What Really Helps Trauma? with Dr. Jacob Ham
In one of the most interesting conversations we've ever had on the podcast, Forrest is joined by clinical psychologist Dr. Jacob Ham to explore what really helps people work with - and be with - trauma. They begin with Dr. Ham's background and what drew him to trauma work before Forrest asks him how he "conceptualizes" different kinds of traumatic experiences. Dr. Ham then takes them away from the conceptual, and toward the felt.
They talk about cultivating a felt sense of connection, empathy as a way in to relationship, and the value of anger. Dr. Ham shares about his own process taking risks as a clinician, using parts work, moving away from the "false idol" of cognizing, and finding a unique way in for each individual.
About our Guest: Dr. Jacob Ham is a clinical psychologist, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai, and the Director of the Center for Complex Trauma. He was the therapist former podcast guest Stephanie Foo wrote about in her wonderful book What My Bones Know.
You can watch this episode on YouTube.
0:00 : Introduction
2:30 : Jacob’s background
5:20 : Cultivating a felt sense of connection vs. idolizing the concept of trauma
11:00 : A monastic, medical, and artistic approach
13:00 : Knowing our intentions, and feeling others’ pain as a therapist
18:00 : Surrendering to overwhelming grief
23:50 : Love, vulnerability, and authenticity
29:45 : The value of anger, the energy it demands, and navigating it with humility
34:45 : Presence, and taking risks as a clinician
40:40 : How Jacob does parts work, and finding what works with each individual
46:15 : Staring at the finger that’s pointing at the moon
49:25 : Does a good therapist need to have experienced trauma?
52:30 : Honoring our inner protectors, surrendering to pain, and knowing it won’t last forever
56:20 : Shaping others’ ability to help you, and processing trauma without professional help
1:00:15 : Tipping points and surrender
1:04:15 : Recap
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