Posts Tagged ‘PTSD’

EMDR Therapy for Stress, Anxiety or Stress-related Depression in San Francisco


First developed and researched by Francine Shapiro, Ph.D.  of Palo Alto, CA, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprecessing (EMDR) is a powerful psychotherapy approach that has been researched for 25 years.

More than 400 research reports have been published since 1989.  Eighteen of those are high quality randomized controlled studies.  The research has been so impressive that the World Health Organization now recommends only two treatments for the worst of stress (PTSD):  EMDR and CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy).

EMDR Therapy has been shown to help people recover from both ordinary stress and extraordinary trauma.

A comprehensive EMDR protocol has even been proven to free people from phantom limb pain after an amputation.  Such pain really adds insult to injury. It is hard enough to have the trauma that caused the amputation, and then the grief over the loss of a body part.  But to have pain in the body part as if it is still there is terribly depressing.  Pain medications and surgery are often recommended and tried, but do not often resolve it.  Apparently the pains are remembered in the brain.  EMDR is good at helping to “digest” and process such memories so than they enter a calm or neutral state.  Researched results: no more pain.

If EMDR can help for a problem this difficult, think about what it can do for you.

San Francisco has highly experienced EMDRIA-Certified EMDR therapists.

Use link below to find them on the San Francisco page.  Click on therapists name or photo to move toward wellness:

EMDR Therapy for Stress, Anxiety, Depression or PTSD

in San Francisco

New Hope for Alcoholism, using EMDR-based FSAP Protocol

Dr. Robert Miller has researched a protocol that uses EMDR therapy to focus on a regularly overlooked piece of alcohol addiction. That is the fact that people drink because of the intense positive feeling it gave them once upon a time.  This treatment is called the EMDR Feeling-State Addictions Protocol (FSAP).

Many therapies focus on all the negative consequences of drinking (yes, there are many). Some, such as the 12 Step Programs, help alcoholics replace the addictive behaviors and compulsions with the positive principles of the 12 Steps, and supportive relationships with people in recovery.

12 Step Programs have helped many recover from addiction.  But it is little known that the average person experiences 8 relapses before recovery is solid.

A key reason for that is that trauma is involved in addiction. Addiction helps to drown out the terrible feelings that came from trauma.  To address this, two San Diego EMDR Therapists worked with a Drug Court in Olympia Washington using an “Integrated Trauma Treatment Program” (ITTP) that combined a focus on the trauma integrated with the symptoms of addiction, using “Seeking Safety” as preparation and EMDR as the individual trauma treatment. Most of the drug court participants at that time were meth addicts.  Susan Brown, BCD, LCSW and Sara Gilman, LMFT participated in that research, which showed EMDR was effective in treating the underlying trauma.

As a component of comprehensive treatment, the FSAP protocol can help people overcome the “positive feeling” component of their addiction.  It helps people lose interest in their addiction, and find other ways to gain that positive feeling. Please read more about this break-through treatment for addictions in the article by Susan Brown.

To find EMDR Therapists experienced in treating addictions as part of a comprehensive treatment plan, please visit and check out their list of specialties.


EMDR Helps Worriers in Seattle, Washington

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.  It is a psychotherapy that has been researched thoroughly and proven to help with the severe problem of PTST.  Post-traumatic Stress Disorder is an intense anxiety disorder.  EMDR can help milder anxiety, as well.  Worry is one of those cases.  Here are the comments of one client:

“What I have learned from my EMDR sessions has changed my entire outlook and perspective on life. I am one that has a problem with worrying about everything. Now with the help of EMDR I feel more confident in myself and am finally in control of my life. It has been an extremely valuable and helpful experience.”   — Bonnie

We have a wonderful resource in Seattle to help you find a Certified EMDR therapist.  We have therapists in Kirkland, Spokane Valley, Seattle, Port Orchard and Poulsbo.  They’d love to hear from you.  Please check them out at


Treating Anxiety and Depression with EMDR Therapy in San Diego

in Oakland, CA on March 31.  Her topic of EMDR and Depression is a very important one.  Research is needed on the EMDR treatment of depression, but some has been done.

In the 2007 Jan issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, research was published by van der Kolk, DL Korn, et. al. They found that at 6 month follow-up 75% of adult-onset PTSD clients (also with depression symptoms) receiving only 8 sessions of EMDR treatment achieved a status of being free from the symptoms of PTSD or depression.

Those who had child-onset trauma achieved a 33.3% eradication of PTSD and depression symptoms.  The therapists involved thought that those clients could have achieved the same success rate if they received more than just 8 sessions of EMDR.  This research actually compared EMDR and Prozac for the treatment of PTSD.  EMDR was effective.  Prozac was not.

We have many Certified EMDR therapists in the San Diego Area who can help with Anxiety and Depression.  To find them, please link to the’s San Diego EMDR Directory.

EMDR is Driving my Recovery from PTSD and Addiction

One week ago I sat in a rental home in Bodega Bay, vacationing with my sister. It was cold. I lit a fire in the fireplace. No big deal, right? Something anyone would do? Not me. Not since January 17, 2009. January 17, 2009 a cooking fire left me with burns to over 20% of my body: right hand, arm, and torso primarily. I lived alone and was not found for 2 days. I was not to survive. Hospitalized for five weeks, half of which I spent in a coma, I was released with no use of my hand or arm and scars that ran so deep, even the best surgeon and physical therapist were unable to help.

At the insistence of family and friends, I reluctantly contacted multiple therapists. I signed on with my EMDR therapist not knowing what to expect, and quite honestly without much hope. The universe works in mysterious ways. My therapist introduced me to a process called EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). She explained that EMDR has been used in PTSD with wonderful results. I didn’t care. I only wanted some small moment in time where I was free from the night and day dreams of the fire. I wanted to cook a meal without feeling sick. I wanted to forget.

My therapist wasted no time and within weeks of signing on, I was LOVING the process. As we worked through the memories of the fire and its aftermath, I found myself counting on sessions with my therapist to quiet my mind. In the past 40+ years, I have been unable to find any relief from an overactive, chattering mind. Nothing, that is, but alcohol. I am a recovering alcoholic and have been an active member of AA. Still, the mind chatters. My therapist and I discussed the application of EMDR in recovery from addiction. Today, I wonder how, after all the recovery, the rehabs, and the pain, why have I not heard of this? I realize that there are as many approaches to recovery as there are addicts, and I would never presume to know what will work for another, but for me, EMDR is driving my recovery.

EMDR is a process that one must experience to understand. I trust in it, and yet am not entirely convinced I understand it. Not that I care. Today I have no fear of fire. I have no nightmares. I have few thoughts of drinking. I look forward to my EMDR sessions. I have found the application of EMDR useful in so many ways: trauma from the fire, addiction, quieting the mind, and now, sorting through the memories and traumas of my past.”

Hope for Anxiety Sufferers in Bay Area on

An excellent treatment for anxiety is featured on EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensization and Reprocessing has more research validating it for the treatment of PTSD (an anxiety diagnosis) than any other treatment. It has been approved for the treatment of PTSD by conservative organizations such as the Veteran’s Administration, American Psychological Association, Department of Defense and the American Psychiatric Association. EMDR therapists often find that bad experiences of all kinds can cause emotional distress, whether or not they qualify for PTSD. They can cause anxiety, depression or other emotional or behavioral issues. Please check out the site to learn more about EMDR!

BayAreaTraumaTherapy has just Launched, thanks to Ann Gildersleeve!

Ann and her colleague Karin Kleiner had been very interested in creating a Bay Area directory web site serving PTSD sufferers with the most research-validated treatment: EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. The mysterious world of web design quickly became overwhelming to them and they gave up. So they were very interested to hear that I could help them easily launch a proven site to help people in the Bay Area learn about how effective AND efficient EMDR is for the treatment of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. People from San Francisco to Oakland, San Jose to Marin or Walnut Creek can now find highly qualified EMDR therapists. We have the highest standards for inclusion of any EMDR directory web site. Therapists must either be Certified in EMDR or well on their way to certification. For PTSD help, link here to and to our updated new directory for the Bay Area:

Welcome EMDR fans!

Welcome to the new Spread the Word Blog. If you have a story about how EMDR trauma or performance therapy has helped you, please share your story. AND, read the stories of others by clicking the Category: EMDR Success Stories.

We also welcome any tips and “how-to’s” you can offer about how to be extra kind or helpful to yourself as you do the work of therapy.

Blogs of at least 200 words will be published, as space allows, in the “Spread the Word” quarterly newsletter, beginning Spring 2010.

To subscribe, and get Spread the Word — EMDR Transforms Trauma and Performance delivered to your In box:

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