Overcoming Trauma & PTSD with EMDR

Paul Krauss is a professional Counselor in Grand Rapids, MI who specializes in helping people overcome the symptoms of Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Paul Krauss has advanced training in therapies to help those suffering from trauma including EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy) and more. If you are suffering from Trauma or PTSD, call Paul Today at 616-365-5530.

What is Trauma?

Most of us have heard of trauma as defined by the condition known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This is a serious condition that is brought on by a person experiencing a horrific event. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, avoidance or numbing of memories of the event, and hyperarousal (high levels of anxiety), as well as uncontrollable and intrusive thoughts about the event. Post Traumatic stress disorder symptoms typically start within three months of a traumatic event. In a small number of cases, though, PTSD symptoms may not appear until years after the event.

This is a serious condition. If you believe you may have PTSD, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible.

Typical traumatic events may include:

Violence, maltreatment or abuse, rape or sexual violence, exploitation, neglect and deprivation, war or armed conflict, natural or human-caused disaster, and an abrupt change in health, employment, and living situation.

As the fields of counseling and brain research continue make scientific breakthroughs and shed new understanding what causes people to suffer, the evidence has been overwhelming that it’s not just the easily identifiable “horrific” or “terrifying” event that can cause a person to experience trauma and long-term suffering, but that a single or series “less-horrific” or seemingly “smaller” negative, disappointing, disorienting, disturbing incidents surrounding the events which can lead to suffering and to develop variety of more serious symptoms.

As a result, many respected researchers, organizations, and counseling professionals are seeking to expand the definition of what is considered a “traumatic event.”

According to the literature, traumatic events are widespread among clients seeking help and the general population.

56% of general adult sample reported at least one traumatic event. (Kessler et al., 1995)

90% of mental health clients have been exposed to a traumatic event and most have multiple experiences of trauma. (Muesar et al., 1998)

93% of adolescents in inpatient setting reported a history of trauma and 32% had severe symptoms of PTSD. (Lipschitz et al., 1999)

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You may have had an event or series of events in your life that you may not label as ‘traumatic event’–yet ever since this event or events, you have experienced negative self talk, flashbacks, intrusive memories, nightmares. You may experience anxiety, have trouble sleeping, feel guilt or shame, or engage in self-destructive behaviors.

You may become easily irritable or angry, and be easily startled. In fact, you might try to avoid thinking about the past, stop doing things you used to enjoy, have trouble maintaining close relationships, and experience memory or concentration problems.

Many of the preceding symptoms are known to be associated with PTSD, but even if you don’t fit the diagnosis for PTSD and can’t identify a single “horrifying” or “terrifying” event you may have experienced some form of trauma and be plagued by symptoms that could be relieved through evidence-based counseling treatments.

New evidence suggests that there many events in people’s lives such as conflicts during childhood, emotionally unavailable or emotionally abusive parents, moving schools or houses many times as a child, being bullied, poor performance during a test or musical recital or sports game, interpersonal problems (verbal altercations, e-mail altercations, family strife, loss of a friend, break ups and/or divorce etc.), accidents, loss of a job, substance abuse, major or minor injuries, death of a friend, loved one, or pet, and many other situations. Perhaps a person has regret over a situation that was or wasn’t their fault, or is feeling overly guilty for a variety of situations, or simply has a memory or feeling that they cannot seem to get rid of no matter how much time has passed.

Just one of these events or situations and/or a combination or series of events or situations can have long-term negative effects on a person’s mental and physical health.

In fact, The ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Study findings suggest that certain experiences are major risk factors for the leading causes of illness and death as well as poor quality of life in the United States.

More information here :

ACE Study Centers for Disease Control and Prevention collaboration with the ACE study.

EMDR Therapy

Overcome Trauma with EMDR TherapyNow available in the field of counseling: a type of treatment that isn’t just about talking and coping and hoping. There is a treatment that is more targeted at your specific concerns and for some people has been more effective than other more traditional forms of talk-therapy.

There is an effective and evidenced-based treatment for PTSD, Trauma, and the other symptoms listed above called EMDR Therapy. If you continue reading you will learn that EMDR Therapy has not only been proven effective for the treatment of PTSD and Trauma, but it is now being used successfully with people that are experiencing depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, somatic (physical) symptoms, and other general concerns.

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EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy)

This therapy was first developed in the late 1980s and since that time over 48 clinical studies have demonstrated EMDR to be an effective therapy for people suffering from the effects of trauma, but also for many other symptoms and conditions, as well as in a general counseling setting.

EMDR is now respected throughout the healthcare community and has been deemed “evidence-based.” Such diverse entities as the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, American Counseling Association, Department of Veteran Affairs, Department of Defense, SAMSHA, the World Health Organization, all recognize EMDR as an effective and evidenced-based treatment.

Learn More at EMDR.com

New research studies have indicated that EMDR is not only effective for PTSD (which, has been known in the past as one of the most difficult and chronic conditions to treat), but also for depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and more.

EMDR is an evidence-based psychotherapy for Post traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In addition, successful outcomes are well-documented in the literature for EMDR treatment of other psychiatric disorders, mental health problems, and somatic symptoms. The model on which EMDR is based, Adaptive Information Processing (AIP), posits that much of psychopathology is due to the maladaptive encoding of and/or incomplete processing of traumatic or disturbing adverse life experiences.

This impairs the client’s ability to integrate these experiences in an adaptive manner.

The eight-phase, three-pronged process of EMDR facilitates the resumption of normal information processing and integration. This treatment approach, which targets past experience, current triggers, and future potential challenges, results in the alleviation of presenting symptoms, a decrease or elimination of distress from the disturbing memory, improved view of the self, relief from bodily disturbance, and resolution of present and future anticipated triggers.

EMDRIA Definition of EMDR (for more details click here)

Paul Krauss was trained by and has completed his EMDR Level II training

from EMDR-HAP (Humanitarian Assistance Programs) and the EMDRIA (International Association). Paul has completed 40 hours of training and 10 hours of formal consultation. Paul is working toward his 50 hour certification with EMDRIA.

Learn more about these associations: EMDR-HAP | EMDRIA

In counseling, I will utilize many tools in my efforts to help you on your path toward health and healing. One of these tools is EMDR therapy. This may be a large or small part of your counseling depending on your concerns and preferences. We may not use it at all, but it is available to you.

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Paul Krauss  will be glad to provide you with more information about how EMDR works, both practically in the counseling session and in regards to scientific evidence regarding how EMDR therapy can safely and positively effect your brain and may change how you feel and think as a result.
Important Notes:

EMDR is reputable and evidence-based treatment recognized by well-respected organizations and clinicians worldwide.

-Evidence has demonstrated that EMDR is a safe and non-invasive treatment.

-Evidence has demonstrated that EMDR has successfully treated individuals with PTSD and a variety of other conditions.

-Before treatment begins. I will use a screening tool to determine if more foundational counseling and/or general coping skills and/or support is needed before the EMDR treatment may begin.

-EMDR incorporates both eye movement or non-invasive “bilateral stimulation” and talk-therapy elements. EMDR is not simply a series of procedures. EMDR therapy is way of moving through the counseling process with both an understanding or your unique situation, perspective, and feelings and also a targeted therapy that will work to address the true roots of your current discomfort and symptoms.

-EMDR is not a form of hypnosis or energy work.

-EMDR is not based on new age belief symptoms.

-EMDR has been used with both faith-based and non-faith-based clients with equal success. EMDR will serve to enhance your personal belief system.

-There may be some people that may have a form of complex PTSD or other complex issues that I may not be comfortable treating with EMDR. I will be honest with you if I feel that I am not able to help effectively. I will make sure that I either refer you to an advanced EMDR Consultant or utilize different therapy techniques.

Get EMDR Therapy in Grand Rapids now


ACE (Adverse Childhood Experience Study).

American Psychiatric Association (2000), Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fourth Edition, Washington DC.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Kessler, R.C., Sonnega, A., Bromet, E. (1995). Posttraumatic stress disorder in the national comorbidity survey. Archives of General Psychiatry, 52, 1048-1060.
Lipschitz, D.S., Winegar, R.K., Hartnick, E., Foote, B., & Southwick, S.M. (1999). Posttraumatic stress disorder in hospitalized adolescents: Psychiatric comorbidity and clinical correlates. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 38, 385-392.
Mayo Clinic. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Symptoms.

Mueser, K. T., Goodman, L. B., Trumbetta, S. L., Rosenberg, S. D., Osher, F., Vidaver, R., Auciello, P., & Foy, D. W. Trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder in severe mental illness. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 66: 493-499. (1998).

National Center for Trauma Informed Care,

Shapiro, F. (2001). Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, 2nd edition, N.Y.: The Guilford Press.

Wikipedia. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.