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Tools I Use
Having experience and training since 1977, I have a huge selection of tools to choose from. I ask that you be open to using what will work best for you. Many times, people come to me for a specific technique, but that tool is not appropriate for them or there must be preparation or rebuilding of core resources to use the tool. Sometimes people come in and ask for certain tools because they heard they were fast and many of these people will get overwhelmed by that tool, or the tools that appear to move more slowly will actually help them progress more quickly. So, I ask that you come open to what shows up in the assessment phase of your treatment. Here are a few of the tools I use:
We start with Self-awareness. To be successful at making changes you must be able to observe your physical, emotional, and cognitive reactions. You will have to have dual focus (awareness of what you are currently experiencing and remembering a past event simultaneously) to be able to make change. Self-awareness tells us both if you are able to dual focus, and if not, I will give you the tools to develop your ability to dual focus. Self-awareness also assesses your ability observe whether you are connected or not. Being fully and completely present and connected are precursors to making changes and for a healthy and joyful life and are absolutely required to treat trauma.
Somatic & Energetic Resourcing
Somatic & Energetic Resourcing activities, ie: connection, centering, boundaries, and containment are tools for identifying what resources you have and what is missing. The activities give you tools to build resources that may be missing or have been breached. Many people report amazing changes just with these activities.
We will begin Somatic & Energetic Resourcing activities right away to start the assessment of what you already have and what might be missing. Somatic & Energetic Resourcing activities are somatic and experiential in nature, not visualizations or imagining. They are based on developmental milestones we are all supposed to have throughout our upbringing. In some cases, we may have not developed them in the first place. In some cases, we had them, but life experiences breached them and they need to be rebuilt. You will experience a “felt sense” of how being connected feels, how you feel when your boundaries are working for you, and how you feel when you are centered.
You will learn how changes in your physical structure will change your emotional and psychological state. You will have tools to use in your daily life to rebuild and/or maintain your resources. Once we move into resolving trauma or self-limiting patterns, your ability to notice if you lose your connection will be crucial. If you are disconnected, trauma resolution will be other than effective and can cause you to feel re-traumatized. If you lose your connection with Self we can stop, reestablish your connection and then continue to work. You will learn much about yourself through these experiential activities. I have had clients make dramatic changes in their lives just from these activities.
We will assess your ability to self soothe and build skills if needed. Self-soothing is crucial for handling emotional challenges which may arise between sessions as we clear traumatic experiences or ingrained belief patterns. Trauma becomes stored our nervous systems when we become overwhelmed by an event. Having new life experiences, resources, and self-soothing tools when you target these old memories or beliefs allows you to revisit and clear the original experiences in a new way. You may still experience emotional upset for a short while and your new perspectives and tools will allow you to move through old experiences without overwhelm and reach resolution.
EMDR Therapy is founded on the premise we have an innate inner wisdom which prompts us toward health and wholeness. EMDR Therapy is an approach to psychotherapy comprised of principles, procedures, and protocols. It is not a simple technique characterized primarily by use of eye movements. EMDR Therapy is grounded in psychological science and is informed by both psychological theory and research on the brain.
EMDR Therapy has 8-phases and 3- prongs. The first two phases (EMDR History Taking & Treatment Planning Phase and Preparation Phase) are crucial to success of EMDR Therapy treatment. I use Somatic & Energetic Resourcing and self-soothing tools in the Preparation Phase and the beginning of the EMDR History Taking & Treatment Planning Phase. We will identify what life issues you would like to improve. We will assess your ability to feel safe during EMDR Therapy treatment. Because challenging emotional responses may come up, feeling safe with me, and having an ability to tell me what you are experiencing are crucial. I act as a guide through the EMDR Therapy sessions and you, accurately reporting what you experience, allows me to guide you correctly. You will have to have good self-soothing skills to use between session if challenging memories or emotions arise between sessions.
In Phases 3 - 6, (Assessment Phase - Reprocessing Phases) standardized steps must be followed to achieve good results. EMDR Therapy is a process, not a technique, and unfolds according to requirements and resources of each person in the context of our therapeutic relationship. Therefore, different elements may be emphasized or utilized differently depending on the unique requirements of each person.
The 3-prongs including clearing out all the past memories that are related to the issue you are working on. Clearing all the present triggers for that issue and creating a future template of how you will handle similar circumstances in the future in a new and more adaptive way.
For more information on EMDR Therapy visit: EMDRIA's website (EMDR International Association).
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