I recently worked with 2 clients who contacted me to work with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities. Both were sane, intelligent, highly functional people. Both had highly sensitive bodies. One was male, and one female. The female client had been exposed to very toxic smog, years before, then a gas leak in her house, two years ago.
I live in Seattle, ground zero for the Coronavirus in the United States. Today, I had my first request from a client who wanted to have online therapy to avoid the virus. I said, of course and will do her session on Secure Video, a HIPPA-compliant platform for video meetings. I had no hesitation because
I wrote this as a prologue to the Greek version of Easy Ego State Interventions and realized that it will make a good post: I have been looking through the lenses of ego state therapies since 1981. During that year, my first out of graduate school, I took a course in Eric Berne’s Transactional Analysis
MULTIPLE CHEMICAL SENSITIVITY CASE On Friday and Saturday I gave a workshop about combining EMDR and Ego State Therapy. At the workshop, I did a demonstration with an attendee who was 8 months out from a horrible allergic reaction to crab meat. Since then she's had daily hives, breathing issues, and has had a very
Roy Kiessling, a prolific EMDR trainer and innovator, has come up with a great idea for EMDR. Instead of coming up with a different negative and positive cognition on the fly, right before processing, find the general negative belief or beliefs that underlie the client's life during the first stages of therapy. During the history-taking
A friend of mine was home when her house was broken into last night. She got away, and the cops found the guy and arrested him. She posted the whole story on Facebook this morning. This afternoon, she posted this. I have her permission to repost. Please don't mention her name in the comments."Quite a
When I read Mark Epstein's op-ed "The Trauma that Life Brings" in the 8/3/13 New York Times, I had to reply. Epstein, a psychiatrist said that trauma and grief are inevitable and that there's nothing to do about them but wait it out and suffer. I like that he was normalizing both, and I was horrified
Dissociative people often lack coherent narratives of their pasts (Mary Main & Dan Siegel). I'm finding that they often lack coherent visions of their futures. Today I "installed the future" in a formerly dissociative client, who has given me permission to tell this story. When "Linda" was 6 weeks old, her mother became gravely ill
I've been working with survivors of rape and sexual assault since I started in the mental health field. Here are my definitions: Rape: The sexual use, involving penile, digital (fingers) or objects on a woman's, man's or child's body without that person's consent, with forced consent (threats) or if that person cannot conset due to
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is in the news again. Robert Bales murdered 16 civilians in Afghanistan. He has TBI, drinks too much, and just saw a friend lose a leg. Why does TBI matter? Traumatic brain injuries are head injuries that can occur from a direct blow to the head, in an accident, sports, or
Three years ago, while I was at the at the Olympus Women's Spa celebrating the publication of EMDR Solutions II, a woman in the same jacuzzi interrupted my conversation to attack me about my obvious misperceptions about EMDR. "Everybody knows it doesn't work . . . it's woo-woo-bullshit . . . and it's just exposure
An overseas reader asked what I do with body-image issues. I wrote her this: If it's full-blown dysmorphia, there's a chapter by DaLene Forester, "Image is Everything" in my book, EMDR Solutions 2, but if it's regular "I don't look like Twiggy, so I'm not okay" distress, I start with the 2-Hand Interweave: "In one
Last week, I was contacted by a sincere, heartful, intelligent man who wanted to hire me for EMDR consultation. After a 45 minute conversation, I turned him away because he doing “reparative therapy”, seeking to "help" gay people become straight. He uses EMDR and other methods to target the attachment issues of gay men, so
Twenty-seven years ago, when I worked with my first DID client, I became the "go to" person for soothing the young, distressed ego states. As a result, I was on-call 24/7, never took longer than a week's vacation, and was constantly fielding emergencies. Finally, a savvy consultant told me to put the "oldest, wisest part"
I was interviewed by Stan Emert on his cable TV show, "Public Exposure" a few weeks ago. Here is the YouTube link to the show: http://youtu.be/KsFoHFQxx4o Topics include trauma definitions, PTSD, EMDR, Ego State Therapy, and a minute of traumatic grief. Due to a neck injury, I've been unable to spend more than a few minutes
National Public Radio wrote and spoke about the "Battle Over the Science" of Tricare not paying for cognitive rehabilitation therapy (CRT) for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) "despite pressure from Congress and the recommendations of military and civilian experts, the Pentagon’s health plan for troops and many veterans does not to cover” cognitive rehabilitation therapy —
Fascinating article, The Insanity Virus, in the November online Discover magazine describes studies that show that schizophrenia and MS may be from viruses that trigger the Toxoplasmosis and CMV viruses that most of us already carry. It's a long read that got more interesting (for me) on pages 3 and 4. This article makes personal
I've had to confront evil again. In my every day life, I see it all the time. 60% of my clients have been sexually, physically, and emotionally abused by the adults, mostly their parents, who were in charge of them. As a consultant I hear therapists' most horrific cases. I read the newspapers.This political election
Here's a 6 minute video of a Gulf War soldier's PTSD diagnosis with brain scans and then treatment with EMDR. He had a scary childhood, fear for his life in combat, and then was retriggered by witnessing a horrible accident.
My copy of the new book arrived today. Here is what Diana Fosha says about it:"This is a thorough, accessible, and very practical book, filled with resources and sound ideas, filtered through the intelligence and experience of a savvy, compassionate, down-to-earth, and very experienced clinician. It is like a travel guide to the land of
Mary Elizabeth Williams talks about receiving EMDR after a mugging. On Salon's site:http://www.salon.com/life/feature/2010/07/23/emdr_after_a_mugging/index.html
A client has given me permission to post about her situation: the effects of Provigil, Prozac, and time on trauma processing: Round 1, 15 years ago: She was bright, effusive, and had the odd habits of jerking her head up to look around and writing down everything I said. We worked for eight months
I read an article about how naltrexone, an opiate suppressant, curbs the urge to engage in kleptomania. I've had dissociative clients who have successfully used naloxone and naltraxone to vanquish their endogenous (internal) opiates, in order to be able to stay present and process traumatic events, instead of switching or spacing out completely. (See EMDR Processing w/ Dissociative Clients:
Day 1: Bessel van der Kolk is lovely. He's humble, he's funny, and he is the premiere researcher on the neurobiology and/or efficacy of trauma treatments in the world. And cute and brilliant, of course. Here are nearly random gems from 3 hours of notes: With trauma, there are no stories, only sensory experience: images,
Yesterday I held my new book in my hands. It's hard for me to make meaning of 14 months of work being encapsulated in a 1 1/2 pound book. As I paged through it, I recalled the process of writing; my appreciation of the content of other people's chapters; editing squabbles; waiting, waiting, waiting for
The New York Times published this article today. If you haven't starting gearing up to work with soldiers, get some training now. There are online trainings, in-person trainings, and books. You can even start by watching movies: In the Valley of the Elah is supposed to be a great one. Understand that, so far, EMDR
The EMDR International Association, (EMDRIA) is urging its members to write a letter supporting EMDR treatment for soldiers and veterans. The EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Program has been offering and doing volunteer-run, inexpensive Basic trainings to the military and the VA. EMDR has been accepted by the Department of Defense as one of two effective/allowed treatments.
A long time client came back to see me. She'd been ill and after weeks in bed, depression had colonized her, again. She mentioned, " that it's stupid, but what was really bothering me is this itch on the back of my head." She'd been to the doctor, who found nothing wrong with her scalp,
According to Daniel Goleman, in Vital Lies, Simple Truths, (1995, Simon & Schuster), when we avoid thinking about or doing that which makes us anxious, our brains reinforce us with really pleasant chemicals. Thus we have epidemics of procrastination and avoidance. With this in mind, I've developed several strategies for my avoidant and procrastinating clients. I
I applied to the EMDR International Conference to lead a 3-hour workshop on Treating Depression with EMDR. I wrote four chapters about it in the new book, EMDR Solutions II, for Depression, Eating Disorders, Performance, & More. Instead of a workshop, I was invited to do a poster. I know how to write. I know
Dear Readers, Excuse me for the dearth of posts this summer. Last night I sent in the the 26 chapters, "Front Matter" and Glossary for the book on which I've been spending 20 or 30 hours each week. I had whittled my practice down to two days each week. I belayed most of my social
I'll be giving a lecture about trauma, PTSD, Structural Dissociation, the Polyvagal theory and the use of EMDR to impact PTSD on Saturday morning, May 17 from 9:30 to 12. Frank Kokorowsk will copresent with a dynamite multi-modal trauma treatment that he's been using with homeless people. There are 2 CE's for everyone and it's
The Book has a title now: EMDR Solutions II, for Depression, Eating Disorders, Performance and More. It has a cover photograph, too. and the photo has a story. (Full disclosure--the photographer is my husband.) See it and read it at http://www.dougplummer.com/archives/ireland2/fall9.html I'm in full-blown editing mode: going through each chapter, attaching a header, reformatting it,
This is from an email sent by Jim Marshall, a great psychotherapist, deep thinker, and good soul: "I was delighted to see that there will be a section in your book on EMDR and Spiritual Issues. Back in 1992, Francine asked me and a clinician from California to lead the EMDR and Spirituality Special Interest
April Steele has updated her self-published book, and every therapist should have it. You don't have to know EMDR to use her techniques. Her CD's are wonderful, too. She's a treasure, and since she's "practicing for retirement", she's no longer teaching workshops. If you want her materials, order them from her. Get the whole toolkit.
Nancy Lieurance sent me a link to an amazing video, "Color Red" (like "code red") In ten minutes, Shahar Ben, an art therapist, shows how she uses music, EMDR bilateral tapping, and movement to help Israeli children through Gazan rocket attacks, healing and releasing trauma during the attack. It's brilliant work and I defy you