The Trauma Recovery Institute

The Power of Breathing & Self Regulation in Psychotherapy


“If in childhood a certain quality of expression such as anger cannot be felt or experienced, then we cannot relate to this expression in a patient.” – David Wallin
This is a right-brain-to-right-brain connection—what Allan Schore calls “implicit nonverbal affect-laden communication [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][that] directly represents the attachment dynamic . . . nonverbal primary process clinical intuition.” At the same time, the therapist must maintain a left-brain-to-left-brain connection with the client in order to co-create a coherent narrative about the client’s unarticulated, even formerly undefined, emotional experience. Therapists need “binocular vision,” says Wallin, to keep “one eye on the patient, and one eye on ourselves.” In fact, the therapist may need something like “triocular” vision as he tries to be in the client’s mind, in his own mind, and in between the two minds, establishing and maintaining between himself and the client mutually resonant affective, cognitive, and physical states of being.
The therapist isn’t just an observer of the client’s emotional journey or even a disinterested guide, but a fellow traveler, resonating with the client’s sadness, anger, and anxiety. Rather than recoiling from the intensity of the client’s experience, the therapist is providing—through voice tone, eye contact, expression, posture, as well as words—the stability, the ballast, so to speak, to keep the client feeling not only understood, but safely held and supported. Obviously this kind of demanding work, more than some other modalities, requires therapists to have their own inner act together. “We are the tools of our trade, the primary creative instrument with which we do the work,” says California clinical psychologist David Wallin, author of Attachment in Psychotherapy.
The insecurely attached infant never got the maternal neural imprinting that would help her learn to regulate her own nervous system, thus making her susceptible to uncontrollable storms of inconvenient and unpleasant feelings throughout much of her life. Unless, that is, she got the chance at neurobiological-psychological repair from an attuned therapist, ready to meet her emotionally where she was—via nonverbal, affect-mediating, right-brain-to-right-brain communication—to help her undertake a kind of affective makeover.- Allan Schore 

“All psychopathology constitutes primary or secondary disorders of bonding or attachment and manifests itself as disorders of self- and/or interactional regulation.” – James grotstein

Dr. Mithu Storoni, a medical doctor, neuroscientist and Yoga teacher explains how controlled breathing in Yoga can help you de-stress, increase your focus, and improve your overall well-being. She explains the simple breathing techniques that are most practical and the science behind why they have been proven effective.

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