I, Dana Strickland LPC, CCTP, am an EMDRIA (EMDR International Association) Certified Therapist. This means that I have completed Levels 1 & 2 Basic Training, as well as additional EMDRIA specific continuing education (CE) trainings, engaged over 20-hours of EMDR consultation, and provided over 300 hours of EMDR therapy for over 75 different clients. I am also an EMDRIA Consultant in Training (CIT) working under the guidance of my Consultant, Dr. Chante Pantila DBH, LPC.
I am highly skilled at applying and EMDR to the specific needs of the populations she serves, using special protocols for military service members, first responders, and other individuals who may be experiencing symptoms of complex PTSD using a combination of EMDR & Mindfulness practices.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an evidenced based, 8 phase process of recovery from anxiety, depression, PTSD, specific phobias, chronic pain, substance abuse and other issues.
- Dr. Bessel van der Kolk defines trauma as “the subjective experience of being overwhelmed (to the point that the individual is unable to cope)”.
- It includes a strong sense of fear, vulnerability, helplessness; interfering with a person’s relationships and fundamental belief system.
Why is it a problem?
If untreated, the long-term side effects of trauma can include (but are not limited to):
- Mood Disorders
- Suicidal ideation, attempt, completion
- Physical health issues (chronic)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Academic failure
- Alcohol abuse
- Running away before the age of 15
- Substance dependence
- Antisocial behaviors
The Adaptive Information Processing Model (AIP)
A key step in processing experience is organizing information. Because the brain cannot possibly create a unique neural imprint or pattern of change to store every element of every experience, the brain stores “template” patterns based upon the first set of organizing experiences.
All future incoming input is matched against these stored templates and, if sufficiently different from the original pattern the brain will create a memory reflecting the difference.
The brain creates templates of experiences against which all future experiences are matched. Templates influence what we recognize as safe and comfortable, our preferences, and what is generally desirable. Because our brain is a very conservative organ. It does not like to be surprised. All unknown or unfamiliar environmental cues are judged to be threatening until proven otherwise.
The 8 Phases of EMDR
1) Client history and treatment planning including assessment to determine if EMDR is appropriate
2) Preparation and coping strategies
3) EMDR specific assessment
6) Body Scan
8) Processing of “future template” and re-evaluation
Potential (Temporary) Dysregulating Side Effects
Some people have reported the temporary experience of the following potentially dysregulating side-effects. If you experience any of the following, this is typically most prominent the day of the session and the next three days due to your brain continuing to reprocess information at the same rate of speed as when you are engaging bilateral stimulation.
- Feeling physically and emotionally drained/fatigued.
- Dreams – vivid, stressful, nightmares.
- Feeling more emotionally raw, triggered, or irritable.
It is important to note that you may experience this, and you may not. It is not guaranteed.
- The counselor facilitating EMDR must be trained by an EMDRIA approved consultant or entity.
- If you are pregnant, have cardiac issues or other major medical problems you should be cleared by your primary care physician or specialist prior to beginning EMDR.
- If there is legal action in process related to what you are reprocessing, it may be helpful to discuss the timing of EMDR with your legal representative.
- EMDR is evidenced based and an approved treatment for PTSD (including c-PTSD), generalized anxiety, panic disorders, depression, specific phobias, recent events, upcoming events, chronic pain, substance abuse, etc.
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