Deb Del Vecchio-ScullyDelVecchioScully2015

Deb Del Vecchio-Scully is a counselor/trauma specialist and writer who focuses on healing the mind, body and spirit. She is currently the Clinical Recovery Leader and Trauma Specialist of the Newtown Recovery and Resilency Team serving the Sandy Hook/Newtown community and has a private practice. For more information: https://therapists.psychologytoday.com

 

  • 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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  • Pain + Resistance = Suffering

    Jul 02, 2012
    Pain + Resistance = Suffering. I found myself reflecting on this throughout the week, personally and professionally. On a personal note, it was a week of daily migraine following 7 months of blissful absence. I had forgotten how all consuming they can be and I worked hard to be present to them instead of getting caught up in the story. I’ll admit it was a challenge which reminded me of one of my favorite mantras: 'suffering is optional'. There is no doubt that the pain of my migraines can be hard to cope with and can cause significant interruption in the quality of my life. However, what I choose do with them is up to me and in making a conscious choice to surrender, suffering did not occur.
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  • Looking Forward, Moving On

    Jun 25, 2012
    We all need to feel connected, valued and supported in life. As counselors, fostering this is an important part of our work. Sometimes, I can become so focused on helping others to build connections that I forget to encourage my own. Recently, I attended a fashion show-fundraiser for a program that I managed for 8 years – The Looking Forward Program. This program provides cancer support, education and wellness services to those living with cancer and the people who support them. It was founded by a breast cancer survivor in 1994 whose philosophy once diagnosed with cancer has been to always look forward. The fashion show is an annual fundraising event to support the “extra” services that people going through cancer treatment often need but cannot afford. I hadn’t been to a fashion show since 2008 after leaving to take another position; I am so glad I attended.
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