Common Questions

What is EMDR?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a method of psychotherapy that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. EMDR is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from many different treatment approaches. To date, EMDR has helped an estimated two million people of all ages relieve many types of psychological stress. Of all the different therapy approaches, EMDR achieves the most profound and comprehensive treatment effects in the shortest period of time. The following video shows the impact of EMDR therapy on people’s lives:

EMDR also works successfully in treatment of the following conditions:
  • anxiety disorders
  • eating disorders
  • panic attacks
  • performance anxiety
  • complicated grief
  • stress reduction
  • dissociative disorders
  • addictions
  • disturbing memories
  • sexual and/or physical abuse
  • phobias
  • body dysmorphic disorders
  • pain disorders
  • personality disorders
  • and more. . .

What is Brainspotting?

Brainspotting is a physiological approach with psychological results.  As a therapeutic model it lends itself to getting at material we often cannot reach through words.  Brainspotting is a powerful and focused treatment method that works by identifying, processing, and releasing core neuro-physiological sources of emotional/body pain, trauma, dissociation, and a variety of challenging symptoms.  It is an offshoot of EMDR (Eye Movement and Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy processes. Brainspotting was developed by Dr. David Grand in 2002 and identifies activated eye positions which correspond with the issue of disturbance.  Brainspotting works deep within the limbic system of the brain (deep into the lower mid-brain).  Clients can process bodily responses to an incident with or without words.  Each person’s experience will be different and what happens can be unexpected.  Brainspotting encourages no assumptions and no judgments, and works on the belief that each person is unique and has the innate capacity to heal themselves.  The therapist is trained to track what emerges during Brainspotting sessions.  It is the client’s inner wisdom that guides the process.  Brainspottting is an approach that utilizes focused mindfulness.  Brainspotting can be extremely effective in treating emotional and stress-related physical conditions, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Hypothetically, a “Brainspot” is activity in the brain and body in response to focus and eye position. It is based on the understanding that “where we look affects how we feel”.  A Brainspot is a physiological capsule holding emotional experience in memory form, like a time capsule. Eye positions can find the time capsule locations and hold the brain’s focus on it. When the brain focuses on a trauma capsule, that trauma begins to release, allowing you to feel it and then return to a state of homeostasis. 

Is therapy right for me?

Seeking out therapy is an individual choice. There are many reasons why people come to therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues, or problems with anxiety or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one's life such as a divorce or work transition. Many seek the advice of counsel as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth. Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Therapy can help address many types of issues including depression, anxiety, conflict, grief, stress management, body-image issues, and general life transitions. Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards change in their lives.

How can therapy help me?

A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:

  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
  • Developing skills for improving your relationships
  • Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
  • Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
  • Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
  • Improving communications and listening skills
  • Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence

What is therapy like?

Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. It is standard for therapists to discuss the primary issues and concerns in your life during therapy sessions. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts around fifty minutes. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. There may be times when you are asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors. It is important process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life between sessions. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions. People seeking psychotherapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives. Here are some things you can expect out of therapy:

  • Compassion, respect and understanding
  • Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and negative feelings
  • Real strategies for enacting positive change
  • Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance

Is medication a substitute for therapy?

In some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action. Working with your medical doctor you can determine what's best for you. It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness.

Is therapy confidential?

In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychotherapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client.

However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:

  • Suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
  • If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. The therapist is required to notify the police.
  • If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.