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UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center free online meditations (MARC):  (or there's an app)

Dr. Kristin Neff, a self-compassion researcher and public expert, has both guided meditations and exercises to awaken and enhance self-compassion:

 Meditation Oasis: Over a hundred different guided meditations on a wide variety of topics, including insomnia, physical pain, anxiety, grief, creativity, and patience. The podcast is free, or there's a website and several apps.


Insomnia  meditation podcast episodes:



The i-chill app from the Trauma Resource Institute has self-regulation skills including grounding, tracking, and resourcing, that you can teach yourself and practice all within the app. Useful for those who struggle with chronic trauma-related nervous system dysregulation.

Brene Brown on Empathy vs Sympathy

Blog Posts from Annie Wright, MFT, about early relational trauma

How to take care of yourself when visiting your family of origin

5 Familiar Experiences When You Come From A Relational Trauma Background

How Do I Remother Myself?


Adverse Childhood Experiences Research

The CDC-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is one of the largest investigations of childhood abuse and neglect and household challenges and later-life health and well-being.

The original ACE Study was conducted at Kaiser Permanente from 1995 to 1997 with two waves of data collection. Over 17,000 Health Maintenance Organization members from Southern California receiving physical exams completed confidential surveys regarding their childhood experiences and current health status and behaviors.

"Adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, are potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood (0-17 years)...and include aspects of the child’s environment that can undermine their sense of safety, stability, and bonding."

ACEs are linked to chronic health problems, mental illness, and substance use problems in adulthood. ACEs can also negatively impact education, job opportunities, and earning potential. "


"ACEs...can cause toxic stress (extended or prolonged stress). Toxic stress from ACEs can change brain development and affect such things as attention, decision-making, learning, and response to stress.

Children growing up with toxic stress may have difficulty forming healthy and stable relationships. They may also have unstable work histories as adults and struggle with finances, jobs, and depression throughout life. These effects can also be passed on to their own children."

Individual and Family Risk factors for Adverse Childhood Experiences:

  • Families experiencing caregiving challenges related to children with special needs (for example, disabilities, mental health issues, chronic physical illnesses)

  • Children and youth who don’t feel close to their parents/caregivers and feel like they can’t talk to them about their feelings

  • Youth who start dating early or engaging in sexual activity early

  • Children and youth with few or no friends or with friends who engage in aggressive or delinquent behavior

  • Families with caregivers who have a limited understanding of children’s needs or development

  • Families with caregivers who were abused or neglected as children

  • Families with young caregivers or single parents

  • Families with low income

  • Families with adults with low levels of education

  • Families experiencing high levels of parenting stress or economic stress

  • Families with caregivers who use spanking and other forms of corporal punishment for discipline

  • Families with inconsistent discipline and/or low levels of parental monitoring and supervision

  • Families that are isolated from and not connected to other people (extended family, friends, neighbors)

  • Families with high conflict and negative communication styles

  • Families with attitudes accepting of or justifying violence or aggression


List of journal articles studying the effect of adverse childhood experiences on specific physical and mental health issues. 



Community mental health clinics are nonprofit centers that offer lower-fee (i.e., typically less than $75 per session) individual, couples, family, and group therapy. Different clinics have different areas of emphasis and types of groups, but they all offer weekly individual therapy for adults. The therapists there are pre-licensed therapists who are in the process of obtaining their hours, and are being supervised by more senior, licensed therapists. Just because clinicians are still in training doesn’t mean the quality of the experience is necessarily lower, because it’s so individual. My advice would be to ask for a more senior intern, and be prepared to politely ask to try another therapist if you get a strong sense the one you’re matched with is not right for you.


Wright Institute Los Angeles, West LA


Valley Community Counseling Clinic, North Hollywood


Maple Counseling Center, Beverly Hills


Southern California Counseling Center, Mid City


Rose City Center, Pasadena

Nationwide List of low-fee clinics approved by the American Psychoanalytic Association

1510 Oxley Street 

Suite I

South Pasadena, CA 91030

Tel. (213) 444 - 6612

Lic. # PSY27206

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