What's it like?
What is talk therapy with you like?
Most of my clients prefer to have their sessions over the phone, where they can get comfortable: at home, in bed, on the couch, sitting outside... wherever it is you like. Some even sit in their car; whether you're at work on lunch break, or need somewhere to get some alone time, the therapy "office" can be wherever works for you. While most places will be just fine, having some privacy is important. I offer video sessions as well.
Starting therapy can seem daunting because we might think we have to start at the very beginning of our story before we can get to "good stuff." With my process, there is no designated starting point. We can jump in where you feel needs the most attention. I meet my clients where they are, go where they want to go, and take things at their pace. While our early experiences are an important part of the work, these details can be filled in as we go so we can attend to what is most pressing to you at the moment.
The journey of healing is not linear. There isn't a specific formula or phrase or lesson that holds the key to our happiness. The healing is in the process, in the practicing, in showing up, and working through it. My process is very collaborative. We can adjust things as we go to meet your needs and implement personalized, effective resources you can use to meet your goals.
What is EMDR therapy like?
EMDR is a form of therapy that helps people heal from trauma or other distressing life experiences that contribute to difficult emotional experiences. EMDR has been extensively researched and empirically proven effective for the treatment of trauma. After we determine if EMDR therapy is a good fit (i.e., EMDR can be contraindicated with people who dissociate or are in the active phase of a substance use disorder), the work can begin.
While EMDR has many involved parts and processes, the trauma-reprocessing segment asks the client to focus on a specific event. Attention will be given to a negative image, belief, and body sensation related to this event, and then to a positive belief that would be more adaptive. While the client focuses on the upsetting event, the therapist will begin sets of bilateral stimulation (BLS), including tapping, eye-movements, or sounds. Because my EMDR sessions are held via video-conferencing, the most common form of BLS used is the client tapping themselves lightly with their hands, either on the tops of their thighs or with the "butterfly hug." The client will be guided to notice what comes to mind after each set. They may experience shifts in insight or changes in images, feelings, or beliefs regarding the event. The client has full control to stop the therapist at any point, if needed. The sets of eye movements, sounds, or taps are repeated until the event becomes less disturbing. (EMDRIA, 2019).
EMDR has helped my clients in a range of ways, from no longer meeting criteria for PTSD, overcoming affairs, emotional regulation, public speaking, attachment wounds, complex grief, panic attacks, fear of flying, increasing confidence, anxiety, negative childhood experiences, and more. Its potential to reduce negative sensations and install positive resources is endless.
On the fence about starting therapy?
One of the things I hear most from my clients is, "I wish I had started sooner!" Now, I don't say this so people start "should-ing" on themselves (I should have started sooner, I should have done this or that...). Perhaps you wonder if life can really be that different from what we have always felt and known. There are so many reasons why we hesitate to commit to therapy: lack of time, finances, skepticism, FEAR----fear of change, fear of judgment (from the therapist or those around us), fear of facing parts of ourselves, fear of emotional pain---and all of these concerns are valid! But prioritizing our mental health is so important, and we are worth the weekly time.
Your therapist is an ally who is there to guide you through the necessary changes towards healing. Your therapist will not judge you, or the parts that you may judge, yourself. Participating in therapy is not a sign of weakness, or being flawed, or admitting that there is "something wrong with you;" quite the opposite. Therapy is a commitment to ourselves to change the things that simply don't work for us anymore. It is the process to mend the wounded parts of us with someone who can understand and sit with us in these painful moments.
It is never too late to start therapy, to make some changes, to feel better, to see things differently, and to do things differently. Whatever your goals for therapy may be, reach out and ask whatever questions you have, and talk about your fears and concerns. I will be happy to answer your questions and we can find the best therapeutic solution for you---even if that is how to search for another therapist that better meets your needs. Connecting with your therapist is important. You have nothing to lose, and so much to gain.