EMDR for Trauma & Complex Trauma

Offered in Connecticut, Florida, Maine and New York

We will be offering EMDR in February 2023 via telehealth. Call 203.522.6164

Trauma Trained Therapist

Our therapist, Lisa Taylor-Austin, NCC, LPC, LMHC, CFMHE, CFBA, understands trauma. She has endured it while being a victim of violence and also while working in urban areas and witnessing multiple people being stabbed/shot and killed in front of her. In southern California, Lisa witnessed a gang-related shooting, seriously injuring three of her students. She was a bystander in a police/gang shoot out at a gas station, in which over 60 rounds of ammunition were exchanged. Later, one of her (former) students was stabbed in the neck outside her office and she was the first person to render aide. In addition, she was involved in a gang-related school shooting, long before school shootings were discussed in the news and at home. She understands the avoidance, anxiety, isolation and fear that many live with. Her experiences, background and training will help you to reprocess your trauma and live a less stressful life.

Ms. Taylor-Austin is trained in an empirically validated treatment for trauma, called EMDR (see below).  EMDR is a trauma treatment that helps reprocess distressing memories and restore the brain’s natural healing abilities. In addition to other therapeutic techniques, the therapist leads the client in a series of bilateral eye movements or bilateral tapping (BLS) while focusing on a difficult memory, reducing any overwhelming feelings connected to past experiences, and allowing for emotional healing.  Ms. Taylor-Austin is a believer that the brain can heal itself. EMDR is not talk therapy and is therefore very helpful to people who want to avoid talking in detail about the memories they have. EMDR is an eight phase protocol.

Ms. Taylor-Austin uses EMDR for people who have trauma from:

  • Bearing witness or experiencing violence, executions, and political invasions.
  • Being formerly incarcerated (especially in SHU units, or separated from their families).
  • Being marginally treated by prejudice, racism and unjust practices (Women, BiPOC, LGBTQ+ and others).
  • Generational trauma, repeated microaggressions, fear of police.
  • Growing up in dysfunctional family environments (called Complex PTSD or CPTSD).
  • One time shocking and disturbing events, such as car accidents (often called shock trauma).

She does not work with substance abuse, rape or active sexual abuse.

EMDRIA’s Definition of EMDR

EMDR is an evidence-based, clinician led, psychotherapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In addition, successful outcomes are well-documented in the literature for EMDR treatment of other psychiatric disorders, mental health problems, and somatic symptoms. The model on which EMDR is based, Adaptive Information Processing (AIP), posits that much of psychopathology is due to the maladaptive encoding of and/or incomplete processing of traumatic or disturbing adverse life experiences. This impairs the client’s ability to integrate these experiences in an adaptive manner. The eight-phase, three-pronged process of EMDR facilitates the resumption of normal information processing and integration. This treatment approach, which targets past experience, current triggers, and future potential challenges, results in the alleviation of presenting symptoms, a decrease or elimination of distress from the disturbing memory, improved view of the self, relief from bodily disturbance, and resolution of present and future anticipated triggers. EMDR therapy is a therapeutic intervention that must be administered by an EMDR trained clinician or those who are currently participating in an EMDRIA Approved training.

More Information about EMDR

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“EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences.  Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal.  EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma.  When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound.  If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain.  Once the block is removed, healing resumes.

EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes.  The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health.  If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering.  Once the block is removed, healing resumes.  Using the detailed protocols and procedures learned in EMDR therapy training sessions, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes.

 

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More than 30 positive controlled outcome studies have been done on EMDR therapy.  Some of the studies show that 84%-90% of single-trauma victims no longer have post-traumatic stress disorder after only three 90-minute sessions.  Another study, funded by the HMO Kaiser Permanente, found that 100% of the single-trauma victims and 77% of multiple trauma victims no longer were diagnosed with PTSD after only six 50-minute sessions. In another study, 77% of combat veterans were free of PTSD in 12 sessions. There has been so much research on EMDR therapy that it is now recognized as an effective form of treatment for trauma and other disturbing experiences by organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association, the World Health Organization and the Department of Defense.

Given the worldwide recognition as an effective treatment of trauma, you can easily see how EMDR therapy would be effective in treating the “everyday” memories that are the reason people have low self-esteem, feelings of powerlessness, and all the myriad problems that bring them in for therapy. Over 100,000 clinicians throughout the world use the therapy.  Millions of people have been treated successfully over the past 25 years.”
– EMDR Institute

Tell me more

EMDR sessions are 90 minutes in length. This allows you the time and space to reprocess old memories that are currently being triggered and to move toward healthy ways of coping in the future. This is a concierge service tailored to you and your trauma and future way of coping. Most insurance companies only allow 45 minute counseling sessions, which doesn’t provide adequate time to work through trauma or contain disturbing thoughts or images that can occur throughout the process.  Email us using the contact form and we will get back to you within 48 hours. Please specify that you are interested in EMDR.

If you are in crisis call 211 or 988 and if it is an emergency, please report to the nearest emergency room.