In my more than 25 years of experience, my interests have coalesced around the treatment of trauma, “small ‘t’” trauma as well as “big ‘T’” trauma. The truth is, we all experience traumatic events at some point in our lives. When those experiences cause overwhelming or lasting symptoms, we may develop problems such as chronic anxiety, depression or addiction, among other things. My training includes cognitive and somatic approaches to treating trauma, with an emphasis on body oriented strategies. Traditional “talk therapy” is a portion of what I do, but is not the heart of the work for most clients.
I am trained in both EMDR and Somatic Experiencing. In addition, I employ yoga, mindfulness and cognitive behavioral strategies where appropriate.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy approach that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. Repeated studies show that, by using EMDR therapy, people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal. EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma. When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound. If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes. The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health. If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. Using the detailed protocols and procedures learned in EMDR therapy training sessions, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes.
Somatic Experiencing® is a body-oriented approach to the healing of trauma and other stress disorders. It is the life’s work of Dr. Peter A. Levine, resulting from his multidisciplinary study of stress physiology, psychology, ethology, biology, neuroscience, indigenous healing practices, and medical biophysics, together with over 45 years of successful clinical application. The SE approach releases traumatic shock, which is key to transforming PTSD and the wounds of emotional and early developmental attachment trauma.
The Somatic Experiencing approach offers a framework to assess where a person is “stuck” in the fight, flight or freeze responses and provides clinical tools to resolve these fixated physiological states.