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Employee Spotlight – EMDR & Trauma Therapist

4 minute read

Employee Spotlight Series featuring Footprints to Recovery’s Rockstars!

Beyond our degrees and titles, we’re also real humans endlessly passionate about the fight for those struggling with addiction. Our DreamTeam is made up of many hard working talented individuals with interesting stories to tell. In our Employee Spotlight series, you’ll meet some of these people, learn what they do (on and perhaps off the clock), and how they keep Footprints to Recovery growing and flowing — just the way we like it.

This month’s Employee Spotlight Series features Laura Golden, MSW, LSW – Substance Abuse Counselor in our Wayne, Pennsylvania location. Laura specializes in addiction treatment with an emphasis on trauma and family counseling, where she brings in techniques such as eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, commonly referred to as EMDR, as well as Reiki. You’ll rarely see Laura without a smile on her face, a patient and staff favorite, she focuses on bringing a variety of therapeutic techniques to her practice to ensure that all individuals get what they need!

For those of us who aren’t familiar, what is EMDR?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, commonly referred to as EMDR, is a therapeutic approach that was designed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic experiences.   Created by Francine Shapiro, PhD, EMDR is comprised of an Adaptive Information Processing Model which facilitates the accessing and processing of traumatic memories to establish an adaptive resolution. EMDR utilizes bi-lateral stimulation to assist in connecting the neuro-networks to allow the processing of memory and is found to be highly beneficial in alleviating emotional distress as well as establishing a positive belief system. EMDR is a highly sought after and effective modality that has been mindfully integrated into the treatment offerings at Footprints to Recovery.

What led you to become EMDR trained & to specialize in trauma?

My Dad was an inspiration to me. From when I was a child he was on the Board of the Crime Victim Center of Chester County. He introduced me to the organization and I started to intern for them in high school and college. That is when I started to specialize in sexual assault and human trafficking. Working with that population required a specific set of skills and specialized long-term treatment. I had been working with patients on a short-term scale as a victim advocate. I wanted to find an evidence-based practice that research had proven effective long-term results. That’s when I was introduced to EMDR from a professor in my Master’s program. When I learned more about EMDR I discovered it can be used in any population for virtually any problem. I utilize it regularly at Footprints to Recovery with patients at all phases of treatment.

You also use a spiritual technique, Reiki, how have you found use of it in your work in Addiction treatment?

Reiki is a holistic healing method where the therapist can channel energy through holding hands 2-4 inches above the area being worked on or through gentle touch. It is used to help promote the natural healing process of the patient’s mind and body. I use Reiki practices in many ways in Addiction treatment. I use it to help patient’s learn grounding and relaxation skills. I also use it as a way to help patients connect to their spirituality and learn about other holistic modalities.

Now more about you, what gets you out of bed in the morning?

I am a dedicated dog mom and wife. I get up to support my family and the patients I serve.

What are your biggest professional challenges?

My biggest challenge is finding the balance between self-care, work, and continuing education.

What is your personal motto or mantra?

Its a tie for me… “Don’t go where the path may lead, instead make your own and leave a trail” and “Find the opportunity in every experience.”

If you could choose anyone who would you pick as your mentor?

If I could choose anyone I would choose my Aunt Jodi. She is an incredibly successful businesswoman and one of the most generous people I know. She found a balance between doing what she loved and helping others. I want to model her determination, generosity, and mindfulness practices.

And lastly, what makes Footprints to Recovery standout?

What drew me to Footprints to Recovery was their family-like atmosphere. Everyone is dedicated to their patients and the facility provides the most comprehensive care possible. As a holistic practitioner, certified in Reiki, it was huge for me to find an agency that not only allowed me to incorporate that into my practice but encouraged it.

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