Trauma + EMDR Therapy

Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing

“Recovery from trauma involves learning how to restore a sense of visceral safety, and reclaiming a loving relationship with one’s self, one’s entire organism.”  –Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, M.D.

Invigorate Life Counseling has been in collaboration with our colleagues in the community to better assist the families we serve when it comes to trauma and mental health. Trauma is defined as a deeply distressing or disturbing experience. All of us experience trauma differently so there are several approaches that Invigorate Life Counseling takes to help: EMDR therapy, Somatic Experiencing Therapy, Yoga and Mindfulness, Art Therapy, and Acupuncture. 

What is EMDR?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR, is a psychotherapy technique that can be successful in helping people who struggle with trauma, anxiety, panic, disturbing memories, post-traumatic stress and many other emotional problems. Traumatic emotional experiences from the past can be deeply rooted in our subconscious and negatively impact our present. In a sense, EMDR therapy is a way to give the emotional healing system a ‘boost’ and allow us to truly leave the past behind us. EMDR can often relieve stress, bring about new insights, and allow us to feel better about ourselves. EMDR is considered a breakthrough therapy because it can bring quick and lasting relief for most types of emotional distress. It allows us to cope with the past, be more in touch with the present and can empower us to build a future that we desire.

How does EMDR work?

EMDR therapy uses bilateral stimulation (left/right eye movement or tactile stimulation), which repeatedly activates the opposite sides of the brain. This releases emotional experiences that are “trapped” in the nervous system and helps the neurological system to free itself of blockages and form new connections. The therapist works with the client to revisit the unpleasant thoughts, feelings, and memories of the past and uses bilateral movements to facilitate reprocessing. The more the client focuses on the memory the easier it becomes for the memory to come to life. As images arise during the EMDR session, they are processed by the bilateral stimulation, resulting in painful feelings being replaced with peaceful, loving and resolved feelings.

Who can I see for EMDR?

Melanie Vinton, Katie Mohr, and Karin Carver-Regan are all EMDR trained therapists.

What is Somatic Experiencing Therapy (SE)?

The Somatic Experiencing® method is a body-oriented approach to the healing of trauma and other stress disorders. It is the life’s work of Dr. Peter A. Levine, resulting from his multidisciplinary study of stress physiology, psychology, ethology, biology, neuroscience, indigenous healing practices, and medical biophysics, together with over 45 years of successful clinical application. The SE approach releases traumatic shock, which is key to transforming trauma and the wounds of emotional and early developmental attachment trauma.

How does SE work?

SE offers a framework to assess where a person is “stuck” in the fight, flight or freeze responses and provides clinical tools to resolve these fixated physiological states. It provides effective skills appropriate to a variety of healing professions including mental health, medicine, physical and occupational therapies, bodywork, addiction treatment, first response, education, and others.

Who can I see for SE?

Laure Schwartz at the Healing House of St. Paul. Laure has many years of experience working with trauma and the body. Click here to Learn more about Laure.

How can yoga and mindfulness help with trauma?

Movement and flow are important for the body; especially when it comes to relieving trauma stuck in our bodies. Yoga is an excellent tool for this! Nicole Pierce is an experienced yoga instructor and combines mindfulness into her practice. Research has proven that yoga is one of the four best ways to reduce trauma and mental health. Invigorate Life Counseling offers a variety of yoga and mindfulness classes at our office. To learn more about our groups and workshops click here.

How can acupuncture help with trauma?

Healing Insight Acupuncture offers many services that can assist with reducing your mental health symptoms related to traumas.  Learn more about Healing Insight.

What problems can EMDR, SE, and Bodywork help with?

Studies to date show a great amount of effectiveness using EMDR with the following:

  • Abuse (physical, sexual, emotional, verbal, domestic)
  • Addictions
  • Anger
  • Anxiety or panic
  • Childhood trauma
  • Chronic pain
  • Depression, isolation, motivation issues
  • Fears, phobias
  • Grief and loss
  • Inappropriate guilt or shame
  • Performance and test anxiety
  • Post traumatic stress (PTSD)
  • Relationship problems
  • Self-Esteem
  • Sleep issues
  • Trauma
  • Victim to violent crime
  • Witness to violence


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