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“Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity." 


Trauma Therapy

In couples counseling an issue you may be seeking help with is a trauma that one or both partners have experienced. Having a trauma that may have even caused PTSD can affect all areas in your life but especially your relationship. When we have experienced something so difficult and painful it can make it hard to cope and cause lots of stress and anxiety.


If you are experiencing the following on a frequent basis it may be time to seek help:


  • Repeated, disturbing memories, thoughts, or images of a stressful experience from the past?

  • Repeated, disturbing dreams of a stressful experience from the past?

  • Suddenly acting or feeling as if a stressful experience from the past were happening again (as if you were reliving it)?

  • Feeling very upset when something reminded you of a stressful experience from the past?

  • Having physical reactions (e.g., heart pounding, trouble breathing, sweating) when something reminded you of a stressful experience from the past?

  • Avoiding thinking or talking about a stressful experience from the past or avoiding having feelings related to it?

  • Avoided activities or situations because they reminded you of a stressful experience from the past?

  • Having trouble remembering important parts of a stressful experience from the past?

  • Loss of interest in activities that you used to enjoy? 

  • Feeling distant or cut off from other people? 

  • Feeling emotionally numb or being unable to have loving feelings for those close to you? 

  • Feeling as if your future somehow will be cut short?

  • Having trouble falling or staying asleep? 

  • Feeling irritable or having angry outbursts? 

  • Difficulty concentrating?

  • Being “superalert” or watchful or on guard? 

  • Feeling jumpy or easily startled? 

Experiencing  these things can cause strain on your relationship. You may be pulling away from your partner or isolating. Feeling so overwhelmed it can be hard to emotionally or physically connect to anybody. Having a lot of anxiety can cause fear and withdrawing from social interactions and engagements. The overwhelming emotions can cause you to lash out at your partner. We will work on attunement to understand each other and turn towards in times of stress.

What is EMDR?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

EMDR was developed in the 1990's by Francine Shapiro to treat trauma. It uses bilateral stimulation to process things. It  stimulates communication between the amygdala (stressful events), the hippocampus (learning, including memories about safety and danger), and the prefrontal cortex (behavior and emotion). Much like going to bed worried about something and waking up feeling resolved about the issue, EMDR is similar to the REM (rapid eye movement) stage of sleep. 

With EMDR you do not have to talk in detail about the issue we are targeting like other forms of therapy. It focuses on changing the thoughts, feelings and behaviors about the issue with the goal to make it feel less distressing to you. We can use eye movements, sounds, or tapping to experience bilateral stimulation.


There are 8 phases of EMDR:

  1. History and Treatment Planning - taking a thorough history to develop a treatment plan.

  2. Preparation - teaching coping skills to use  to deal with emotional disturbance during the process.

  3. Assessment - accessing each target to be processed.

  4. Desensitization - focuses on the clients disturbing memories and sensations by use of a rating scale.

  5. Installation - increasing the strength of the positive belief identified.

  6. Body Scan - assessing for any pain or discomfort found in the body.

  7. Closure - making sure you leave session feeling safe.

  8. Reevaluation - checking in between each session about new insights, dreams or changes.

Common issues that are treated with EMDR are:

  • Anxiety, panic attacks, and phobias

  • Chronic Illness, chronic pain and medical issues

  • Depression, bipolar disorders, and mood disorders

  • Dissociative disorders

  • Eating disorders

  • Grief and loss

  • Nightmares

  • Performance anxiety

  • Personality disorders

  • PTSD and other trauma and stress related issues

  • Sexual assault

  • Sleep disturbance

  • Substance abuse and addiction

  • Violence and abuse

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