If you were either physically or sexually abused at some time in your life, you may suffer from symptoms that occur when you are reminded of the abuse or when you are in a situation that reminds you of the abuse event. If you were ever in a dangerous situation where it felt like your life was at risk or where you felt exposed and/or embarrassed, you likely have some Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms. These include feeling stressed, experiencing panic or anxiety attacks, phobias, hyper-vigilance (hyper-awareness of your surroundings and being on the watch for danger), lack of sleep, and chronic anxiety (which is often numbed with food or other substances, as well as by avoiding certain situations).
When sleep disorders are not caused by a health problem such as Narcolepsy or Sleep Apnea, they are a symptom of anxiety disorders. Anxiety or worry thoughts keep you from either falling asleep or staying asleep or both. Insomnia is a common problem because we tend to worry a lot in our culture, especially during these hard economic times! Anxiety and worry keep us in an unhealthy cycle or “spin” of repetitive thoughts about a negative future or future event that we want to prevent. These thoughts are our attempt to work through a possible bad or negative future outcome, but they almost never do anything to prevent such an outcome. Instead, they keep us in the worrying loop that in turn spirals into continued bouts of unrest and unease, insomnia, and sometimes even panic attacks.
Anxiety Disorders, Phobias and Panic Attacks:
Whether or not you suffer from social anxiety (anxiety when in public places, parties, groups, etc.), or agoraphobia or anxiety in specific situations, I can help you work through the anxiety and its associated symptoms. In working with your anxiety and /or panic attacks, I use a combination of EMDR, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Exposure Therapy, and sometimes hypnotherapy to help relieve you of these debilitating symptoms. With EMDR, clients can heal in just a few sessions from the type of PTSD that happens after one-time traumatic incidents like car accidents, dog bites, a rape, or witnessing a violent episode or a death. With phobias (e.g., heights, public places, spiders), I use a combination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Exposure therapy, Emotional Freedom Technique and EMDR.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is an amazing technique that speeds up therapy because it works in a deeper way with both the body and mind. It has a direct effect on how our brains process information by facilitating new neural network growth in the brain—literally helping you make connections where none existed before. EMDR very quickly and efficiently helps clients to detach from painful emotions and to heal from trauma and abuse.
I am nationally certified in EMDR and have had extensive training in it, and I use it frequently.