Dr. Carol Clemenko, PhD specializes in EMDR Therapy in Hillcrest near North Park. She is an EMDRIA-Certified EMDR Psychologist.
Specialties: Relationship Issues, Trauma and PTSD, Anxiety/Fears, Depression, Loss or Grief, Addictions or Substance Abuse, Gay/Lesbian Issues, Family of Origin issues
Serving: adults in Individual or Couples Therapy
Modalities: EMDR Therapy in Hillcrest North Park
Insurance: Medicare; private pay; and an out-of-network-provider for Aetna, Blue Cross/Shield, etc.
License: #PSY 8757; also MFC 18253
I opened my private practice over 25 years ago after completing graduate training as a clinical psychologist. Specializing in psychotherapy and in couples therapy, it has been a privilege to work with my clients and I value the years of experience. Because of my conviction that the practice of psychotherapy needs to incorporate what science is discovering about the brain, I have added a specialization in EMDR and I have been impressed by its results.
Just why EMDR Therapy in Hillcrest North Park may be helpful to you may seem unclear. Here’s a rough sketch of how I conceptualize it.
Think of your brain as a computer continually being programmed by your unique life experiences. There is a part of your brain that is always on the “look-out” for anything which might threaten your security, much like a primitive “virus protection” program has been installed. Now imagine, when you were a child, how an incoming message in a loud and angry voice could startle you and trigger a flood of adrenaline intended to prepare your body to “fight or flight” for its survival. This creates a stress response in the brain and, particularly when there is no physical outlet for the adrenaline, it can overload the system and freeze your brain’s computer. Events that trigger your adrenaline, along with your reactions to these “traumas”, are essentially flash frozen and held separately from everyday memories to keep you on your guard for that kind of threat in the future.
Here’s where EMDR Therapy comes in.
When you get the help of EMDR, your brain gets to process information and consider thoughts that were unavailable when adrenaline was running through your alarmed system. Frozen fear, pain, anger, guilt, and shame responses held by the “look-out” part of the brain are desensitized. Your brain’s ability to calmly reason is restored and these memories can be reprocessed in a helpful way. Now, you can distinguish between what was dangerous or frightening in the past but no longer presents a threat to you today. You can reevaluate the negative beliefs that are residue from these memories. Your views of yourself and your experiences expand before your eyes.
To begin to explain how EMDR can do this, consider the fact that for optimal operation of our human computer brains, we depend on being in sleep mode one third of each day. It is not only rest that we need, our brains require time for information processing. Sleep studies have demonstrated that when people are continually awakened and not allowed to enter the dream cycle (called “R.E.M. Sleep” because Rapid Eye Movements occur), they eventually develop many symptoms of stress including irritability, anger, depression, anxiety, paranoia, and delusions. There is something about Rapid Eye Movement Sleep that restores the brain. And perhaps, somewhat like R.E.M., EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprogramming) seems to provide a restorative opportunity for your brain to reflect on your experiences and reprocess them while you are fully awake.
I would be happy to talk with you on the phone to see if EMDR Therapy in Hillcrest North Park might be a good fit for you. Please call and leave me a message at (619) 260-0865.
I will do my best to offer you the wisdom from my traditional training as a psychotherapist along with my enthusiasm and experience with EMDR Therapy.