There are several modalities that treat trauma and PTSD and other symptoms. People come into treatment for a variety of reasons, so I am prepared to treat most anything that comes through my door. Though not all modalities I use are listed, I will draw from several modalities and disciplines in the treatment of trauma, below are the ones that I use most often in my practice with a short description of each. I have training and competency in each of these areas and I am open to further discussing any of these with you.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy, or EMDR, is a very effective evidence based therapy to treat a variety of issues. It is especially effective for trauma/PTSD, anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, depression and Bi-Polar, dissociative disorders, eating disorders, grief and loss, sexual assault, violence, abuse, etc.
EMDR utilizes bi-lateral stimulation to activate both parts of the brain while painful memories are 'processed' in a safe and permanent way. I offer a variety of bi-lateral stimulation options such as eye movements (following my hand), electronic tappers which you hold in your hands, leg or back of hand tapping, or even self-tapping. EMDR does not have homework to complete between sessions. All of the work and healing is done in session and is a preference for those that do not like to do homework between sessions.
EMDR is a safe and effective modality. A therapist must first become fully trained in EMDR before they are allowed to practice it with clients. For those who want to further incorporate EMDR into their practice, additional training and consultation hours can be obtained for a therapist to become certified. I am currently certified to provide EMDR services at this higher level.
Cognitive Processing Therapy, or CPT is another evidence based modality that I use when clients do prefer homework in therapy. It involves 12 very structured sessions. In each session, the client will track their trauma symptoms on a graph and can visually watch as their symptoms decrease over time. Every session begins with reporting the homework to the therapist, identifying stuck points, and then receiving additional learning and homework to be conducted outside of session. This modality, like EMDR, is very effective for treating PTSD.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT is another evidenced based treatment modality for a variety of symptoms. Some people like to 'ease' into therapy and this is a great way to get people thinking and challenging faulty core beliefs. The premise of this modality is that our thoughts, behaviors, and actions/emotions are all interconnected. By rerouting, challenging, or changing any part of this (usually thoughts) we can heal and change old, unhelpful patterns.
Sometimes in therapy, simple answers are the solutions to our difficult problems. I utilize a client-centered approach where we will always do some form of talk therapy. I allow the client to take the session where it needs to go. But don't worry, I am always there to help guide the session and keep things flowing if you feels stuck, or are unsure about what to talk about. Talk therapy is very powerful in that it allows full expression of oneself and offers an opportunity to be fully heard, validated, and understood. I have found sometimes clients just need a really good listening ear while they resolve problems that once seemed unsolvable.
Experiential and Expressive arts therapy is a way to engage the right side of our brains where emotions are stored. It also engages our bodies in a mindful manner. Using sandtray therapy, art, and creativity is one way that we are able to express and release traumatic memories without the use of words. Finding a good blend of cognitive and experiential styles of therapy is a great way to approach trauma healing.