Life Care offers a variety of solutions for people dealing with posttraumatic or psychological stress, one being the use of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). EMDR is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). EMDR is responsible for the relief of an estimated two million people of all ages, and is an effective treatment not only for trauma but also complex grief, phobias, addictions, and anxiety disorders.
When a person goes through the unfortunate, but all too often experience of having a traumatic event happen to them, certain changes, or lack thereof, happen in a person’s brain. The way your brain processes information becomes damaged, and in general, the sounds, smells, images, and feelings don’t seem to go away. EMDR seems to have a direct effect on the way the brain processes information, allowing normal informational processing to resume.
After successful EMDR treatment you will no longer relive the event every time it is brought to mind. You will still remember what happened, but it will be a memory of the past, no longer feeling like an event that is occurring in the here and now. Rhonda Kelloway, Linette Howard, Judy Petrushka, and Andrea Gargano offer EMDR therapy at LifeCare.
SOMATIC EXPERIENCING (SE™) Therapy
Somatic Experiencing is a potent psychobiological method for resolving trauma symptoms and relieving chronic stress. It is the life’s work of Dr. Peter A. Levine, resulting from his multidisciplinary study of stress physiology, psychology, ethology, biology, neuroscience, indigenous healing practices, and medical biophysics, together with over 45 years of successful clinical application.
In his studies, Dr. Levine found that prey animals in the wild are rarely traumatized despite routine threats to their lives. Yet human beings are readily traumatized. Dr Levine noted that mammals automatically regulate survival responses through the autonomic nervous system (ANS), and under threat, massive amounts of energy are mobilized in readiness for self-defense via the fight, flight, freeze, and collapse responses. Once safe, animals spontaneously “discharge” this excess energy through involuntary movements including shaking, trembling, and deep spontaneous breaths. This discharge process resets the ANS, restoring equilibrium. Since humans and other animals possess nearly identical brain- and body-based survival mechanisms, Dr. Levine theorized that human beings often get PTSD because we frequently override this mammalian discharge response.
The SE approach releases traumatic shock, which is key to transforming PTSD and the wounds of emotional and early developmental attachment trauma. SE offers a framework to assess where a person is “stuck” in the fight, flight, freeze, or collapse responses and provides clinical tools to resolve these fixated physiological states. SE facilitates the completion of self-protective motor responses and the release of thwarted survival energy bound in the body, thus addressing the root cause of trauma symptoms. This is approached by gently guiding clients to develop increasing tolerance for difficult bodily sensations and suppressed emotions.
SE does not require the traumatized person to re-tell or re-live the traumatic event. Instead, it offers the opportunity to engage, complete and resolve in a slow and supported way the body’s instinctual fight, flight, freeze, and collapse responses. Individuals locked in anxiety or rage then relax into a growing sense of peace and safety. Those stuck in depression gradually find their feelings of hopelessness and numbness transformed into empowerment, triumph, and mastery. SE catalyzes corrective bodily experiences that contradict those of fear and helplessness. This resets the nervous system, restores inner balance, enhances resilience to stress, and increases people’s vitality, equanimity, and capacity to actively engage in life.
SE therapy is offered at Life Care by Rhonda Kelloway, Linette Howard, and Meghan Vosloo.
Through the ancient art of yoga, individualized Yoga Therapy is designed to facilitate healing by safely guiding the client toward cultivation of mindfulness, self-awareness, and inner peace. In the present moment and stillness of a pose, one can gain mastery over physical and emotional challenges. The issues that often lie resistant in the tissues can be liberated to help foster empowerment in mind, body and spirit. The techniques learned on the mat are carried off the mat, allowing one to live more fully in the moment.
Yoga therapy is of modern coinage and represents a first effort to integrate traditional yogic concepts and techniques with Western medical and psychological knowledge. Whereas traditional Yoga is primarily concerned with personal transcendence on the part of a “normal” or healthy individual, Yoga therapy aims at the holistic treatment of various kinds of psychological or somatic dysfunctions ranging from back problems to emotional distress. Both approaches, however, share an understanding of the human being as an integrated body-mind system, which can function optimally only when there is a state of dynamic balance. George Feuerstein, Ph.D.
Life Care offers Yoga Therapy by Jean Tschampa and Marina Lisjonok in our Glen Ellyn office and Andrea Gargano in our Chicago office.