If we look deeply enough within each of us, we will find that we already are whole and perfect. Each one of us is, when we come into this world, already a complete and perfect being ready to love and engage the world with innocent wonder. So how did we come to be where we are now?
Perhaps we find ourselves feeling angry, frightened or in despair. We may be resentful and distrustful of others, unable to engage in stable intimate relationships due to the persistent ache of old unhealed wounds. Maybe we are struggling with critical inner voices from internalized negative messages, accumulated over a lifetime, that convince us that we deserve less than others and sap our confidence. Perhaps, through loss, trauma or betrayal we are overcome with grief, fear and confusion.
The key to our healing, wherever we find ourselves, is the same for each of us: to find our way home at last; to ourselves, that deepest most authentic part of us that is the source of our love and healing. This journey can be full of twists and turns and it is easier to make with a friend. It will be my profound privilege to accompany you, sometimes as a gentle guide and always as a caring companion. My goal is to help you rediscover the whole, wonderful person that you already are.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a remarkably effective form of therapy that was discovered over twenty years ago by Francine Shapiro, and is currently being practiced by nearly 70,000 therapists worldwide. EMDR has been empirically shown to be the most effective and rapid treatment for Trauma and is now recommended by the Veterans Administration as the treatment of choice for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Originally developed for the treatment of trauma, EMDR has since proven to be effective in treating a broad range of psychological disorders and emotional problems, such as Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression, Anxiety, Panic and Phobias, as well as Attachment Traumas and Unmet Developmental Needs.
EMDR targets painful memories stored in parts of the brain—the emotional brain or limbic system, and the autonomic nervous system—which are not easily accessed by words and do not respond readily to talk therapy. It is more rapid in its outcome than many other forms of therapy and can shorten therapy time significantly.
EMDR is a comprehensive psychotherapy approach that integrates elements from many effective psychotherapies, including psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, interpersonal, experiential, and body-centered therapies.
EMDR is an Eight Phase therapy that utilizes set protocols (specific questions and client answers) together with a series of bi-lateral eye movements or other forms of right-left stimulation such as auditory tones or tapping. EMDR is useful not only for the processing and resolution of traumatic memories, but also for building upon and strengthening clients’ internal resources, natural abilities and strengths. It is therefore highly useful for enhancing creativity and for performance improvement.
ABOUT SOMATIC EXPERIENCING (SE): ______________________________________________________________________________________________
Somatic Experiencing is a body-awareness approach to trauma taught throughout the world. It is the result of over forty years of observation, research, and hands-on development by Dr. Peter Levine and others. Based upon the realization that human beings have an innate ability to overcome the effects of trauma, Somatic Experiencing has touched the lives of many thousands. SE restores self-regulation, and returns a sense of aliveness, relaxation and wholeness to traumatized individuals who have had these precious gifts taken away. SE therapists have applied this work to combat veterans, rape survivors, Holocaust survivors, auto accident and post surgical trauma, chronic pain sufferers, and even to infants after suffering traumatic births.
ABOUT THE TRAUMA RESILIENCY MODEL (TRM):______________________________________________________________________________________
TRM (formerly Trauma First Aid) was inspired by the work of Dr. Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing (of the Foundation for Human Enrichment). It is based on current neurophysiologic research, which demonstrates that the mind and body are inseparable. TRM offers concrete skills to reduce symptoms of traumatic stress in the Autonomic Nervous System. The goal of treatment is to help clients understand basic information about the nervous system and then, teach specific skills to help them stabilize their own body. As the client becomes aware of how to stabilize their nervous system, there is an increase in internal resilience. Mind and body are interdependent and as the body is stabilized, the mind can bring new meaning to the traumatic experience. Therapists from the Trauma Resource institute have worked internationally to assist disaster survivors, for example in Indonesia after the tsunami, and are currently working in China with the World Health Organization, assisting earthquake survivors.
ABOUT INTEGRATIVE SOMATIC THERAPY (IST):_______________________________________________________________________________________
Integrative Somatic Therapy is the work of Elaine Miller-Karas of the Trauma Resource Institute and others. Originally conceived as an integration of Somatic Experiencing and EMDR, IST has expanded to include the Trauma Resiliency Model. In combination with EMDR, Somatic Experiencing is particularly effective in helping individuals work through traumatic and other painful memories without becoming overwhelmed or re-traumatized. It is for this reason that Integrative Somatic Therapy is such a powerful yet gentle tool in the treatment of highly fragile individuals, who were abused as children.
“Integrative Somatic Therapy combines elements of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing to expand the healing potential in all human beings. The client is gently guided into the experience of their own sensation and discovers that with greater sensory awareness of traumatic patterns and of their own inner capacity to heal, the events of her/his past can be processed and released. An experience of greater inner peace may emerge and a growing belief often begins to blossom that the anguish and suffering that once haunted the present can be transformed. The traumatic memories can diminish in one’s mind and body and be placed in their proper place, in the past.” --Elaine Miller-Karas
Mindfulness is a simple way of relating to our experience in the present moment that relieves suffering. It fosters an attitude of acceptance both toward our self and our experience, which then naturally enhances our relationships with others. Mindfulness is a form of meditation as well as a way of meeting every moment of our lives with greater clarity and equanimity. Whether at rest or in the midst of busy activity, it is a way of being more completely awake to our experience, without judgment or resistance, that opens pathways to new creative possibilities for our own healing and spiritual awakening. Being mindful allows us to be more available for our lives and contributes to a deeper sense of being fully alive. Mindfulness can also be of tremendous help when dealing with the painful moments of life, both in and out of therapy. There is a very large and growing body of research supporting the usefulness of mindfulness as an aid to the psychotherapy process, and its effectiveness for coping with anxiety, depression and physical pain.
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