Areas of Expertise
EMDR (eye movement desensitization reprocessing) is a method of treating trauma that has a large body of research showing it to be effective in helping clients prepare for and reprocess unhealed psychological wounds to reduce common symptoms of PTSD such as overwhelming emotions, panic attacks, anxiety, intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, and avoidance behavior. EMDR does not require clients to verbally recount what happened in their trauma and teaches clients to create a set of techniques specific to their needs to manage bodily responses to triggering events.
Treatment for Dissociative Disorders
Dissociation is a word that is used to describe the disconnection or lack of connection between things usually associated with each other. Dissociated experiences are not integrated into the usual sense of self, resulting in discontinuities in conscious awareness. In severe forms of dissociation, disconnection occurs in the usually integrated functions of consciousness, memory, identity, or perception. For example, someone may think about an event that was tremendously upsetting yet have no feelings about it. Clinically, this is termed emotional numbing, one of the hallmarks of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Feeling removed from the present moment
Feeling removed from the body, senses, emotions and/or thoughts
“Living in the past”
“Made” emotions, thoughts or behaviors
Feeling as if the self or the environment are not real.
Confusion about identity
Amnesia, including fugue states.
We utilize parts work, somatic interventions and EMDR to work with dissociative states to facilitate the healing of trauma.
More information on dissocation from: isst-d.org
Parts work encompasses both Ego State Therapy and Internal Family Systems.
Ego State Therapy (EST)is a psychodynamic approach to trauma work most often used with cPTSD and Dissociative Disorders. This approach includes hypnosis and often EMDR, including special EMDR protocols for pre-verbal trauma and introjects. John & Helen Watkins are credited with developing this modality, utilizing a body of work that ranges back to the 1800’s.
Internal Family Systems (IFS) is an approach that helps trauma survivors identify parts and sub personalities that have become established as a result of psychological wounds. This theory was developed by Richard C. Schwarz in the 1980s.
Deep Brain Reorienting (DBR)
Deep Brain Reorienting (DBR) is a trauma therapy that is emerging from Glasgow, Scotland. Created by Psychiatrist, Dr. Frank Corrigan, DBR is utilized for the treatment of shock and attachment shock that precedes the affect of traumatic experience. DBR enables the accessing and processing of the shock component that occurs before the affect and dissociation of the traumatic material that is treated by therapies such as EMDR Therapy and "parts work" (eg. Structural Dissociation Theory, EST, IFS).
DBR accesses the core impact of the attachment breaches and the residual shock and horror of traumatic experiences before the subsequent affect and dissociation. These shock states get “locked in” the brain which can be overwhelming to the client and therapist, often blocking the therapeutic process.
DBR reveals its uncanny accessibility to the brainstem, that “deep aloneness” we see in clients, but often struggle to access and process. DBR is theorized to work "under the dissociation", which can make processing possible for a client with complex trauma and dissociation.
Life is not always easy or kind, especially when we are carrying old wounds that have not healed. All of our life interactions are affected by that unhealed pain: our relationships, our work, our own happiness.
Many people can effectively ignore their pain, and set their wounds aside to carry on with things they have to do, at least for a while, but often, their mind will decide that it's "the right time" and will do what it can to heal itself. This can be experienced as disruptive, and sometimes frightening symptoms that feel out of control to the person experiencing them.
If it's time for you to work on healing from your past, we offer a space for that healing to begin.
You don't have to do this alone.