Counseling, or psychotherapy, is a process in which an individual works with a trained professional to learn about his emotions and behaviors to implement change. Often someone comes to counseling when they are experiencing emotional pain. The counseling process is a collaborative way to modify ways of thinking, feeling and behaving to enhance and improve life. The therapeutic process is conducted confidentially.

    There are many reasons people might seek counseling with a professional. Below are some reasons they pick up the phone and decide to seek help:

    • self-esteem issues
    • anxiety, worries, obsessions
    • relationship problems
    • addictions
    • guilt
    • excessive anger or frustration
    • communication problems
    • life event concerns such as marriage, divorce, parenthood, job changes or loss, step-family issues, empty nest, retirement, old age
    • issues of sexuality or sexual identity
    • coping with traumatic events and the after-effects of childhood or adult physical, sexual, or emotional abuse and trauma
    • experiencing violence or other forms of abuse
    • grief following illness and/or death
    Licensed therapists are committed to respecting your privacy and believe that all counseling is confidential. If the client pays with insurance, they must agree to release information that the insurance company requires for payment. In addition, the law and ethics require that a therapist warn anyone in danger of harm by the client, or take steps that may require breaking the confidential nature of the therapy if a client is a threat to him/herself, and report any suspected incident of child abuse or neglect.

    EMDR is a form of therapy that helps a client access and resolve disturbing life events that have resulted in disrupted self-beliefs, negative emotions and distressing body sensations.  Bilateral stimulation in the form of eye movements, alternating sounds or kinesthetic stimuli, while revisiting distressing memories in a defined protocol, has the capacity to produce a more fully processed memory, resulting in greater integration, resolution and calm.

    Many life events can leave a lasting effect on our beliefs about ourselves and our actual feelings.  These life events  can be defined as big “T” traumas (abuse, assault, car accidents, combat, etc) or little “t” traumas (conflicts, confrontations, teasing, bullying, mother yelling at you, etc).  EMDR is effective with both of these types of events.    EMDR also works well with phobias, anxiety disorders and obsessive-compulsive problems and complicated grief.

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    No one knows how any form of psychotherapy works. However, we do know that when a person is very upset, their brain cannot process information as it does ordinarily. One moment becomes “frozen in time,” and remembering a trauma may feel as bad as going through it the first time because the images, sounds, smells, and feelings haven’t changed. Such memories have a lasting negative effect that interferes with the way a person sees the world and the way they relate to other people.

    Anything that has happened to you that has not been fully digested is held in the body as trauma. EMDR works on many emotionally disturbing events to reduce the emotional “charge” of the event.  You won’t forget it happened, but it will feel less disturbing and overwhelming to you.

    Examples of the presenting issues for which EMDR has been used include but are not limited to the following:

    Childhood neglect/emotional, physical and/or sexual abuse


    Performance blocks: (Competitive Athletes, Writers, Musicians, Public Speakers)


    Complicated Grief

    Medical and Other Phobias

    Relational Conflicts/Betrayals/Abandonments

    Auto Accidents

    Fear of Flying

    Addiction Issues

    School Bullying

    Domestic Abuse

    Sexual Dysfunction  

    Here is a list of symptoms that can occur from experiencing trauma or life disturbing events:

    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Feel less interest and pleasure in daily activities
    • Find yourself constantly on guard
    • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
    • Attempt to avoid thoughts or feelings associated with traumatic event
    • Over-react to noises or other environmental cues that didn’t bother you before
    • Find yourself irritable, angry and experiencing outbursts
    • Nightmares
    • Intrusive thoughts about the traumatic event
    • Act or feel as if the experience is happening again in the present
    • Experience intense psychological distress and/or physiological arousal when exposed to (internal or external) stimuli that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event
    • Flashbacks (suddenly feeling as though the event is happening in the present)
    • Attempt to avoid activities or situations that evoke memories of the traumatic event
    • Unable to recall an important aspect of the traumatic event
    • Feel detached or estranged from others and your daily life
    • Sense you’re unable to feel as you once did; you feel numb or spaced out, unable to care or to love
    • Feel a sense of foreboding and anticipate a limited future; you don’t expect to have a career, marriage, children, or a long life
Helpful Links:
EMDR International
David Baldwin’s trauma pages
International Assn of Trauma and Dissociation
APA Help Center:
Mental health topics: