I am a board certified trauma specialist with training in EMDR and AF-EMDR. I utilize these techniques in my work with clients who experience anxiety and depression rooted in unresolved trauma, and those who have experienced recent traumatic events.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy method developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro. It is an evidence-based practice that helps people heal from traumatic life experiences that can cause symptoms and patterns that get in the way of day-to-day life.
You may find that certain experiences, sounds, smells, and situations in the present trigger strong, and sometimes overwhelming reactions in you. You may or may not realize that your responses, reactions, and distress are bigger than what is happening in the moment. Often these types of reactions are due to unresolved traumatic experiences from the past. The memories of these events are not fully processed and remain fragmented and highly charged.
Trauma is often thought of in terms of critical life events like abuse, natural disaster, war, assault, and other tragic experiences. However, other circumstances can be very traumatizing, especially when they go on for a long time, or when there is a series of traumatic events that occur in a lifetime. You might experience nightmares, flashbacks, avoidance, withdrawal, chronic anxiety or depression, or difficulty in relationships. You may experience high levels of distress just thinking about what happened, as if it is still happening today.
EMDR helps people recall and process these fragmented memories, so they no longer hold the same emotional charge. Once those memories are processed effectively, they can feel less threatening, less emotionally charged, and less distressing.
Attachment-Focused Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (AF-EMDR) uses a modified protocol for EMDR that focuses on attachments with significant people in your life. It was developed by Dr. Laurel Parnell, who integrated the latest research on attachment theory and the use of EMDR. This model intends to heal attachment wounds and relationship trauma including sexual/emotional/physical abuse, neglect, or having parents with mental illness or substance abuse issues. This is the type of EMDR I practice.
With AF-EMDR we use visualization, Resource Tapping, and various forms of bilateral stimulation to resolve and integrate the trauma, so it no longer causes so much distress and difficulty in the present. We use “peaceful place” imagery that allows your brain to heal and create new, healthy, neural pathways. Through imagination we create a support team to assist you in your healing. The support team can help you get now, what you really needed back then. In addition, we use bilateral stimulation techniques while exploring memories. All these pieces come together to help you feel nurtured and safe in your healing process. They can also promote a greater sense of internal regulation and self-nurturing.
Call me today (716-204-5552 x 406) to get started in your healing