Commonly Asked Questions
What can I expect during the first session?
During the first several sessions, our work will be to assess your situation, evaluate our fit as therapist and client and identify your treatment goals and desired outcomes. Prior to our initial session, I will request that you read my over my Notice of Privacy Practices (HIPPA) as well as complete a short intake form and informed consent form and return them to me before we begin so that we can utilize our time in session as efficiently as possible. Additionally, we will discuss what you have tried in the past and what has worked for you (and hasn’t worked for you), identify any treatment modalities you would prefer to use (if any) and I’ll answer any questions you may have as well.
How long is each session?
Typically sessions range from 50-55 minutes in length. Our initial intake session may take longer depending on the circumstance. If you prefer shorter sessions, please let me know and we can discuss what works best for you.
How often should I come to therapy?
After the first appointment if you decide that we are a good fit and desire to engage in therapy, we will schedule your next appointment and work on a consistently agreed upon basis. Therapy works best when the sessions are initially scheduled once per week, regardless of how you are feeling. The underlying issues will not surface (and cannot be explored) if you attend inconsistently and/ or your attendance is contingent on your moods/feelings. If you begin to cancel appointments, we will explore what may be getting in the way of the interpersonal work you set out to do when making the decision to begin therapy.
How long can I expect to be in therapy?
The amount of time spent in therapy varies depending on the person and their situation and/or views of therapy. Therapy can last from several months up to several years depending on your needs and goals. Some people attend therapy until they have reached their initial goals, while others view therapy as a necessary part of maintaining their overall well-being or as a preventative measure and engage in therapy routinely without a definitive end. As we work together, we will work together to assess what’s best for you.
What is EMDR?
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a highly effective psychotherapy technique where various procedures and protocols are used to address traumatic experiences. One of the procedural elements is "dual stimulation" using either bilateral eye movements, tones or taps. Clients generally experience the emergence of insights, changes in memories, or new associations during EMDR, helping the alleviation of symptoms of the trauma. To learn more about EMDR, please visit www.emdr.com.
What is Somatic Experiencing?
Somatic Experiencing® (SE) is a short-term naturalistic approach to the resolution and healing of trauma developed by Dr. Peter Levine and is supported by research. The word “trauma” in this sense covers a wide range of physical and psychological symptoms that result from the effect of accumulated stress on human physiology. SE is based upon the observation that wild prey animals, though threatened routinely, are rarely traumatized. Animals in the wild utilize innate mechanisms to regulate and discharge the high levels of energy arousal associated with defensive survival behaviors. These mechanisms provide animals with a built-in “immunity’’ to trauma that enables them to return to normal in the aftermath of highly “charged’’ life-threatening experiences.
SE supports individuals in completing basic fight, flight, and freeze response patterns that remain inhibited after stressful or traumatic experiences. The completion of these response patterns brings a greater capacity for self-regulation as well as an increased sense of well-being, and integration. Even though SE primarily targets issues of trauma, it is also an effective way of supporting individuals interested in expanding their ability to authentically be in the world physically, psychologically, and spiritually.
• SE employs awareness of body sensation to help people "renegotiate" and heal rather than re-live or re-enact trauma.
• SE guidance of the bodily "felt sense" allows the highly aroused survival energies to be safely experienced and gradually discharged.
• SE may employ touch in support of the renegotiation process
• SE “titrates” experience (breaks down into small, incremental steps), rather than evoking catharsis which can overwhelm the regulatory mechanisms of the organism. For more information about SE please note the following references:
Levine, P. (1997). Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.
Levine, P. and. Kline, M. (2007). Trauma Through A Child’s Eyes: Awakening the Ordinary Miracle of Healing. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.
Levine, P. (2010). In an UnspokenVoice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.
For further references and information online about SE go to http://www.traumahealing.com.