Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
What is Seeking Safety? (Article for therapists)
Trauma therapy can take many forms, the first stage starts with helping you feel you safer and helping you cope with triggers related to past negative events. Trauma can occur due to an intense feeling of helplessness in reaction to negative events. It can be the result of a single incident, such as an assault or injury, or a result from many incidents over time such as years of childhood abuse.
If you are a post 911 active service member or veteran, or have experienced military sexual trauma at any point in your life, you may qualify for free trauma therapy, including EMDR. I am a Headstrong Project Clinical Partner, you can ask to be referred to me through their website getheadstrong.org
While in therapy with me I may teach you skills from a program called Seeking Safety (Coping Handout) as well as Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. These programs focus on learning emotional regulation as well as learning how trauma has impacted your thinking about yourself and others. When you are ready, we may use Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) to come to terms with what has taken place in your life. EMDR is a powerful treatment that Dr. Francine Shapiro discovered by chance in 1987. To date, thousands of psychotherapists have been trained to provide EMDR based on Shapiro's research.
During an EMDR session, I lead you to hold "tappers" or listen to tones that activate both sides of the brain. Each session can last between 50 and 90 minutes. In preparing for EMDR we spend time building up your positive qualities or inner resources. You can also use these resourcing tools outside of therapy to feel more grounded or relaxed.
How EMDR works is still under investigation by neuroscientists. What we do know is that when a person experiences trauma, the brain may start to process information differently. A person who has experienced trauma or negative life events may relate in ways that feel "stuck" or repetitious. EMDR helps to move people out of these negative mental patterns and into a more adult, healthy functioning. I have worked with people recovering from past events such as sexual abuse, physical assault, witnessing or taking part in violence, deaths, accidents and car accidents.
In 1999 I completed my advanced (Level II) training and later went through a lengthy certification process. I was a Certified EMDR Therapist (2004-2008). Though I have not paid for the certification, I continue to be an active EMDR therapist in my practice.
Due to ethical guidelines, I am not able to share my client testimonials on this website. View these short videos to learn more about how EMDR works.