The Inaugural EMDR Humanitarian Hero Awards

On May 4th at 5:30 PM at Cascade in Hamden, CT…







In today’s 24-7 news cycle, it seems that barely a day goes by that we are not confronted with a tragedy somewhere in the world. Our mission, as a disaster recovery organization, is to deliver on-site education and assistance to clinicians and other human services personnel within a disaster impacted community, creating an enduring resource for local recovery efforts. But we can only fulfill our mission with the help of amazing and dedicated professionals in our community, across the USA and around the world.

The EMDR Humanitarian Hero Award is designed to recognize the efforts of those essential people who dedicate themselves to helping those traumatized by natural or man-made disasters. Colette Anderson and Anthony Campbell, this year’s honorees, have both worked to make it possible for more individuals from under-served communities to gain access to mental health resources.


Purchase your ticket today!

Click here for more info

May is Mental Health Month!

If we want to break down discrimination and stigma surrounding mental illnesses we need to start talking about mental health before Stage 4 and sharing how it feels to live with a mental illness.

MHM 2016 Social Media Images-FB Share Image

A Special Screening of a Groundbreaking Documentary

See the next film in the inspirational two part James Redford series on ACES and trauma!

Special Screening Wednesday, May 25th 7:00pm at Shubert Theater in New Haven, CT.


Featuring New Haven’s own Clifford Beers Clinic and ALIVE Programs!

Learn how the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) affect not only a child’s developing brain and behavior, but also their physical health.

Click to Reserve Tickets

Tickets are free, but you must register.

For more information and other screenings near you click here!

In Memory of John Marquis

John_MarquisJohn Marquis was volunteer, board member and long time supporter of Trauma Recovery/HAP.  He will be dearly missed.  We are very honored that his daughter, Priscilla Marquis, has followed in his footsteps as a very active supporter and volunteer.  We are extremely thankful for the donations being made in his memory and will continue to work towards our mission as passionately as he did.  Priscilla shared this note with us:

John Marquis, EMDR Facilitator, passed away on Thursday March 17th at his home due to complications from Kidney Disease. He died peacefully, surrounded by his family. For those who didn’t know him, John Marquis was one of the EMDR Pioneers who attended one of Dr. Shapiro’s first trainings. He worked to spread the word about EMDR and encouraged Joseph Wolpe to get trained. He published a case series of 78 cases. He sponsored one of the early EMDR Trainings at the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology. He worked as a facilitator for the EMDR institute for many years. John was also on the EMDR HAP Board for four years and did many humanitarian trainings over the years, the first of which was an independent humanitarian training in Nicaragua. He travelled to Oklahoma City to work with survivors of the bombing, to Florida to work with Hurricane survivors and to Bangladesh. He continued his humanitarian work until his retirement when he was 80 years old. Most of all, my father performed thousands of EMDR sessions with his private practice clients over the years. He worked with anyone who came through his door, regardless of their ability to pay. He helped his clients to transform trauma with the help of EMDR and a lifetime of clinical skills. If anyone would like to pay tribute to him, he would be most honored by a donation to Trauma Recovery EMDR HAP, his favorite charity. Sending love, Priscilla

Paper Tigers Screening Near You!

“Stressed brains can’t learn.”

That was the nugget of neuroscience that Jim Sporleder, principal of a high school riddled with violence, drugs and truancy, took away from an educational conference in 2010. Three years later, the number of fights at Lincoln Alternative High School had gone down by 75% and the graduation rate had increased five‐fold.

Paper Tigers is the story of how one school made such dramatic progress. Following six students over the course of a school year, we see Lincoln’s staff try a new approach to discipline: one based on understanding and treatment rather than judgment and suspension. Using a combination of verite and revealing diary cam footage, Paper Tigers is a testament to what the latest developmental science is showing: that just one caring adult can help break the cycle of adversity in a young person’s life.

CT Screening of Paper Tigers:

October 28, 2015

6:30 PM

Shubert Theatre New Haven, CT

Admission is free but registration is required. Visit for details and to register.

Note: Mature content. Not suitable for all audiences. Discretion is advised.

For those located outside of CT please visit for showings near you!

HAPpy 4th of July!


 Wishing you a happy and healthy 4th from all of us at Trauma Recovery, EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Programs!

Dr. Francine Shapiro interviewed on WRVO

Dr. Francine Shapiro interviewed on WRVO:

North Haven Rotary Learns of Trauma Recovery


David P. Marchesseault, Publicity Chair
Chapel Hill Road
North Haven, CT 06473
Tel. (203) 859-5968

North Haven Rotary Learns of Trauma Recovery

Responding to tragedies such as the bombing at the Boston Marathon and the mass murders in Newtown, an organization with a focus on psychotherapy was the topic of the weekly program at a meeting of the North Haven Rotary Club in late April. The nonprofit which is self described as “committed to relieving human suffering and breaking the cycle of violence” was founded in the late 80’s by Francine Shapiro, PhD after the Oklahoma bombing.

Originally known as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) Humanitarian Assistance Program, the foundation recently decided to shorten its name to Trauma Recovery for obvious reasons. The presenter was a Rotarian from New Haven named Carol Martin who serves as the Executive Director for Trauma Recovery in Hamden where she oversees trainees, volunteers, and host agencies.

The charity now operates in 50 states and 33 countries training clinicians and first responders on how to deal with the victims of traumatic events. She emphasized that trauma affects far more than just soldiers fighting in a war zone, adding that most people have experienced trauma, whether in a car accident, or a national disaster. Martin explained that trauma can have a lasting effect on anyone who experiences significantly disturbing events or a sudden loss. Consequences of this overload may include depression, anxiety, fear, guilt, addiction, violence, poor job performance, and/or poor parenting.

The presenter said that it is difficult for clinicians and first responders to learn new treatment options in the midst of a disaster, or when confronted by clients with complex and often extended trauma symptoms. Trauma Recovery develops networks of trained clinicians who train other clinicians in their own communities. Further details can be found at

Carol Martin addresses Rotary clubs

Carol Martin addressed 3 Rotary clubs about Trauma Recovery on April 29th.
Text & photo courtesy of David Marchesseault & George Guertin, Rotary Publicity Committee

Trauma Recovery/HAP at EMDRIA 2014



Thank you to all who contributed to our Honor Wall at EMDRIA!

In Honor of Donated by
Dorothy Ashman Joset Munro
Judy Dale Deborah Price
Barbara Perry Cher McClellan
Trauma Recovery/HAP Czikus Carriere
Trauma Recovery/HAP Staff Ira Dressner
Trauma Recovery/HAP Volunteers Carol Martin
Margie Buchanan Richard Murphy
Kathy Davis Lynn Buhler
Karen Stacy Anonymous
Lynda Ruf & in memory
of Sandy Kremer
Vicky Cole
Joseph & Mary LaPorta Eileen
Francine Shapiro Jamie Vavarontsos
All of my clients, past & future Carrie Hunter
AzTRN Volunteers Beverlee Laidlaw Chasse
Michael Keller, LCSW Kay Gottrich
Kathy Davis Susan Tieger
My Children Yvette Goldurs
Vic Schoonover Ardi Schoonover
Francine Shapiro Marian Lancaster
All the children Sandy Papp
Sandra Kremer Jean Hawks
Jennifer Hill Marianne
Shanti Shipero Jocelyn Barrett
Bob Gelbach Janet & Jeff Wright
Carol York’s Mother Robbie Dunton
Julie Stowasser Susan Goodell
Trauma Recovery/HAP Scott Ginther
Kathy Davis Cynthia Carr
200+ EMDR Clinicians in the
West Bank of Palestine
Bob Gelbach
Trauma Recovery/HAP Board Carol Martin
Marlene Dwyer Jen, with love
EMDR Volunteers Victoria Anderson
Dave Olson Karen Olson
Liz Witkowsky Halusia
Layla Karl S.
Daisy Fern Ilyssa Swartout
Trauma Recovery/HAP Irene Giessl

Thank you for supporting Trauma Recovery/HAP!!

EMDR: Mind-body therapy aids trauma victims

By SANDRA DIAS Gazette Contributing Writer

Monday, February 3, 2014
(Published in print: Tuesday, February 4, 2014)

Pierre Rouzier, a medical doctor from Amherst, was as prepared as anyone could be for responding to the carnage that unfolded in April 2013 when two bombs were detonated at the Boston Marathon.

What he wasn’t quite prepared for was the after-effect of witnessing the type of bloodshed usually seen only in a war zone, painful memories that left him with insomnia, irritability and other problems, until he sought out specialized therapeutic treatment offered for free by the Western Massachusetts EMDR Trauma Recovery Network.

The network is a team of 20 licensed therapists who are trained to offer brief EMDR treatment to people after a community crisis, as well as brief individual psychotherapy.

The team focuses on the use of EMDR, a nontraditional, but widely accepted, therapy for treating post-traumatic stress disorder. EMDR, which stands for 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, particularly those related to trauma, such as rape, car accidents, violent crime, domestic violence, natural disasters, war and more.

Amy Kahn, Psy.D., a psychologist and one of the leaders of the network, said EMDR is the top treatment for PTSD today. Many longitudinal studies have shown that the effect of the treatment is lasting.

“It is a mind-body therapy in which the therapist develops a rapport with the client, learns what happened to them in a particular trauma, and then focuses on that trauma while doing a sort of bilateral stimulation, by moving the hand or an object in front of the face, from right to left, or tapping on the knees, or having the client hold vibrating pods in each hand,” Kahn said.

The client follows the movement with his or her eyes. The treatment stimulates the right and left hemisphere of the brain in 30-second intervals, at which point, the process stops and the therapist talks to the client about what he or she is noticing.

Mimics sleep process

These swift eye movements are said to loosen knots in the memory and allow negative thoughts and memories to be favorably reprocessed. Some say the process is similar to REM sleep, where eye movements accompany the processing of daytime memories, while others believe the brain’s two hemispheres are brought into greater balance by the left-right alteration.

“It is similar to what happens in REM sleep,” Kahn said. “The body has a natural healing process and this is a way to jump start it.”

She said memories of traumatic events become lodged in the brain and are often re-experienced in the form of flashbacks and painful memories to the point where it can almost seem like the crisis is occurring in the present.

“The healing is very profound,” she said. “The person comes up with their own realization that the scary thing is over, that it happened in the past and they did the best they could.”

Haunted by disaster

A team physician for the UMass athletic department and a primary care doctor, Rouzier had some training in emergency medical care. He had volunteered at the marathon for the previous five years, administering medical care to exhausted runners who were dehydrated or collapsed or had other problems after crossing the finish line.

But last year, after two bombs exploded, killing three people and injuring 264 others, Rouzier had to contend with much more than heat- and fatigue-related injuries.

Rouzier ran through billowing smoke to the bombing site in search of people to help.

Bodies were scattered across the ground, many of them with broken bones protruding through flesh. He passed a man in a wheelchair whose lower legs were blown off and saw CPR being performed on one of two young women who died at the scene.

Rouzier found many of the victims had already been tended to by first responders, even though only minutes had passed since his arrival from a nearby medical tent; still he was able to help a few people, including a girl with a lower leg fracture and a woman who clutched onto him, saying she feared she was going to die at the scene. Rouzier created makeshift splints out of a road barrier for both victims and assured the frightened woman that she would not die.

“It was terrible, unimaginable outside of a combat setting,” he said.

In the days and weeks after the bombing, Rouzier did not have much time to process what had happened. The next day, he was off to a sports medicine conference in San Diego and also fielding interviews from the media. But over the next week or two, the magnitude of what occurred on that horrific day struck him and he began to be plagued by nightmares, flashbacks, irritability and other problems.

Rouzier was bolstered by the support of students and colleagues at UMass, but was relieved to get a call from an old friend, retired Amherst psychiatrist Benjamin Levy, who asked how he was doing. When Rouzier admitted he was having some troubles, Levy suggested EMDR.

Rouzier met with Kahn and talked about some of the issues with which he was struggling. He feared he had not done enough to help people at the scene and had been having some anxiety and chest pain as a result. He and Kahn first embarked on some guided visualizations to help him reframe the physical symptoms he was having.

Kahn suggested that when he began to experience physical pain, that he think of it as a sort of expression of love for the people injured in the attacks, as a way of releasing his feelings. By the next session, Rouzier said he was feeling “lighter” and Kahn encouraged him to experience the lightness as giving hope to the injured, for renewed health. Rouzier said he had been suffering from insomnia and these brief guided exercises and recasting of his physical symptoms finally helped him sleep through the night.

After three EMDR sessions, Rouzier said he was almost “back to my old self.”

Kahn said people who have experienced traumatic events have common symptoms that can interfere with normal functioning at home and at work. Those who have suffered a single episode of a traumatic event, rather than prolonged trauma — through longterm domestic violence, for instance — can be free of symptoms after one to five sessions of EMDR, according to Kahn. The Western Massachusetts Trauma Recovery Network offers five free sessions to those who have been affected by a community-wide trauma.

“This goes beyond talk therapy,” Kahn said. EMDR therapy is able to jumpstart the body’s own healing processes in a more direct, visceral and quicker way than talk therapy alone, she said.

“In the last 25 years, we have learned so much about memories and pain being stored in the body,” she said. “This is a mind-body therapy that is extremely effective.”