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trauma, emdr, therapy

Dear Trauma: EMDR changes lives

Dear trauma, I don’t need you anymore. You served a purpose and kept me safe in the face of danger. But now you’re getting in my way. I got this. Yours truly. When trauma happens, your central nervous system reacts in one of 4 ways to protect you:  Fight - physically defending yourself  Flight - running away Freeze - if I don’t move, they won’t see me - think deer in headlights Faint - playing dead It’s involuntary and automatic. It’s your body‘s way of protecting you in the moment. So, thank your body for doing that - and let it know you’re safe now. In the case of PTSD and limiting beliefs, it’s not enough to know you’re safe. Your body's protective mechanisms get frozen in time...

Mind Tricks: Conquer your fear

Mind tricks, a.k.a. cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), EMDR distancing techniques, chunking, and meditation practices saved me at Huayna Picchu.    Little did I know, I would be frozen with fear upon arrival at Machu Picchu. With each step along the Inca trail, I held onto the mountainside to prevent being sucked into the valley 8000 feet below. My legs felt shaky, my breath was shallow, and my head was dizzy. Welcome to acrophobia, the fear of heights.  When my guide suggested I would be hiking the big black pointy mountain, Huayna Picchu the next day, I was stunned. Huayna Picchu is a 9000 foot mountain that overlooks Machu Picchu. The part we would hike is a 1000 foot vertical climb in less than one mile. It’s named...

tattoo trauma

Tattoos for healing?

Tattoos date back to neo-Paleolithic times, serving purposes both for good and for bad. They have been used to record history, brand prisoners and slaves, express self-identity, and reclaim control over one’s own body. For many today, clients are claiming trauma recovery benefits. This intriguing Psychology Today guest blog by Heather Edwards combines insight about what tattoos can mean to folks, along with an interview with an artist in the craft, Paul Booth.  The notion of a mark on oneself is as ancient as the Mark of Cain, after murdering his brother, Abel in the Book of Genesis.  Nathaniel Hawthorn’s Puritan-era “Scarlet Letter” may not have been a tattoo–it was sown to one’s clothing–but it did mark the community’s condemnation of an adulterer. Not surprisingly, there is another side to...

trauma

Trauma & A Path to Wholeness

Trauma floods the news. Politics, religion, and a quest for power fuel horrific acts that forever impact victims and witnesses. They send a wave of trauma across the nation. Because of the Kavanaugh hearings, a shooting at a synagogue, or pipe bomb mailings to Political leaders, along with the little “t”’s (trauma’s) of daily life - such as, being bullied at work, losing a loved one, or having a financial crisis - your sense of peace and safety gets blocked. Trauma rocks your central nervous system causing physiological changes in your body that feel like stress, anxiety, panic or worse - a very real sense of being in mortal danger. Prolonged, it can lead to unhealthy patterns in your behavior affecting relationships, work, or wellbeing. Eventually, it can...

Heather Edwards Psychotherapy in New York

EMDR Therapy Changes Lives

EMDR Therapy: Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing changes lives. EMDR can be thought of as an integrative physiologically based therapy that helps a person see emotional material in new and less distressing ways. A Certified EMDR therapist helps guide you in a specialized way to clear trauma, break through limiting beliefs, and create an empowered way of being you.   Using Mindfulness and bilateral stimulation while holding gentle pulsers, healthy memory processing is stimulated to gain emotional distance from difficult memories. Research shows that trauma & emotionally charged experiences can get physically frozen in time in your body. They live there in the present, interfering with your life, as if the experience is happening now. EMDR creates a natural flow of information processing so that balance is restored and memories become...

Anxiety & Panic are Ruining My Life

“I feel like I can’t breathe.” “My chest is tightening.” “I’m afraid I’m going to faint or die.” You might be wondering if you’re having a heart attack, or other medical crisis. It’s uncomfortable, even frightening. You don’t know what to do or how to make it stop. It seems unpredictable. You feel helpless. You're avoiding certain social situations, or even leaving your home because of it. Anxiety & panic are ruining your life. The paradox is that the more you focus on it, the more you feed it.  And the more you fight it and avoid it, the  more you feed it.   So what exactly is happening? And what can you do about it? I’ll start by defining anxiety and panic, providing some statistics about each, and...