Healthy Differentiation is the Boundary between Individual Identity and Group Think

Healthy groups allow every member to express their individuality without that difference being seen by other group members as a threat.   That’s differentiation. In a psychological context, the word “differentiation” refers to how we can set boundaries between who we are and the groups, relationships, workplaces, ideologies, religions, and even self-identifiers that shape our…

rupture and repair in therapy thumbnail

Ruptures, Disagreements, and Misunderstandings in Therapy

    This simple illustration is meant to be a visual representation of something that can be kind of hard to understand about therapy: it’s okay to not see eye to eye with your therapist. A lot of us began therapy as clients with the expectation that the therapist will be the expert, that they’ll…

illustrated image showing two women

Intergenerational Trauma – Illustration and Questionnaire

If you aren’t naming and breaking the cycles that have entangled you, you are participating in them. This is true in most systems we are part of, but is especially true for families. Researchers call it “intergenerational trauma” and have demonstrated that the trauma of a parent is literally, genetically, passed to offspring. This Simple-Wikipedia…

Good trauma therapy helps reduce the impact of trauma so we have more room for positive feelings, health relationships, and kind self care.

How (Good) Trauma Therapy Works – A Model for Understanding Trauma Recovery

    Even as someone who has studied trauma therapy for years, I often find it difficult to describe just how trauma therapy works and what someone can expect from “good therapy.” Download this resource for personal reference or professional use below. Download includes vertical and horizontal orientations, with printing options with either a yellow…

Intrusive Thought Flow Chart

Intrusive Thought Flowchart – Illustrated Mental Health Resource

It’s not always this simple, but *sometimes* it is: shifts in how we respond to intrusive thoughts from PTSD or anxiety can shape our internal response and the strength of future intrusive thoughts. Sometimes just shifting from “OMG NO! The intrusive thought is here! 😱 Run away! 🏃‍♀️🏃🏻” to “Oh, hello. 👋You are back, huh?…

Disaster Response and Recovery

Phases of Disaster & Collective Trauma: Mental Health & Recovery

None of us really know what it looks like to survive and thrive beyond a global pandemic. Thankfully, past government funding for research about disaster response has produced some resources we can adapt, so we don’t have to start at square one in figuring out how to care for ourselves, support others, and care for…

parenting and trauma

Sketch notes on Parenting, Trauma, and Childhood Adversity

Instead of questioning (“how could you?”) or punishing (“how dare you!”) look for the entry point for empathy (“oh, of course you…”) When someone – especially kids but inclusive of us Adults- has a HUGE reaction to a minor thing- the reaction probably is not actually about the thing. More often, it’s fear, trauma, or…

Therapist resources for discussing and teaching about Magical Thinking

Magical Thinking

Magical thinking is a normal phase in childhood in which we think that our thoughts- or totally random, unrelated events- can change the future. Lots of us hang onto just a bit of magical thinking into adulthood and that’s not necessarily a bad thing (confession: I’m calling myself out a bit on coffee mug magic!).…

lindsay braman trauma avocado teaching model

Trauma Recovery Avocado Model

  Trauma and trauma recovery look different for everyone, but generally, there’s a deep hardened core and a bunch of squishy stuff, all held together by a peel juuuust thick enough to keep us composed unless something comes along to smash us. A lot of times, we think the “pit” is in the past, and…

Hand Model of the Brain – A Doodle-Illustrated Learning Resource

    This little video explains why it’s SO HARD to calm down once we’re set off. Make the motions with your own hand to get a sense of how an amygdala overwhelmed by fear, danger, or any overwhelming emotion can blow up, making us seem to “flip our lid” and act in ways we…