Dr. Robin Ohringer has served clients as a psychotherapist and social worker for 45 years. In private practice since 1989, Dr. Robin Ohringer draws on in-depth experience in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health conditions.
Although all human beings respond to surprising events, the learning response may be more intense in military veterans with PTSD. Researchers at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, or VTCRI, recently conducted brain scans of 74 veterans who had experienced trauma while serving in either Iraq or Afghanistan. Some of these individuals had formal diagnoses of PTSD.
The researchers studied the participants' reactions to surprising events by playing gambling games with them while the participants were connected to MRI scanners. They found that, compared to participants without PTSD diagnoses, participants with such diagnoses had increased levels of activity in attention centers of the brain when something unexpected happened in the game.
This result supports prior research that individuals with PTSD are more attentive to unexpected occurrences and potential threats, while offering more information about how this occurs. Findings suggest that the disproportionate attention to surprise makes it difficult for such individuals to allocate attention to their surroundings in a typical way. Researchers have noted that awareness of this process may help clinicians in the mental health field to develop more appropriate assessment tools and interventions that specifically address this learning disruption, which may in turn help to reduce symptoms in individuals with PTSD.
In preparation for her career as a psychotherapist, Dr. Robin Ohringer studied for her PhD at the Simmons College School of Social Work. At her Cambridge, Massachusetts, practice, Dr. Robin Ohringer helps people challenged by mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and grief.
Major life changes can trigger a response of grief, characterized by intense longing and/or sorrow. Such emotions may arise in response to a diagnosis of a chronic illness, disruptive events like moving or being laid off, and the death of a loved one.
Everyone grieves differently, meaning that there’s no one “right way” to react to such life-altering occurrences. For example, while one person might feel oddly numb or disconnected, another might feel angry.
Moreover, grief is not a static experience; whereas a person might feel angry one day, he or she might experience depression or resignation the next. The duration of grief also varies greatly from person to person, with emergence from it coming after a few months for some and years for others.
Whatever the source, grief needn’t be experienced alone or without support. Many communities have groups that meet to talk through participants’ grief, and mental health professionals are trained to address grief-related issues.
A Massachusetts-based psychotherapist, Robin Ohringer operates a private practice in Cambridge. In treating patients for issues such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder, Robin Ohringer employs a variety of techniques, including mindfulness training.
Focused on promoting moment-to-moment awareness, mindfulness is a practice akin to other high-focus activities, such as yoga, tai chi, and meditation. The ultimate goal of mindfulness training is to reduce unnecessary emotional reactivity by helping a person learn to experience everyday thoughts, feelings, and sensations without assigning meaning to them.
In addition to promoting greater awareness, the practice supports voluntary control of mental processes and helps practitioners learn to deal with stressful situations in a calm and clear-headed manner. Over the years, research has shown that mindfulness can assist with issues such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. The practice can also be used alone or alongside other treatments to help patients with hypochondria, eating disorders, attention-deficit disorder, and autism.
For more than 40 years, Dr. Robin Ohringer has served as a psychotherapist to patients in and around Cambridge, Massachusetts. Dr. Robin Ohringer draws on a variety of treatment methodologies, including psychodynamic therapy.
Psychodynamic therapy is a broad-based therapeutic technique that strives to understand the client's past and its influence on present behavior. It stems originally from psychoanalysis and the work of Sigmund Freud, though it has undergone extensive metamorphosis and remains highly adaptable based on the needs of each therapist and client.
In the context of psychodynamic therapy, the therapist guides the client through an in-depth process of self-reflection. The therapist-client relationship helps to inform and direct this process, as it provides both parties with a model of the client's typical relationship patterns. By working through these patterns with the therapist, the client can begin to change maladaptive responses and develop healthier dynamics.
The therapist also encourages the clients to honestly examine and freely disclose their emotional responses. For some clients, this means casting an exploratory light on those feelings that have hidden themselves in the recesses of the mind for some time. As the client makes the decision to own his or her discomfort and vulnerability, defense mechanisms can become obsolete and inner conflicts begin to resolve.