Dr. Jamie Marich is an EMDR therapy master trainer and author of 5 books including Process: Not Perfection and creator of the Dancing Mindfulness approach to expressive arts therapy. Dr. Jamie joins the show to talk about expressive arts solutions for trauma recovery, what trauma work is, how someone knows if they have trauma, and the resources to begin working on it. She and Rob also talk about both the similarities and differences of trauma work in addiction and therapy and what the two could stand to learn from each other to give even more support to those affected.
[3:08] Jamie worked in Humanitarian Aid in Bosnia in 2000-2003, and she met Janet, a mentor that got her on her own path to recovery. Janet validated so much of her experience in addiction by telling her “It’s no wonder you became addicted after everything you went through, but what are you going to do about it now?”. This was the first time someone framed it in a way that made sense, and put her own trauma into perspective. It challenged her to take action and really work on her issues.
[5:54] Often times we associate trauma with putting the responsibility on someone, especially when it is from our early childhood. Jamie explains that it is good to practice mindfulness, but first we have to explore why one is difficult to stay in the moment in the first place.
[10:46] The idea of safety and a commitment to the well being of the addict is strong from both the addiction and therapy treating camps. It’s not productive to keep citing trauma without addiction, so to explore one we have to consider the other. Jamie will have a conversation with her clients about what safety really means, and how it’s okay and not “bad” or “wrong” if they aren’t able to feel perfectly safe right away, or even ever.
[12:21] Jamie defines trauma as any unhealed human wound. It can come in different forms such as physical, mental, emotional, and trauma work is the broad spectrum of connection and activities that helps us know that we are not our thoughts, feelings and sensations, we are just the person that has them.
[17:23] Whether your trauma is associated in your memory or not, it can play out in how the body responds. The body may react thinking it’s protecting itself, and so much of trauma work needs to involve embodied activities that help you realize a more adaptive kind of coping. It is possible that through this work, people will feel their feelings for the first time in a long time.
[25:40] Jamie encourages us to give it 3 sessions with a therapist to see if there is a connection and see if they give you choice with the treatment options they offer. For example, they may be able to work with you through cognitive therapy, expressive arts work, and EMDR.
[28:20] Both a 12 Step Group and expressive arts work allows us a safe place to connect with ourselves and others.
[31:55] Jamie provides much value and resources for everyone. Her latest book, Process Not Perfection, can be an addition to therapy or a self guided resource for healing.
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“I had no idea that trauma had so many broader applications.” “It’s not the wound itself that causes us problems, it’s when the wound remains unhealed.” “Part of healing and empowerment is realizing you have a choice in the matter.”