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Trauma Therapy

Trauma therapy can take many forms, the first stage starts with helping you feel you safer and helping you cope with triggers. 


Trauma can occur due to an intense feeling of helplessness in reaction to negative events.  It can be the result of a single incident, such as an assault, or a result of many incidents over time such as childhood abuse. 


While in therapy you may learn skills from a program called Seeking Safety (Eg. Coping Handout), use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy tools,  as well as Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.  Many of these programs focus on emotional regulation and learning how trauma has impacted your thinking and behaviors.  When you are ready, we may use Flash and/or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).  EMDR is a powerful treatment that Dr. Francine Shapiro discovered by chance in 1987. To date, over fifteen thousand psychotherapists have been trained to provide EMDR based on Shapiro's research. In addition, we may use the Flash Technique to prepare for EMDR or to quickly desensitize memories which are distressing to you. 


In preparing for EMDR we spend a good deal of time building up your positive qualities or inner resources.  During an EMDR session, we use a website that gives you tones and/or a dot to watch, which activate both sides of the brain. Each session can last 50-90 minutes.

EMDR relies on the Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) model, a theory about how your brain stores memories.  When a person experiences trauma, the brain may start to process information differently.  A person who has experienced trauma or negative life events may relate in ways that feel "stuck" or repetitious. EMDR helps to move people out of these negative mental patterns and into more healthy functioning.  We help people from past events such as sexual abuse, physical assault, witnessing or experiencing violence, deaths, and accidents.

​Due to ethical guidelines, we are not able to share client testimonials on this website but you can view two videos below that give you a sense of how EMDR works.

Colleen West • Window to an EMDR Session

Colleen West • Window to an EMDR Session About Dedication: This site is dedicated to Francine Shapiro PhD, originator and developer of the Adaptive Information Processing Model (AIP) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). We are grateful for her fine body of work, without which, this site, and so much healing would not have been possible. The Vision: To alleviate suffering for millions of people through the use of EMDR--so they can become the people they were meant to be and make their greatest contribution to the world. The Mission: To raise awareness of EMDR through information and inspiration; to improve EMDR practitioners' treatment results; to assist the general public in pursuing their own treatment; and to inspire therapeutic professionals to become trained in EMDR. We also support EMDR Research by donating 5% of membership fees to the EMDRIA Foundation. About Colleen West, MFT, EMDRIA Approved Consultant & EMDR Advocate: Colleen is the founder of EMDR in Action. Colleen is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in the San Francisco East Bay (see her listing on this site). Every day in her office, she is challenged, fascinated and moved by the power of EMDR to heal emotional wounds that people have assumed were impossible to heal. As she sees her clients get better and become able to live the lives they never thought possible, the fact that most people around the world still do not know that EMDR exists just doesn't seem right. To that end, she is working to get the word out—about what EMDR is, and its remarkable power to alleviate suffering. Further, she is determined to improve the standard of care for clients across the country, by creating an online forum in which EMDR therapists are recommended by the clients who have worked with them (Recommend a therapist). About Cynthia Lubow, MFT, EMDR-trained Psychotherapist, Co-Creator of EMDR in Action, and Internet Marketing Specialist: Cynthia was first trained in EMDR by Francine Shapiro in 1992. With her psychoanalytic background, she was skeptical at first. Once she started using EMDR (within a relational container) and seeing huge shifts and permanent cures happen as a result, she was hooked. She saw issues clients had struggled with for decades of life, and years of therapy just disappear almost instantly, in those "aha" moments EMDR therapists know--when the client suddenly says, in effect, "what was I so upset about?" Cynthia joins Colleen in their mission to spread an understanding of the power of EMDR and encourage good training in EMDR, so that people don't suffer needlessly. Cynthia also loves consulting with other therapists about internet marketing. Cynthia's other sites include:, and
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