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November 2019

Francine Shapiro, Developer of Eye-Movement Therapy, Dies at 71 []

Laura's Note: I realize that an obituary is not typical of the type of posts we share here, but because Francine Shapiro's work has influenced and benefited so many people on this site, it seems fitting. Shapiro died in June 2019. One spring afternoon in 1987, a psychology student trying to shake off an upsetting memory took a stroll through a park in Los Gatos, Calif., distracting herself by darting her eyes back and forth. The sting of the memory quickly faded, and the student, Francine...

The Books That Helped Me Transition from Trauma to Triumph: A Book Review Series – “The Journey From Abandonment to Healing”

I am guessing God's timing was, yet again, perfect. It was time for me to visit the darkness that was my relationship with my mother. Still swirling in the chaos of her addiction, I never knew who I would encounter upon my calls to check in or visits to her retirement community. Sober mom was kind and doting. "Teri, I don't know what I'd do without you. Thank God I have you." Drunk mom was cruel, "I hate you. I want to put a meat cleaver in your forehead."

Making Trauma Informed Multidisciplinary Teams Best Practice

This summer, I was honored to be invited by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) to participate in the Senator Tommy Burks Victims Academy at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and speak about the importance of creating multidisciplinary trauma informed teams. The TBI asked me to speak after learning about Ballad Health’s work in developing trauma responsive practices throughout the Appalachian Highlands region of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. More than 70 victim...


Why are we talking about trauma? Is that the right word? First, let’s acknowledge that the word “trauma” is often overused. During our STAR trainings we mostly use the word “harm,” and it’s also important to name why we will be referencing the “t” word. Many traumagenic systems, situations and events are routinely minimized, though they generate frustration, pain and profound bodily impacts in everyday life – and affect different bodies in different ways. Below we name a few of these...

Trauma Informed Policing

At Ballad Health, we are committed to thinking outside traditional boxes to address social determinants leading to addiction throughout the Appalachian Highlands region of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. The scientific findings of the Adverse Childhood Experiences study identify experiencing childhood adversity without a support system as a major risk factor of addiction. With that in mind, Ballad Health has issued a call to action to regional professionals and is equipping many...

Exposure to Violence Tied to Loneliness, Hypervigilance, Health Issues []

By Traci Pedersen, PsychCentral, October 9, 2019 Exposure to community and police violence can negatively impact a person’s physical and psychosocial health, according to new research published in the journal Health Affairs. The research involved two studies based on in-person surveys of more than 500 adults living in Chicago neighborhoods with high rates of violent crime, and mostly comprising racial and ethnic minority groups. Of the study participants, 77% were age 50 and up. Elizabeth L.

Welcome to "Cancer Alley," Where Toxic Air is About to Get Worse []

By Tristan Baurick (The Times-Picayune, The Advocate), Lylla Younes (ProPublica), and Joan Meiners (The Times-Picayune, The Advocate), October 30, 2019 Over a half-century, Hazel Schexnayder saw this riverside hamlet transformed from a collection of old plantations, tin-roofed shacks and verdant cornfields into an industrial juggernaut. By the early 1990s, she’d had enough of the towering chemical plants and their mysterious white plumes, the roadside ditches oozing with blue fluid, the air...

A Brief Diet Intervention Can Reduce Symptoms of Depression in Young Adults - A Randomised Controlled Trial []

By Heather M. Francis, Richard J. Stevenson, Jaime R. Chambers, et al., Plos One, October 9, 2019 Abstract There is strong epidemiological evidence that poor diet is associated with depression. The reverse has also been shown, namely that eating a healthy diet rich in fruit, vegetables, fish and lean meat, is associated with reduced risk of depression. To date, only one randomised controlled trial (RCT) has been conducted with elevated depression symptoms being an inclusion criterion, with...

Why Minority Representation in Medical Research is a Matter of Life and Death []

By Cat Wise and Jason Kane, Public Broadcast Service, October 30 ,2019 U.S. racial and ethnic diversity is ever increasing, but the medical representation of minority groups is not. A recent review of government-funded cancer research studies found that participants were disproportionately white, and fewer than 2 percent of these clinical trials focused on minorities specifically. Special correspondent Cat Wise reports on the problem and efforts to correct it. Judy Woodruff: The country's...

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