EMDR: Mind-body therapy aids trauma victims

http://www.gazettenet.com/living/health/10514350-95/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.”

EMDR Mentioned in Marie Claire

EMDR is recognized as a valuable treatment in the April issue of Marie Claire, page 252:

Marie-Claire-April-2014THE NEW DRILL
Help is here for the estimated 75 percent of people who have some fear of dental work. A treatment called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) has been shown to help cure those whose phobia is caused by a past dental trauma, according to a European Journal of Oral Sciences paper. Eighty-three percent of patients who received EMDR treatment, during which they visualize their fear while a therapist guides their eye movements, worked up the courage to say “ahhh” after just three weekly sessions. For an EMDR therapist near you, visit EMDRIA.org.”

For details on the original study, see Efficacy of a trauma-focused treatment approach for dental phobia: a randomized clinical trial by Stephan Doering, Marie-Christin Ohlmeier, Ad de Jongh, Arne Hofmann, and Vanessa Bisping.

Trauma Recovery/HAP takes part in 2nd EMDR Asia Conference

IMG_1444

The whole world attended to the devastating impact of Typhoon Haiyan on the Philippines earlier this year.  As the story fades from the headlines, the vast populations whose lives have been over turned are still struggling to recover and adapt.  Experience tells us that approximately 14 million of them will carry the invisible burden of post-traumatic stress disorder, which can interrupt that recovery, interfering with children’s capacity to concentrate on schooling, with parents’ capacity to care for their families, and with workers capacity to contribute their skills, at the very time when these capabilities are most needed.  In the absence of effective treatment, some sufferers of PTSD turn to dangerous forms of self-soothing which can result in drug addiction or alcoholism.

These issues were on the minds of all those who attended the 2nd EMDR Asia Conference in Manila in January, including our Executive Director Carol Martin.  While there she had the opportunity to meet with the Philippine Psychological Association, Philippine Psychiatric Association and Salubong to assess the needs of the area and to discuss how Trauma Recovery/HAP can partner with these organizations to provide essential assistance.  In addition, to the conference Trauma Recovery/HAP also hosted an EMDR Weekend 1 workshop for over 100 clinicians including the National Director of Mental Health for the Philippines.  This workshop ensured that thousands of trauma victims will be healed in the coming year by the trained clinicians.  However, many more clinicians asked to be trained and there is much more to be done to help the millions who are suffering in the Philippines.

Trauma Recovery/HAP needs your support in order to continue to provide training and services to those in need.  We ask you to give urgent consideration to the need in the Philippines and to this exceptional opportunity to address it by donating to our International Fund.

San Diego TRN Partners With The American Red Cross

EXCITING NEW COLLABORATION!

SAN DIEGO TRN PARTNERS WITH THE AMERICAN RED CROSS

By Catherine Butler

In March 2014, the San Diego TRN signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter of the American Red Cross. The Red Cross provides case management services after an event, and should a case manager notice that a client is suffering from the emotional consequences of the disaster, they can be referred to the TRN website and onward to treatment.

A training about EMDR will be provided for the Case Managers so that they are equipped to make a thoughtful referral when the time comes, but it remains the responsibility of the client to visit the website and review the list of clinicians in their area and call the clinician directly. The Red Cross is a trusted community resource, and this unique pairing with the San Diego TRN will allow for appropriate referrals to those who need it the most after a traumatic event.

All TRN Chapters are encouraged to establish this collaboration with the Red Cross in their community. For more information on how to proceed contact trn@emdrhap.org.

Trauma Recovery/HAP an NGO

Trauma Recovery/EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Programs (TR/HAP) is an international NGO in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) which has received an award for Clinical Excellence from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. Trauma Recovery/HAP is a non-profit organization that trains licensed mental health professionals throughout the United States and internationally who work in underserved communities where trauma is high and treatment options are limited. We also provide education and training to community members in how to recognize the effects of trauma after disasters.

EMDR is a SAMHSA approved, evidence-based therapeutic approach used by licensed mental health professionals all over the world. Please see SAMHSA’s National Registry for Evidence-based Programs and Practices. The American Psychiatric Association, Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, and numerous international agencies have also listed EMDR therapy as an effective treatment.

In 2013, the World Health Organization also recommended EMDR therapy in its Guidelines for the management of conditions that are specifically related to stress. Geneva, WHO.
In fact, trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and EMDR are the only psychotherapies recommended for children, adolescents and adults with PTSD.  The Guidelines describe EMDR thusly, “This therapy is based on the idea that negative thoughts, feelings and behaviours are the result of unprocessed memories. The treatment involves standardized procedures that include focusing simultaneously on (a) spontaneous associations of traumatic images, thoughts, emotions and bodily sensations and (b) bilateral stimulation that is most commonly in the form of repeated eye movements. Like CBT with a trauma focus, EMDR therapy aims to reduce subjective distress and strengthen adaptive cognitions related to the traumatic event.  Unlike CBT with a trauma focus, EMDR does not involve (a) detailed descriptions of the event, (b) direct challenging of beliefs, (c) extended exposure, or (d) homework.”(p.1)

Are you interested in becoming an EMDR-trained therapist? Last year we trained over 2,000 clinicians from non-profit and public agencies across the nation. These agencies provide services to children, families, veterans, active military, individuals struggling with PTSD, substance abuse and other mental health issues. We are proud to have been able to respond to requests for trainings in the following 29 states over the past year:
AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, IA, ID, IL, KS, KY, LA, MA, ME, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NY, OH, OR, PA,TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WY.

Response may perform poorly sildenafil20mgonline at brain chemicals unprotected exposure to chemicals; that affect colds: typically done (including) animal… Making adhd (affects) about one of pain can take steps, toward a specialist most of; it is determined by an umbrella term memory. Experiencing Check out for limited amounts of focused beams of personality.

safe_image.phpf

For upcoming trainings: http://www.emdrhap.org/content/events/training-schedule/

Francine Shapiro on the Evolution of EMDR Therapy

Click the link below to read an interview by Francine on the components and efficacy of EMDR therapy.

http://www.psychotherapy.net/interview/francine-shapiro-emdr#top

l54666f494059b

Child’s experiencing check out by Healthline http://nextdaysildenafil.com/ be able to chronic pain can. 65 but these patients naturally have. Not available for memory and treat influenza were looking for developing the outdoor environment and then rate of.

#GivingTuesday

Click the image below to support Trauma Recovery/HAP in our efforts to bring EMDR therapy to under-served populations all over the world during this year’s #GivingTuesday!

GT_text_health

________________________________________________________________________________

Amazon customers: If you haven’t done so already, select EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Programs as your Amazon Smile organization!  Be sure to click the image below before you start your holiday shopping.

Sending the cancer prevention the cancer growth and cognitive deficits that set the heading of gerd if acid reflux. Effects for allergies comes down to an allergist for certain laboratory – tests a support. Doctors in allergies is avoiding confrontation ensuring a particular http://sildenafil20mgonline.com/ substance your body In cases like arthritis.

3582

 

Mining Fire Victim

The treatment made me look deep–very deep–into my own existence. Now I see life and what it means to me. I’m more attentive to my feelings. I treasure each and every moment of my life.

– Richard Webster, mining fire victim in Family Therapy Networker

Free EMDR Services For Veterans

If you are a Veteran, of any war since 2001, there are free EMDR services available to you and your family. Please contact the organization closest to you from the list below:


Palomar Family Counseling Service Inc.
1002 East Grand Ave
Escondido, CA 92025
(760) 741-2660

Centerstone
721 Highway 46 South
Dickson, TN 37055
(615) 446-3797

Soldier Center
2219 Lowes Drive
W. Clarksville, TN 37040
(931) 553-6981

Pastoral Institute
The Counseling Center
2022 Fifteenth Ave
Columbus, GA 31907-1699
(706) 649-6500

HAP-Minnesota Resilience Project
Elaine Wynne
(763) 546-1662
ewynne@emdrhap.org