San Francisco Therapy -Michael G. Quirke, MFT | 582 Market St., Ste. 706, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94104 | San Mateo Therapy- 1720 South Amphlett Blvd., Ste. 220-I, SAN MATEO, CA 94402 | Tel: (415) 820-3943



Taking a Closer Look at Treatment Techniques: What Happens in EMDR Therapy?


These days, there are many treatment techniques available for addressing trauma. In fact, you may have heard about one of these treatments: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). EMDR has been shown to be an especially effective way of helping those who have been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  However, while you may have heard of it, you might still be wondering: What exactly happens in EMDR therapy? How does it work? Can it help me with resolving my trauma? These are all reasonable questions. So, let’s take a closer look at what EMDR is and how it could be helpful for [...]

Taking a Closer Look at Treatment Techniques: What Happens in EMDR Therapy?2020-02-17T22:34:55+00:00

Trauma Flashbacks- What Are They and What Helps?


Trauma, PTSD and Complex PTSD (CPTSD) all have something in common.  All of them share trauma flashbacks as a major symptom. But if you have never experience trauma, you might wonder "What Is A Flashback And How Does It Feel?"  A flashback is an intrusive thought, image, sensation, or memory. It's common that during a flashback, a trauma survivor will feel like they are re-living the traumatic experience once more. But more often, it's only part of the experience that returns. For example, when my client Janice experiences a flashback, she feels "taken over by "emotional numbness" and a feeling of [...]

Trauma Flashbacks- What Are They and What Helps?2020-02-03T03:29:40+00:00

Opening a Window Into the Brain – How EMDR Works


Imagine for a moment your brain. It’s an amazing yet sensitive piece of your anatomy. However, it’s what you can’t see that perhaps makes it so vulnerable. Specifically, the effects of emotional trauma. When you have traumatic experiences, your brain does its best to protect both you and itself at the same time. This can look like “walling off” memories or thoughts associated with that trauma. Basically, it tells you that those memories are painful—so don’t go there. Yet, the process of healing from trauma requires that you do go there and revisit that painful past. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) [...]

Opening a Window Into the Brain – How EMDR Works2020-02-01T04:22:19+00:00

When EMDR Doesn’t Work- A Checklist For Patients


You have heard about how effective EMDR therapy is. Your friend or your loved one shared with you about how healing and transformational EMDR therapy was for them. You "gave it a try", but you didn't get the result you wanted. Now what? What Should You do When EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) Doesn't work? What Does It Mean That "EMDR Didn't Work"? When my therapy clients tell me they "did EMDR but it didn't work", here's what they reported: no symptom reduction no reduction in painful emotional memories   Unfortunately, the "EMDR doesn't work" story is one that is [...]

When EMDR Doesn’t Work- A Checklist For Patients2020-01-27T01:29:58+00:00

Trauma and Betrayal – Learning to Trust Your Partner Again


There’s an old saying “Your word is your bond.” It’s often applied when making an agreement between two parties. For instance, the belief that all you need to make a contract between two people is your word and a handshake. At the core of that belief is trust. You are trusting  one another to follow through with their word. The same is true when making a commitment to a life partner. You are saying to one another that you will “honor and love” one another, or something similar. Yet, what happens when your relationship is experiencing trauma and betrayal?  When your loved [...]

Trauma and Betrayal – Learning to Trust Your Partner Again2020-01-23T05:14:23+00:00

Complex PTSD Triggers- Your 5 Point Coping Plan


Coping with Complex PTSD triggers requires strength, commitment and bravery. Imagine: A disturbing memory pops into your mind while you are trying to focus on work. Or a body sensation distracts you, turning a pleasant conversation with a friend into a chore.  Or your body reacts with fear or anger to loved ones, even when your head knows they are trustworthy. That's because one of the most troubling parts of having Complex PTSD (C-PTSD) is the struggle with disruptive symptoms. But before we go further into that, let's start from scratch.   What is Complex PTSD? Complex PTSD is a psychological [...]

Complex PTSD Triggers- Your 5 Point Coping Plan2020-01-14T05:10:18+00:00

Adapting EMDR for Treating Complex PTSD Symptoms


Emdr for treating complex PTSD symptoms - Can It Be Helpful? Eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) has become a powerful tool for clinicians to help people recover and heal from general post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The technique is used, essentially, to focus on particular memories and to reprocess them. While, at the same time, the patient experiences bilateral stimulation provided by the therapist, such as following the therapist's finger back and forth with their eyes, for example. But is it possible to use EMDR for treating complex PTSD symptoms as well? The short answer is yes, EMDR can help. Yet, modifications [...]

Adapting EMDR for Treating Complex PTSD Symptoms2019-11-26T05:14:51+00:00

Why Working with an EMDR Therapist Might Be Essential


No one likes to admit when they have hit a brick wall, metaphorically speaking. It’s easier to put on an air of confidence rather than admit that something is very wrong. However, deep down inside you probably know that, despite years of effort, there are still emotional issues that cling tightly to you. That’s why now, more than ever, working with an EMDR therapist may be something you should seriously consider. Therapy is essential for making permanent lasting change. Even if you have had negative outcomes with therapy before, it is still the best solution. Here’s why working with a therapist who specializes [...]

Why Working with an EMDR Therapist Might Be Essential2019-11-19T04:28:51+00:00

How Growing Up with Emotionally Abusive Parents Affects You in Adulthood


It’s been years or even decades since you were a child, living with emotionally abusive parents. You would think that it would be possible to put the past behind you and move on. Yet, the emotional abuse you experienced still feels fresh. It’s as if those experiences had just happened yesterday. The result of having experienced emotional abuse is that you approach life today much differently than you would like. Things that seem easy for others are quite hard for you. The result is that you struggle to live up to your full potential and to enjoy life. Consider why growing up with emotionally [...]

How Growing Up with Emotionally Abusive Parents Affects You in Adulthood2019-11-11T01:54:54+00:00

EMDR Side Effects? Let’s Have A Look


Over 30 years after it's origination, EMDR, seems to be enjoying a new popularity.  EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, has been hailed as an effective treatment for PTSD.  Therapists who treat clients using EMDR, and clients who have benefited from the approach are often excited by the positive results they've experienced.  But does this potent form of mental health treatment have side effects? In this post, I'll share my view. Does EMDR Have Side Effects? First, it's important to note that any form of effective therapy can potentially have side effects. And this is true of EMDR treatment too. [...]

EMDR Side Effects? Let’s Have A Look2019-11-11T01:36:50+00:00