Recent Publications

AED-journal

Research and clinical practice indicate that increasing numbers of adult women are suffering from both clinical and subclinical eating disorders and are now seeking treatment. The unique needs and experiences of this population bear examination through the lens of female adult development. The rapid increase in eating disorders, the ongoing gender disparity, and the complex realities of female biology suggest that this evaluation will be best informed by a biopsychosocial perspective. Developmental transitions including marriage, divorce, pregnancies, parenting, menopause, and the ageing process all create risk in an era that promotes weight loss, thinness, and a youthful appearance as the ultimate signs of success for women. Globalisation has contributed to the emergence of eating disorders in diverse countries and cultures. Consequently, all primary mental health and medical providers must understand the risk factors, signs, and symptoms of adult eating disorders, as well as the effect of environmental stressors on these risk factors in producing illness. This patient population requires unique treatment options, especially outpatient programmes and psychoeducation and support for their families and life partners, in order to foster recovery while maintaining their roles in their families, workplaces, and communities.
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Prostituted children, like all people, require nurturing relationships and belonging, yet they are vulnerable to exploitation because of their lack of secure relationships and histories of betrayal. This paper explores how a lack of secure relationships can create a dynamic for children to become trapped in prostitution, how current cultural assumptions reinforce the crisis, and where hope lies in a culture that is ready to disregard and incriminate children who do not fit the innocence mold.
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Although research is scarce, increasing numbers of midlife and older women are seeking eating disorders treatment, despite prevailing beliefs that these conditions only affect the young. Body satisfaction used to increase with age, but today 65 percent of midlife women express significant weight preoccupation and distress over their shape, appearance, and diet, threatening the health, wellbeing, and status of women across the globe.
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loveandptsdcoverInterpersonal violence, particularly when done within the context of an intimate relationship, has long been known to leave deep psychological scars on the survivors. Over the last 20 years, as neuroimaging techniques have advanced, the neurobiology of post-traumatic stress disorder has been unraveled. This recording of a webinar given by Amy Banks, M.D., describes how the brains of trauma survivors are shaped by violence and how the brain changes literally leave people with PTSD feeling as if they are caught in a perpetual cycle of violence. It explores ways that clinicians can use neurobiology to help them remain empathic with clients who are often repeatedly disconnected and hopeless in therapy sessions.
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web - nevertoolatecoverThis recording of a webinar giving by Amy Banks, M.D., in May 2011, highlights the latest developments in the study of neuroplasticity or how the brain changes. By applying the concepts of "use it or lose" and "neurons that fire together, wire together" to a current clinical dilemma and to a healthy social teaching program (Open Circle), this program will help participants see how brain change effects everyday life.
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BirellcoverThe DVD recording of this webinar will introduce participants to the third branch of the autonomic nervous system, the smart vagus nerve. We will explore in depth the role this neural pathway plays in taming the stress response system so that we can find and maintain healthy human connection. Through interactive discussion, this webinar will explore the ways that society can shape this neural pathway and how this neural pathway then helps shapes society.
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The-Help-cover-webPart I. "Getting to the truths about race…and the stories we tell along the way" by Maureen Walker, Ph.D.

Although good intentions may be necessary, they are never sufficient to sustain an authentic conversation about race. Because shame and anxiety are endemic to racially stratified cultures, what may start as well-intentioned discourse typically devolves into dread, recrimination, or escapist sentimentality. Using the best-selling novel The Help as a focal point, this paper discusses the critical relational capacities required to facilitate movement toward new relational possibilities.

Part II. "Help for The Help: RCT Meets Theme-Park Segregation" by Christina Robb, M.A.

Relational-Cultural Theory identifies shame as a tool of dominance. In the work of dismantling racist conditioning, shame can play a creative, relational role within white people in cross-race relationships. Kathryn Stockett’s novel The Help bypasses this awkward yet liberating process and relies instead on cartoonish fantasy that leaves racial stereotypes in place. But shared reflection about the realities the novel mythologizes can lead to authentic connection.
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BirellcoverThis paper explores Relational-Cultural Theory (RCT) and the ethics of power-with, of mutuality and relational engagement. It examines how we and those with whom we work become whole and how we help others. Ethics is not a set of rules to follow, but is an attitude and a stance toward the suffering of others and toward helping them to heal. Mutual respect and mutual power, relational engagement, and the importance of uncertainty, being open to the people with whom we work are described as core ethical concerns. This paper initiates a conversation on relational-cultural ethics which can create possibilities and growth fostering relationships for all.
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p5270434_edited by Maureen Walker Ph.D.
Women & Therapy

34:38-58, 2011

JBMTI Director of Program Development Maureen Walker, Ph.D. recently published her article, "What's a Feminist Therapist to Do? Engaging the Relational Cultural Paradox in a Post-Feminist Culture" in the Women & Therapy. "This article illustrates the use of Relational-Cultural therapy as a feminist approach that fosters healing and growth by facilitating both personal and collective empowerment."
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p5270434_edited by Kate Price, M.A.

JMBTI Project Associate Kate Price recently published her chapter in the textbook, Global Perspectives on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking: Europe, Latin America, North America, and Global (Lexington Books). The chapter examines child prostitution through an RCT lens, examining the importance of power structures, relationship, and collusion in perpetuating this global crisis.
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connected parenting guide cover by Licia Rando, M.Ed.
SAIV: The Spiritual Alliance to Stop Intimate Violence

Licia Rando, M.Ed. recently published, "Caring & Connected Parenting: A Guide to Raising Connected Children" which acknowledges Dr. Amy Banks. "Her generous sharing of knowledge pointed me in the right direction."
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journalofcreativityinmentalhealth by Jennifer L. Sanftner, Ph.D. and Mary Tantillo, Ph.D.
Journal of Creativity in Mental Health
5:344-357, 2010

Jennifer L. Sanftner, Ph.D. and Mary Tantillo, Ph.D. recently published their article, "Measuring Perceived Mutuality in Women: Further Validation of the Connection-Disconnection Scale" in the Journal of Creativity in Mental Health , 5:344-357. This model is an important development in measuring and promoting the efficacy of Relational-Cultural Therapy and growth-fostering relationships.
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A Resource for Policymakers
by Erika Kates, Ph.D.
July 2010
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Relational-Cultural Therapy (2009) In this book, Dr. Jordan explores the history, theory, and practice of this relationship-centered, culturally oriented form of therapy. Relational–cultural therapy is built on the premise that, throughout the lifespan, human beings grow through and toward connection, and that we need connections to flourish, even to stay alive. Dr. Jordan presents and explores this approach, its theory, history, the therapy process, primary change mechanisms, empirical basis, and future developments. This essential primer to relational–cultural therapy, amply illustrated with case examples, is perfect for graduate students studying theories of therapy and counseling as well as for seasoned practitioners interested in understanding this approach.
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Developing the Capacity to Connect Relational/Cultural Theory describes human development as being through and towards healthy connection. But how does this actually happen? This working paper will examine how human beings develop the capacity to connect starting in their earliest childhood relationships. Emphasizing the neuroscience of human connection, the paper describes the chemical and neuronal transformation of the brain in early growth fostering relationships. It will explore how a separation/ individuation culture undermines the human nervous system which is, literally, hard wired to connect and erodes our capacity to form healthy communities.
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