I am trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. It is an evidence-based approached developed by Francine Shapiro. It was originally intended to treat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but has proven effective at treating an array of client concerns.
At the heart of EMDR is the concept that we naturally tend toward healing if given the right environment. A doctor does not heal your broken bone, they promote your body’s own healing capability by immobilizing the bone with a cast. Similarly, EMDR allows you to call on your own healing ability to process memories of trauma so that they do not continue to haunt you.
The basic mechanism of EMDR is bilateral stimulation (BLS), which can be alternating tones to each ear, buzzing to each hand, tapping to different sides of the body, or the classic method of following an object from side to side with the eyes. EMDR can be practiced in person and by teletherapy.
I am a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner-in-Training. Somatic Experiencing (SETM) is a body-oriented therapeutic model for healing trauma and other stress disorders. It is based on a multidisciplinary intersection of physiology, psychology, ethology, biology, neuroscience, indigenous healing practices, and medical biophysics and has been clinically applied for more than four decades. It is the life’s work of Dr. Peter A. Levine.
Trauma is not just an event that took place sometime in the past; it is also the imprint left by that experience on mind, brain, and body. -- Bessel van der Kolk
Trauma-informed care is about understanding how difficult experiences impact you today – how the past is still present. It is honoring the way you have coped with your past experiences and finding new ways that work better for you in the present. And most of all, it is making sense of traumatic experiences and integrating them into your life story in a way that no longer harms you today.
I take a feminist approach to working with my clients. Part of this mindset is to instill a sense of equality between myself and my clients. I am not the expert in the room, my client is. The greatest source for understanding my client’s concerns is not a text book or diagnostic manual, but the stories my client tells.
I strive for my clients to be empowered in therapy, so that we can be partners who collaborate on the course of treatment. Often the ways that clients have coped with their challenges can be seen as efforts to be empowered in their lives. A part of therapy for these clients can be to explore how to extend their empowerment from the therapy room to other parts of their lives. Understanding how power, privilege, and oppression play out in their lives can be helpful for all clients, regardless of their gender or level of privilege or marginalization.