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Dominant Emotional States

A few weeks ago, I wrote to Rudy Skowronski, LCSW, who is a brilliant trauma therapist in practice in Saco, Maine (you can see his full bio at the end of this post). I asked Rudy to talk about his work with Dominant Emotional States as part of the the New Perspectives Series. Rudy’s letter back to us illustrates the deep and profound work that can be done when you worked with a highly skilled therapist. Making lasting emotional changes is possible with the proper understanding and guidance. Many thanks to Rudy for this contribution. Hi All, Here is the explanation that I use to convey  my ideas around Dominant Emotional States (DES).  After the description I will write briefly about the way I use my ideas around DES in therapy with individuals couples and families. Dominant Emotional States are     . . . read more

The Surprising Reasons You Feel the Way You Do

  This week has been all about why having a deep understanding of your emotional life is essential to your well-being and the health of your relationships. Today, I will concede that this can be difficult work. I’ve argued before that emotions are information, but decoding the clues they provide sometimes takes a master sleuth. Did you know that chronic emotional states like anxiety, depression, numbness, anger, or irritability can actually be a way to cope? Many people first come to therapy because they want to decrease these emotions. However, this can be tricky for some people because these states developed as a way to cope with even more painful emotions. For example, if you witnessed a tragedy or violence, you may develop chronic anxiety to cope with terror and powerlessness. The mind wants to feel in control, so you     . . . read more

FAQ on Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR is a very interesting, highly effective type of therapy. I’ve been working hard lately to spread the word about its usefulness. If you’d like some background on this well-researched therapy that is effective with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, phobias and many other issues check out my recent interview on Growing Up Chaotic and my blog posts here and here. I promised I’d follow up with any questions I received, so here I go (please note that this is for educational purposes only. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. If you believe you are suffering from a mental health disorder, please talk with your health care practitioner for diagnosis and treatment information). Question: Is EMDR only for big traumas like combat, assault and serious car accidents? Hannah’s answer: No! While these examples are experiences that     . . . read more

More Info On EMDR and A Big Thank You!

I want to thank Dawn Clancy for having me on her terrific show, Growing Up Chaotic.  Her program is all about overcoming issues related to growing up with addiction, abuse, and overall chaos. I’m inspired by her empowering message and her willingness to share of herself to help others. It was truly a privilege to be part of what she’s doing! You can listen to episode on demand here. I talked about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and EMDR. For listeners and interested others I’ve compiled a list of resources. I’m also taking questions and will be writing a post answering these questions next week. Here is a great article by Francine Shapiro, founder of EMDR, answering questions from NY Times readers: “The Evidence on E.M.D.R.” A very comprehensive resource for all aspects of EMDR is the EMDR Institute website at     . . . read more

Can EMDR Help Me Change an Old Pattern?

Tomorrow I will be a guest on the internet radio program Growing Up Chaotic to discuss EMDR and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It’s at 7pm EST and I hope you will listen. As a result, I’ve got EMDR on the brain. I’ve been using this type of therapy with many of my clients for several years now. What I’ve learned is that EMDR can be a tool for change when you have an old pattern that just won’t budge. EMDR is a comprehensive form of therapy that is well-researched and highly effective. It is an approach that is done by  psychotherapists who have received specific training. “What is EMDR?,” you ask: well my previous post will start to answer that question- click here. In my practice I tend to use EMDR when clients indicate a history of trauma or a     . . . read more

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