Posts tagged trauma
Difficult People :: Saving Yourself From Crazy Makers And Gaslighting

Have you reached the end of your rope with the crazy makers in your life? I have them in my life as well, and even with psychological training, they frequently throw me off-course. You’ll never change them because that’s the very nature of crazy (so put your energy elsewhere!), you can however protect yourself. You are surrounded by them and you can't escape the insanity. They are your ex, colleagues, friends, lovers or family members--sometimes you even have to co-parent with them.

Perhaps your life demands regular contact with them, leaving you with feelings of dread and terror—you may also have somatic complaints or physical symptoms especially if you had a parent with similar behaviors and you are now re-experiencing the trauma! Crazy makers drain your energy and consistently engage in controlling, destructive, manipulative and reckless behaviors. Sadly, similar to a train off the tracks, they leave a path of destruction. Children are especially vulnerable to becoming collateral damage when a parent is a narcissist and/or psychopath.

What are some of these behaviors?

  • They set traps for you—it can be a no-win game

  • They are masters of distortion and manipulation

  • They create drama, drama and more drama

  • The exhibit excessive negativity

  • They display outbursts of rage and anger

  • They are frequently competitive and aggressive

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.

EMDR Therapy :: A Brief Explanation

EMDR Therapy or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a highly-successful and powerful healing technique that very effectively helps people who suffer from anxiety, panic, chronic sadness, negative self-concepts, trauma, disturbing memories and thoughts, PTSD or post traumatic stress and many other emotional problems. Until recently, psychotherapists and psychologists have used some combination of talk therapy and CBT in their efforts to help people overcome distress and suffering. While nothing beats the support of another human who is able to listen and be present during suffering, many of these traditional techniques do not resolve client symptoms or support healing at the level of the nervous system in the way that EMDR does. EMDR is considered a breakthrough therapy because of its ability to bring quick and lasting relief for most types of emotional distress. 

EMDR therapy uses bilateral stimulation, right/left eye movement, or tactile stimulation which activates opposite sides of the brain. As troubling images, feelings and self-concepts are processed by the brain using bilateral eye-movement patterns, resolution of the issues

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.

Self-Care :: Support For Traumatic Stress + Loss

Whether you're struggling to manage challenging life-events, a trauma or accident, loss and grief or any kind of transition that causes you distress or destabilization, it's helpful to understand that your feelings, emotions and behaviors are a normal reaction to extreme or disturbing events. As a psychotherapist who uses EMDR therapy, supportive work and a focus on helping clients develop healthier coping skills, I'm happy to share tips to support you as you move through difficult times. What helps?

  • Allow yourself to acknowledge and accept that you're experiencing something difficult and that your reactions are normal, but that you can manage. Remind yourself about how you've handled difficult situations in the past. What healthy skills did you call upon previously to help you cope during stressful times?
  • Ask for help. This is hard for many, but people can be quite kind when it comes to supporting others. This also requires that you allow yourself to receive help and manage feelings of shame related to needing help.
  • Take exquisite care of yourself, when you can. Show self-compassion and practice self-care. Giving yourself permission for a "time out" can help you feel stronger and more resilient
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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.

Push Away, Pull Closer

Do you push people away, and if so, do you know what it is that you do, and why? Chances are, you might not be aware that you do this. Generally done out of fear, it's easier to tolerate ending it, before you are rejected, or hurt someone else before they hurt you. Often, this behavior is unconscious, or you may have some awareness that you do this. When you push others away you guarantee that you will be alone. You also miss out on important and possibly rich opportunities by avoiding potential pain that may or may not ever happen. Your life can improve by becoming aware of this reflexive and habitual pattern.  

  1. Think of ONE thing that you do that pushes people away.
  2. Think of ONE thing that you do that draws people closer.
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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.

Holiday Depression: Tips To Manage Your Mood

It's THAT Time of year, and it's not joyous for everyone. In fact, for many, it can be loaded with messy feelings and powerful memories. Are you dealing with depression that seems to get worse during the holidays? It's that time of year, and with it brings that demand energy to be happy. Family, friends, fellow employees and unrealistic media images makes it hard for someone managing depression to cope. Whether it's a history of clinical depression, the longer days of winter, past events, or memories of loved-ones lost that contribute to your seasonal sadness, getting through the holidays is a struggle. What are some typical problems that people with depression face during the holiday season?

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.

DBT - Make Better Choices And Stop Feeling Bad

Most of us have default behaviors that we do automatically when we feel stressed, distressed or upset about something. Some behaviors are more problematic than others, for sure. Clients seek therapy to discover new and more adaptive ways of dealing with powerful feelings and emotions. Some common self-destructive coping mechanisms that create a vicious cycle of suffering are:

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.

Breaking Down Your Wall - Go Slow

Sensitive souls tend to wrap themselves up in layers, either symbolic or concrete, to avoid having their "true self" exposed. They fear being seen, criticized or somehow judged as wrong -- the secret self has it's own life that operates just beneath the surface. Some individuals have a greater awareness of these "self parts" than others. The need to protect may come and go or be more heightened in certain circumstances, and not others. Many of my psychotherapy and counseling patients who have suffered childhood abuse or trauma may now, in their current lives, wear protective layers of clothing, or even gain weight in an effort to create a layer of protective armor. Some had

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.

Are You Involved With A Narcissist Or An Emotional Grown-Up?

Do you think or know that you have a narcissist in your life? If so, you are likely to have your share of questions about how to identify, manage, escape from, and avoid future entanglements with narcissistic people. As a psychotherapist, I work with couples and individuals who present with many symptoms of narcissistic abuse or describe patterns of emotional abuse in their primary relationships. It's heartbreaking to come to the realization that years, and even decades, have been spent under the rule of a tyrannical parent or partner. Parents, bosses and partners with narcissistic personality disorder or strong traits have the potential to powerfully and negatively impact your physical and emotional health and wellbeing. You may be traumatized, numb and shut-down from past experiences with family members. You may also find yourself repeating this pattern in your current relationships by seeking out narcissistic partners. And so the neurotic dance of

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.

Get Out Of Overdrive: Managing Your Anxiety

You don't need to hit rock bottom to finally get serious about finding ways to end feeling anxious and strung-out. There is nothing heroic or magical about living in a state of overdrive -- yes to everything, you over-extenders, super-producers, deadline junkies, caffeine & adrenaline high seekers (you know who you are!) -- you will crash, it's just a matter of time. Millions of adults suffer from anxiety disorders, according to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America. Some individuals will begin anti-anxiety medications for the first time, while many sufferers are now dependent on anxiolytics, like Xanax, to fall asleep and to manage their anxiety throughout the day. As a therapist who treats anxiety and mood disorders, I know how helpful antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications can be for many. Without these pharmacological interventions, many would suffer serious, debilitating symptoms. Not a great way to live managing symptoms 24/7. I'm not knocking medication, but one problem that I've observed, is that, because of the ease of medication, anxiety sufferers fail to to try or develop helpful techniques or natural remedies first, before reaching for a pill. Many have difficulty tolerating discomfort and they've learned to find quick fixes as a solution. However, there are those who, armed with a little patience and motivation can learn the skills that can help them take control of their symptoms.

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.

Moderation Management: A Recovery Option For Problem Drinkers

Are friends and family giving you a hard time about your happy hour habit? The debate continues in the world of recovery, especially as more problem drinkers successfully discover that learning to moderate their problem drinking may trump a life of total abstinence. If they can, that is. It doesn't work for everyone. Moderation Management or MM, like AA consists of meetings, peer support and online services to support problem drinkers. Just for the record, MM would prefer that clients maintain a 30-day period of abstinence as a suggestion to test whether one can abstain from alcohol for a short period of time (it also gives the brain a break from alcohol). This test also provides an opportunity to shine the light on your lifestyle, patterns and habits, and the role that alcohol likely plays in your life. Which opens the door for you to really think about the nature of your relationship with alcohol. Is it your primary relationship? Is drinking your main hobby

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.

The Narcissist as Parent, Spouse or Both

"Narcissism falls along the axis of what psychologists call personality disorders, one of a group that includes antisocial, dependent, histrionic, avoidant and borderline personalities. But by most measures, narcissism is one of the worst, if only because the narcissists themselves are so clueless." ~Jeffrey Kluger 

Many enter therapy because they have been raised by a narcissistic parent or have married a spouse with these traits. Feeling enraged that they must seek treatment, while the other continues to leave a path of pain and destruction in their wake is a common theme for these individuals who seek help.

A hallmark trait of the narcissist is that they lack empathy and are unable to see and respond to the real needs and "self" of the other.

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.

Is It Time For A Therapy Check-In?

Whether it's excess baggage, killer stress, a mother-in-law who bites, your difficult ex, problem habits, people nagging you into therapy, always second guessing yourself -- whatever has you down -- deciding to find a therapist is a big first step, and usually happens when circumstances in one's life have become unmanageable. You don't have to completely unravel before you get the help you need. Below are some common concerns and obstacles that may delay or prevent someone from finding a therapist. Read on. It might just help you understand why it's so difficult to take that first step.

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.

Rewiring Your Brain & Neuroplasticity

What is your emotional style, and is it possible to transform your emotional life through such practices as mindfulness, DBT and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy? You may remember from science class (or not!) that the prefrontal cortex is the seat of reason, judgment, planning and other executive functions. Perhaps you also remember that emotions originate in the primitive, lesser evolved area of the brain know as the amygdala, or more broadly, the limbic system. (The amygdala is responsible for fight-or-flight stress responses and negative emotions among other things). Research now shows us that the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala are more connected than previously thought owing to a large bundle of neurons running between certain regions of the prefrontal cortex

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.