EMDR for Complex PTSD (c-PTSD) & Relational Trauma

Complex PTSD and relational trauma cast deep and intricate shadows over one's life, altering self-perception and relationships. These traumas, often rooted in prolonged exposure to distressing situations, disrupt emotional balance and connection. Emotionally, they manifest as a whirlwind of fear, sadness, and anger, coupled with persistent, intrusive memories that shatter the present moment's peace. Physically, they result in a constant state of vigilance, with symptoms like anxiety and sleep disturbances. This unrelenting stress can erode the foundation of trust and security in relationships, leading to isolation and difficulty in forming healthy connections. Complex PTSD and relational trauma reshape not just individual experiences but also how one relates to others and the world.

Our approach to these traumas, whether stemming from chronic abuse, neglect, or continuous exposure to stressful environments, acknowledges their profound and lasting impact. We invite you to explore our methods for treating complex PTSD and relational trauma, delving into the nuances of these experiences.

Transform Your Life Beyond Trauma

Address the layers of complex PTSD and relational trauma with integrative EMDR therapy, a path to healing and empowerment.

Rebecca Hoffenberg, Psy.D
Clinical Psychologist
Complex PTSD, attachment trauma & neglect
EMDR, trauma-informed & mindfulness
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Laura Faiwiszewski, Psy.D
Clinical Psychologist
Complex PTSD, emotional & ongoing abuse
Hypnosis, EMDR, CBT & acceptance-based
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Irada Yunusova, Psy.D
Clinical Psychologist
Complex trauma: physical, emotional, & sexual abuse
EMDR, EFT, attachment-focused, ACT, & DBT
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Our Approach to Complex PTSD and Relational Trauma

Complex PTSD (C-PTSD) and relational trauma are distinct yet interrelated forms of trauma, each with their own unique challenges and effects. C-PTSD is typically a result of prolonged and repeated exposure to traumatic events, often occurring over months or years. This can include experiences like long-term abuse, extreme neglect, or living in a war zone. Its symptoms extend beyond those of traditional PTSD, manifesting in severe emotional dysregulation, a distorted self-perception, and profound feelings of helplessness or hopelessness.

Relational trauma, on the other hand, specifically occurs within the context of significant relationships. It often stems from repetitive abuse, neglect, or betrayal in intimate or caregiving relationships. Unlike C-PTSD, which can have various sources, relational trauma is distinctly tied to the dynamics of interpersonal relationships, leading to deep-rooted trust issues, attachment disorders, and a pervasive sense of insecurity in future relationships.

While both C-PTSD and relational trauma profoundly impact one's emotional health and interpersonal relationships, their nuanced differences necessitate specialized treatment approaches. Combining treatments such as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy), attachment-focused therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is extremely impactful for these conditions. EMDR facilitates the reprocessing of traumatic memories, reducing their emotional charge. EFT and attachment-focused therapy address emotional dysregulation and repair attachment ruptures, crucial in relational trauma. CBT helps reframe negative thought patterns and beliefs stemming from trauma, while DBT provides skills for managing intense emotions and improving interpersonal relationships. This integrative approach ensures a comprehensive treatment plan, addressing the complex and varied aspects of C-PTSD and relational trauma, leading to more profound healing and recovery.

"Trauma is a complex labyrinth, but within it lies the path to healing, understanding, and renewed strength"

Our Experts in EMDR for Complex PTSD and Relational Trauma

Dr. Rebecca Hoffenberg

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Hoffenberg is a distinguished clinical psychologist specializing in the treatment of Complex PTSD, attachment trauma, and neglect. With her deep understanding of these intricate and challenging areas, she brings a compassionate and effective approach to her therapeutic practice. Dr. Hoffenberg’s expertise in handling cases of Complex PTSD is marked by her proficiency in addressing the long-lasting effects of prolonged trauma exposure, which often manifest in emotional dysregulation and altered self-perception. Her focus on attachment trauma and neglect highlights her ability to work with individuals who have experienced disrupted or harmful relationships, particularly in their formative years. 

Dr. Hoffenberg skillfully employs EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), a powerful tool for processing and reducing the emotional impact of traumatic memories. Additionally, she integrates trauma-informed care principles, ensuring a safe and empathetic environment that acknowledges and respects the complex nature of her patients’ experiences. Mindfulness practices are also a cornerstone of her treatment strategy, aiding her patients in developing greater self-awareness, emotional regulation, and presence. Through this combination of EMDR, trauma-informed care, and mindfulness, Dr. Hoffenberg provides a holistic and tailored approach to treatment, facilitating deep healing and empowerment for those grappling with the profound effects of trauma.

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Dr. Laura Faiwiszewski

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Faiwiszewski is an esteemed clinical psychologist with expertise in Complex PTSD, emotional trauma, and ongoing abuse. Her expertise lies in addressing the complexities of trauma stemming from prolonged emotional and ongoing abuse, which can deeply affect an individual's emotional well-being and self-esteem. Dr. Faiwiszewski's approach to therapy is comprehensive and effective, combining various therapeutic modalities to facilitate healing. She utilizes hypnosis as a powerful tool to access and heal deep-seated emotional wounds, providing patients with a safe and controlled environment to explore and reframe traumatic memories. 

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is an essential component of her therapy, aiding in the processing of traumatic memories to significantly reduce their lingering impact. Additionally, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) helps patients challenge and restructure maladaptive thought patterns related to their trauma, empowering them to adopt healthier perspectives and coping mechanisms. Dr. Faiwiszewski's acceptance-based approach encourages patients to embrace their experiences without judgment, fostering a sense of peace and self-compassion. Through this integrative and compassionate approach, Dr. Faiwiszewski offers tailored and effective treatment for individuals grappling with the profound and enduring effects of Complex PTSD, emotional trauma, and ongoing abuse, guiding them toward healing and empowerment.

Dr. Irada Yunusova

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Irada Yunusova is a highly accomplished clinical psychologist renowned for her expertise in complex trauma, relational trauma, and abuse. With a deep understanding of the intricate dynamics involved in these challenging areas, she approaches therapy with compassion and a comprehensive treatment strategy. Dr. Yunusova's expertise in addressing complex trauma highlights her ability to work with individuals who have endured prolonged and multifaceted trauma experiences, leading to profound emotional and psychological effects. Her focus on relational trauma and abuse underscores her dedication to helping patients navigate the complexities of abusive relationships and their aftermath. 

Dr. Yunusova integrates a range of evidence-based modalities, including EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy), attachment-focused therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). This diverse toolkit allows her to offer a holistic and tailored treatment experience, addressing the psychological, emotional, and relational aspects of trauma. Through her compassionate and integrative approach, Dr. Yunusova empowers individuals to embark on a journey of healing and recovery, providing them with the tools and support needed to overcome the profound challenges posed by complex trauma, relational trauma, and abuse.

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How EMDR Transforms Complex PTSD & Relational Trauma

Complex PTSD and relational trauma are exceptionally challenging and profoundly impactful forms of psychological distress. Such traumas not only inflict deep emotional wounds but also disrupt an individual's ability to trust others and form healthy connections. Both complex PTSD and relational trauma can manifest as a wide range of symptoms, including flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, depression, and pervasive feelings of shame and guilt. It often feels like navigating through a constant storm of emotional turbulence. A person may experience profound feelings of worthlessness, self-doubt, and a pervasive sense of being unlovable. Relational trauma can make them hyper-vigilant, always on edge, and prone to anxiety and mistrust in relationships. It's as if they are carrying the weight of past hurts and betrayals, making it challenging to form healthy connections and maintain a positive self-image. 

Research on EMDR's efficacy in treating complex PTSD has yielded promising results. A study published in the Journal of Traumatic Stress found that EMDR was effective in reducing symptoms of complex PTSD, including emotional distress and dissociation. Another study in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology showed that EMDR led to significant improvements in self-esteem and interpersonal problems, which are common challenges for individuals with complex PTSD.

The combination of EMDR with other therapeutic approaches, such as Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), attachment-focused therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), offers a comprehensive and highly impactful strategy for individuals facing the profound challenges posed by complex PTSD and relational trauma. These integrated therapies work in synergy to address the intricate dimensions of trauma, enabling individuals to reconstruct their lives and relationships on a foundation of healing and strength.

FAQ About EMDR for Complex PTSD & Relational Trauma

Is EMDR effective for treating Complex PTSD and Relational Trauma?

Yes, EMDR has shown effectiveness in reducing symptoms associated with Complex PTSD and Relational Trauma. Research studies have demonstrated significant improvements in emotional regulation, self-esteem, and interpersonal issues in individuals receiving EMDR therapy.

Can EMDR be used for other types of trauma besides Complex PTSD and Relational Trauma?

Absolutely, EMDR is effective in treating various types of trauma, including acute trauma, single-event trauma, and trauma resulting from different life experiences.

What are the benefits of combining EMDR with other therapeutic approaches for Complex PTSD and Relational Trauma?

Combining EMDR with other therapeutic approaches likeEFT, attachment-focused therapy, CBT, and DBT can provide a more comprehensive and impactful treatment strategy. These integrated therapies address the multifaceted aspects of trauma, including emotional healing, cognitive restructuring, and skill-building, leading to more holistic recovery.

Can EMDR therapy be conducted online or remotely?

Yes, we provide sessions both in-person and remotely. We offer virtual EMDR sessions using remotEMDR, a specialized HIPAA-compliant video which enhances the experience of EMDR.

Is it necessary for me to provide extensive details about my trauma during EMDR therapy?

No, EMDR therapy does not necessitate a deep dive into the intricate details of your trauma if you are uncomfortable doing so. Instead, the focus is primarily on your emotional and physical responses to the traumatic experience.

Ready to Break Free from the Grip of Trauma?

Allow us to guide you on a transformative journey towards empowerment, enabling you to break free from the shackles of trauma and foster inner resilience and a positive self-image.