Thursday, March 1, 2012







Barb:  Well, here we are again, Leslie, after taking a day’s break to allow our readers to catch up and take in more understanding of PSTD, we are both eager to continue.  Didn’t we leave the interview the other day promising more information about EMDR and Brainspotting?

Leslie:  Yes and I’m glad to be continuing with more information.  This entire issue is direly important to be understood.  I do appreciate the comments and input from those reading your blog.  So, start firing your questions and I’ll do my best to answer.

Barb:  Right on, Leslie….(chuckles)…I’ll admit that I’ve done a little research on EMDR and Brainspotting and I googled some information.  There is certainly a lot of information, so I randomly looked at Paula R. Shild PhD of a Boulder, Colorado Therapy Group that works with all types of relationship problems.

Leslie:  I’d be interested in seeing that, but what did you find out?  Tell me something you learned and I’ll pick up and interrupt…..well, I really mean add to what you are saying. (laughs)

Barb:  Ok.  I apologize that I didn’t send this information to you, but I’ll send it to you later, if that is alright.  She gave a great lead in on what causes PSTD:

            "Our earliest relationships with our parents or caregivers influence who we are and how we interact with others for the rest of our lives. Connecting with our parents is as instinctual and fundamental as our need to eat and sleep. A good relationship or attachment to our parents allows us to develop our sense of our selves and shapes our personalities. How we get our needs met by our parents as children affects how we see and experience others and the world around us.
When we have relationship problems or are unhappy generally in our adult lives, we can examine these early relationships to determine how we learned to connect with others. The therapeutic relationship is the perfect place to figure out what we need to change to have good relationships and more satisfying lives.
In my Boulder Psychotherapy practice, I help individuals understand how ways that they interact with others can interfere with having healthier, more satisfying relationships and personal lives. In counseling clients will
  • gain a better understanding of themselves and their needs
  • learn more effective communication skills
  • reduce relationship conflict and stress
  • create more satisfying couple, step family, step kid, friend, and family relationships"

Leslie:  Very well stated. That about covers exactly what causes PSTD.  When you read my book, after it is published, you will see how these factors in my childhood and adulthood resulted in my PSTD.

Barb:  I’m so anxious to read your book.  Now, tell us what EMDR means and how it is used in therapy, please.

Leslie:  EMDR means Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing…..

Barb:  What on earth does that mean?  Have you been given that type of therapy?

Leslie:  (laughs slightly)…I knew that explanation would surprise you.  Yes, I’ve been through this in therapy, and it does sound kind of nutty, but it really worked for me.  For Some, our earliest attachments and relationships with our parents/family or caregivers is not as positive or productive as it could have been or should be.. There are lots of reasons for this, such as the mother’s depression,  father’s absence, or other stresses including poor parenting, physical or emotional abuse, alcoholism or other substance abuse by parents;  medical traumas, childhood illnesses and hospitalizations, or economic hard times to name just a few.

Barb:  That is quite a few!  How sad to think about children going through this kind of abuse and treatment that is worse than what you have already talked about.  Tell us more about this therapy.

Leslie:  Ok,  I’ve learned some big words in my therapy and what they mean in explaining where PSTD begins……(smiles, cute chuckle)…I’ll try to be succinct…  because the brain develops through interpersonal interaction, this problematic relationship affects how we perceive and experience the environment around us; including other important persons in our lives like spouses/partners, step kids, our biological children, friends, etc. Trying to resolve these relationship problems through traditional “talk” therapy is ineffective because it does not access the parts of the brain that contain the distressing relationship experiences.

Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR) accesses these parts of the brain and allows therapists to work with these experiences. EMDR is also very useful for resolving traumas resulting from car accidents and violent crime. Those trained in EMDR use it successfully with individuals as well as couples to resolve relationship problems.

Barb:  Very well explained, but I’m curious as to the treatment itself and how you have learned to use it to help others.

Leslie:  Well….I don’t want to give away an example of that now…I hope you’ll read that in my book.  For more information about EMDR, please visit my website or blog.  Another site for a good explanation is, EMDR Institute, Inc.  
The EMDR Institute™, founded by Dr Francine Shapiro in 1990.

Barb:  Understood.  Thanks for what you’ve told us about EMDR.  It makes more sense to me now.  Leslie, what about Brainspotting?  Do we have time today to cover that somewhat? 

Leslie:  Sure.  Again….LOL….big words that I never knew before my therapy…but I know them well now.  I’ll be brief on Brainspotting also, because my book will cover that therapy in more detail.  Quite a long time ago EMDR therapist and psychologist, Dr. David Grand, developed Brainspotting, another technique that accesses the parts of the brain that store painful experience and relationship problems. “Brainspots” or eye positions allow us to neurobiologically locate, focus, process, and release experiences and symptoms out of reach of the conscious mind and its cognitive and verbal capacities.  “Brainspotting”  is a powerful, focused treatment method that works by identifying, processing and releasing core neurophysiological sources of emotional/body pain, trauma, dissociation and a variety of challenging symptoms.” He has trained in Brainspotting and uses it with patients -  individuals and couples  -  struggling with relationship problems in their couple’s relationship, step families, and at work.  If anyone wants more information on Brainspotting, please go to

Is that enough information to tease you into studying this subject more to understand better what I’ve gone through?  As I said before….you can find all kinds of information by reading my book.

Barb:  I think our brains have been tickled quite enough for today.  Well done, Leslie.  I’m so glad you are here to tell others about your plight and your journey as a different person into the future.  You have been through so much negativity and pain in your life.  I’m so glad you’re past that now and recovered.

Leslie:  Thank you, Barb.  I’m so thankful for the opportunity to share all of this with others.

Barb:  Leslie, When we’ve chatted before, I heard you mention veterans PSTD.  I think many of us relate PTSD to those veterans involved in combat and don’t survive the emotional impact of what they’ve been through.   This is a sorrowful and sordid issue and how did you become involved in understanding their severe problems with PTSD?  Have you included any stories of veterans as well as other victims of this disorder?

Leslie:  Yes I wrote about my father who suffers PSTD in only one chapter of my book, but not in other chapters.  My book is mostly about me because it is a memoir about me,  but in my family background I explain about my dad’s PTSD so readers would have a sense to understand that the parental neglect wasn’t his fault because he was dealing with so much trauma himself.  Also my mother was an alcoholic.

Barb:  That does indeed sound quite heavy.  Can we look forward tomorrow to hearing more about your dad. 

Leslie:  Yes, I’d like to talk about my dad.  His life has not been easy and he did serve in Vietnam which resulted in extreme trauma and deep psychological changes in his personality.  By the grace of God, he is still living, but is not well.

Barb: Yes, the grace of God has covered many in their need.  Praise the Lord!  You and your family are in my daily prayers and I am sure other’s prayers as well.  Leslie, I appreciate your discussing this painful time and your triumph.  Thank you and we'll look forward to seeing you tomorrow.

Friends, please return tomorrow to hear about Leslie’s dad and some of his struggles.  We don’t want to overplay the importance of this devastating disease, PTSD; but we don’t want to underplay it either.

God Bless All of You and Yours,

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Leslie Raddatz

Paula R. Shild PhD of a Boulder, Colorado Therapy Group, EMDR Institute, Inc.  The EMDR Institute™, 
founded by Dr Francine Shapiro in 1990.


  1. I thought I would post a comment later after the series was complete, but I best do it now while I have a few minutes. Thank you Barb, and Leslie for this great, informative interview. I suffered severe childhood abuse as a child and so much of this is hard for me to read; especially that other women had to suffer as I did. I thought for so many years that I was the only one. I never even told my husband until we had been married for 15 years. It wasn't something that was talked about at all back then.

    I did go to therapy a little, but it didn't help (although I'm glad, Leslie, that you were able to find someone who knew how to help you), but I am happy to say that I found deliverance in my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It's not an overnight process, but day be day He is working to deliver me. Thanks be to God who always causes us to triumph in Christ! 2 Corinthians 2:14

  2. Dear Diana,

    Your letter brought tears to my eyes and sorrow in my heart for your childhood. I commend you for revealing your deepest secrets. Most of all, how happy I am for you that Jesus came into your life and is working day by day to heal and deliver you from the torment.

    This series must bring back bad memories, and I thank you for reading them. They are meant to encourage healing for victims of this surly angry disease that has affected many, some not even realizing it. Just to get the words out that there that Jesus is at every door knocking to come in and hold you in his arms, to take away the pain and stay with you for life and life hereafter.

    Thank you for commenting and the encouragement you offered. Do you mind if I publish your comment on my blog? Your words have really touched my heart and I’m sure they would touch others. You are my sweet sister in Christ and I so enjoy our friendship.

    Grace & Peace,

  3. Thank you for your sweet response and compassion! I surely treasure our friendship as well, and covet your prayers.

  4. PSTD, a term that I next to nothing about, but this blog post gives some good and helpful information about this subject. Thanks for giving us this insight. I hope everybody has a good and blessed weekend.

  5. Thank you, Cecelia - such a nice boost to know you think this subject is important and helpful. Your input is appreciated and welcome.

  6. Thank you to all of you who have left comments of prayers and understanding of PTSD. It is so nice to be accepted and know that my mission is important not only to me but to all of you. Leslie Raddatz