MS. O’Bannon & Gracie

What is it?

Someone who has lots of professional counseling training and education focused on the realms of mental, emotional and behavioral ‘workings’ (and do so ethically), as well as family and socialization history.

Why does one need it?

Most of us are resistant to change, and may need a nudge to take action towards this goal, hence psychotherapy! (Here we could put a picture somewhere that I will send you of resistant/nudge.) There are many theories and ‘approaches’ of psychotherapy effective in doing so.

My Approach

I provide  psychotherapy to anyone who knows they are ready to change.  Please use the forms below if you are considering working with me.

How I Can Help

Pain & Headaches

PAIN:   We are talking about specific pain, recurring or chronic pain.  Best example are headaches, including migraines!


ADDICTIONS.  There are so many but the criteria for being addicted  are similar:  the substance or activity is used  or done in large ammounts;  increased frequency; persistant  ‘intention’ to quit; a big increase of money to support it;  a craving;  interfering with normal activities (work, school, sports, etc); erractic behaviors and moods as well as possible explosive kinds of behaviors when one can not obtain the desired substance;  A rise in tolerance levels;  serious damage to relationships.  Having to resort to destructive behaviors such as lying, stealing, physically  hurtful, breaking the law, hurting self, and affecting one’s finances.    And the list goes on.


LOSS AND GRIEF seem similar, but DEPRESSION is a ‘condition, and loss or grief are reactions, probably with some of the same symptoms of depression.   Some criteria for Major Depression are:  Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day (feels sad, empty, hopeless, diminished pleasure in normally pleasurable activities), fatigue or loss of energy every day,   excessive worthlessness or exaggerated guilt, diminished ability to think or concentrate,  recurrent thoughts of death (not a fear of dying) and possibly suicidal thinking or actions.

Loss & Grief

Loss and Grief : are reactions to the loss of a significant person, thing, or condition that can result in depression, anxiety, or a mixed bag of conditions.


There are many types of anxiety, or ways in which one is affected.  We are talking about behavior that is interruptive, intrusive, uncontrolled.   Some of these are:  Separation Disorder, Phoebias, Social anxiety, Panic Disorders, etc.


TRAUMA is a type of anxiety that is on the extreme end of the above.  PTSD fits in this category.  Typical ‘events’ possibly causing trauma are:  exposure to actual or threatened death; serious injury;  sexual violence;  Repeated exposure to such;  recurrent,  involuntary, and distressing memories of such.

Common resulting emotions, behaviors or thoughts:  recurrent distressing dreams and nightmares that can be very terrifying;   Flashbacks of such;  Avoidance behaviors.  Persistant negative emotional state (fear, horror, anger, guilt, shame) and negative cognitions.

What is EMDR Anyway?

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences.  Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal.  EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma.  When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound.  If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain.  Once the block is removed, healing resumes.  EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes.  The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health.  If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering.  Once the block is removed, healing resumes.  Using the detailed protocols and procedures learned in EMDR therapy training sessions, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes.


More than 30 positive controlled outcome studies have been done on EMDR therapy.  Some of the studies show that 84%-90% of single-trauma victims no longer have post-traumatic stress disorder after only three 90-minute sessions.  Another study, funded by the HMO Kaiser Permanente, found that 100% of the single-trauma victims and 77% of multiple trauma victims no longer were diagnosed with PTSD after only six 50-minute sessions. In another study, 77% of combat veterans were free of PTSD in 12 sessions. There has been so much research on EMDR therapy that it is now recognized as an effective form of treatment for trauma and other disturbing experiences by organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association, the World Health Organization and the Department of Defense. Given the worldwide recognition as an effective treatment of trauma, you can easily see how EMDR therapy would be effective in treating the “everyday” memories that are the reason people have low self-esteem, feelings of powerlessness, and all the myriad problems that bring them in for therapy. Over 100,000 clinicians throughout the world use the therapy.  Millions of people have been treated successfully over the past 25 years.


EMDR therapy is an eight-phase treatment.  Eye movements (or other bilateral stimulation) are used during one part of the session.  After the clinician has determined which memory to target first, he asks the client to hold different aspects of that event or thought in mind and to use his eyes to track the therapist’s hand as it moves back and forth across the client’s field of vision.  As this happens, for reasons believed by a Harvard researcher to be connected with the biological mechanisms involved in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, internal associations arise and the clients begin to process the memory and disturbing feelings. In successful EMDR therapy, the meaning of painful events is transformed on an emotional level.  For instance, a rape victim shifts from feeling horror and self-disgust to holding the firm belief that, “I survived it and I am strong.”  Unlike talk therapy, the insights clients gain in EMDR therapy result not so much from clinician interpretation, but from the client’s own accelerated intellectual and emotional processes.  The net effect is that clients conclude EMDR therapy feeling empowered by the very experiences that once debased them.  Their wounds have not just closed, they have transformed. As a natural outcome of the EMDR therapeutic process, the clients’ thoughts, feelings and behavior are all robust indicators of emotional health and resolution—all without speaking in detail or doing homework used in other therapies.