Trauma is perhaps the most missed psychological issue amongst psychotherapists. Often disguised as depression, anxiety, isolation or acting out behavior, trauma is usually overlooked and not dealt with directly. Getting to the core issues and healing from their devastating impact is of the utmost importance in my work.

Having advanced certification in Trauma Studies, I use various trauma treatments. However, my greatest successes are with EMDR Therapy–Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. Whether a big trauma or a serious of small traumatic events, when the processing of a memory is completed through EMDR Therapy, the memory no longer has the same negative emotional charge. You can and will remember the memory, but it no longer feels traumatic. When you are reminded of the trauma in your every day life, it does not cause the same traumatic reactions and feelings.

EMDR is a comprehensive psychotherapy that utilizes an integration of body-centered, psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, and interpersonal processes. It is an innovative form of treatment that targets traumas which have become “locked” in the brain in an unhealthy way when a person is under unusual stress (e.g., rape, sexual or physical abuse, domestic violence, accidents, etc). EMDR moves beyond insight to actually dissolve and resolve the trauma or “old story” at a physiological level, making way for more adaptive beliefs about oneself and the world.

What makes EMDR effective is that it does not just address thoughts and feelings, as regular psychotherapy does, but creates a mind-body connection by combining memories with bodily sensations, emotions, negative thoughts. EMDR works by both de-sensitizing a client to past experiences, so that old memories no longer are upsetting, and moving the client towards closure with the past as they reprocess the memory in a new way. Through EMDR therapy, patients are able to reprocess traumatic information until it is no longer psychologically disruptive.

“We believe that EMDR induces a fundamental change in brain circuitry similar to what happens in REM sleep — that allows the person undergoing treatment to more effectively process and incorporate traumatic memories into general association networks in the brain. This helps the individual integrate and understand the memories within the larger context of his or her life experience.” Robert Stickgold, Ph.D.

Harvard Medical School

“EMDR quickly opens new windows on reality, allowing people to see solutions within themselves that they never knew were there. And it’s a therapy where the client is very much in charge, which can be particularly meaningful when people are recovering from having their power taken away by abuse and violation.” Laura S. Brown, Ph.D.