Archive for the ‘Loss’ Category

“Shoot First” is a sad attempt to prevent trauma or death

Rethinking Florida’s “Shoot First” Law

We live in an instant gratification society.  People don’t take the necessary time to think or talk things through.  Some college roommates argue by sitting side by side at their desks, texting the conflict.  Some don’t know how to turn, face each other and share directly.  I’ve heard the report of a man learning of his girlfriend’s affair through a Facebook boast by the new boyfriend.  In Florida we have people scared that they might be attacked, shooting quickly, with fatal results.  And now in California, we have a producer of an inflammatory video about the Prophet Mohammed who has caused great aggravation to Muslims, resulting in the death of our ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens yesterday, September 12, 2012.


As EMDR Trauma therapists, we deal with the aftermath, all the loss, grief and pain that got “sprayed” by the bullets.  I treat trauma survivors, which may include survivors, family members or witnesses.  In an excellent documentary called “EMDR” a college professor said, “If you don’t transform pain, you transmit it.”  EMDR is a research validated way to efficiently transform pain and trauma.  I am concerned the “Shoot First” law Florida will transmit more and more pain and trauma.

To learn more about how EMDR can help with the pain of traumas and tragedies, please visit our website:

Floridians, please rethink this law.  I can understand the frustration that went into it, but there are better solutions.

In addition to being a therapist, I have been a self-defense instructor.  That training is excellent, and could be given to every high school student, especially if it also gives the skills for psychological defense against psychological assault/bullying/gossip (or whatever you want to call it).  When people feel confident in their physical and assertive skills, they can see problems coming and avoid or overcome them.  This is just one suggestion.

Travon Martin did not need to die.  Please correct the situation with a better solution to an important problem.  Let us prevent more people in ordinary life from suffering extraordinary, early death.  I understand the law was an attempt to do that.  But we can and must do better.  Best wishes to Florida in doing so.

EMDR and My Financial Avoidance

Many years ago I had a bankruptcy, foreclosure and loss of two parents within a six month period. It spiraled me into a situation that required some medication for a couple of years.

After that, I was overwhelmed any time I saw bills in the mail. Anything from the IRS was so terrifying that I often didn’t check my mailbox for a month or two, and then wouldn’t open my mail. Years went by without filing tax returns because of my avoidance issues.

Finally a friend of mine suggested I see a therapist skilled in EMDR. With EMDR, I started noticing very quick results. In our history-taking work I discovered that my challenges with financial matters were accumulating much before the actual bankruptcy. These issues took more sessions, however it all worked wonderfully.

Now I no longer have fear to open mail, do financial planning, and even talk to the IRS. I have filed over a decade of past tax returns, and am finally getting back into integrity with all my financial affairs.

My life is much more at ease and peaceful. My therapist also recommend that I go to Debtors Anonymous. Though I truly resisted it, I found I was not alone in my resistance to face financial problems. Even though I have healed most of my avoidance issues, I continue to go to DA because it’s a good constant reminder, and it feels good to be supportive of others.

EMDR is a powerfully effective method and I tell my friends about it. From what I understand, it is a way to engage both the right and left side of the brain during the therapy process. This boosts the effectiveness many times over since its not just an intellectual exercise. I recommend you try just two or three sessions and I’ll bet you’ll be amazed at how fast it works. I think in two sessions it cleared my long-unresolved sadness over the death of one of my parents.

EMDR: Finally Grieving the Loss of my Father

I am so glad to find a place where I can share my EMDR story. My father died suddenly (drowned) when I was twelve.  Due to my mother’s mental illness, I was never allowed to mourn his death, or to speak of him ever again. Forty years after his death, I began experiencing a debilitating fear of loss that manifested in incredible anxiety and panic when my only daughter began to drive (the last time I saw my father, he was driving away from me).

My therapist suggested EMDR, and I have now completed five rounds of treatment, with incredible results. Through EMDR I have been able to begin to process my father’s death.  I am working on breaking the link that I had formed, as a result of this trauma, between emotional attachment and loss. I feel taller and lighter every day — EMDR really has worked for me.

To find a Certified EMDR Therapist, please go to or

Pam Preston, Baltimore, MD