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  • Writer's pictureMaria Diaz

Wellness Community Building in 2023 + Healing Trauma with EMDR Therapy

Hi! I'm Maria Diaz.
If you don't know me, I'm a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and EMDR Certified Therapist.

If you do know me, you know it's been a busy few years for me!
I’ve been working hard to build a practice you all can rely on for specialized trauma, anxiety, PTSD, and other mental health care.

What have I been up to?

2019— I opened my private practice in New York, providing over 4,000 individual psychotherapy appointments since its inception.

2020— I pivoted to a fully-virtual practice and provided Telehealth therapy to clients throughout New York State.

2021— I expanded my licensure and practice to serve clients in the state of New Jersey and took my EMDR training to the next level and became Certified.

2022— I flew to Denver to train in Integrating EMDR, Structural Dissociation, Attachment Repair, and Parts Work. It was an incredible opportunity where I met, learned, and trained alongside trauma experts from all over.

2023— This year, I’m continuing to work hard to enhance your therapy experiences with me.

Here’s how your therapy experience with me will enhance:

1. I am working with a HIPAA-compliant technology company to help my clients file out-of-network claims. I simply send client payment receipts—also known as a Superbill—to the company, they file claims on the client’s behalf, and my clients are then directly reimbursed. Convenience and ease are key!
2. I am expanding to provide tools and wellness tips to the community at large so I can help more people in need of mental health and wellness care. I recently started Living Purpose Mental Health Counseling to go beyond traditional therapy norms and build a broader wellness community.
3. Finally, I am starting a blog! My goal is to provide articles on my website that discuss the topics you care about most. I want to help keep you informed and up-to-date on the latest mental health and wellness research and news.

Though these last few years have been busy, they have also been amazing. I am so excited to see what 2023 will bring. Let’s build a community together and make it a great year!

All the best!

Maria Diaz, LMHC, LPC, EMDR Certified Therapist


What is EMDR + How Can it Heal Trauma?

Psychotherapy gives you tools to cope and heal from traumatic experiences. Your therapist is there to help you learn to express your feelings, understand yourself, and implement those new tools when they are needed. However, you may need more to overcome lingering trauma affecting your behavior, your reactions, and your ability to process new everyday experiences. EMDR may be the extra help you need.

What is EMDR Therapy?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a therapy that treats trauma and other mental health conditions. It was developed over 30 years ago by Francine Shapiro, primarily to treat PTSD. However, ongoing research and clinical trials have proven that EMDR therapy can treat all kinds of disorders, including anxiety, depression, OCD, chronic pain, and addiction.
The way EMDR works is by correcting memory networks and sensory communication in your brain. During EMDR treatments, you will be guided by your therapist through specific eye movements (and possibly other types of stimulation) while also focusing on your traumatic memories. You will be asked to discuss the thoughts, emotions, and reactions that come from that specific trauma.
How EMDR Heals Trauma
EMDR improves communication between the parts of your brain that work together to heal your mind after a traumatic event—the amygdala (processes fear and threats), the hippocampus (regulates learning, memory encoding, and memory consolidation), and the prefrontal cortex (controls behavior, impulses, and emotion).

When trauma causes brain communication to fail, new events are processed inappropriately. New sensory experiences—such as loud sounds, distinct smells and tastes, and even locations—may now be linked to your traumatic experience.
For example, a balloon pops at a friend’s party suddenly making you feel like you are back in a traumatic shooting you experienced in 2019. So, you awkwardly freeze from the same fear you felt in 2019 or run from the party to seek safety from the imagined danger. This may happen to you repeatedly because your brain has not properly dealt with the original trauma.
EMDR therapy helps the brain process traumatic memories correctly, allowing healing to finally take place. Although the experience remains a memory, you lose the sensation of being “frozen in time” reliving the negative experience over and over again.

EMDR Treats the Whole Person

Overall, EMDR is believed to be a wellness treatment that can heal the whole person. It encourages healing through proper memory, behavioral, and sensory connections. After treatments, you may one day be able to experience fireworks, swim in a pool, or reconnect with friends from your past again.

So, if current modalities of therapy have not worked for your recovery, consider EMDR as the next step in your trauma-healing journey. I am an EMDR therapist always available to help.


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