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The Attack of the Great White Shark: A Trauma Trigger Strikes

As I lay in the dark in bed recently trying to sleep, the fear of death paralyzed me. My stomach was tight, my mind raced with fears: Has pyloric stenosis finally gotten me after all these years?   The week before, I had been pulling oil, i.e. chewing coconut oil, an ancient prescription for reducing inflammation in the… Continue Reading

The Year of the Body

My body. In 2017, I’m EMDR-ing my body part by part.  I started with my belly and abdomen. Here is where I was cut in 1952 in order to save my life. Back then, my stomach–the organ itself– was actually sliced in order to relieve pressure so the passageway into the small intestine would open up,… Continue Reading

10 Things to Remember about Preverbal Infant Trauma

Preverbal infant trauma is trauma that occurs before a baby knows language and uses words to communicate. In America before 1987, surgery and invasive medical procedures on infants were often done without anesthesia. Sexual assault and complications at birth are two other examples of infant trauma. There are many others, for example, abandonment and starvation.… Continue Reading

What was done to you was crazy! You are not.

Do you wonder why you are unhappy? Do you feel tense? Have you tried in many different ways to feel happy over the years but still feel unsettled?  When sitting quietly, are you ready to defend? Is your body walled off, protecting against something, but you know not what? Maybe you are still embroiled in the symptoms of… Continue Reading

EMDR–Not Just for One-time Traumas

Sometimes when I post about the positive effects I’ve experienced in therapy with EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, someone inevitably comments that EMDR works for a one-time trauma, such as a car accident, but not on trauma that had been sustained over a longer period, such as childhood sexual abuse. This is simply… Continue Reading

In EMDR, Butterfly Sends Away Moth : Good-bye, Death

Here is Moth Baby, my colored pencil drawing, 1997. The feathery antennae, the bulky body, wings folded, no legs, pink face of a human baby. The lines across her segmented body mirror the stitch-marks of my scar from my surgery at 26 days old for pyloric stenosis, a stomach blockage. For me, moths have always been… Continue Reading