Archive for August, 2015


August 21st, 2015

This past weekend I participated in a 3-day training for a cutting-edge trauma resolution approach called Brainspotting. David Grand, PhD, a former psychoanalyst from Manhattan, founded the modality when he was working with a figure skater back in 2003. He had been using “Natural Flow EMDR”, a version of EMDR he had developed, but it wasn’t quite working for this client as well as others. He noticed that his client became quite activated when her eyes found a particular “brainspot” and the dischage of the trauma (performance anxiety) diminished significantly. Because I’m fairly new with the Brainspotting language, I suggest that you check out the website for more information as well as an informational video where he discussed the process (

What I found during the training weekend is that it’s a very respectful and elegant brain-body approach to using the visual field to access the subcortical information of trauma (and stressors and unpleasant experiences) in the midbrain as the body releases the stored energy. As a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, I find Brainspotting to be a very promising complement to what I already bring to my clients now introducing the possibility of the eyes finding the spot of activation rather than scanning the entire body for points of activation. I’ve already been introducing it to clients and look forward to expanding the deeper understanding and nuances associated with it.

purposeful recovery (presentation this sunday)

August 7th, 2015

This Sunday August 9th I’m very pleased to be giving the following presentation at the California Society for Clinical Social Work:

Seven Keys to Purposeful Recovery:
The Intersection between Positive Psychology and Second-Stage Addiction Recovery

Addiction professionals have long been mystified by the revolving door of relapse. Purposeful Recovery offers a future- focused, action-oriented approach helping clients move forward with intention.The presentation will be both interactive and experiential. Participants will learn ways to utilize these practical tools with their clients.

Learning objectives:
Participants will be able to:

Demonstrate the use of the Life Focus Satisfaction Scale – an effective tool to focus second-stage recovery clients toward purpose and highest priorities.

Apply recent Positive Psychology Research related to forgiveness and gratitude to those in addiction recovery.

Compare and contrast psychotherapy, coaching and sponsorship as collaborative efforts toward developing purpose in recovery.

When: Sunday, August 9, 2015 ~ 9:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Where: The Sherman Oaks Galleria Community Room (at Sepulveda and Ventura)
The Community Room is located on the 1st level near the Cheesecake Factory and beyond the Paul Mitchell Salon. VALIDATION FOR ALL DAY FREE PARKING will be given at the meeting.

Gloria Gesas, LCSW or 818 990-1053
Tanya Moradians, Ph.D. LCSW or 818 783-1881

All are welcome regardless of geography. There is no charge for attendance. Students in mental health are encouraged to attend. CEU’s are available to LCSWs, MFT’s and LPCC’s as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (PCE#1). Members earn 1.5 CEU’s at no cost. Credits for non-members are $15 (for 1.5 CEU’s). Bring your flyers, business cards and brochures for networking and socializing. Light refreshments are provided.

RSVP is preferred