Grief and Loss

I have seen this kind of grieving process present in many types of loss, such as the death of a loved one, the loss of a job or income, a major rejection of some kind, the end of a relationship or divorce, drug addiction, the onset of a disease, and even minor losses. The grieving process can be greatly accelerated with therapy, and especially so with Cellular Release Therapy®.

A breakup is a kind of dying — here’s how we grieve.

P-DTR® vs. CRT®- how do we choose what to use?

At DPPS, our therapists have training in many modalities, and we like to use all of our tools with every client, as appropriate. Our bodywork techniques, which include P-DTR®, Integrated Cranials (a type of Craniosacral Therapy), and massage, all are capable of facilitating emotional releases of various depths. P-DTR® in particular is very good at honing in on certain traumatic memories or thoughts, and showing directly how these affect the physical body via muscle testing and the client’s report of an increase or decrease in symptoms.

Oftentimes a client comes in with a physical complaint, and through exploration and testing, we may land on some trauma that is still affecting the physical body. It can be an incredibly enlightening experience for the client to recognize the contributions of past wounds. After we discover this, together with the client, we can do treat it with P-DTR® and have exceptional changes in the physical body, and people often report feeling lighter, more energetic, and sleeping much better.

At times, there is more trauma than we could easily tackle with P-DTR®, and a better option for treating these patterns is to dive into the deeper emotional clearing work that we do called CRT®. Also, many of our clients come to us because they are on a path of deep healing and are more than happy to supplement their bodywork with emotional trauma clearing, even if the emotional corrections done in the bodywork seem to have sufficed for the time being.

No matter what we do with our clients, we are always meeting them wherever they are at on the day, with highest respect for their healing and soul journey.

The Wounded Healer

A woman came to see me, with main complaints including plantar fasciitis, fibromyalgia, migraines, IBS, and a concern about her weight. She was upset with her body, and perceived it to be failing her in some way. She also had lost hope that she could get better, and so was primarily focused on losing weight, which she thought was somewhat more probable of an achievement.

Typically, a therapist or doctor would see this person, evaluate the symptoms, refer for special tests if needed, do body work, and address nutritional and lifestyle components. This could be extremely helpful, and many symptoms may resolve over time, or at least diminish in part.

However, my client had wounds that would never be completely healed by this type of “by the book” healing. In fact, most people have wounds that cannot be fully healed with traditional healing techniques.

A “wounded healer” is a person who can heal the wounds at every level: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Wounded Healers are those clinicians who have sustained wounds of their own, and have found the way through that pain, healing within themselves the trauma that has caused the pain. Once a healer has moved through something, they are then able to help others through the same thing. We become adept facilitators in our client’s journey towards complete physical and emotional health.

A wounded healer asks the deeper questions:

– “How do you feel about your body?”
– “What do you know about all of this?”
– “What does healing look like for you?”
– “Tell me about some times in your life that have been difficult in some way for you.”
– “what have you heard about your body or your health?”
– “what do YOU think may be causing all of this?”

In the case of my client, traditional medical interventions and bodywork had not been effective in treating any of her symptoms, and in fact all interventions made her feel worse. She and I had the above conversations, and she got the opportunity to think about what the underlying emotional causes for her physical symptoms might be. Together we made a long list of experiences, fears, beliefs, and difficult relationships that she thought were contributors to her pain and symptoms.

6 sessions of emotions-based work later, she has zero pain in her feet, no body pain, she can eat what she wants without flaring her IBS, she hasn’t had a migraine in months, and she has more self-love than she’s ever had in her life. The deeper wounds are being healed.

It is only because I have successfully healed many of my own wounds that I could be present with this woman and help her first see, then heal, her wounds. She did the healing, I was just there to help it along.

When I graduated from medical school, my wife Angela crafted for me an embroidered picture with the following words on it.


While sitting at the park with my kids, I can see all of the numerous very important lessons that we as parents teach our kids about relationships.

One day, I watched as a little girl about 9 years old was fighting with her friend and had walked away from her. The other little girl was crying, and the little girl’s mom was chastising her for abandoning her friend. Her daughter started to cry, saying “Mom, I just needed some space.” Her mom told her to stop crying, go hug her friend, and play with her immediately or she would call her dad to take her home immediately.

My daughter Mia watched the whole thing unfold, and remarked that when you need space, you need space, and that she thinks the mom could have handled it better. The mom wanted her child to “play nice,” and thus she taught her daughter that it was not ok to cry, that her needs didn’t matter, and that she was responsible for someone else’s feelings.

Sometimes, we have responsibilities to others that we can’t neglect, like taking care of our children or going to work. Other than things like that, we have a lot of made up obligations that we either place on ourselves or allow others to give us. These can be things like family events, answering the phone, going out to dinner with a person we don’t really want to spend time with, or watching a TV show with our spouse when we’d rather read a book. When we do things against what our heart really wants and needs, we tell ourselves that our needs and feelings are not important.

Teaching kids how to always take care of themselves and do what makes them happy is probably the best life tool we could ever give them. This includes helping them determine how to navigate the decision between what is an expectation or obligation, and what is in their highest good at that time. This is empowering.

And for those of us who as adults are still learning how to hold our boundaries, we can learn to say “no.” No is a complete sentence. Interestingly enough, when we learn to take care of ourselves and hold those boundaries, people don’t violate them as much. And the anger, frustration, self hatred, guilt, and feeling taken advantage of can stop.

Anger in Childhood

Anger is often the most “unsafe” emotion that we feel. We don’t feel entitled to it. We suppress it immediately. We explain it away or even berate ourselves for feeling it. We may have seen others react in anger and have been hurt as a result. Much of our ability to feel and express emotions comes from how we were treated as a child when expressing them.

“Less knowledgeable parents interfere with their children’s anger by ridiculing them, ignoring them, isolating them, goading them on to greater violence, punishing them, distracting them, hitting them, or trying to make them laugh (“ I see a smile coming on …”). When a parent interferes with a child’s anger response in these heavy-handed ways, the anger increases and is redirected at the parent: now the parent is the one who’s violating the child’s sense of well-being by interfering with a natural and necessary outlet of emotion.

Most parents stifle this secondary outburst of anger, too, only this time with more force. “Don’t make a face at your mother! What a naughty girl. You’ll get a licking for that! Shame on you!” Instead of allowing the anger to flow through the child’s system the first time it’s expressed, the parent unwittingly fans the anger, then dams it up. The anger becomes trapped in the little girl’s stomach, muscles, and jaw, and becomes an enduring wound.

If the parent represses the girl’s anger not just once but over and over again, a deeper injury occurs: the girl will eventually dismantle her anger response. Ultimately, it’s safer for her to cut off a part of her being than to battle the person on whom her life depends. When her brother abuses her, she will no longer respond with a surge of anger. She’ll find some other route. She might run to her mother for help, or pretend she’s not mad, or find a more devious way to get back at him. The clean, instant, automatic response will be gone.”

We take away our children’s natural ways of handling emotions when we don’t allow them to be expressed in the moment. Of course, we must protect our children from hurting themselves and others, but by allowing them to verbally express how they feel, we help prevent years of further emotional trauma.

We have a joke in our family. Whenever one of us is in the middle of a crisis, our standard line is: “Uh, oh. I’m getting a feeling. Where are the brownies?” It’s pretty common for people to be afraid of-or at least uncomfortable with-feelings in general. We often have difficulty understanding, deal…