Do you find yourself feeling  any —or  all —of these?

Do you find yourself feeling any—or all—of these?

Bad things happen to good people—and some have happened to you. Even though you know you're greater than the hardships you experienced, sometimes it feels like you and your body can't get past the old stuff. You're strong, but yet, you feel anxious. Living does not have the same joy as before, and it's hard to be fully present. Your body is stuck on a hurtful moment, replaying it over and over again. Those moments get triggered with no warning. They can even make you wonder what the point of living is.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Repossessing (EMDR) therapy can help. EMDR is an effective treatment for anxiety, trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and just getting over your past. When trauma happens, our brains and bodies need a little help processing what happened, getting unstuck, and moving forward in life.

Dr. Portela also integrates Somatic Experiencing® techniques into her practice as she is a Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner in Training.


“When memories are stored in an unprocessed form, they hold the emotions, physical sensations, and beliefs that were there at the time of the original event. When something in the present happens, it can trigger the memory and the person's perspective and reactions are pushed by the past event, rather than what is appropriate and adaptive in the here and now.” - Dr. Francine Shapiro

“When memories are stored in an unprocessed form, they hold the emotions, physical sensations, and beliefs that were there at the time of the original event. When something in the present happens, it can trigger the memory and the person's perspective and reactions are pushed by the past event, rather than what is appropriate and adaptive in the here and now.”
- Dr. Francine Shapiro

Learn more about
EMDR and trauma therapy.

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy treatment approach that has been empirically validated in dozens of studies. EMDR and trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are the only psychotherapies recommended for children, adolescents, and adults with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

People quickly recognize big traumatic experiences (“Traumas” with a capital “t”), such as natural disasters, death, violence and abuse. However, small disturbing experiences or setbacks (“traumas” with a small “t”) can also negatively affect their lives. Both Traumas and traumas can make a memory of the experience stay “stuck” or “frozen” in the mind and body. Human beings are all influenced by memories and experiences they may not remember or fully understand and sometimes become trapped into feeling, believing, and acting in a dysfunctional way.

EMDR works to reprocess such distressing events (which are then desensitized), regulate the emotions associated with them better, increase effective coping skills, achieve emotional stability, and install an alternative positive self-belief. EMDR has been found helpful with several issues, including post-traumatic stress, stress, anxiety, panic, and unresolved anger.

Dr. Portela uses EMDR with both adults and children in conjunction with other approaches to therapy, such as psychodynamic, sandplay, attachment and Play therapies, depending on the needs of the client. EMDR helps clients resolve troubling feelings and thoughts, process memories, and increase positive beliefs.