EMDR Therapy and Trauma

Trauma survivors often complain of recurring nightmares, sudden tearfulness, flashbacks, aversions to places or people and even somatic/physical discomforts. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), is a technology created about 20 years ago by Francine Shapiro, PhD. EMDR involves systematically bringing highly charged images/experiences to the conscious self without hypnosis where they can be rationally dealt with and resolved into normal memory. This process is rapid and is noted in psychology journals as the most effective treatment available for...

The One Thing Not to Lose Sight of When Getting Divorced

Divorce is a time of great transitions, losses and potentially, growth. Divorce is one of the hardest things you might go through in your lifetime and while you are in the midst of this “hardest time in your life” you might lose sight of one very important thing. You want to stay out of court. You do. Yes, you really do. Yes, I understand that you’re mad/hurt/betrayed/protecting yourself. But you still really, really want to stay put of court. Court is not a place for families. It is a place for lawyers. It is a place for individuals who have been trained and socially encouraged to make up a paycheck by manipulaing a body of rules and formulas that have nothing to do with you and your family. Court is a place where strangers throw phrases around such as, “in the best interest of the children” to justify bankrupting your children’s parents (yes, that’s you) and all in the name of the law. If that sounds harsh, it’s because it is. Court is the worst thing that could happen to a healthy family. Is there a time and place where court and litigation is necessary? Absolutely. I will write more about that in a future post. For now, know that the great majority of divorce cases can and should be settled out of court, mediated, or refer to collaborative divorce. I get it, you are mad. And yes, your ex is a so and so. And yes, the children would be better off at this school or that school or ??? And no, you can’t agree on a custody...

A Soldier’s Unseen Wounds

A gun, a tank, a rocket launcher all make sense if you are a member of any of our armed services on a tour in the Middle East. They are necessary for the tasks that these men and women have been trained and, for better or worse, fit into the context of war. Just as a rifle is a tool with a specific design; the sight to hone in on a target, materials that resist wear and damage, a magazine to hold rounds to defend or attack, a trigger to engage the sole purpose of the tool. So too, can a mind be conditioned to serve a specific purpose to suite an environment and a context that can be imagined, practiced and realized in mission after mission. The difference is that the rifle is not expected to change purpose at the end of a tour. Whether in ‘that’ environment or another it maintains it’s function and form. We expect our servicemen and women to suddenly, and with little preparation or explanation to change context, change purpose, dial back intensity, leave the thousands of hours of training in the camps. If you are one of them. It may be one of most difficult experiences you have ever had, or will have. Feelings of detachment and isolation even when around familiar people, not feeling purposeful or needed, having a loss of direction and confusion about the future. These are all common to the returning soldier. Aside from the personal effects, behavioral issues compound the problem. Poor sleep patterns, rapid mood changes, aggression and irritability, depression and even panic attacks can all...

Anxiety Snapshot

One of my many reasons for working with individuals with Anxiety, Panic Attacks and PTSD is that they all carry a very good prognosis. Meaning that, when treated properly, we can expect positive results and we can expect them to last. When I hear of someone or meet someone who has suffered from long-term generalized anxiety or Panic Attacks I feel a sense of urgency to make changes early on. There is simply no reason why a person should suffer with either of these debilitating clusters of symptoms. Anxiety and Panic are expressions of a problem at a deeper level. Much like pain in the body, anxiety is a signal that something needs to change. Part of the work is discovering what change needs to occur, part of the work is finding behaviors to manage, reduce or eliminate the attacks/anxiety and part of the work is trusting the change that occurs over the long run. That being said, treatment approaches can involve emotional, behavioral, environmental, familial and spiritual aspects of a person’s life. While the work to minimize the suffering is primary, the secondary changes that occur in this exploration enrich every aspect a persons’ life. I work with individuals with problems with anxiety, PTSD, trauma as well as with couples and...
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