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What is Trauma?

Many people have experienced at least one traumatic event in their lives that has left them feeling scared, distressed, confused, and exhausted. These types of experiences (also called critical incidents or adverse experiences) often send your body and mind into fight, flight, or freeze responses. After a critical incident, it can take your body time to return to a state of calm or relaxation. Sometimes your nervous system can even become trapped in a cycle of hyperalertness when triggered. Symptoms that your body might experience after a traumatic event can include nightmares, panic attacks, flashbacks, and unpleasant emotions. Sometimes these symptoms can go away on their own or these symptoms can lead to Acute Stress Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or other trauma-related disorders. An EMDR-trained therapist can guide you through reprocessing the traumatic event so that your symptoms significantly decrease or go away completely. No one wants to live in a heightened state of stress, and no one should have to. 

What is EMDR?

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is a psychotherapy approach that can help individuals process and heal from traumatic experiences. EMDR uses bilateral stimulation (such as eye movements, the butterfly hug, tapping, or bilateral sounds) to assist the brain in reprocessing traumatic memories. EMDR has been found to be effective in treating trauma-related disorders. 

What is the EMDR ASSYST Protocol?

The Acute Stress Syndrome Stabilization (ASSYST) is an evidenced-based and researched protocol, developed by Dr. Ignacio Jarero, used to treat individuals and groups that are currently experiencing significant distress related to a critical incident or adverse experience. The ASSYST protocol was born through humanitarian field work. The ASSYST is used immediately after a critical incident, when individuals are experiencing intense overwhelming sensory input, body sensations, or emotions. The goal of the ASSYST protocol is to reduce intrusive symptoms and to regulate the nervous system of clients who are outside their window of tolerance. 

What is the EMDR Protocol for Recent Critical Incidents and Ongoing Traumatic Stress (PRECI)?

The EMDR PRECI was based on Dr. Francine Shapiro’s Recent Traumatic Protocol and the observations of Dr. Ignacio Jarero and Dr. Lucina Artiga as they worked in the field of natural and human provoked disasters. The protocol was designed to treat recent, present, or past prolonged adverse experiences. The PRECI was developed to treat individuals after adverse experiences such as earthquakes, floods, landslides, sexual and/or physical violence, or prolonged traumatic stress (including prolonged stress of first responders). The protocol can be used two days after a traumatic event to six months after a traumatic event (or as long as there is ongoing trauma).

What is the EMDR Integrative Group Treatment Protocol (EMDR-IGTP)?

The EMDR-IGTP was developed by Dr. Ignacio Jarero and Dr. Lucina Artiga. The protocol is used with small to large groups of people who have experienced a large-scale critical incident or a common themed incident. The protocol, which was originally developed to treat children, combines EMDR with a group therapy model and an art therapy format. 

What is the EMDR Integrative Group Treatment Protocol for Ongoing Traumatic Stress (EMDR-IGTP-OTS)?

The EMDR-IGTP-OTS is used with small to large groups of people who have experienced or are experiencing ongoing or prolonged traumatic stress. This protocol combines EMDR with a group model and an art therapy format. Examples of populations that can benefit from this protocol are victims of constant violence (sexual abuse, interpersonal violence, criminal violence); at-risk personnel (first responders, law enforcement personnel, military personnel, staff responding to natural disasters or violent conflicts); people undergoing life-changing experiences or extreme stressors (refugees, displaced persons, long-term disasters, terrorism); people with ongoing traumatic histories (chronic illnesses, individuals, couples, and families living in ongoing domestic violence); or people living in continuous traumatic situations involving political violence, terrorism, or perpetual war. 

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences.

Meet our EMDR service providers

Yvonne Höffchen

LPC, EMDR Certified Therapist