EMDR Helps People with Traumatic Experiences

LCA News and InformationMental Health Services

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a form of therapy that helps people with traumatic experiences.  Jean Greseth, MSW LICSW, has been providing EMDR treatment to clients since 1999.  The EMDR Institute explains it in the following way:

EMDR is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences.  Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal.  EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma.  When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound.  If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain.  Once the block is removed, healing resumes.  EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes.  The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health.  If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering.  Once the block is removed, healing resumes.  Using the detailed protocols and procedures learned in training sessions, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes.

Research about EMDR

More than 30 positive controlled outcome studies have been done on EMDR therapy.  Some of the studies show that 84%-90% of single-trauma victims no longer have post-traumatic stress disorder after only three 90-minute sessions.  Another study, funded by the HMO Kaiser Permanente, found that 100% of the single-trauma victims and 77% of multiple trauma victims no longer were diagnosed with PTSD after only six 50-minute sessions. In another study, 77% of combat veterans were free of PTSD in 12 sessions. There has been so much research on EMDR therapy that it is now recognized as an effective form of treatment for trauma and other disturbing experiences by organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association, the World Health Organization and the Department of Defense. Given the worldwide recognition as an effective treatment of trauma, you can easily see how EMDR therapy would be effective in treating the “everyday” memories that are the reason people have low self-esteem, feelings of powerlessness, and all the myriad problems that bring them in for therapy. Over 100,000 clinicians throughout the world use the therapy.  Millions of people have been treated successfully over the past 25 years.

How does it work?

According to the Institute, EMDR therapy is an eight-phase treatment.  Eye movements are used during one part of the session.  After the clinician has determined which memory to target first, she asks the client to hold different aspects of that event or thought in mind and to use his eyes to track the therapist’s hand as it moves back and forth across the client’s field of vision.  As this happens, for reasons believed by a Harvard researcher to be connected with the biological mechanisms involved in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, internal associations arise and the clients begin to process the memory and disturbing feelings. In successful EMDR therapy, the meaning of painful events is transformed on an emotional level.  For instance, a rape victim shifts from feeling horror and self-disgust to holding the firm belief that, “I survived it and I am strong.”  Unlike talk therapy, the insights clients gain in EMDR therapy result not so much from clinician interpretation, but from the client’s own accelerated intellectual and emotional processes.  The net effect is that clients conclude EMDR therapy feeling empowered by the very experiences that once debased them.  Their wounds have not just closed, they have transformed. As a natural outcome of the EMDR therapeutic process, the clients’ thoughts, feelings and behavior are all robust indicators of emotional health and resolution—all without speaking in detail or doing homework used in other therapies.

More Information

If you feel that you or a loved one could benefit from EMDR, for more information, or to schedule an appointment, call Lake Country Associates at 218-366-9229.  For more a more detailed look at how it works and for additional resources, visit the website of the EMRD Institute.

LCA Offers Beginning Meditation Class

LCA News and InformationMental Health Services

Beginning in October, 2016, Lake Country Associates will be offering a Beginning Meditation Class, taught by Diane Cerven, MA, LPCC.

View from Mazengah Mandy BudanWhere? Lake Country Associates office – 515 Bridge Street in Park Rapids

When? The next group will start in December and will be scheduled to meet the needs of the participants.  For more information, call LCA at 218-366-9229.

What?  Diane writes: I’m really looking forward to the start of another Beginning Meditation Class!  Meditation is about being in the “here and now”.  So many times our brain is wondering around to whatever it’s triggered to or wants to go to.  I remember recently walking in a covered ramp from a parking garage to the St. Cloud convention center.  All of sudden the smell of my surroundings reminded me of the Tucson Downtown Library, it was a bit startling!  Since I am paying attention to my thoughts, I actually stopped walking to ponder how the smell took me hundreds of miles away.  Smell is a great reminder of things in the past, like cinnamon and Christmas. This was a great example of how easily our minds wonder.  Instead of thinking about the “here and now”, I was thinking about studying and about the people I’ve met in a downtown library hundreds of miles away.  Meditation helps us to be aware of our thoughts and helps us control our thoughts and bring focus to our lives.

I know when I mention meditation to my clients the first image typically conjured is a person sitting cross legged, finger to thumb, hands resting on their knees, and saying “Ohmmmmmmm.”  This is one type of meditation we will not learn in this class.  We will, however, be practicing other kinds of meditation including:

  • sitting
  • eating
  • focusing
  • kindness
  • walking

All of these types of meditation will be done in a manner that allows you to learn the skill and take it with you. Other people, when they think of meditation think of Buddha, since meditation was started as part of Eastern practices.  Meditation learned in this class is non-religious meditation – we want to teach the skills for everyone’s life!  We focus on meditation practice that can be done at anytime, anywhere, and can be modified to specifically help you with the life circumstances you face.

After completing this six week meditation class, you will learn the principles and foundation important to meditation.  My goal is to have each attendee incorporate something from this class into their everyday life.

How to Sign up for Beginning Meditation Class

If you’re interested in trying out the Beginning Meditation Class, please call Lake Country Associates.  We accept all types of insurance if you have a current diagnostic assessment (DA).  If you don’t have a up-to-date DA and you are experiencing mental health symptoms, Lake Country Associates can help you with that too.  Call us at 218-366-9229.  This Beginning Meditation Class is geared toward adults and teens.   If there is enough interest in stress reduction group for children then we can consider offering a group for them.

Beginning Meditation Classes are facilitated by Diane Cerven, MA, LPCC.  Diane is a licensed professional clinical counselor with 11 years of experience providing therapy to children, adolescents, and adults.

Stress Reduction Class

LCA News and InformationMental Health Services

Coming Soon – Stress Reduction Class

Lake Country Associates is proud to announce an upcoming Stress Reduction Class, taught by Diane Cerven, MA, LPCC.

Diane writes:  We all know that stress is becoming a chronic problem in most of our lives.  We have too much to do, too short of time to complete it in, and too many worries.  Our fast-paced and jam-packed lives are taking a toll on our mental and physical health.  Many of us are not prepared to deal with this stress, which can impact relationships with friends, significant others, and children.  Sometimes we just don’t have the ability or energy to appropriate deal with everything and everyone.

This is where the stress reduction class comes in.  During this 12 week class (1.5 hours per session), we explore the different causes of stress and we practice different coping skills to deal with and reduce stress.  Coping skills are ways that we can, either in our quiet times (yes those are important) or on the spot, address our stress, anger, and even sadness.

During the sessions you will learn about many different kinds of stress and the effects of that stress on your physical and mental health.  We’ll then rehearse skills to reduce that stress.  My goal for this group is that you will find several things that you like and can use in your day to day life to decrease your overall stress response.  Many stresses in life are a constant, like bills, taxes, and filling out paperwork, taking care of family and yourself, so with knowledge on how you can cope with these stresses you can come to a more peaceful place in your life.

How to Sign up for Stress Reduction Class

If you’re interested in participating in the stress reduction class, please call Lake Country Associates at 218-366-9229.  When we have enough interested parties, we will schedule a time that works for people and begin reducing the stress in our lives!

Stress Reduction Classes are facilitated by Diane Cerven, MA, LPCC.  Diane is a licensed professional clinical counselor with 11 years of experience providing therapy to children, adolescents, and adults.

Resources

LCA Brochure

September 2021 Activities Calendar

“Getting Started with Telehealth” Video

Community Resource List

All Forms and Downloads

Client Comments

“My therapist is great! Of all the therapists we’ve had over the years, she understands our family and kids the best. Very helpful!”

Office Hours

Park Rapids Office

  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday
    8:00 to 5:00
  • Wednesday
    8:00 to 7:00
  • Friday
    8:00 to 1:00

Bemidji Office

  • Monday – Thursday
    8:00 to 5:00
  • Friday
    8:00 to 12:00

Menahga Office

  • Open by appointment

LCA offices may be closed over the noon hour. 

Important Numbers

Park Rapids Office Phone:
218-366-9229

Bemidji Office Phone:
218-444-2233

Menahga Office Phone:
218-564-9229

LCA Fax Number (both offices):

218-237-2520

24-Hour Crisis Line:
800-422-0045