The University of the District of Columbia (UDC) television studios, UDCtv, provides the Washington, DC area with programming geared to foster health, political and environmental awareness.  Dr. Katherine Marshall Woods hosts this UDCtv show entitled, “A Healthy Mind” featuring guests from a myriad of professions lending information to promote healthy living and lifestyles.  Entries entitled: “A Healthy Mind” share these interviews.

Dr. Kari Gleiser, A Healthy Mind

On May 19th, 2020, we invited Dr. Kari Gleiser onto the show to discuss her application of Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy to the treatment of complex trauma, dissociative disorders and personality disorders. Dr. Gleiser is a licensed clinical psychologist and completed her doctoral work at Boston University. Dr. Gleiser is the co-founder and co-director of the Center for Integrative Health in Hanover, New Hampshire, a trauma center dedicated to healing from a mind, body, and spirit approach.  Dr. Gleiser has served on the board of directors of the New England Society for the Treatment of Trauma and Dissociation. In her practice, she treats young adults, adolescents and elderly individuals. 

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Dr. Marshall Woods: “Hello, my name is Dr. Katherine Marshall Woods, your host for this edition of A Healthy Mind. The purpose of this show is to educate and inform the public regarding mental health, from emotional disorders to social policies that affect healthy minds.”

“The relationship that we have with ourselves is one that is important and often overlooked. Managing day-to-day responsibilities including maintaining relationships with family, friends, and colleagues can take up a great deal of our time. Yet, the relationship we have with ourselves is ever present. The inner dialogue we have affects not only how we interact with others but how successful we are with interacting with ourselves. 

“With me today is Dr. Kari Gleiser, a licensed clinical psychologist. In her practice she specialized in applying Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy, or AEDP, to the treatment of complex trauma and dissociative and personality disorders. Please let’s welcome, Dr. Kari Gleiser.”

Dr. Gleiser: “Hi Katherine, thank you. It’s nice to be here with you.”

Dr. Marshall Woods: “Nice for you to come, thank you so much! So tell me a little bit more about your professional self.”

Dr. Gleiser: “Sure, I am a clinical psychologist. I live and work in Hanover, New Hampshire, which is a pretty small college town. So, we are nestled in the mountains, we have rivers, and a lot of nature, and a lot of beauty around, but we also have the enrichment of Dartmouth College. So, I treat a lot of young adults, I treat all adults, from late adolescence, and college age all the way up through the elder years. And, I have an Integrative Healing Center, I call it a holistic health center, that is really devoted to treating trauma from multiple vantage points. We treat it therapeutically, we treat it spiritually, we treat it through body, through mind, through spirit. So, we have mental health professionals, we have social workers, we have psychologist, we also have yoga teachers, we have massage therapists, who are trauma informed. We have life coaches that can help get out in the community with people if they just need a little extra accompaniment from the doctors office or the therapy office out in the community. So we like to, kind of say, all modalities under the one roof; which is really nice to help people who sometimes find it really hard to build trust, you know, its somehow easier if everyone’s under the same roof and you can just go right next door and say, “ You know, this is my colleague and I put my deep trust in him or her, and I’ve used his or her services myself, and brought my children to this person, and you know, it just helps people feel like they’re in good stable safe hands. And, when you’re treating survivors of chronic trauma that kind of trust is just invaluable. So, I feel lucky that I have wonderful colleagues to accompany me and my patients on the healing process.    

Dr. Marshall Woods: “That is lovely, I love the idea of having a holistic approach and really having one location to be able treat patients, so they can feel that the treatment is cohesive. 

Dr. Gleiser: “Exactly, there’s that phrase, “It takes a village”, and it certainly does when you talk about undoing the aloneness and isolation and alienation that trauma survivors often feel. So, the more people that are caring and present the better.

Dr. Marshall Woods: “And your specialty is with trauma disorders as well as dissociative disorders, tell us a little bit about what constitutes as trauma; and then a little bit about what dissociative disorders are.

Dr. Gleiser: “Absolutely. So I tend to treat mostly people who have chronic complex trauma histories. Which means, instead of just having one single event trauma, which can of course be devastating and life shattering, and painful, and I no means want to minimize the affect that a single trauma can have on a person. But, it’s a little bit different when someone has grown up for most of their childhood in a traumatic environment, then it’s not so much feeling like your going along life and something derails you. It’s more feeling like all throughout growing up there were adverse experiences, whether that is physical abuse, or emotional abuse, or sexual abuse, or the really big, less talked about, I feel like hidden trauma, which is neglect. Which is not having your needs met, whether they’re physical needs, or emotional needs, or tactile needs. You know, children they need to be held, and touched, and tickled, you know, safely and happily and joyfully; and when that’s not there it has a deep and lasting impact that leaves invisible scars. So, people often don’t know, you know, to name it as trauma, but neglect is every bit as traumatizing as more commonly thought of ones of abuse. So, the people that I treat tend to be adults who had traumatic childhoods, some of them are still in traumatic situations. But, most tend to have gotten themselves out of traumatic situations and are now looking to heal from those, what we call developmental traumas, right, because they happened over multiple phases of development. So, that tends to be the typical patient that I work with.

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