Becoming More Present – And Why You Don’t
By Michele Rosenthal
After trauma you put in place coping mechanisms geared toward making you feel safe. But do those mechanisms always have the benefits for which they are intended? Not always!
Earlier this week I wrote about how tough it was for me to be present. Yesterday on YOUR LIFE AFTER TRAUMA we dedicated what was supposed to be an entire show to learning to be present. However, my guest, Dr. Cheryl Arutt, was so knowledgeable about why you’re not present, and so full of information about how a habit of dissociation gets put in place, plus its usefulness (yes, you read that right: usefulness), that by the end of the show we only had a few minutes to actually talk about how to be present. Which is why Dr. Arutt is coming back!
In the meantime, in this one-hour broadcast you will learn:
- what dissociation is and why you do it
- what happens when your fight/flight system gets activated
- what your ‘response flexibility’ is, and why it’s important in recovery
- 5 simple things you can begin doing today to start developing a habit of being present
- hear Dr. Arutt answer a caller wanting to know where to begin in trauma recovery
Whew, we packed a lot into our interview! And then Dr. Marcia Nickow answered the question, “What is intergenerationl trauma?” in our Professional Perspective interview to close the show.
MEET MY GUEST:
Dr. Cheryl Arutt graduated summa cum laude from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she received UCLA’s College of Letters and Sciences College Honors, Women’s Studies Departmental Honors, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. In college, she became a certified Rape and Domestic Violence counselor, and later, a trainer for Peace Over Violence, L.A.’s longest-standing Rape & Battering Hotline.
Mentored by Barbara Cort Counter, Ph.D. in psychoanalytically-informed psychotherapy and forensic evaluation, Dr. Arutt was able to develop advanced psychotherapy and diagnostic skills for both private therapy and for the legal system. Dr. Arutt has continued to enrich her knowledge by participating in professional study groups, including those led by renowned interpersonal neuropsychiatrist and author Dan Siegel, MD, and Psychoanalytic Center of California training and supervising analyst James Gooch, MD.She earned a Doctor of Psychology degree from California School of Professional Psychology-Los Angeles, where she received the Outstanding Doctoral Project award for her clinical dissertation. Postgraduate training at the prestigious Wright Institute Los Angeles culminated in a Certificate of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. She has worked at Verdugo Mental Health Center, Catholic Charities Psychological Services and the LAGLC, where she and a colleague wrote and adapted what became the nation’s first Court-approved program for same-sex batterers; STOP Domestic Violence is currently the largest, most comprehensive program of its kind in the world.
In addition to her private practice, Dr. Arutt has been an Adjunct Professor at California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University, teaching Clinical Interviewing, Ethics and Professional Development, Sex Roles and Gender, and Intercultural Processes and Human Diversity to Ph.D and Psy.D. students. She provides clinical consultation and supervision, and enjoys giving talks about psychotherapy, gender, trauma recovery, infertility and other psychological issues at California Graduate Institute, UCLA, Los Angeles City College, and other educational, corporate and community settings, as well as appearing as a frequent guest commentator on television networks such as CNN, HLN and Fox News.