Many people experience trauma in their lives, and strong reactions to trauma can result in post-traumatic reactions (such as PTSD). Trauma can stem from witnessing atrocities, such as war, and also from exposure to sexual abuse, brutality, or physical or emotional abuse in family settings and other relationships. Trauma is not only the result of what happened to us, but also of how we make sense of what happened to us and the subsequent negative emotions that can arise. These negative emotions can seep into our lives in many ways: we might withdraw from relationships, eat in ways that are harmful, somaticize our internal concerns, or suffer from depression, insomnia, anxiety, anger, and/or low self-worth.
What can be especially difficult about experiencing trauma is the impact it can have on a person’s life months and years afterward; for some, significant problems can arise that interfere with everyday life. Many people don’t realize that negative emotions, problems in relationships, and low self-esteem are often directly related to previous traumatic experiences. When people experience these negative symptoms, they try to push away the memories or fight against their feelings; yet paradoxically, it’s this very avoidance that sustains and worsens problems, because these memories and feelings creep into daily activities, daydreams, thoughts, and nightmares. The longer and harder people attempt to repress the lingering effects of a traumatic experience, the longer these memories will control and impact their lives in increasingly negative ways.
Our therapists have drawn from their own advanced, researched-based training in trauma to create a unique method of treating trauma. By combining the latest hypnotic techniques, EMDR, aspects of exposure therapy, and mindfulness tools to address clients’ past experiences, they help clients better understand the negative feedback loop between the biological changes which began after the trauma and their current emotional state and responses. Through integrative techniques and hypnosis, our therapists help clients alleviate anxiety, stay more present, reduce flashbacks and nightmares, and find ways to once again feel like the person they were before the trauma.
While all three therapists are experts in trauma and work from a trauma-informed perspective, each therapist has their unique approach to helping people heal from trauma.
Dr. Hoffenberg stands as our premier expert in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). This therapeutic approach forms the cornerstone of her practice, where she seamlessly blends relational EMDR and other sophisticated techniques. By employing EMDR in both an integrative and adaptable manner, she assists individuals in transcending trauma and rediscovering a sense of wellbeing. To address profound emotional scars, she marries her proficiency in EMDR with her knowledge of Complex Trauma/Developmental Trauma and specialized training in Relational EMDR. Dr. Hoffenberg recognizes trauma as more than isolated incidents; she appreciates its multifaceted nature and its potential persistence over time. Through her in-depth approach, she seeks to peel away the layers and liberate her clients from entrenched negative thought processes.
Dr. Laura Faiwiszewski uniquely integrates hypnotherapy, EMDR, CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), and DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) in her therapeutic approach to trauma. Grounded in the principles of Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, she weaves in aspects of these diverse modalities to aid clients in navigating distressing life events and entrenched challenges. The heart of her methodology is to mitigate the repercussions and symptoms tied to trauma. Dr. Faiwiszewski employs a blend of techniques that enable clients to gently address and process formidable memories and experiences. Alongside this, she integrates CBT and DBT strategies to help clients foster mindfulness, be anchored in the present, and progressively regain control and balance in their lives.
Dr. Irada Yunusova brings her specialized expertise to bear on the treatment of adults suffering from PTSD, Complex PTSD, and racism-based trauma. Understanding the multifaceted impact of such experiences, she adopts a trauma-informed approach that respects and addresses the unique needs of each client. With the aid of EMDR, she helps individuals process and heal from the distressing memories that underlie their trauma. This method is complemented by Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which assists in reshaping harmful thought patterns and fostering more adaptive coping mechanisms. Her comprehensive and empathetic approach not only aids in the recovery from traumatic events but also empowers individuals to rebuild a sense of safety and trust in their lives.
Dr. Demi Maglio does not use EMDR, but instead, utilizes CBT, mindfulness, and hypnotherapy in her trauma treatment approach. Her methodology assists clients in concentrating on the present, providing them with relaxation strategies and actionable tools for progression. This multifaceted approach fosters significant healing from trauma. While the majority of therapeutic modalities address the conscious dimensions of trauma, hypnotherapy works to facilitate resolution at an unconscious level. Dr. Maglio combines CBT, DBT, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) to offer clients insights into the influence of trauma on their current state, with hypnotherapy serving to assure the body and the unconscious mind that maintaining a state of hyperarousal or hypervigilance is unnecessary for safety. By melding techniques targeting both conscious and unconscious processes, Dr. Maglio aids clients in achieving a profound reconciliation with their trauma.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is widely recognized as an effective treatment for trauma due to its unique methodology that facilitates the processing of distressing memories. At the heart of EMDR's effectiveness is its ability to help individuals access and reprocess traumatic memories in a safe and structured environment. The bilateral stimulation, often in the form of guided eye movements, is believed to stimulate the brain's natural adaptive information processing mechanisms, allowing traumatic memories to be integrated and stored in a more functional way. As a result, the emotional charge associated with these memories is reduced, enabling individuals to recall traumatic events without the intense distress previously associated with them. Through EMDR, many individuals find relief from PTSD symptoms and achieve a more adaptive understanding of their traumatic experiences.
The process of EMDR involves exploring patients’ goals and developing a comprehensive plan for how they will address those goals. This typically involves exploring earlier life events, as well as discussing childhood and relational history as they relate to the most salient concerns. Once they create a framework with their patients, they spend time working on various ways to help foster change, which will include developing coping skills to help manage anxiety and difficult emotions throughout the course of therapy and beyond. Once these foundational skills are in place, the therapists focus on the traumatic event or experience that initially brought a patient to therapy. In order to assist patients and make the process more effective, EMDR uses dual stimulation (i.e., eye movements, tapping) to help individuals remain in the present moment as the traumatic material is processed.
EMDR helps to release emotions that are stuck around the memory in order to make room for healthier processing. Because EMDR targets "touchstone" memories, it is not uncommon for difficult emotions to come up during processing. Working in partnership with our therapists, our clients are first assessed for the appropriateness of this modality. Once it has been determined that EMDR will be a good fit, they help clients become prepared and equipped to deal with whatever might arise so that they remain comfortably in control of how therapy proceeds.
We use remotEMDR, which is a cutting-edge video platform for EMDR therapy. This gives us the capability to administer a range of bilateral stimulation (BLS) options during virtual therapy sessions, encompassing visual, auditory, and sensory stimuli. This tool greatly increases therapy outcomes, as the therapist can stay present while the patient is guided by technology both visually and through auditory stimulation.
Hypnotherapy is a therapeutic technique that uses guided relaxation, intense concentration, and focused attention to achieve a heightened state of awareness, often referred to as a trance. This state can be likened to being so absorbed in a book or movie that the surroundings fade away. When used to address trauma, hypnotherapy can offer several potential benefits:
Safe Access to Traumatic Memories: The relaxed trance state can provide a safe environment for individuals to access and explore traumatic memories without becoming overwhelmed by them. The therapist can guide the client through these memories in a controlled and supportive manner.
Reframing and Processing Traumatic Events: In the trance state, individuals may be more open to suggestions and new perspectives. This can allow them to reframe traumatic experiences, assign new meanings to them, or view them from a different perspective, aiding in the healing process.
Integration of Trauma: Hypnotherapy can help individuals integrate traumatic experiences into their broader life narrative, reducing the isolating and fragmenting effects of trauma. This can help in reducing symptoms like flashbacks and dissociation.
Body and Mind Connection: Trauma often manifests as physical symptoms or somatic responses. Hypnotherapy can address the mind-body connection, helping individuals recognize, process, and release physical tensions or symptoms associated with trauma.
Skills Development: Hypnotherapy can be used to develop and reinforce coping skills, such as relaxation techniques, grounding exercises, or positive self-affirmations. This can be particularly useful for managing trauma-related anxiety or panic.
Reducing Avoidance and Fear Responses: Through post-hypnotic suggestions, individuals can be encouraged to approach, rather than avoid, triggers or situations that remind them of the trauma, aiding in exposure-based healing.
Empowerment and Control: For many trauma survivors, a significant issue is the feeling of powerlessness. Hypnotherapy can help individuals reclaim a sense of control over their minds and bodies, bolstering self-confidence and resilience.
Research shows that facing the memories of a traumatic event in a safe and controlled therapeutic environment can drastically reduce negative symptoms and allow individuals to feel like themselves again and reclaim their lives. Our therapists have years of experience in both private and hospital settings, and they have worked with clients who have experienced trauma as a result of sexual harassment and assault, physical and sexual abuse in relationships, sexual and emotional trauma in childhood, and other life-threatening accidents and events. We use the most advanced techniques for treating trauma, such as Prolonged Exposure, Cognitive Processing Therapy, and EMDR, to help relieve clients’ trauma-related symptoms and allow them to feel whole again.
Join our dedicated therapeutic program focused on aiding your healing journey through trauma. We offer supportive insights and coping strategies, guiding you towards a deeper understanding and resilience, and helping you find peace and renewed strength.