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Dr. Howard Lipke

HEArt for Veterans: Identifying the Hidden Emotion

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“…so I have one really simple exercise that I have people do… on a daily basis, think about what’s going to happen that day that might lead you to have more anger than you want. And then simply, try to figure out what the hidden emotion would be that is hidden by the anger or rage, and write it down… it triggers people to start thinking about this on a… daily basis and prepare for what might happen during the day… once that connection really starts to take place, then the anger just starts to feel inappropriate or silly.”

Dr. Howard Lipke

In this episode, Dr. Howard Lipke describes what he calls the Hidden Emotion Articulation (HEArt) Program, a contrast to traditional anger management programs. This approach, developed especially for the unique needs of veterans, helps clients identify the hidden emotion that lies beneath their feelings. Dr. Lipke contends that identifying the hidden emotion can help vets understand and prepare for sensitive situations in which they may be triggered into anger (and, for many vets, rage).

Howard Lipke, PhD, is a clinical psychologist who has been providing psychotherapeutic services to combat veterans for over 35 years, and for much of that time also teaching and training fellow mental health professionals. He is a former director of the residential PTSD treatment program and the outpatient PTSD program at what is now the Lovell Federal Health Care Center. He is the author of the psychology books Don’t I Have the Right to Be Angry? and EMDR and Psychotherapy Integration. He co-authored a chapter in Moore and Penk’s Treating PTSD in Military Personnel and wrote articles in a number of science/professional psychology journals. He is the co-editor of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies newsletter (StressPoints) column Trauma and World Literature and is on the editorial board of The Journal of EMDR Practice and Research. Dr. Lipke has presented and taught internationally, including invited addresses at the American Psychological Association Annual Convention and Association for the Study of Mental Imagery Annual Conference. Presentations also include preparation of therapists to help survivors of the Oklahoma City bombing, the 9/11 World Trade Center attack, and the ongoing crisis in Bangladesh. Dr. Lipke is on the clinical faculty at the Rosalind Franklin University of Health Science. Since retiring from the VA he continues to write and consult, as well as provide some direct service to veterans and training to their psychotherapists. Papers for psychotherapists and the general public on combat veterans and their families, EMDR, and psychotherapy in general, including clinically useful materials, are available at his web site,

Interviewer: Nancy Smyth, PhD, LCSW

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