Trauma and EMDR
Do you suffer from Trauma?
Directions: Answer Yes or No
- Do you frequently have a hard time sleeping?
- Do you often have a hard time focusing?
- Do you find yourself suddenly intensely irritable or angry for something that in the past wouldn’t have bothered you?
- Do you find that your lifestyle is constricted by efforts to avoid certain people, places, things that remind you of past bad experiences?
- Do you feel numb or detached much of the time?
- Do you have recurrent dreams or disturbing and intrusive images, thoughts or flashbacks?
- Do you feel like you overreact to things that wouldn’t bother others?
If you answered ‘Yes’ to 4 or more of these questions, chances are that you suffer from trauma. You do not have to live with these symptoms. Call Ondina at (415) 381-1065 for an assessment.
Definition of Trauma
Trauma can be defined as an overwhelming experience that threatens or is perceived to threaten a person’s survival or well being. It often involves an experience that is out of the ordinary and every-day. It usually evokes intense fear, helplessness or horror. Trauma is a huge and complex field. There are varying degrees of trauma from the ‘low grade, constantly in the background kind’ to the ‘life crippling kind.’ Most people have some degree of trauma in their background that they have learned to live with, sometimes at a significant cost to their health and well being.
How Does Past Trauma Effect Me Now?
For instance someone who grew up with an abusive, overly critical parent might have very poor self esteem and find themselves using addictions to ‘numb out.’ Although ‘numbing out’ might have been a useful strategy growing up, because it lessened the pain of the constant abuse, later in life this person might find their lives seriously compromised as a result.
Another person might have been chased and bitten by a dog as a child and consequently develops an intense fear of dogs. Every time they see a dog they experience a fight or flight type response or simply freeze in place.
These traumas are locked and stored in the muscular and cellular memory of the person and cannot simply be reasoned out by the conscious, logical mind. I use somatic (body-mind based) therapies, which do not involve touch, and EMDR to help a person start to release long held traumas and move towards the life, relationships and work they want for themselves.
What is EMDR?
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing. EMDR is one of the most researched methods for working with trauma and is very popular, in particular with insurance companies because of its high and rapid effectiveness rate. People report improvement in as little as 1-3 sessions.
Getting help is as easy as making a phone call.
Call Ondina (415) 381-1065 now for a FREE initial phone consultation or to discuss any concerns or questions you might have or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
I offer confidential individual and couples therapy at reasonable rates (sliding scale available) in Mill Valley and San Francisco.
I also run groups for women struggling with body image and/or eating disorders in Mill Valley.
- EMDR Trained
- Evening appointments available
- Blue Cross and most insurance companies accepted
- GLBTQ (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) friendly
- Couple (traditional, alternative and queer) therapy offered
Call for more information, or to schedule an initial session: (415) 381-1065 or email at email@example.com
8 Keys to Safe Trauma Recovery: Take-Charge Strategies to Empower Your Healing (2010) by Babette Rothschild (a popular lecturer, trainer, and consultant on trauma recovery)
A book filled with common sense that demystifies the trauma recovery process.
Beyond the Trauma Vortex into the Healing Vortex – A Guide for You (2008) by Gina Rossi (an Israeli-American therapist working with trauma for years)
This book is quite readable for non-clinicians and is written simply. It is also available in Hebrew.
In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness (2010) by Peter A. Levine Ph.D. and Gabor Mate M.D.
A highly informative book on how to address and deal with trauma by the developer of Somatic Experiencing, one of the most comprehensive modalities for working with trauma.
Growing Beyond Survival: A Self-Help Toolkit for Managing Traumatic Stress (2000) by Elizabeth G. Vermilyea
A useful workbook as an adjunct to therapy for grounding tools, etc. for managing traumatic stress and to develop trust. Although it is geared more towards people who were abused as children or adults in relationship, it still has many useful tools for people with combat PTSD.
Trauma and the Body: A Sensorimotor Approach to Psychotherapy (2006) by Pat Ogden, PhD – the founder and director of the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, an internationally recognized school that specializes in training psychotherapists in somatic/cognitive approaches for the treatment of trauma.
Trauma and Recovery (1997) by Judith Herman
A tried and true classic! If you are a survivor of any kind of trauma, read this book. A unique book on trauma, child abuse and PTSD. It’s compassion filled without losing credibility.
EMDR: The Breakthrough ‘Eye Movement’ Therapy for Overcoming Anxiety, Stress, and Trauma by Francine Shapiro and Margot Forrest
This book talks about EMDR as a technique, but also talks a lot about the impact of trauma on people and includes several case studies.
Excellent resources for soldiers returning from war with reference to retuning Iraqi and Afghani vets and families
Courage After Fire: Coping Strategies for Troops Returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and Their Families by Keith Armstrong,LCSW, Suzanne Best, PhD and Paula Domenici, PhD
After the War Zone: A Practical Guide for Returning Troops and Their Families by Laurie B Slone, PhD and Matthew J. Friedman, MD,PhD
For Couples Dealing with Sexual Trauma
The Sexual Healing Journey; A guide For Survivors of Sexual Abuse (Revised Edition) (2001) by Wendy Maltz
This book speaks directly to people of all genders, sexual orientations, and the entire spectrum of sexual abuse experiences. It offers step by step instructions to find a healing path. Also, it is heartening to hear the stories of other survivors and their partners who are able to make amazing progress. Another must read!
Ghosts in the Bedroom: A Guide for the Partners of Incest Survivors (1991) by Ken Graber
For a quick read and lots of information this book is a good introduction. The author gives a quick overview of what lies ahead for the couple in a way that helps foster greater understanding.
Allies in Healing - When the Person You Love was Sexually Abused as a Child (1991) by Laura Davis
Healing is a two person job. This is required reading for anyone in a relationship with a survivor! It’s full of practical advice and written in a question-and-answer format, making it easy to find what you need.
Want to survive the affair? This book is a must read:
Not “Just Friends”: Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity (2004) by Shirley Glass
Dr. Levine was a stress consultant for NASA during the development of the Space Shuttle, and has taught at treatment centers, hospitals and pain clinics throughout the world on healing trauma through the body with a powerful method he developed called Somatic Experiencing.
Laurie Leitch, PhD, and Elaine Miller-Karas, LCSW, are two excellent clinicians who founded their organization after receiving training in Somatic Experiencing with Peter Levine.
They have worked in Israel, Jerusalem, and other parts of the Middle East as well as internationally in Nepal, Tibet, and Thailand. One of their specialty areas is in healing combat trauma. They also post on Facebook, so you might want to take a look at their site as there are many references, articles, etc you might find helpful. Check out the Trauma Resource Institute for some excellent resources.
Founded by Bessel A. van der Kolk M.D., who has been an active clinician, researcher and teacher in the area of posttraumatic stress and related phenomena since the 1970s. The Center provides comprehensive services to traumatized children and adults and their families at the main office in Brookline, MA.
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy is a body-oriented talking therapy for the treatment of trauma developed by Pat Ogden, PhD another pioneer in somatic psychotherapy and the treatment of trauma.
And for those of us Who Suffer from Anxiety and Panic:
A website that organizes some of the most essential facts about how to treat anxiety and how to get help. It describes some techniques anxiety sufferers can try themselves and also discusses various other treatment choices.