What is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing?
According to EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Programs, EMDR uses an eight-phase approach to decrease the immediacy of past negative experiences by fully processing them.  Clients call to mind disturbing issues or memories, and the thoughts and beliefs held about those events, while the therapist facilitates directional eye movements or other types of dual-attention brain stimulation.  The result is no longer reliving the images, sounds and feelings associated with the event.  In as little as one or two sessions, clients can overcome destructive trauma symptoms, including nightmares, flashbacks, physical distress and depression.  It is an evidence-based method of psychotherapy that has been proven successful in treating complicated grief, sexual/physical abuse, anxiety and other trauma related issues in children and adults.

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What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?
In general, CBT helps clients become more aware of their thoughts, feelings and behaviors and how the three interact.  It trains clients to examine the accuracy of their thoughts and beliefs in order to learn more balanced, realistic ways of thinking which will then translate into more balanced emotions and healthy behaviors.  There are over 300 published outcome studies on CBT and it has proven to be an effective line of treatment for depression, anxiety, substance abuse, anger and a wide variety of other problems.  Typically CBT involves the use of homework assignments between therapy sessions in order to continuously train you to be an active observer and determinant of your thoughts, moods and behaviors.

Why should I consider talking to a therapist?
Everyone is different.  Your reason for seeking the help of a professional may differ greatly from a friend, family member or co-worker.  Some common reasons people seek psychotherapy are to help cope with a major life event (expected or unexpected), depression, anxiety, grief, anger, sleep issues or for general self exploration.  When the coping skills you already know are overwhelmed and not working for you, meeting with a professional therapist can help you learn tools to bring more satisfaction, productivity and peace of mind to your life.

How can I benefit from Therapy?
Of course the benefits of therapy typically depend on your treatment goals, but in general therapy can help improve one’s self-esteem, boundaries, communication skills and ability to regulate their emotions.  It can help people gain a better understanding of who they are, clarify their goals and values and/or gain clarity on past events.  I often see therapy quite useful at helping individuals get “unstuck” from unhealthy patterns of thinking and behavior in order to replace them with more productive ones.

What can I expect in my therapy session?
Typically, sessions last 45 minutes; however, EMDR sessions may last longer.  During our first session together we will discuss your goals for therapy and I will need to ask you some questions about you as a person, which typically includes health, social, occupational, spiritual, and mental health information.  The confidentiality of what we discuss is protected as by law, except in the case of child, dependent adult or elder abuse, or if you are a threat to yourself or someone else.  In those instances I am required by law to inform the appropriate authorities.

Won’t an antidepressant help just as much?
Most studies show that psychotherapy along with well-selected medications produce the best results compared to just one modality.  I encourage you to do your own research on the issue in order to make a decision about which treatment (or combination of treatments) makes the most sense for you.  I suggest starting at GoodTherapy.com which will provide a variety of resources to check out.  The Journal of the American Medical Association is also a good resource.

What is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)?
Clinical social workers provide the majority of mental health care services in the nation.  We work in agencies, clinics, hospitals, schools, nursing homes, businesses, and private practices and are recognized as independent providers of mental health services by all federal programs.  In the State of Colorado, an LCSW requires a Master’s degree in social work from a Council on Social Work Education approved program, passage of the Advanced Generalist or Clinical level Association of Social Work Boards exam, completion of two (2) years, 3360 hours post degree supervised experience with at least 96 hours of supervision (48 hours of which must be individual supervision).  We are trained in psychotherapy and have studied subjects such as growth and development, mental health theory and practice, sociology, psychology and research methods.

Should I use my health insurance to help pay for therapy?
I strongly encourage you to weigh this option carefully.  Dr. John A. Martin wrote an excellent essay on this topic which I feel outlines the issue well for consumers to ponder: “Insurance Reimbursement, Mental Illness and Psychotherapy”.

How do I make an appointment?
Call me directly at (303) 949-5667 or email me here