Deb Del Vecchio-Scully

Deb Del Vecchio-Scully is a counselor and writer who focuses on healing the mind, body and spirit. She specializes in PTSD, Chronic pain and mood disorders. For more information: www.anschealthandwellness.com.

  • A Journey of Hope & Healing

    Sep 24, 2012
    I have spent my entire career counseling people struggling with medical issues including cancer, cardiac disease, neurological disorders and chronic pain. Thus, I am very familiar with the challenges of life-threatening and chronic illness on the mind, the body and the spirit. I was quite inspired this week by Good Morning America's Robin Roberts, whom on the eve of undergoing a Bone Marrow Transplant uttered these words:
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  • Remembering 9-11

    Sep 10, 2012
    In recent days I have found myself reflecting on the upcoming 11th Anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks and the difference a year makes. On this date last year – September 10, 2011 – I was in Manhattan volunteering at a survivor’s information forum sponsored by the VOICES of September 11th, an association founded by a mom after her son was among those killed at the World Trade Center. I had met this mom, Mary Fetchet just weeks before when she delivered a keynote address at “Counselors Remembering 9-11: A Shared Journey”, a workshop I helped to organize through the Connecticut Counseling Association. Mary has a powerful presence and during her presentation, everyone in the audience was mesmerized by her and by the resilience she displayed in choosing to form the VOICES of September 11th, making it her life’s work.
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  • Putting the Brakes On

    Aug 27, 2012
    I am in the process of taking an online course – Trauma-Informed Art Therapy by Cathy Malchiodi, PhD, LPAT, LPCC, ATR-BC. One of the assignments was to watch a video “Putting on the Brakes” featuring Babette Rothschild in which she describes the need to work with traumatized – if not all clients at their own pace, allowing time to decompress from the emotional intensity experienced during a therapy session. She likened this process to the balance of driving a stick shift car and the need to apply the gas and the brakes to move forward and to foster safety. It is one of the many pearls of wisdom I have gained through this course and other trainings given by Cathy.
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  • When Bad Things Happen: Aurora, Penn State

    Aug 06, 2012
    When tragedy strikes we often look for answers to make sense of it. The newspapers have been filled with 'why' in response to the Aurora, CO shootings and the Penn State sexual abuse scandals. As counselors, we recognize this as the initial state of grief and despair fueled by painful shock and disbelief. In situations like these, the media often turns to the mental health field for insight into unspeakable acts. As a trauma specialist, I understand the long-term impact of the tragic acts that occurred at Penn State, Columbine High School, Virginia Tech and now Aurora. I cannot profess to understand the perpetuator’s acts, nor in my opinion, can any other mental health professional. We can speculate that perhaps a psychotic break occurred in the psyche of the shooter, or childhood abuses in the case of the Penn State perpetuator were factors. It is however speculation which is risky at best. A mentor of mine commented to me shortly following the Columbine shootings, 'no one wants to lose control'. This universal truth resonates with me but does little to explain the unexplainable.
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  • Fostering compassion and healing

    Jul 10, 2012
    In my last blog, I wrote about the connection between resistance and suffering, basic Buddhist tenets. His Holiness, the Dalai Lama reminds us when teaching Buddhism or Buddhist practices, the purpose is to encourage others to cultivate the the qualities of compassion, love, and wisdom within themselves (Simpkins & Simpkins, 2001, p. 79). I am not an expert in Buddhism, but these qualities resonate with me, particularly in the context of healing trauma and depression. A mindful approach to healing trauma and depression is grounded in fostering presence in the here and now, reframing negative thoughts and stories, meditation and mindful practices. As an existentialist, mindful approaches to healing make sense to me. Thus, I often introduce practices to support the cultivation of self-compassion, love and wisdom very early in the counseling process with my clients. In this blog, I will focus on techniques of fostering the qualities of self-compassion and self-love.
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