side – (avoidance/dismissive attachment) is a defense, whether we live there or whether we travel there. When we feel very deeply vulnerable but can’t tolerate that experience, we pull into what we call a narcissistic defense to avoid an injury.


3 Oct 2019

Rank #6

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TU49:  Five Strategies to Manage Intense Emotions & Why Emotional Regulation Matters

Become a master not a disaster at relationships! In this episode we provide some quick tips to help you regulate emotions in yourself and others. Deepen your skills at deciphering these things we call feelings (ack!) and learn how to use this information to co-regulate yourself and those close to you.What happens when we’re suddenly overcome with emotions? In this episode, Ann Kelley, Ph.D. and Sue Marriott, LCSW, CGP discuss five tips to internally and externally regulate your emotions when things get too much. You’ll learn how communicating in certain ways and even acting counter-intuitively to your instincts can be the best way towards healthy emotional regulation.0:00-10:00Emotional regulation is NOT about just being nice or suppressing your emotionsDefining “stonewalling” – refusing to address someone and what’s being asked to talk about. Stonewalling happens when someone is flooded with emotions and they mentally check out.Stonewalling is actually a form of dysregulationPolyvagal TheoryWhat happens when we have too strong of emotions?1) Identify what’s going on internally and externally – In yourself and in other people. Feel physically where you’re feeling the intensity in your body.2) Accept it; this is what it is. Taking a pause instead of reacting in a physical way.10:00-20:003) Respond. Response rather than react. Thinking and moving for yourself rather than moving to impact the world. Recognize the emotion as transient.Dialectical behavior therapyTaking impulses to act from anger, sadness and anxiety and redirecting them into the opposite action. Those impulses are based on survival instincts. If you’re angry, contain rather than attack. If you’re sad, just sit with your partner rather than withdraw. If you’re anxious, carefully approach rather than hold back.Analogy of Russian Dolls: Let the big one take the wheel, don’t let the little ones get dysregulated and drive.20:00-28:00Problem of inferring from words not said rather than words that are said. Even as adults we need to “use our words”.No matter what if you can, move towards social engagement as soon as you can. It’s way better. 🙂4) Put thoughts and feelings into words rather than actionsDifferentiating between communicating to assert your emotions versus communicating from a truly open place. Example of “Where’ve you been?” vs. “I’ve been nervous about where you are and it’s made me anxious.”5) Don’t forget to amplify positivity in your relationship in general. Engage in positive activities and words daily. In conflict, use your mind to remember and imagine positivity between you, either from the past or hours after a conflict is imagined to be resolved. This reminds you that you are with a safe person.  Connect before you correct. Use positivity and humor to bring yourself back to the centerWrap up.Like this and want to hear more?  Join our email list here, subscribe to Tunes here or sign up for the waiting list for our free online course on Modern Adult Attachment here! We may read your review on air, please rate and review us on your favorite podcast player, it helps so much!!Finally – this is the easiest of all – “Like” our public Facebook page here to get updated popular articles on these subjects of interest.Liked this one? Check out our episode on Polyvagal Theory here  and other episodes on emotional regulation we have, such as this one on what we can learn from animals about emotions!Resources:Feeling WheelCool graphic – check it out there is a lot there to ponder…Feelings Inventory by Center for Nonviolent CommunicationCare tool kit for emotions – solid resource mostly to teach kids but hey we all can use a hand sometimes! 🙂Emotion Feeling Chart for AdultsAffect Regulation book by Alan SchoreEmotional Intelligence Why It Can Matter More than IQ book by Daniel GoldmanIntegrating EmotionsGood articleTweet


28 Nov 2017

Rank #7

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TU51: Conquer Shame by Understanding the Science Behind the Feeling, with Guest Expert Dr. Steve Finn

Shame, the good, the bad and the ugly! In this podcast, learn how to recognize the various forms of shame and how guilt can be an antidote to this pit in the stomach feeling. Sue Marriott, Dr. Ann Kelley and guest Dr. Stephen Finn engage in a wide-ranging discussion about the least favorite feeling in most people – the collapsed feeling of shame!It is more complicated than you think. Shamelessness and debilitating shame are both toxic and yet there is a version of these feeling that is quite healthy. Listen as we discuss the contemporary research and the biology of this emotion and practical implications for your everyday life. Listen to the end to find out if you are a dandelion or an orchid.Who is Steve Finn:Stephen Finn is a psychologist in private practice in Austin, TX and a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. He is known for developing Therapeutic Assessment, a brief psychological intervention that combines psychological testing and psychotherapy. He lectures around the world on Therapeutic Assessment and other topics, including—in recent years—shame.If you like this kind of content you’ll enjoy Episode 23, Self-Compassion with Kristin NeffWant more like this?Check out our free YouTube video Modern Adult Attachment 101 to learn more –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PF7g4K8fDvo0:00-15:00IntroStephen Finn’s initial interest in shameDefining shame, differentiating shame from guiltBarrier experience, shame can become a central part of personality in some peopleGuilt is a developmental achievement and is appropriate in certain circumstances. Doing something bad rather than being bad, this it’s not hopeless.Some shame is good – healthy shame indicates capacity for empathy.Shame is a necessary social adhesive and social conditioning required for living in groups.Lack of guilt in psychopathsProblem of having too much shame or getting caught up in shame.Developing trait shame. If normal emotions have been shamed (particularly by parents to their developing children), this can occur. This can also result from emotional neglect; misconstruing being unloved as being un-loveable. 15:00-30:00Problem of parents with cell phones fueling neglect at an early age.Still face experiment and instilling shame through lack of expression – (see resources for link it’s very interesting)Relationship between having a conscience and shameShaming and repairing is healthy, never shaming is not. Guilt is really healthy shame. Physical effect of shame and biology.In order to get over hidden shame, you need to expose it to safe people.Shame can only be healed interpersonally.Different cultures social constructions of shame.Importance of overcoming hesitation or anxiety of punishment from sharing shame.30:00-45:00Experiences of sharing shame in group. Importance of sharing shame in group.Complication of therapist feeling need to relate or there’s no need to feel shamed when its one on one.Joining in sharing shame is very powerful tool.Couples and understanding or dismissing shame. Connecting right brain to right brain.Getting people to transition from shame to guiltWhat does repair actually look like?The journey from shame to guilt is recognizing its something you did, not something you are.45:00-57:00Idea of narcissism freeing others up from shame, especially in a relationship. Need to go from shame to guilt, not shamelessness.Importance of “me too” in terms of diminishing shame.Emphasis on shame in Japan and link to high rates of suicide.Orchid and Dandelion children concept.Stephen’s method of therapeutic assessment (www.therapeuticassessment.com)Wrap up & outroResources: Therapeutic Assessment Institute How to reach Steve Finn and his expert team, who train this technique across the globe.


15 Dec 2017

Rank #8

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TU88: 6 Steps to Building Security & Self-Confidence You Can Do On Your Own

Building self-confidence and inner security on your own can seem nearly impossible, so for today we are ditching the heady theoretical neuroscience to break down 6 quick tips to improve self-confidence entirely on your own. It’s science-based but we focus on the actionable.   You’ll discover how this handful of practical steps for self-confidence can vastly improve the way you feel internally and the way you carry yourself externally.Dr. Ann Kelley and Sue Marriott co-host this show to bring the science of relationships to the world in an accessible and practical format!In this episode, we discuss action, not theory, for self-confidence: Tip 1: Sit up – Focus on your posture, pull your shoulders back and bring your body up. Breathe in and think of standing like a soldier, not collapse like a rag doll. This alone can bring a cascade of new internal experiences. Try it. Tip 2: Make eye contact even if scares the shit out of you – Look straight ahead, lift your head up and make gentle eye contact with anyone around you, whether you know them or not. Eyes produce gabba and oxytocin. Try and actually see others. Gently hold it with those you know and those you don’t, meet them. Experiment! Tip 3: Don’t be creepy w/ this one, esp if coupled with the two above 🙂 but practice a tiny, gentle internal smile – This smile is mostly internal but it will relax your face and actually evoke calming neurotransmitters that signal safety in your body. (And signal availability for others to approach you. Cool perk!) Tip 4: Go slower – Slow down your metronome. If you’re speaking rapidly, you’re broadcasting your internal state probably anxiety or pressure. Take a breath and slow down. You’ll end up speaking more directly and come off more confident. Sue presents her “1-3-5-7” scale for approaching someone and navigating an impromptu conversation. Stay engaged and don’t do what most people do and give up after your first approach. Tip 5: Learn to ground or center yourself, use the tree method. Become the trunk not the branches, have roots. Become aware of the present moment. Who are you inside yourself? Can you feel that? Tip 6: Prepare and practice – These things won’t be natural unless you actively implement them on a frequent basis and you can practice them pretty much anywhere. You can actually make your brain calm down by taking a deep breath and relaxing your body over a twenty second period. Let your brain do a hertz sweep to see how you are doing and fake relax, this will signal your body that it is actually safe to really relax. 🙂Want different perspectives related to this episode? https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/he-saidshe-said/201210/be-in-the-moment-feel-more-secure https://tinybuddha.com/blog/8-ways-to-be-more-confident-live-the-life-of-your-dreams/Enjoying the podcast? Then you’ll definitely enjoy this previous episode as well! It’s neuro-nerdy, but if you are up to it, and especially if you want IN DEPTH training on psychology and attachment, click here:  Treating complex trauma and attachment with Dr Daniel BrownLike what we are doing for you and the world? Please….Become a TU Supporter and get more in-depth content (FOUNDING MEMBERS CAN JOIN FOR ONLY $1 A MONTH):Many of you have expressed a desire to get more in-depth content and we believe we have a found the answer! Become a Patreon member and, depending on level, you can have access to a private feed with deeper content and more access to us, as well as support our ability to continue to provide fresh content to many across the globe that may not otherwise have such free access. Go to Patreon.com/therapistuncensored and sign up today. We would be so grateful for the support!Join the ConversationThe easiest way to dive in is to like our Facebook – it’s an active page and there is even a private FB community where you can discuss directly with other listeners. Also,


24 Jan 2019

Rank #9

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TU31: Attachment on a Spectrum – Navigating Adult Insecurity and Security

The Modern Attachment-Regulation Spectrum - Navigating Adult InsecurityUse the attachment sciences in real life, outside the lab or therapy office!   Therapist Uncensored presents a new tool (this podcast shares an earlier version of tool that evolved...) using the science of attachment for your own healing and growth, or to faciliate therapy with clients with attachment disruptions. By incorporating research that looks at attachment on a spectrum rather than in research quadrants we translate the research for practical, user-friendly real-life use.Click image above to open.Attachment on a SpectrumIt’s been awhile since we’ve talked specifically about attachment.  Sue Marriott and Ann Kelley have been hard at work creating tools to teach the research-based science into clinically-oriented practical tools.In this episode we are going to discuss it again more from a clinical perspective rather than from a research perspective. We are focusing on research updated within the past decade including Patricia Crittendon (see graph). We are examining attachment on a spectrum rather than fixed styles. It may not sound a whole lot different on the surface; however, this is an real update from Bowlby, Main and Ainsworth. This conversation sets us up to do more clinical intervention that we will discuss in later episodes.Attachment is a biologically based drive that helps mammals survive by gaining safety, comfort and pleasure from their caregivers.Cultures can greatly impact the type of attachment that is normalized. No matter where you start, you can grow towards attachment security, what we call “earned security.” We may anchor more in one area, but move in the continuum depending on situation/relationship.From research to the consulting room... to your living roomPrevious assessment measures such as the AAI scored speakers that switched styles as disorganized.  However, the newer clinical research such as the DMM interprests speakers who switch styles as having different attachments to different caregivers.  In addition, different stressors may elicit differnt strategies (low stress low preoccupation, high stress, high dismissiveness for example).   In this view, they aren’t necessarily disorganized at all!Regardless of where you begin, the work is to move more and more toward the middle toward secure relating. Rather than utility…let me fix your emotions…it is better to help the individual feel it, express it and utilize relationships to help regulate themselves.States vs TraitsWe outline the continuum… From Dismissive (blue) to Secure (green) to Preoccupied (red) (See graph above). The more in the middle, the healthier use of the relationships, at either end of continuum, we get further and further away from what is going to help us, especially relationships.Modern Attachment-Regulation SpectrumBlue-this side emphasizes thinking/uses emotional shut downGreen – balances between cognition and affectRed…this side emphasizes emotions! Lots of words!When we lean too far right on the preoccupied side, we get caught in the feeling! Get flooded, and lose our listener, not enough internal resources to soothe self AND reach for the other.. As we are reaching, we are panicked because we don’t believe they will be there AND we don’t believe we can survive if they aren’t! It’s an emotional conundrum. Then we engage in behaviors that end up overwhelming those in relationship with us. Thus they pull away and confirm the reality that no one will be there.When we lean too far left, on the avoidant/dismissive side, we get too rational and sort of cold, and our task is to get our hearts back on-line, and to feel our needs again. When we lean too far on the right side, we get consumed with our own feelings and become blamey, clingy and underestimate our contribution to the problem. It’s best to take ourselves most seriously by reconnecting to the person we are interested in being comforted by,


17 May 2017

Rank #10

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TU 87: Treating Complex Trauma and Attachment with Guest Dr. Daniel Brown

This episode is packed with cool content! Learn about complex trauma, debunk myths of false memories from an expert witness for the prosecutors of child sexual abuse, and revisit the 3 Pillars Model of effective treatment for attachment disturbances, Dr. Daniel Brown! Also see the SPECIAL OFFER for his newly launched training below.Early attachment disruption is often the primary contributor to many adult mental health issues. Treating symptoms without addressing the underlying root cause can set up both the therapist and the client, so it’s important we all understand what is happening below the surface.In this Therapist Uncensored episode, Dr. Daniel Brown joins co-host Sue Marriott to discuss the 3 essential ingredients of effective and efficient treatment for many clinical issues such as anxiety, depression, addiction, PTSD and personality disorders.We also get to hear take away’s from the 200 child sexual abuse cases he has testified for as an expert witness for the prosecutors and his work at the International War Crimes Tribunal helping them establish a standard of evidence for victims of war atrocities.From his wealth of knowledge regarding complex trauma and his extensive training in mindfulness and forensic psychology, Dr. Brown brings us deep insight into how treatment from an attachment perspective can lead to significant and lasting healing.In this episode, TU87, we discuss:What is the complex trauma profile and what does it actually mean? What is its etiology? You’ll learn how re-constructing complex trauma as a branch off of disorganized attachment can allow for faster and more powerful treatment.We also discuss: Research findings that suggest that complex trauma is really disorganized attachment aggravated by later childhood abuse What Dr. Brown has learned through his experience as an expert witness in over 200 cases His research on sexual abuse through forensic testing, and how ideas behind the false memory claim and dissociative amnesia permeate The three pillars of treatment for attachment disorders (find out more about the three pillars in TU34 with David Elliott here!) Treatment on the anxious preoccupied side of the attachment spectrum (red side of the spectrum) and rectifying impaired self-development, chronic levels of anxiety, and chronic compulsive caretakingSPECIAL OFFER!Dr. Daniel Brown has just launched one of the most comprehensive online training programs available! You may want to take a deeper dive in your understanding of attachment or, if you are a clinician, you may want to earn 8 hours of CEU training. This will also help you be more prepared to help your clients heal trauma and attachment issues in your practice.Just click on link attachmentproject.com and put “UNCENSORED” in the code box to receive 10% off the cost of the courses Dr. Brown has to offer.Daniel Brown’s Biography:Daniel Brown, Ph.D. is Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School and has served on the faculty for over 38 years. As a senior meditation master, he’s trained and taught with top Indo-Tibetan Bon & Buddhist lamas for over 48 years, including lineage holders of some of the great schools of Buddhism.He is an author of 24 books, and winner of the several awards from the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Psychiatry & Law for outstanding contribution to forensic psychiatry.As a legal expert witness, Dr Brown has testified in over 200 child abuse cases and served as an expert witness for the prosecutors at the International War Crimes Tribunal helping them establish a standard of evidence for victims of war atrocities.Dr. Brown co-developed The Attachment Project based on the foundations of his and Dr. Elliott’s award-winning book Attachment Disturbances in Adults: Treatment for Comprehensive Repair. Together they developed the Three Pillars treatment method that has garnered praise across...


10 Jan 2019

Rank #11

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TU06: How Attachment Impacts Adult Relationships (continued)- Attachment 101 Part 2

Attachment 101: Part TwoSecure relationships are what we are shooting for, with ourself and with close others. Secure relating is connected to neural integration and road maps we have internalized from our childhood. The capacity for security is within all of us no matter our histories.Even if we did not get security as a child, we can develop into it as an adult.There are different types of security and insecurity, and we discuss it on a continuum where we all can relate to the different modes of relating rather than only using separate, distinct quadrants. This is an important point of these episodes so that we aren’t trying to categorize or diagnose anyone in particular but we are able to use the concepts to improve our relationships:Attachment Styles Avoidant/Dismissive is a kind of organized insecurity that deactivates and by-passes distress. While here, we unconsciously need attachment, but we often do not perceive or have difficulty expressing the need or desire for others. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps, I’ll give you something to cry about, Lone Ranger… Anxious/Preoccupied attachment is a kind of organized insecurity where we have difficulty calming down after reaching distress. We are afraid of loss or abandonment – those who identify here can misread negativity into interactions and respond accordingly. There is also another category from the research, called disorganized insecurity. This kind of insecurity has most to do with loss and trauma. This is healable and the brain and body can recover by working through whatever the trauma or loss may be. See Stan Tatkin.  A part of us is always able to relate in the optimal level and we can keep gaining insight and creating connections so we can deepen and grow the best part of ourselves.Special thanks to our guest psychotherapist, Traci Campbell. ResourcesAdditional resources for this episode: Stan Tatkin – Wired for Love John Bowlby – A Secure Base: Parent-Child Attachment and Healthy Human Development Mary Main, Mary Ainsworth both primary researchers with Bowlby. Clinical Application of the Adult Attachment Interview – Howard and Mirium Steele (followed Ainsworth interested in using attachment theory in therapy settings) Steven Porges – The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological Foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-regulation Stan Tatkin, Your Brain on Love Dan Siegel – Mindsight and Earned Secure These and other resources have been collected for you on our Resources page!


8 Sep 2016

Rank #12

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TU78: The Stress Response System (Attachment) Across the Lifespan – (Replay)

The Stress Response System (Attachment) Across the LifespanHow does your involuntary stress response system affect you throughout life?FAVORITE EPISODE!!! This one takes a wide-angle look at attachment throughout one’s life, discusses how one’s environment affects their system’s involuntary response to stress, and how that stress response system impacts us from infancy to the autumn years. In this episode, co-hosts Ann Kelley Phd and Sue Marriott LCSW, CGP discuss attachment across the lifespan, specifically looking at the elder years and how our attachment system affects us as caretakers of our parents or as the senior who may be undergoing the various losses inherent in aging.From toddlerhood, friendships, dating, mating, aging, and even through the dying process our stress response system governs how we manage these important transitions. As physical, mental and financial stress go up as we age, so does our need for security and people to nurture us. Attachment roles may reverse and understanding this deeply may provide openings for changes to close relationships.Neuroscience continues to document our ability to change and grow throughout our life. This episode takes a wide-angle look at attachment throughout one’s life, discusses how one’s environment affects their system’s response to stress, and how that system impacts us from infancy to the autumn years.  Learn how to adjust set stress “pathways” and move towards more secure relating in adult relationships, and also unravel the parallels that exist between attachment in infants and the elderly.Show notes:0:00-10:00This is a replay, a fan favorite and Season 3 Starts in October.We are trying something new for Season 3 – A FB live office hours – Oct 8 11:30 central time, Q&A and demo of some of our ideas on attachment, join us on our public FB group there!We never re-listen to our episodes and this one we did… and to our surprise we LOVE it. Of course it’s deeply meaningful and a perfect way to end our break. We’ve had a few losses, some of which are hinted at here but we are in fact right in middle of the wash cycle of life being tossled around learning about this stuff in action. I guess there is no other way. So to re-listen was deeply meaningful and very touching to us. We hope you enjoy it as well.___Attachment overall:Our environment directly affects how our system responds to stress.How babies are responded to when distressed directly impacts the attachment relationship they develop.Involuntary stress response, HPA AxisSet Points: Cortisol level upon waking (stress response) impacted by attachment status and primary relationships. Even with positive relationships with mothers, surprising study where race of the child affects cortisol and set these kids up for more risk. Epigenetics.Insecure attachment is actually a very effective coping mechanism and strategy in children in stressful situations. It’s a strategy not a disorder!Keep cortisol level low – keep those you’re attached to close, eye contact, holding, tone of voice, self-soothing, interpersonal regulation.Alan Sroufe longitudinal study since 197610:00-20:00“Pathways”: optimal and problematic routesThose with lower cortisol levels are more likely to ask for help.Early caregiving vs. friendship networksIt’s possible to move pathways from insecure to secure, particularly with strong relationshipsSpiritual relationships: secure attachments to spiritual center or community can be a very healing, integrative placeAdult attachment: voluntary relationships and reciprocally dependent, symmetrical not asymetrical like parent-childCouples therapy and getting people to try to turn to one another, idea of the “soft toss”Recognizing when partner is in a stress response as being “lost in familiar places”20:00-32:00The aging process: as we mature, we become more secure as we become less anxious regardin...


26 Sep 2018

Rank #13

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TU37: Organizing The Disorganized – Understanding The Elusive Attachment Category

IN THIS EPISODE:Organizing The Disorganized: Understanding The Elusive Attachment CategoryShow NotesDisorganized attachment states of mind happen to us all. We temporarily get lost in a jumble and it’s difficult to track what is happening… but for some this is a more serious concern that can reflect much of how we feel much of the time. By popular request, we begin to unravel the last attachment category and update current thinking that includes those who have unresolved trauma, loss or have had caregivers who were frightening.Disorganized AttachmentIn this episode, Sue Marriott, Patty Olwell and Dr. Ann Kelley discuss this oft-overlooked fourth category; disorganized attachment and how it affects our adult lives. We go over it’s development and move to our current thinking on what it includes. We’ll talk about how attachment is formed as a survival skill and how loss, trauma and frightening caregivers transport individuals to disorganized spaces. Towards the end you’ll learn how relationships can provide safety and security in neurobiological terms, and how you can affect change for yourself or a loved one.Timeline0:00 -1:53 Intro1:53 – 3:49 Quick review of attachment & underlying organized dynamics (Secure & Insecure) Insecure attachment (Insecure Preoccupied & Insecure Avoidant)3:49 – 4:18 Data on attachment and historical figures (John Bowlby, Mary Ainsworth, Mary Main)4:18 – Attachment as biological imperative & cross cultural – everyone has an attachment system4:59 Three distinct categories – The addition of the fourth distinct disorganized attachment category (The Strange Situation)6:54 – The problem of disorganization in adults rather than children (update) – Applying data to real life individual people – Disorganization/attachment as a spectrum7:59 – How can we begin to move towards the middle (secure) including the disorganized?9:32 – Buckets instead of a category10:19 – What does disorganized attachment look like in an adult? What does “unresolved” mean? Losing mentalization & context, disorganization in parents11:59 – Frightening caregivers – Deborah Jacobvitz12:51 – Moving unresolved into resolved space – Narrative coherence (resolved) Unresolved taking too much information forward so you can’t forget about the stress event or events bad (in the form of nightmares, intrusions, and pre-occupations)15:03 Other side of unresolved – avoidance of incident/trauma16:09 – Children with trauma don’t have narrative coherence – body remembers incident but it’s fragmented17:09 = Clinicians that came in after Ainsworth Main and Bowlby – Patricia Crittenden (student of Ainsworth). Keeping the caregiver available.20:09 – Finding an organized state balanced between thinking and feeling21:00 – What to do in order to heal (developing trust is key to healing)22:00 – Biology of attachment23:00 – Free Online Course on Modern Adult Attachment coming soon, along withothers that will include Advanced Studies – join the waiting list for the free course atwww.therapistuncensored.eventbrite.com25:47 – OutroTherapist Uncensored Online Course – Reserve your spot now!In addition if you enjoyed this, we will be providing much more from a synthesis of the latest and greatest ideas out there for intervention, prevention and clinical work for those of us that didn’t come by secure relating in the old-fashioned way, from parents.For those that are having to work to earn it or who treat people with attachment insecurities, we have an online course coming up soon. Email us at info@www.therapistuncensored.com to reserve your slot and we will send you more details of the course as it unveils.RESOURCES:Additional resources for this episode: Patricia Crittendon and Andrea Landini: Assessing Adult Attachment A Dynamic-Maturational Approach to Discourse Analysis (2011) Book that updates the previous attachment literature specific to clinic...


18 Jul 2017

Rank #14

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TU18: Polyvagal Theory: Understanding Irrational Threat Responses in Relationships

Unpack the science behind the Polyvagal theory, with psychotherapists and co-hosts of this podcast, Ann Kelley, Patty Olwell and Sue Marriott as they explore how our nervous system appraises safety and danger. Then they discuss how to harness the knowledge and make it usable in real life.What Is Polyvagal Theory?Stephen Porges developed polyvagal theory, which explains our nervous system’s response to stress or danger. It describes a three part hierarchical system. The first, the ventral vagal is described in the podcast as a safety system or green zone. The second is activation. This is the sympathetic nervous system getting us ready for fight or flight. In the podcast described as an activated red zone. The third system is the dorsal vagal, which is immobilization or freeze. In the podcast described as an immobilized red zone.How Does Polyvagal Theory Work?The theory describes how we assess stress or danger based on cues in the environment. If we begin to sense stress our sympathetic or activation system begins to kick in. Then we attempt to engage our ventral vegal or social engagement system (the green zone). If that doesn’t work, the threat persists or intensifies we employ our activation system. We get ready to take action. Our heart rate increases to prepare us for fight or flight. Then if the threat is too large or we can’t escape the system of last resort, the dorsal vegal takes over.How Understanding Polyvagal Theory Can Help Me Regulate StressToday most of us are not chasing saber-toothed tigers through the jungle. So the stressors and dangers we face are often interpersonal. We can often because of our own personal histories misread the environmental cues. If we walk into a party and don’t see a familiar face our sympathetic nervous system can get activated. If we understand from polyvagal theory that we have a social engagement system and that engaging it will calm us down, we then have strategies that we can use. We can look for a friendly face and start a conversation. We can find someone we know at the party and make contact. This understanding gives us choices when we want to calm ourselves or help our children, partners or friends calm their nervous systems.Important ConceptsVagus Nerve – 10th cranial nerve and part of the parasympathetic nervous system. Has two branches and acts as a brake on the sympathetic nervous system.Ventral Vagal – The newer myelinated branch of the vagus that developed in mammals. Controls the social engagement system.Dorsal Vagal- More primitive unmyelinated branch of the vagus nerve. Acts as a Sympathetic Nervous System – part of the autonomic nervous system that controls activation.Parasympathetic Nervous System – part of the autonomic nervous system that inhibits the sympathetic nervous systemNeuroception – Porges term that describes how our nervous system assesses whether people or places are safe, dangerous or life threateningRESOURCES:Additional resources for this episode: Stephen W. Porges -The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological Foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-regulation These and other resources have been collected for you on our Resources page!Tweet


18 Jan 2017

Rank #15

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TU106: What Actually Heals in Therapy with Psychoanalyst Nancy McWilliams

Learn what actually works in therapy.It’s hard to verbalize the problem with “evidence-based” models of care, but renowned psychoanalyst and psychologist Nancy McWilliams does just that. She further describes what happens in quality depth-oriented therapies such as psychoanalytically-informed, attachment-oriented therapy, and integrates the neurobiological aspect that Freud started that has now been confirmed.Who is Nancy McWilliams?Nancy McWilliams, PhD, ABPP, is Visiting Professor in the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and has a private practice in Flemington, New Jersey. She is on the editorial board of Psychoanalytic Psychology and has authored three classic books on psychotherapy, including the award-winning Psychoanalytic Diagnosis, Second Edition: Understanding Personality Structure in the Clinical Process. Dr. McWilliams is an Honorary Member of the American Psychoanalytic Association and a former Erikson Scholar at the Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. She is a recipient of the Leadership and Scholarship Awards from Division 39 (Psychoanalysis) of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Hans H. Strupp Award from the Appalachian Psychoanalytic Society, and delivered the Dr. Rosalee G. Weiss Lecture for Outstanding Leaders in Psychology for APA Division 42 (Psychologists in Independent Practice). She has demonstrated psychodynamic psychotherapy in three APA educational videos and has spoken at the commencement ceremonies of the Yale University School of Medicine and the Smith College School for Social Work.Show Notes – Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Therapy with Nancy McWilliamsPsychoanalytic Perspective, Trauma & Attachment Based Treatment• Challenges – academic and scientific• Short term focused• Technique driven• However, deprives individuals of the time needed to establish secure attachment to therapist, develop motivation to change, feel root feelings, etc.• Psychoananalytic Perspective• Humanistic-evidence based relationships• Proving and disproving Freud Trauma treatment history• Long term TherapyBenefits• Devoted TherapistNegative Transference“Difficult patients” typically are the ones that evoke parts of ourselves that we don’t like. Our own ugliness, our own badness, all of that. And again, that goes back to long-term treatment, but also long-term treatment of ourselves, you know, as doing our own work and really, you know, a lifelong process.Research on non-verbal communications and what works in therapy.Learning the defenses and what lies underneath• Narcissism/soft toss• Borderline• what would you advise for people to get the most out of their therapy or any close relationship that they’re in? Do you have thoughts about that?If you enjoy this episode you may also enjoy these:TU105: Narcissism, What is Going On Under the Defense w Sue Marriott & Ann KelleyTU90: Avoidance and the Difficulty Opening Up with Guest Robert T. MullerTU41: The Dark Side Of Therapy: Recognizing When The Therapeutic Relationship Goes BadResources:Psychoanalytic Diagnosis by Nancy McWilliams (textbook for therapists and students)To Know and to Care – A_Review of Psychoanalysis by Nancy McWilliamsA psychodynamic formulation masterclass by Nancy McWilliamsIn Conversation Wih Dr Nancy McWilliamThe Therapeutic Presence In Psychoanalys by Nancy McWilliamsMaybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed – Lori Gottlieb (Sue read this at Dr. McWilliams suggestion and found it hilarious, poignant and much like therapy occurs in real life. Highly recommended.)Who doesn’t love special offers?Our course is now available for a deeply discounted early release price! While this course is aimed toward clinicians (CE’s available!), all who are highly interested in deepening the security in ...


18 Oct 2019

Rank #16

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TU34: Treating Attachment Difficulties with Dr. David Elliott

In this episode of Therapist Uncensored, Guest Dr. David Elliott presents the Three Pillars of treatment for attachment disruptions.  Besides background on why attachment matters and the prevalence of insecurity, we focus mostly on how to apply the science in trying to heal relational attachment injuries for our clients, or ourselves. Meeting David Elliott Dr. Elliott has had leadership roles in several professional organizations. He was President of the Rhode Island Psychological Association for a two-year term, during 2000 and 2001; and prior to that he was Chair of the Coalition of Mental Health Professionals of Rhode Island (COMHPRI), also for two years. Both organizations advocate for availability and access to high quality and affordable mental health services. Since 1998 Dr. Elliott has been on the faculty of and teaches annually at the International School for Psychotherapy, Counseling, and Group Leadership, in St. Petersburg, Russia. This three-year post-graduate program helps the therapists in training develop not only the professional skills necessary for effective therapy or leadership, but also the personal qualities that assure empathic, attuned, and ethically responsible professional activity. He is currently Chair of the International Advisory Board of the school. David Elliott is a clinician and consultant who works with trauma and co-author of Attachment Disturbances in Adults, Treatment for Comprehensive Repair(2016). Treating Attachment – today’s episode We knew we had to interview Dr. Elliott upon finding his book, Attachment Disturbances in Adults, Treatment for Comprehensive Repair(2016). It immediately became Sue’s current favorite read and that is saying a lot! We cover quite a lot in this podcast, especially about treatment, but if that still isn’t enough, these show notes are PACKED with PDF’s of great material offered by Dr. Elliott! Below you will find 4 full PDF handouts about the salient ideas of their synthesis of treatment for adults with attachment disruptions. Dr. Elliott introduces our audience to the 3 Pillars of Comprehensive Treatment: Ideal Parent Protocol, Metacognition and Fostering Collaborative Capacity. While he touches on them all, please download the 4 PDF attachments provided below, and start by reviewing the Overview. Four PDFs Overview of the Three Pillars Model of Attachment Treatment (Brown & Elliott, 2016) The Five Primary Conditions that Promote Secure Attachment (Brown & Elliott, 2016) Levels of Metacognitive Skills (Brown & Elliott, 2016) Fostering Collaborative Capacity and Behavior (Brown & Elliott, 2016) It’s too late to attend, but just so ya know this happened…. We were so impressed with his work Therapist Uncensored brought Dr. Elliott to Austin Texas for the first live professional conference we’ve hosted spun directly off the podcast in March of 2018. It was co-hosted by Austin IN Connection, an incredible non-profit supporting the the dissemination of the attachment sciences. RESOURCES: Additional resources for this episode: Daniel Brown, co-author of Attachment Disturbances in Adults This is his current website, which focuses on his meditation and spiritual development activities. Attachment Disturbances in Adults Treatment for Comprehensive Repair (2016) Daniel Brown andDavid Elliott  Clinical Application of the Adult Attachment Interview Edited by Howard Steele and Mariam Steele Our favorite clinical reference for those that want to learn much more deeply about using the AAI to treat attachment and learn about its usefulness with various populations. Video of Strange Situation to familiarize yourself with Mary Ainsworth and later Mary Main’s phenomenal work. These and other resources have been collected for you on our Resources page! If you loved this podcast episode- then you will definitely want to check out our new course… Our advanced course on attachment and neuroscience has bee...


21 Jun 2017

Rank #17

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TU94: The Science of Self-Regulation – Breaking Down Polyvagal Theory

The science of relaxing into love, this episode continues the exploration of Polyvagal Theory, one of the most important theories of our generation, especially when it comes to trauma and psychological treatment.Join Sue Marriott and Ann Kelley as they continue to break down and bring Polyvagal Theory to life. Through discussion and real-life examples of what happens when our bodies experience threat, you will learn how to recognize when you or your loved one is experiencing an unconscious physiological threat response as well as some practical self-regulation skills to move back into safety. Additionally, we will begin unfolding how powerful relationships are in helping us establish, maintain and return to a physiological state of safety. It’s true, love really is a drug!Check out TU93b, our interview with Dr Stephen Porges, the father of Polyvagal Theory by clicking here! Why are we so jazzed about Polyvagal Theory (PVT)? PVT looks at the body related to attachment, related to getting close to one another, and to co-regulation and ties it all together!What’s PVT all about? PVT is an evolutionarily based theory that explains how our bodies sense danger and threat and also how we respond. It helps us to understand what is going on physiologically during these times, so we can learn to recognize our bodies’ signals and utilize skills to regulate our nervous system.Polyvagal Theory BreakdownThe bottom line is are we safe or are we in danger?Neuroception:Our brains are always scanning for info from the environment that regulates whether we feel safe or not safe. It is spontaneous and completely outside of our awareness.Old View: Only Fight or Flight Response Systems, but that’s outdated.Polyvagal View: We not only have a Fight or Flight Response, we also have a Freeze Response.The Systems and the Vagus NerveAutonomic Nervous System – Autonomic=Automatic – all the things our bodies do for us without thinking Examples: blinking, digestion, etc… Breathing is the only autonomic process we can manipulate consciouslyParasympathetic Para=Paralyzed This is the brake.Sympathetic Energizing Where “Fight and Flight” are Prehistoric example (Old View): being attacked by a saber tooth tiger, response will be to run from it or fight it, literally. Everyday example: A mad spouse, angry boss, disapproving parent Fight=defensiveness, blame, etc. Flight=withdrawing, physically leaving a party, stonewallingThe Vagus Nerve Largest nerve in the body All mammals and vertebrates have it, some versions of it in fish Runs throughout our entire body Information Freeway – carries information from scans of the environment to the brainOur Brains: Safety vs DangerSafety: This is the Social Engagement System (The Green Zone) When we are safe, the lights are on all the way to the top of our minds. We are our very best selves. Hearts are open Whole neuro psychological, the biological system is signaling safety: the heart rate slows, breath is steady, able to digest food, make eye contact, have movement in our face so other people can read us, inner ear relaxes, ears relaxes enabling us to pick up human voice very, very well.Danger: When in danger, our brains work in reverse order. breathing quickens and is shallow, heart rate increases, non-vital body functions are shut down, Inner ear constricts because it listening for high tones and low tones – listening for predators, oxygen level decreases, stress hormones (cortisol, norepinephrine, and adrenaline) are dumped into system.Neural WiFi: Our unconscious neurological states of feeling safe or feeling threatened translate to the people we interact with, even through the phone. Example: Sue & Ann’s phone conversationBottom Up: Vagus nerve: picks info up from our body bottom and carries it up to the brain Brain:


17 Apr 2019

Rank #18

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TU79: Attachment Spectrum and the Nervous System, Quick Review with Updates

A guide to secure relating and using the attachment sciences and regulation theory in your day to day lives. Today we review what we’ve discussed so far on the podcast about the attachment spectrum and add more detail about the nervous system.THANK YOU for getting us all the way to Season 3!! We continue to share our ideas on the practical use of attachment science and learning to manage our nervous system.Facebook Live October 8 11:30 am Central Time — Bless us with some attention here because we have never done this before but are taking the scary tech leap so that we can interact more directly, show you some stuff and we are just going to go feet first and are going to try it. Hope to see ya there!We have updated a few things on the show, and we are hoping to add some much needed help this fall and are excited about what is in store!So today we do a quick review of what we’ve covered before on the podcast and go over how to navigate our website and our various podcasting platforms, but we focus primarily on weaving in more nuance to the attachment spectrum. The spectrum comes from the research on infant to adult attachment that are profoundly supported in the literature. We work to make this dense science accessible in as clear and useful a way as possible that also weaves in as much neurobiology and regulation theory as possible.We go over the notion of listening for narrative. Not what people say but how we put ideas together, not what happened to us but what we’ve done with it. So for example a the notion of a coherent narrative, one that elaborates on one’s view of themselv in the world and can perspective-take and be curious and open to exploration and influence yet have a stable sense of one’s sense of self. This compared to insecure narratives that may restrict information in various forms in order to preserve a sense of safety.We also talk about the difference between states and traits, and focus primarily on states because that is something we can change.We review implicit/explicit learning.We support the notion of strategies of development instead of seeing this as insecurity, or pathology, or dysfunctional.This is also different than introversion/extroversion.We shift to discussing polyvagal theory or regulation theory and the ladder of regulation and how this relates to attachment. BLUE-RED-GREEN.Nervous system decoded.Hopeful message of change and connection and security!!Why we are doing this.Listener Comments – THANK YOU!!! Please leave us a message on our website www.therapistuncensored.comFacebook Live October 8 11:30 am Central Time — Bless us with some attention here because we have never done this before but are going to try it. Resources: Attachment Disturbances in Adults Treatment for Comprehensive Repair (2016) Daniel Brown andDavid Elliott  Clinical Application of the Adult Attachment Interview Edited by Howard Steele and Mariam Steele Our favorite clinical reference for those that want to learn much more deeply about using the AAI to treat attachment and learn about its usefulness with various populations.Van Assche, L. et al “Attachment in Old Age: Theoretical Assumptions, Empirical Findings and Implications for Clinical Practice” Clinical Psychological Rev. 2013 Feb; 33(1): 67-81Schore A “Back to basics. Attachment, affect regulation and the developing right brain. Linking developmental neuroscience to pediatrics” Pedal Rev. 2005; 26: 204-217.Rees, C. “Childhood attachment,” The British Journal of General Practice, 2007, Nov. 1; 57(544): 920-922Tweet


2 Oct 2018

Rank #19

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TU96: Treating Attachment & Self-Protective Strategies With Guest Patricia Crittenden(Part 1)

Treating Attachment & Self-Protective Strategies“If it protects you, it’s the right strategy.” – Dr Patricia Crittenden, creator of the Dynamic Maturational Model of Attachment & Adaptation (DMM) using culture and context.LOOKING FOR THE SLIDES?DOWNLOAD THE PDF HERE: Rudiments-of-the-DMM-PDF VERSION OR THE POWERPOINT VERSION HERE:  Rudiments of the DMM Powerpoint version Or if you have great eyesight :) you can view them here.Are you ready to move from describing injured developmental pathways and symptoms – to addressing how to heal from disrupted development? We are on the case! In this episode co-host Sue Marriott LCSW, CGP discusses exactly that with Dr. Patrica Crittenden, founder of the Dynamic Maturational Model of Attachment & Adaption (DMM) using culture and context to understand, decode and heal early relational injuries.Their conversation was deep and wide, thus will be published in two sections. In today’s episode, TU96, Dr. Crittenden focuses on wide-reaching cultural aspects of development, safety and danger. She uses decades of observations, assessment, research and clinical work to describe her take on what she refers to as the American Attachment researchers and elucidates how her model is similar and where and why it differs.Dr. Crittenden’s focus on applying this rich research clinically aligns perfectly with the mission of this podcast. Whether you are a clinician, foster parent, educator or are interested for your own personal reasons, you will find her perspective fresh and thought-provoking!Please see the PACKED resources and show notes below!Who is Patricia Crittenden and why do want to know her….Dr. Mary AinsworthDr. Crittenden studied under Mary. D. Ainsworth from 1978 until 1983, when she received her Ph.D. as a psychologist in the Social Ecology and Development Program at the University of Virginia.In addition to Mary Ainsworth’s constant guidance and support, her psychology master’s thesis on the CARE-Index, was developed in consultation with John Bowlby and her family systems research, on patterns of family functioning in maltreating families, was accomplished with guidance from E. Mavis Hetherington.John BowblyDr. Crittenden has served on the Faculties of Psychology at the Universities of Virginia and Miami and held visiting professorships at the Universities of Helsinki (Finland) and Bologna (Italy) as well as San Diego State University (USA) and Edith Cowan University (Australia).In 1992 she received a Senior Post-doctoral Fellowship, with a focus on child sexual abuse and the development of individual differences in human sexuality, at the Family Research Laboratory, University of New Hampshire. In 1993-4 she was awarded the Beverley Professorship at the Clark Institute of Psychiatry (Canada).In the last two decades, Dr. Patricia Crittenden has worked cross-culturally as a developmental psychopathologist developing the Dynamic-Maturational Model (DMM) of attachment and adaptation, along with a developmentally attuned, life-span set of procedures for assessing self-protective strategies. She has received a career achievement award for “Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Child and Family Development” from the European Family Therapy Association in Berlin.Currently, Dr. Crittenden’s work is focused on preventive and culture- sensitive applications of the DMM to mental health treatment, child protection, and criminal rehabilitation.Before we begin: A’s (Red in the DMM)=Historically referred to as Blue on TU B’s (Blue in the DMM)=Historically referred to as Green on TU C’s (Green in the DMM)=Historically referred to as Red on TU AC’s = Historically referred to Tie Dye on TU**Note: We know the colors may be a bit confusing, but it is important to us that you receive information as Dr Crittenden has published it. It is by happenstance that our colors are the same (with the exception of tie dye),


15 May 2019

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