The client-therapist relationship is always very important, and therapist attunement to the client is vital. But it is also helpful for clients to know something about the strategies and tools the therapist will use. My approach combines EMDR, Brainspotting, and Havening® with various Somatic (body-centered) and Energy Psychology strategies.
When upsetting things happen to us, they often seem to get “stuck” in our minds. We relive them again and again through our thoughts, feelings, nightmares, and body sensations. Things that happened in the past can feel like they are happening all over again. Those upsetting and disturbing thoughts and feelings can interfere with our present lives, negatively affecting how we see the world and how we interact with other people.
EMDR, Brainspotting, Havening, Somatic and Energy Psychology strategies can help you heal.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. Successful outcomes are also well documented for EMDR treatment of other psychiatric disorders, mental health problems, and somatic symptoms. EMDR is a client-centered approach that mobilizes a client's own inherent healing mechanism in the brain.
The goal of EMDR therapy is to process completely the experiences that are causing problems, and to connect the client to the inner resources and new skills needed for full health. "Processing" does not mean talking about it. "Processing" means setting up a learning state that will allow experiences that are causing problems to be "digested" and stored appropriately in your brain. That means that what is useful to you from an experience will be learned, and stored with appropriate emotions in your brain, and be able to guide you in positive ways in the future. The inappropriate emotions, beliefs, and body sensations will be discarded.
After a successful EMDR session, a person can remember a past event but is less upset about it and no longer relives the troubling images, sounds and feelings. This is accomplished by combining attention on the upsetting material with alternating bilateral stimulation, either eye movements, tapping, tactile stimulation, or auditory tones, and allowing the brain to process.
EMDR Therapy includes healing the Past, eliminating Present triggers, and building confidence for the Future.
If you would like to learn more about EMDR, check out the following websites:
EMDR International Association: www.emdria.org
EMDR Institute, Inc.: www.emdr.com
Brainspotting and EMDR are closely related, but Brainspotting adds the concept that “where you look affects how you feel,” and incorporates focusing on a spot that is either activating or resourcing to facilitate processing. It is a very flexible and effective process. www.brainspotting.com
Somatic Therapy or body-centered therapy strategies focus on releasing the energy that is imprisoned in our bodies when we experience overwhelming threat. These responses are biological and automatic, and our nervous systems have the capacity to naturally release the energy, but it often gets stuck, creating unpleasant symptoms. TRM, the Trauma Resiliency Model, is a set of skills that can be learned and practiced, allowing us to rebalance our nervous systems.
Energy Psychology includes EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), AIT (Advanced Integrative Therapy) and other techniques that combine cognitive interventions (including focused awareness and mindfulness, imaginal exposure to traumatic memories and cognitive reframing) simultaneously with the stimulation of one or more of the human bio-energy systems such as meridians, chakras and biofields. Energy psychology theory suggests that psychological problems are a reflection of disturbed bio-energetic patterns within the mind-body system—a system that involves complex communication between a person’s neurobiology and their cognitive-behavioral-emotional patterns. Energy Psychology techniques focus on releasing that disturbed energy.
Havening Techniques® uses soothing human touch (the client’s own touch or the therapist’s) to calm the brain and de-traumatize stressful or traumatic memories. Clients easily learn the technique and can use it themselves whenever they need it.