Teletherapy in the Time of CoronaVirus

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

By |2020-03-12T16:37:01-07:00March 12th, 2020|Comments Off on Teletherapy in the Time of CoronaVirus

My History with Ego State Therapy

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

By |2019-05-16T10:52:12-07:00May 16th, 2019|Comments Off on My History with Ego State Therapy

Healing MCS and Graft vs. Host Disease

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

By |2016-09-18T17:47:23-07:00September 18th, 2016|Comments Off on Healing MCS and Graft vs. Host Disease

Roy Kiessling’s Belief Schema Perspective for EMDR

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

By |2013-10-14T10:05:41-07:00October 14th, 2013|Comments Off on Roy Kiessling’s Belief Schema Perspective for EMDR

Why I love EMDR!

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

By |2013-08-22T18:07:44-07:00August 22nd, 2013|2 Comments

Trauma is Curable: My letter to the NYTimes

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

By |2013-08-09T20:30:46-07:00August 9th, 2013|Comments Off on Trauma is Curable: My letter to the NYTimes

Installing the Future

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

By |2013-04-26T18:27:24-07:00April 26th, 2013|Comments Off on Installing the Future

Defining Rape and Sexual Assault

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

By |2012-08-23T10:38:15-07:00August 23rd, 2012|2 Comments

Traumatic Brain Injury

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

By |2012-03-18T17:13:06-07:00March 18th, 2012|Comments Off on Traumatic Brain Injury

Francine Shapiro in the New York Times on EMDR Research

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

By |2012-03-02T20:10:52-08:00March 2nd, 2012|1 Comment

EMDR with Body-Image Issues

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

By |2011-10-28T07:04:45-07:00October 28th, 2011|4 Comments

In Ego State Therapy, Let the Client Run the Internal Show.

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"

By |2011-08-20T17:22:40-07:00August 20th, 2011|Comments Off on In Ego State Therapy, Let the Client Run the Internal Show.

Trauma and Trauma Therapy: Interview on “Public Exposure”

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

By |2011-05-31T16:08:42-07:00May 31st, 2011|Comments Off on Trauma and Trauma Therapy: Interview on “Public Exposure”

Tricare Refuses to Pay for CRT & EMDR for Veterans

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 —

By |2010-12-22T16:58:10-08:00December 22nd, 2010|1 Comment

Is Schizophrenia Caused by a Retro-Virus?

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

By |2010-11-14T14:18:29-08:00November 14th, 2010|2 Comments

Living with the Awareness of Evil

    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

By |2010-10-24T09:18:10-07:00October 24th, 2010|9 Comments

Video with Amen brain scans and EMDR treatment of PTSD

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. 

By |2010-09-16T10:13:00-07:00September 16th, 2010|Comments Off on Video with Amen brain scans and EMDR treatment of PTSD

Trauma Treatment Handbook: Protocols Across the Spectrum

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

By |2010-08-17T19:22:38-07:00August 17th, 2010|5 Comments

Narcolepsy and EMDR Processing

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

By |2009-08-09T13:50:01-07:00August 9th, 2009|10 Comments

Is addiction a form of dissociation?

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:

By |2009-04-15T23:33:28-07:00April 15th, 2009|3 Comments

UCLA 2009 Trauma Conference Day 1, van der Kolk & Shapiro

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,

By |2009-03-06T22:35:54-08:00March 6th, 2009|2 Comments

NYT’s PTSD in Iraq Vets article: Counting the Walking Wounded

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

By |2009-01-26T16:09:04-08:00January 26th, 2009|Comments Off on NYT’s PTSD in Iraq Vets article: Counting the Walking Wounded

EMDR for Veterans: Write a Letter

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.

By |2009-01-16T07:58:35-08:00January 16th, 2009|1 Comment

Phantom Itching Cured With EMDR

    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,

By |2008-11-25T07:46:57-08:00November 25th, 2008|Comments Off on Phantom Itching Cured With EMDR

Procrastination

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

By |2008-10-02T21:35:18-07:00October 2nd, 2008|Comments Off on Procrastination

EMDR and Depression poster

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

By |2008-09-10T08:17:55-07:00September 10th, 2008|2 Comments

EMDR Solutions II for Depression, Eating Disorders, Performance and More

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

By |2008-08-30T07:00:04-07:00August 30th, 2008|Comments Off on EMDR Solutions II for Depression, Eating Disorders, Performance and More

Trauma Lecture

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

By |2008-05-15T08:13:28-07:00May 15th, 2008|2 Comments

Why Book Editing Is Like Doing Psychotherapy

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,

By |2008-05-05T21:10:47-07:00May 5th, 2008|1 Comment

Jim Marshall on Psychotherapy and Religion

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

By |2008-05-03T21:50:47-07:00May 3rd, 2008|1 Comment

April Steele’s New Book

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.

By |2008-03-03T14:14:56-08:00March 3rd, 2008|1 Comment

ISREALITY Video: “Color Red”

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

By |2008-03-03T10:33:42-08:00March 3rd, 2008|Comments Off on ISREALITY Video: “Color Red”

The Instinct To Heal

My new favorite book is Instinct to Heal by David Servan-Schrieber (Rodale, 2003). It is simple enough for most clients and innovative and interesting enough for most clinicians. I recommend it to psychiatrists, any kind of physician or "alternative" medical practitioner and all psychotherapists. Why? Instinct to Heal gives clear explanations, references to good research

By |2008-01-18T17:31:12-08:00January 18th, 2008|Comments Off on The Instinct To Heal
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