The Kingston Integrative Healing Group: Helps Couples and Individuals
 
 

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Breakthrough Psychotherapy

Kris provides psychotherapy using specialized methods such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) as well as other forms of therapy, such as hypnosis, neurolinguistic programming, and cognitive behavioral therapy.

Kris counsels with warmth and insight. Her clients often express how easy it is to open up with her and work on their toughest and most frustrating challenges.

Want more information about making an appointment? Email Kris at kharrington49@yahoo.com or Call Kris's office at 845-532-6622.

What is Eye Movement Desentization and Reprocessing (EMDR)? EMDR is a new, nontraditional, very short-term therapy for treating trauma victims that utilizes rhythmical stimulation such as eye movements or hand taps. Shapiro, a clinical psychologist and fellow at the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto, Calif., who developed the approach, reports cases in which as few as three 90-minute EMDR sessions have relieved patients' disabling anxiety. Explaining how she developed the technique in 1987, Shapiro describes the treatment, theorizes about why it works and cites supporting research. She suggests that the rhythmical stimulation inherent in the process jump starts and accelerates the brain's information processing system to enable the victims to begin to process the traumatic experiences in which they have been stuck so that natural healing can begin. Visit Official EMDR website READ ABOUT THE EIGHT PHASES OF TREATMENT

PHASE 1: A history taking session during which the therapist assesses the client's readiness for EMDR and develops a treatment plan. Client and therapist identify possible targets for EMDR processing. These include recent distressing events, current situations that elicit emotional disturbance, related historical incidents, and the development of specific skills and behaviors that will be needed by the client in future situations.


PHASE 2: The therapist ensures that the client has adequate methods of handling emotional distress and good coping skills, and that the client is in a relatively stable state. If further stabilization is required, or if additional skills are needed, therapy focuses on providing these. The client is then able to use stress reducing techniques whenever necessary, during or between sessions. However, one goal is not to need these techniques once therapy is complete.


PHASES 3-6: A target is identified and processed using EMDR procedures. These involve the client identifying the most vivid visual image related to the memory (if available), a negative belief about self, related emotions and body sensations. The client also identifies a preferred positive belief. The validity of the positive belief is rated, as is the intensity of the negative emotions.


After this, the client is instructed to focus on the image, negative thought, and body sensations while simultaneously moving his/her eyes back and forth following the therapist's fingers as they move across his/her field of vision for 20-30 seconds or more, depending upon the need of the client. Athough eye movements are the most commonly used external stimulus, therapists often use auditory tones, tapping, or other types of tactile stimulation. The kind of dual attention and the length of each set is customized to the need of the client. The client is instructed to just notice whatever happens. After this, the clinician instructs the client to let his/her mind go blank and to notice whatever thought, feeling, image, memory, or sensation comes to mind. Depending upon the client's report the clinician will facilitate the next focus of attention. In most cases a client-directed association process is encouraged. This is repeated numerous times throughout the session. If the client becomes distressed or has difficulty with the process, the therapist follows established procedures to help the client resume processing. When the client reports no distress related to the targeted memory, the clinician asks him/her to think of the preferred positive belief that was identified at the beginning of the session, or a better one if it has emerged, and to focus on the incident, while simultaneously engaging in the eye movements. After several sets, clients generally report increased confidence in this positive belief. The therapist checks with the client regarding body sensations. If there are negative sensations, these are processed as above. If there are positive sensations, they are further enhanced.


PHASE 7: In closure, the therapist asks the client to keep a journal during the week to document any related material that may arise and reminds the client of the self-calming activities that were mastered in phase two.


PHASE 8: A re-evaluation of the previous work, and of progress since the previous session. EMDR treatment ensures processing of all related historical events, current incidents that elicit distress, and future scenarios that will require different responses. The overall goal is produce the most comprehensive and profound treatment effects in the shortest period of time, while simultaneously maintaining a stable client within a balanced system.


After EMDR processing, clients generally report that the emotional distress related to the memory has been eliminated, or greatly decreased, and that they have gained important cognitive insights. Importantly, these emotional and cognitive changes usually result in spontaneous behavioral and personal change, which are further enhanced with standard EMDR procedures.


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1Shapiro, F. (2001). Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing: Basic Principles, Protocols and Procedures (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford Press.


2Shapiro, F. (2002). EMDR as an Integrative Psychotherapy Approach: Experts of Diverse Orientations Explore the Paradigm Prism. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association Books.