Specialties

My approach in our work together is holistic and integrative, with a basic belief in the value of relationship and the power of possibility.  The following theoretical perspectives inform my clinical work: Feminist and Social Justice theory; Relational-Cultural; Jungian Theory of Psychology and Spirituality (Collective Unconscious, Archetypes, The Self); Experiential/Relationship oriented approaches (Person-Centered, Existential, Gestalt, Psychodrama); Adaptive Information Processing/Neuroscience-oriented (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing - EMDR); Psychodynamic; Relational Psychoanalytic; Ego State Therapy; Attachment-Focused; IMAGO Relationship Therapy; Emotionally-Focused Couples Therapy; Contextual theory; Family Systems/Brief Strategic Family Therapy; Child-Parent Psychotherapy; and Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

I offer the following areas of specialization in our work together:

  • Recovery from trauma exposure, such as homicide, suicide, physical abuse, house fire, catastrophic accident, domestic violence, community violence, sexual abuse/assault
  • Healing from developmental or attachment trauma (such as parental rejection, neglect, and enmeshment)
  • Complex post-traumatic stress disorder/syndrome
  • Couples work
  • Family of origin issues and child-parent dynamics
  • Women’s related issues
  • Developmental needs of young adults
  • LGBTQ related issues
  • Coping skills development
  • Grief and loss resolution
  • Behavioral modification (cyclical factors, stages of change, and the negative impact of shame)
  • Trauma related to experiences of oppression/marginalization regarding one's social location (race, gender identity, class, culture, sexual identity, etc)
  • Past life regression and future life progression

I am fully trained as an EMDR practitioner through the EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Programs.  Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. EMDR is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from many different treatment approaches. No one knows how any form of psychotherapy works neurobiologically or in the brain. However, we do know that when people are very upset, their brain cannot process information as it does ordinarily. One moment becomes "frozen in time," and remembering a trauma may feel as bad as going through it the first time because the images, sounds, smells, and feelings haven’t changed. Such memories can have a lasting negative effect that interferes with the way a person sees the world and the way they relate to other people. To date, EMDR has helped an estimated two million people of all ages relieve many types of psychological stress. Scientific research has established EMDR as effective for post-traumatic stress; it has also been successful in treating the following: Panic Attacks; Complicated Grief; Dissociative Disorders; Disturbing memories; Phobias; Pain Disorders; Performance Anxiety; Stress Reduction; Addictions; Sexual and/or Physical abuse; Body Dysmorphic Disorders; and Personality Disorders. 

For more information on EMDR or to verify my training visit EMDR International Association; www.emdria.org (Search name, city, and state only: Erin O’Brien, Philadelphia, PA).

I am also trained in Clinical Hypnosis through the Greater Philadelphia Society of Clinical Hypnosis.  Clinical hypnosis is a state of focused attention and deep relaxation that facilitates connection to one's inner resources, the unconscious, "soul-center" or "The Self."  I use this technique to help enhance creativity, access past experience or troubling barriers to change, and to connect to the parts of one's psyche that positively impact healing.  This is a highly effective tool in relieving symptoms and exploring fantasy, imagination, past lives, future lives, or the collective unconscious.  I am also trained in Past Life Regression Therapy through the Weiss Institute.

For more information on Clinical Hypnosis visit American Society of Clinical Hypnosis; www.asch.net/Home.aspx