Healing

10/07/2019
Johann Hari, author of Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression - and the Unexpected Solutions.

‘Lost Connections’ by Johann Hari: Part 2

In a Healing blog posting in April, I described Johann Hari’s enthralling and inspirational book Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions. This has to be one of the most important books I have read in the mental health field since I […]
03/07/2019
Dr. Gabor Maté, renowned addiction expert, calls for a compassionate approach toward addiction. He believes that the source of addictions is not to be found in genes but in the early childhood environment.

Our Strange Indifference to Aboriginal Addiction: Gabor Maté

One of the most impressive people working in the addiction field is Gabor Maté. I introduced Gabor in one of my initial Healing Blog postings, Addiction and Psychological Pain. Here is a blog that Gabor wrote in 2008 about native peoples in Canada that I think is well […]
28/06/2019

Psychiatry Must Stop Ignoring Trauma: Bessel van der Kolk

THIS PROFOUNDLY HUMANE BOOK offers a sweeping understanding of the causes and consequences of trauma, offering hope and clarity to everyone touched by its devastation. Trauma has emerged as one of the great public health challenges of our time, not only because of its well-documented effects on combat […]
20/06/2019
A helicopter view of the Bungle Bungle Range, located within Purnululu National Park.

The Nature of Healing: Voices of We Al-li

I have written about Judy Atkinson on a number of occasions in my blogs. Her book Trauma Trails: Recreational Song Lines – The Transgenerational Effects of Trauma in Indigenous Australia inspired me into this field. I have learnt so much from her about the healing of trauma and its consequences. […]
13/06/2019

Impact of substance use problems on the family

Some people use drugs or alcohol to numb the pain arising from trauma which has resulted from adverse experiences in earlier life (e.g. abuse as a child, war experiences, car accident). Some of these people go on to develop an addiction to the substance. The drug concerned may […]
06/06/2019
Bruce Perry, a psychiatrist, is the Senior Fellow (and Founder) of the ChildTrauma Academy in Houston, Texas, USA.

Aboriginal healing practices for loss and trauma: Bruce Perry

Examination of the known beliefs, rituals, and healing practices for loss and trauma that remain from Aboriginal cultures reveal some remarkable principles. Healing rituals from a wide range of geographically separate, culturally disconnected groups converge into a set of core elements related to adaption and healing following trauma. […]
30/05/2019
Bell Gorge in the Kimberley, Western Australia. Photographer: David Clark, August 2018.

Describing Healing: Helen Milroy

I came across a beautiful description of healing by Helen Milroy in the Forward of the fascinating book Traditional Healers of Central Australia: Ngangkari. I quote this description here, although I have made the paragraphs shorter for online reading. ‘Healing is part of life and continues through death and […]
23/05/2019
Bessel van der Kolk, M.D, author of The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

Healing Trauma: Overlooking Fundamental Truths

Over the past fifty years, psychiatric medications have become a mainstay in our culture, with dubious consequences.  The theory that mental illness is caused primarily by chemical imbalances in the brain that can be corrected by specific drugs has become accepted by psychiatrists, doctors, the media and the […]
13/05/2019
Don Coyhis, Founder of the Wellbriety Movement and White Bison.

The Healing Forest

Here are some wise words from someone I hold in very high regard, Don Coyhis. Don, who grew up on a Mohican reservation in Wisconsin in the US, spent over 25 years developing The Wellbriety Movement and White Bison, spreading a healing message amongst Native Indian communities, based on cultural principles, laws […]
09/05/2019

Community Building

Here’s an article on asset-based community development (ABCD) which I wrote some time ago for the Kinship Connections WA website. This approach can facilitate healing in a community. “Mental health is not a product of pharmacology or a service that can be singularly provided by an institution: it is […]
01/05/2019
Dr Lewis Mehl- Madrona with Barbara Mainguy of the Coyote Institute for Studies of Change and Transformation.

The Healing Power of Story: Lewis Mehl-Madrona

Lewis Mehl-Madrona is a man I greatly admire and his book Healing the Mind Through the Power of Story is well worth a read. Here is an interesting section from the book: ‘The narrative movement in psychiatry is concerned with understanding the stories of pain and suffering told […]
24/04/2019
The Creek by Simpson Kelly, c1948, pastel on paper, 18.5 x 24 cm. Noel & Lily White Collection, Berndt Museum of Anthropology.

Intergenerational Healing: Joe Solanto

Putting the finishing touches to this blog in a hotel in Reading, UK, before returning to Australia tomorrow. It’s been a wonderful month seeing my children, grandchild, brother and family, cousin and his wife, and close friends. It’s back to working on the Carrolup project next week, after […]
16/04/2019
Johann Hari, author of Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression - and the Unexpected Solutions.

‘Lost Connections’ by Johann Hari

Some of you will that I was a neuroscientist for nigh on 25 years, working in the field of the brain neurotransmitter dopamine. I was fortunate enough to work with one of the world leaders in neuroscience, the late Nobel Laureate Arvid Carlsson, and to run my own […]
03/04/2019
Johann Hari and his book Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression - and the Unexpected Solutions. Image from crikey.com.au.

Can a Cambodian Cow Facilitate Healing?

I’ve just finished reading an excellent book, Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions by Johann Hari. I can strongly recommend the book, which focuses on a ‘radical’ – and very sensible way – of viewing depression and overcoming the problem. Depression is […]
26/03/2019
Bessel van der Kolk, M.D, author of The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

The importance of safety and reciprocity in mental health

In my last Healing Blog, I recommended highly a book by Bruce Perry and Maia Szalavitz entitled The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And other Stories From a Child Psychiatrists Notebook. Another seminal book about the healing of trauma is The Body Keep the Score: Brain, Mind, and […]
13/03/2019
The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog by Bruce Perry and Maia Szalavitz.

Relationships, Connection and Healing from Trauma

For anyone interested in the healing of childhood trauma, I strongly recommend you read, The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And other Stories From a Child Psychiatrists Notebook by Bruce Perry and Maia Szalavitz. Here is a description of the book from the back cover: ‘What happens when […]
05/03/2019

The Impact of Colonialism on a Young Aboriginal Australian

Here is an excellent description of how colonialism impacted upon a young Aboriginal Australian as summarised by Richard Broome in his seminal book Aboriginal Australians: A history since 1788. ‘In Dareton, new South Wales, In 1965, eleven-year-old Malcolm Smith and his brother ‘borrowed’ pushbikes leaning against a bus shelter and went […]
21/02/2019
One of my favourite places, Rhossili Beach, Gower Peninsula (my home for 14 years), South Wales, UK. Click on photo for wider panorama.

Factors That Facilitate Recovery From Addiction

Here’s an article I wrote for my Recovery Stories website almost six years ago. The factors facilitating recovery from addiction described here are also important for helping people recover (heal) from mental health problems and traumatic experiences. I hope you found the article of value: ‘There are a […]
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