Debra Wesselmann, MS, LIMHP

Debra Wesselmann, MS, LIMHP

Author, Mental Health Therapist, Researcher, Expert in Attachment Trauma

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Incorporating Parents into EMDR Therapy with Children

I’m a big advocate for including one or both (or more) parents into EMDR therapy with children – when parents are equipped to be supportive and when the children are comfortable with the parents being present. I prepare parents for the child’s EMDR therapy by saying something like this: “EMDR processing happens internally, so there […]

Regressed Behaviors in Traumatized Children

“Why is my 9-year old smearing feces on the wall?”  “Why is my 14-year old stealing food from the cupboards in the middle of the night?” When my own children were small, I remember reading a passage by child expert T. Berry Brazelton MD describing the phenomenon that every parent has observed at one time […]

Understanding the Problems of Parents and Children Through the Lens of Attachment

The Advantages of a Secure Attachment  The research in the field of attachment opens up a whole new world for all of us in understanding the problems of parents and children.  Attachment is the emotional connection between any two people.  However, life’s first attachments are by far the most important, as they set a template […]

The Trauma Couple

Most traumatized adults are not conscious of the profound ways in which the past permeates their thoughts, emotions, decisions, and actions on a daily basis.  Nor do their partners recognize the way the trauma of the significant other dictates their own lives.  It’s natural for all of us to see only that which is directly […]

Attachment in the Digital Age

My friend and colleague, Joan Lovett MD, said to me not long ago, “I think there will be a syndrome resulting from infants and children attempting to interact with their parents while the parents are talking on their cell phones or playing on their ipods.”  I am afraid she may be right.  There is so […]

“Trauma Time”

Trauma survivors live with a difficult phenomenon that is sometimes referred to as “trauma time.”  Trauma Time is a phenomenon that has grabbed and deceived almost every survivor of trauma at one point or another. Traumatic memories are stored differently than normal memories.  They are encapsulated in unmetabolized form in the limbic, or emotional region […]

Talking Back to Your Emotional Brain

Distressing events from earlier life are stored in the emotional part of the brain along with negative thoughts and beliefs that were present at the time of the trauma.   Old negative beliefs naturally get triggered for any of us when we are feeling vulnerable.  Pay attention to your thoughts.  You may notice yourself thinking, “I’m […]

Catch-22 for Victims of Trauma

 I work with trauma victims, young and old.  It is an honor to be allowed to walk the journey of healing with individuals facing challenges brought on by traumatic stress. Although most people sympathize with victims of abuse or violence when they hear about such events in the news, the symptoms experienced by traumatized individuals […]

On Being Present

I re-watched the movie Totoro with my grandchildren for the fiftieth time recently.  I want to be Totoro.  Totoro is so very present for the sisters in the story.  His very presence makes them feel better when their mom is in the hospital. Now I do feel I am doing a better job lately with […]

Kansas lawmaker proposes legalizing spanking to the point of bruising…

As someone who works with helping children and adults recover from the devastating effects of child abuse, I find this Kansas lawmaker’s proposal extremely distressing.  A disorganized attachment style is observed in children who fear their parents.  This is due to the following double bind:  The person to whom the child wishes to run for […]





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