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Mind Body Bridging Basics

Mind Body Bridging is a technique that is recommended for individuals who have experienced trauma (Block and Block, 2010, p. 3). Our brains are incredible organs, the brain can activate the flight/fight/freeze mode in order to remove ourselves from danger (Block and Block, 2010, p. 3). Being exposed to trauma can cause the flight/fight/freeze mode to become stuck on, causing our bodies to continue to feel a threat, even when one is not present (Block and Block, 2010, p. 3). The brain has internal mechanisms for healing itself, Mind Body Bridging uses techniques to remind the brain how to heal itself (Block and Block, 2010, p. 3).

There are some important terms in mind body bridging that should be understood before practicing.

Identity System- When the flight/fight/freeze becomes stuck on, it is said that the identity system is active (Block and Block, 2010, p. 2). Signs that your Identity System is active are; spinning thoughts, body tension, inability to think (Block and Block, 2010, p. 2).

Executive network– facilitates thinking and actions (Block and Block, 2010, p. 3). The executive system works properly when the Identity System is at rest (Block, 2010, p. 3).

True self- Who you are when you feel settled with about yourself and the world (Block and Block, 2010, p. 232). When we are tuned into our true self we are able to make decisions that are true to who we are. An example of me as a true self; being willing to see that other drivers have their own lives going on, and that they are not just there to be in my way.

Requirements- Rules made by an active Identity System, that dictate how you and the world should be at any given moment (Block and Block, 2010, p. 21). After spending a few weeks on the East Coast – I came home expecting all Utahans to drive like those from the East Coast.

Depressor – the part of the Identity System that uses negative self-talk to continue the image of the damaged self (Block and Block, 2010, p. 47). An example of a depressor is “I am a loser”.

Storylines– self talk that becomes a story, negative storylines define who we are, positive storylines confine us (Block and Block, 2010, p 59). The issue with storylines is that they direct our attention to the past and/or future, and away from the present (Block and Block, 2010, p. 59). An example of a storyline is; “I have always been a failure, I will always be a failure”.

Fixer– the fixer comes up with overactive thoughts and storylines on what is required in order to fix you and/or the world (Block and Block, 2010, p. 66). “I will be 100% perfect all of the time”.

There are variety of books written to walk individuals through the process of Mind Body Bridging, for less than $20 a piece (Amazon, 2017). The process of working through the book can be triggering, it is recommended that clients seek assistance through a mental health provider.

Although each book contains several different types of maps, the basic outline is;

  1. Select the kind of map (there are many throughout the book, be mindful that some need to be worked up to).
  2. Draw a circle – the issue or the name of the map goes inside the circle
  3. Scatter your thoughts, outside of the circle
  4. Label your thoughts; depressors, fixers, storylines, requirements, and body tension
  5. Create another circle (on the back or below first map)
  6. Tune into senses – possibly invite source for guidance
  7. Complete the map again, pausing to tune back into senses as needed
  8. Review

(Block and Block, 2010, p. 139-140).

Written by: KayLee Taylor, CSW


Amazon (2017). Mind Body Bridging Book. Amazon. Retrieved from

Block, S. H. (2017). About MBBI Institute. Mind Body Bridging Institute. Retrieved from

Block, S. H., & Block, C. B. (2010). Mind-body workbook for PTSD: A 10 –week program for healing after trauma. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.


articles, blog

Tips for Self-Care


We live in a society that has not taught us to be kind to ourselves. We are told to work very hard until we are at least 65 years old, and then we will be rewarded with a life of leisure, provided we have anything left in us to enjoy it. What I have experienced within myself, is this unrealistic thought that when I have worked hard enough, some person in authority will appear to notify me, that I can have a rest. But regardless of the project, or the lengths gone to, no one ever showed up to give me a blankie and some chocolates. What I have learned, and continue to re-learn, is that self-care is vitally important. Now your first thought is probably, that you are to busy. And I believe you. However, the truth is, that if you are busy, there are a lot of things/people depending on you. And as much as you try, you cannot water from a well that is dry.

What is self-care? Well, to me, self-care is specific to the person. I also believe that self-care is ever changing. Here are some suggestions on self-care you can try.


  • Tastes – wasabi peas, chocolate, peppermint, lemons, ginger, oranges, grapefruit
  • Sight – nature, art, pictures (pets, family, and/or friends)
  • Smell – lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, citrus, rain
  • Touch – clay, ice, warm blanket, weight of body, massage
  • Sound – rain, Tibetan singing bowels, silly songs, laughter


  • Walk
  • Yoga
  • Run
  • Dance


  • Mindfully eat/drink: orange, chocolate, hot chocolate
  • Guided meditation (there are several free ones on youtube)
  • Body scan – begin at your toes and check in with every part of you
  • Deep cleansing breaths


  • Take a relaxing bubble bath
  • Treat yourself to a yummy treat or nice meal
  • Buy yourself something nice; piece of clothing, nail polish, art supply, book
  • Enjoy your guilty pleasure; book, tv show, movie, etc

Create something:

  • Sew, quilt, crochet
  • Cook
  • Paint, draw, color
  • Build
  • Write- poem, story, music

What exactly is not self-care? Things that detract from yourself. Say that you receive an invitation to join someone for lunch, and after going to lunch, you don’t feel improved. That is okay, however that is not self-care.

With such ambiguous definition, self-care can be a daunting task. Perhaps, it would be more appropriate to view the task of approaching self-care, as being on the crest of a rollercoaster, breathing in to the intense rush. Or sitting to a fancy buffet, all for your sampling. It’s important to remember that self-care is a lifelong journey, failure in one moment is a reminder to re-engage in the next.

Author: KayLee Taylor, CSW

Photo Taken by:


You’re Invited to the Flower and Friends Service Dog Get-Togethers

The Utah Healing Center’s facility CCI dog Flower IV, has invited some of her friends to meet you! On the last Monday of each month (starting August 27th), the Utah Healing Center will open its lobby to CCI Service Dogs in Training and Graduate Dogs. These service dogs will hang out with Flower for a few hours, and they would love to have you join in the fun!

Flower and Friends Service Dog Get-Togethers

Last Monday of each month (starting August 27th)

Utah Healing Center Lobby



Before you come, Flower and her friends would like you to know a few things:

  • All of the CCI dogs are Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, or a mix of the two breeds. While these dogs are very friendly and calm, they are moderately large.
  • The dogs can be gently pet and hugged.
  • Although the service dogs in training are learning calm, therapeutic activities, these get togethers are not designed for intense play.
  • Because some of the dogs are still learning how to be service animals, there might be occasional barking.
  • Children are welcome to come, but they must be under the supervision of a legal guardian.

If you have never worked with a service animal in therapy, this is an excellent opportunity to learn about what it might be like!


Incorporating Animal-Assisted Therapy into treatment can:

  • lift spirits and lessens depression
  • decrease feelings of isolation and alienation
  • encourage communication
  • provide comfort
  • increase socialization and sense of community
  • reduce boredom
  • decrease anxiety
  • help children overcome speech and emotional disorders
  • create motivation for the client to recover faster
  • reduce loneliness


For more information about having Flower join your therapy sessions, contact the Utah Healing Center at 801-266-4643.






We hope to see you at our Flower & Friends Service Dog Get-Togethers!



UHC in the Community

Primary Children’s Hospital is a not-for-profit medical facility that offers services to children in Utah, and across the country.  Utah Healing Center understands that Primary Children’s Hospital offers a lot to our community, we also understand that they have great need.  During our team meeting, our staff put together 30 coloring page packets with color pencils.  These packets will be given to patients and their families, so that the children have something to do while waiting for the medical staff. Waiting for treatment/answers can be very terrifying – we hope these packets will provide some comfort during those stressful times.


baskets pic


If you would like to assist with, here are some of the projects Primary Children’s Hospital could use.

1) Coloring pages kits – given to patients to do while waiting for appointments


  • Zip lock baggies
  • Short coloring pencils (they insist on color pencils because crayon is to hard to clean off of surfaces)
  • 10 pages to color
  • Something to hold the pages together – binder clip, ring, etc.


2) Bracelet kits – given to patients to do while waiting for appointments.


  • Instructions
  • Zip lock baggies
  • Materials for bracelets – yarn or whatever we decide


3) Fleece stuffed animals – used for comfort cart (used to make patients comfortable).

Supplies:fleece stuff animal pic

  • Material
  • Batting


4) Essential Oil Pillow – used for the comfort cart

heart pic


  • Material
  • Batting


5) Fairy wand kit – for kids to complete while they are waiting



  • Wooden shape
  • Wooden dowel
  • Decorating items – glitter markers, design tape, ribbon,  glue, etc




6) Medical play doll – to show children what the procedure will be



  • Material for doll
  • batting
  • Material for doll’s gown






For more information regarding donations, please contact Marie Hendriksen at (801)662-5968 or




Intermountain HealthCare.  (2018).  Intermountain Healthcare.  Primary Children’s Hospital.  retrieved from

Career Opportunities, Uncategorized

Now Hiring

3 Part Time Clinical Employees

Utah Healing Center is hiring three part time clinical staff.  We are looking for Clinical Social Worker (CSW), Associate Clinical Mental Health Counselor (ACMHC), Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CMHC), Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), or Psychologist for our Outpatient Murray clinic that serves children, adolescents, and adults. This position offers competitive pay in a beautiful office.

New graduates are welcome.

Provides professional counseling services of a preventative and developmental nature through direct consultation with patients. Therapy activities include individual, group and couples counseling. Develops program criteria for area of specialization such as couples or trauma counseling.

  • Mental Health Professional with current license in the State of Utah. We are accepting applications for CSW, LCSW, ACMHC, CMHC, LMFT, PsyD, etc.
  • Approximately 20 – 30 hours a week
    • Day shift (Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays)
    • Afternoon shift (Monday, Tuesday, Friday)
    • Evening shift (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday)
  • Competitive pay, Paid Time Off, Retirement, Free Supervision
  • Current credentialing with State of Utah Medicaid, Medicare, or any insurance panels a plus, but not required

Pay is based on fee for service.

Please send resume to


Meet our New APRN

Welcome Kara!

Kara Diersing Clapp, PhD, NP-c, CNS-BC

Kara has over 35 years of experience in nursing—10 as a Psychiatric RN and 22 years as an APRN. She holds two certifications as an APRN. In 1993 she started the first aftercare program in Ohio for mental health clientele served in a home care setting. Her dissertation focused on children under age 18 years who were caregivers and resulted in the first mid-range theory on young caregiving. She loves helping people and her unique style of care blends traditional medicine with alternative traditions, using evidence-based research when possible. When describing herself, she will say “I’m an international travel junkie who likes to knit and deadlift and who married her best friend, Glenn.”  And when it comes to life? “Enjoy the journey—the good, the bad, and all the stuff in between.” Kara is on most insurance panels.



Working Brain

Behaviorism takes place in our interactions with others, understanding basic principles to learning can assist in building positive interactions with others. As is pointed out by Pryor (2015), “These principles are laws, like the laws of physics. They underlie all learning-teaching situations assuredly as the law of gravity underlies the falling of the apple. Whenever we attempt to change behavior…we are using these laws, whether we know it or not. Usually we are using them inappropriately. We threaten, we argue, we coerce, we deprive…We are just not attuned to the ways in which modern trainers take advantage of the laws of positive reinforcement” (p. xi). With that being said, it is possible to carry behaviorism into the unethical realm, it is important to use caution, especially if using a stimulus that could cause harm to the learner (Pryor, 2015). It is important to know the function of the behavior, especially of our own. “When you are tempted to punish: Do you want the dog, the child, the spouse, the employee to alter a given behavior? In that case, it’s a training problem, and you need to be aware of the weakness of punishment as a training device. Or do you really want revenge? In that case you should seek more wholesome reinforcers for yourself.” (Pryor, 2015, p. 108).

Two types of learning in Behaviorism

  • Operant conditioning: reinforcement is given after the desired behavior occurs. (McLeod, 2015)
    • Reinforcers: responses that increase the chance of a behavior occurring. (McLeod, 2015).
      • Positive reinforcer: increases behavior because it is something the individual finds rewarding. (McLeod, 2015).
      • Negative reinforcer: increases the behavior because it is something the individual wants to end. (McLeod, 2015).
    • Punishers: Something that weakens the behavior. (McLeod, 2015).
      • Positive punishers: a negative consequence is given to reduce the behavior. (North Shore Pediatric Therapy, 2012).
      • Negative punisher: a desired item is removed to reduce the behavior. (North Shore Pediatric Therapy, 2012).
    • Neutral operants: responses that do not increase or decrease behavior. (McLeod, 2015).
  • Classical conditioning: learning a new behavior through association. The main difference between operant conditioning and classical conditioning is whether the behavior is voluntary or not. Operant conditioning is voluntary in that it uses rewards/consequences to increase/decrease behavior.   (Cherry & Gans, 2017).
    • Unconditioned stimulus: naturally occurring trigger. (Cherry & Gans, 2017).
    • Unconditioned response: naturally occurring response. (Cherry & Gans, 2017).
    • Conditioned stimulus: trigger introduced to cause a response. (Cherry & Gans, 2017).
    • Conditioned response: the response caused by the conditioned stimulus. (Cherry & Gans, 2017).

There are typically 4 functions in aversive behaviors.

When working to change a behavior, it is important to first understand the function of the behavior. Unless you are able to understand the need being met, it is difficult to create a plan for change.

  • Attention seeking: provide an overabundance of attention for child engaging in appropriate behavior. (Meadows, 2017).
  • Positive reinforcement (gain access to item or activity): provide opportunities for individual to receive attention for appropriate behavior. Suggested approach: use positive language instead of negative: instead of saying: “Don’t hit me” say “ thank you for usi quiet hands”. (Meadows, 2017).
  • Negative reinforcement (avoidance or escape): Help the child learn to ask for a break. (Meadows, 2017).
  • Meeting sensory needs: Incorporate appropriate sensory opportunities (Meadows, 2017).

Random tips for learning new behaviors

  • If a reinforcer is not working, assess whether the reinforcer is being offered to late. (Pryor, 2015).
  • Once a behavior is established, do not offer rewards for every behavior, this will ensure that the subject continues to try instead of offering you the bare minimum. (Pryor, 2015).
  • Abusive relationships are reinforcers, once hooked, individuals will wait for the moment of sweet behavior from their abuser. In leaving an abusive relationship, the brain must be re-trained, otherwise it will continue to seek abusive stimuli. (Pryor, 2015).
  • We can use positive reinforcement to train ourselves. (Pryor, 2015).
  • When shaping behavior, any attempts should be reinforced. Any sign of improvement in a child’s grades should be rewarded. (Pryor, 2015).
  • When working with behavior – understand that if the punishment does not exist, the behavior is not likely to happen. Example – teenagers taught by punishment are not likely to remember the rules when the person who punishes them is not there. (Pryor, 2015).
  • Behaviors often get worse before they get better, this is called an extinction burst. If the behavior is getting worse, you are likely on to something (Pryor, 2015).
  • Behaviorism requires the “trainers” full attention. Even if they are removing attention from the subject to communicate that the behavior is not desired, they must remove attention while still being aware of learner’s behavior. Becoming distracted by others means positive reinforcement is not given when it is earned. The behavior contract and trust is broken. (Pryor, 2015).
  • Try to end on a good note, so that the “training” is seen as positive experience.   (Pryor, 2015).
  • In self-reinforcement the best device is record keeping. Better results are obtained by those who fill in a box, rather than check it. (Pryor, 2015).
  • When shaping someone’s behavior – don’t tell them you are doing it. “Besides, while you may have helped someone improve a skill or get rid of a bad habit by changing your behavior in order to reinforce appropriately, who actually did all the hard work?” (Pryor, 2015, p. 66).
  • If behavior is occurring before the cue, use a 1-minute time out for every missed cue. If silence is needed, allow time for subjects to be noisy first. (Pryor, 2015).
  • Behavior chains should always start at the end. When working on memorizing a song/poem/etc, start at the end, that way you are always working for hardest to easiest. (Pryor, 2015).
  • Punishments are typically not effective at getting rid of a behavior, because the punishment is not timed with the behavior. (Pryor, 2015).
  • Guilt is not an effective reinforcer. (Pryor, 2015).
  • Sometimes behavior problems are easy to eliminate by assessing the subject for; hunger, illness, loneliness, fear, etc. (Pryor, 2015).


This is a very basic overview of behaviorism, there are many resources available on this subject. It is important to remember that when working with behaviors, it is best to use the services of trained professionals.  



Cherry, K. (author). Gans, S. (reviewer). (2017). Classical vs. operant conditioning. Behavioral Theories. Retrieved from

Meadows, T. (2017). 101 ways to do ABA! Lexington, KY: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

McLeod, S. (2015). Skinner-Operant Conditioning. Simply Psychology. Retrieved from

North Shore Pediatric Therapy. (2012). What’s the difference between positive and negative punishment? Resources: North Shore Pediatric Therapy. Retrieved from

Pryor, K. (2015). Don’t shoot the dog! Ringpress: New York, NY.