What is EMDR
and how can it help resolve trauma?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a well-studied and proven psychotherapy method provided by licensed mental health counselors. This type of therapy allows the brain to engage in a natural healing process through bilateral stimulation or side-to-side eye movement. EMDR does not require the traditional conversation about thoughts, emotions, or behaviors around distressing concerns. It is designed to help individuals process suppressed traumas on a deeper physiological level. Through the initiation of eye movements, the brain will reorganize negative memories and reduce the associated stress. This reconstruction of thinking allows for more positive feelings to rise to the surface of one’s mind.
Trauma is an understandable, biological event that can change the neurological function of the brain, resulting in a cognitive shift of beliefs. “Fight, flight, or freeze” is part of the natural stress response when confronted with trauma. The disturbing thoughts, emotions, and imagery may cause a person to feel subdued or fixated on the experience. The mind reacts as if still in danger, creating a hindrance to moving on in life.
EMDR therapy engages the mind in a natural healing process and resolves these memories rather than managing them superficially. It is a gentle method of keeping a person grounded in their mind and body at present while accessing the trauma in the past. Though experiences may still be recalled, the survival instinct of “fight, flight or freeze” resolves and no longer elicits negative reaction to similar stressors or situations. Results from sessions can be immediate for many clients, enabling them to feel relief and have a sense of safety. EMDR provides an effective and efficient avenue to treat trauma, and here, it is available for you. EMDR has been proved to be successful with the following conditions and more:
What are Somatic Therapy + Somatic Tracking
Somatic therapy is a form of body-centered therapy that looks at the connection of mind and body and uses both psychotherapy and physical therapies for holistic healing. In addition to talk therapy, somatic therapy practitioners use mind-body exercises and other physical techniques to help release the pent-up tension that is negatively affecting your physical and emotional wellbeing.
Somatic therapy can help people who suffer from stress, anxiety, depression, grief, addiction, problems with relationships, and sexual function, as well as issues related to trauma and abuse. Those for whom traditional remedies have not been helpful for chronic physical pain, digestive disorders, and other medical issues may also benefit from somatic therapy. Somatic therapy techniques can be used in both individual and group therapy settings.
Physical techniques, such as deep breathing, relaxation exercises, and meditation are then used to help relieve symptoms. Some of the adjunctive physical techniques that may be used with somatic therapy include dance, exercise, yoga, or other types of movement, vocal work, and self-regulation through touch. Somatic therapy with Karen will never involve Karen touching you.
Somatic tracking is a widely used technique in the treatment of chronic pain, chronic illness, and anxiety disorders. This involves present moment awareness and 'watching' sensations change in the body, while learning to react differently. This harnesses the power of neuroplasticity, creates safety, and self-knowing that can be utilized in all areas of life.
What is Internal Family Systems?
Internal Family Systems (IFS) is a psychotherapeutic approach developed by Richard C. Schwartz in the 1980s. It is a model of therapy that views individuals as having multiple subpersonalities or parts within themselves, each with its own thoughts, emotions, and motivations. These parts are organized into systems and can either support or conflict with one another.
The central concept of IFS is that each individual has a core or true Self, which is characterized by qualities such as compassion, wisdom, and confidence. According to IFS, when the Self is in its natural state, it can effectively lead and harmonize the different parts of an individual.
The parts within a person can be categorized into different roles or types, such as managers, firefighters, and exiles. Managers are responsible for controlling and maintaining a person's behavior, while firefighters are activated in response to distressing emotions or situations and engage in impulsive or distracting behaviors. Exiles are wounded parts of the self that have experienced trauma or painful experiences and are typically kept hidden or suppressed.
In the IFS therapy process, the therapist helps the individual develop a relationship with their parts, allowing them to understand and communicate with each part from a place of curiosity and compassion. By doing so, the individual can access their true Self and facilitate healing and transformation. The therapist also works to facilitate cooperation and harmony among the different parts, reducing conflicts and internal tension.
IFS has been applied to a wide range of psychological issues, including trauma, anxiety, depression, addiction, and relationship difficulties. It is known for its non-pathologizing and empowering approach, as it recognizes that all parts have positive intentions and can be valuable resources once their underlying needs are understood and addressed.