susie morgan - license# lmft41442

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Follow @EMDRReadinessCourse on Facebook and Instagram for the most recent posts of my reflections on the treatment of PTSD and Complex/Developmental trauma.




Susie Morgan, LMFT serving Encinitas & North County San Diego - EMDR therapy for PTSD, CPTSD, Developmental Trauma, Dissociation



A friendly little reminder from Jericho - just because you try to hide it doesn’t mean it isn’t there and won’t come jumping out in just a minute!

It can be SO tempting to try to shove things under the rug (or hide them behind the curtain as the case may be).

That’s why I talk so much about the courage it takes to do the work, Lionhearts!

Facing the pain - facing the past - is tough!! But the healing and the freedom can make it well worth it!

Keywords:  courage; trauma; ptsd; complex ptsd; developmental trauma; emdr therapy


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Susie Morgan, LMFT serving Encinitas & North County San Diego - EMDR therapy for PTSD, CPTSD, Developmental Trauma, Dissociation


I think this is true both of the tears shed in the acute pain of trauma - but it is also true of the tears that flow as we heal.

When the brain locks down on difficult experience - it leaves us only aware of the harshness, the damage, the awful conclusions that we are worthless or powerless or destined for a life of eternal winter.

Yet, hidden in the seeds of our experiences are actually evidence of our unique beauty, the resilience shown in our survival, and the wisdom gained through the storms that can help us thrive!

The work of healing with EMDR therapy can be painful - and feel like unfairly having to choose to return to the storm - but it is this that can release the life that has been trapped in these seeds.

What are your experiences in learning to welcome the rain? Does it seem possible yet? Have you been able to glimpse the bits of green sprout forth yet - or even seen the blossoms?! I’d love to hear!!

Keywords:  seeds; trauma; ptsd; cptsd; developmental trauma; emdr therapy


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Susie Morgan, LMFT serving Encinitas & North County San Diego - EMDR therapy for PTSD, CPTSD, Developmental Trauma, Dissociation


It’s true!! I see it every day, Lionhearts!

EMDR therapy allows us to stop reliving old stories - and gives us the power and freedom to author new ones!!

Keywords:  story; brave; worthy; trauma; ptsd; complex ptsd; emdr therapy


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Susie Morgan, LMFT serving Encinitas & North County San Diego - EMDR therapy for PTSD, CPTSD, Developmental Trauma, Dissociation

There is so much wisdom in understanding that we must consider the cost of no longer being a caterpillar before we will be able to take flight and live fully.

We can easily dismiss this notion, thinking it is ridiculous that we would want to stay in a restricted, limited state.

Yet, our symptoms are often the adaptations we developed to survive as best we could - in situations in which we had no better alternatives.

And we have often grown so used to the perceived protection they provide, that we must acknowledge this before we become able to let them go.

Some of the most useful questions, we can ask are: What is good about living as a caterpillar? How does it seem to serve me? What am I afraid of - or what might I lose if I no longer live this way?
If we truly appreciate how living as a caterpillar has served us - it can allow us to appreciate the gift that the adaptation has been for us when we needed it.

It can also allow us to acknowledge if this benefit has expired and what once provided security is now just keeping us from enjoying the freedom of our wings.

Keywords:  transformation; anxiety; depression; ptsd; emdr therapy


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Susie Morgan, LMFT serving Encinitas & North County San Diego - EMDR therapy for PTSD, CPTSD, Developmental Trauma, Dissociation


Lionhearts, so often the quality of our relationships as adults is shaped by our early attachment dynamics in childhood.

When our earliest relationships weren’t protective or nurturing, it becomes hard to believe we are lovable and deserving of respect and security in our adult relationships.
Despite “knowing better” and making concerted effort to choose differently, our nervous systems cause us to be magnetically drawn toward the familiar.

I want to offer some encouragement that I have seen these patterns be transformed - and Lionhearts become better able to choose secure relationships - through EMDR therapy modified to treat developmental trauma and repair the attachment system!!

Thanks to @daryldellsafaris for permission to share this powerful photo

Keywords:  lionheart; attachment; complex ptsd; developmental trauma; emdr therapy


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Susie Morgan, LMFT serving Encinitas & North County San Diego - EMDR therapy for PTSD, CPTSD, Developmental Trauma, Dissociation

We need to know we’re not the only one. We need to know we’re not alone.

Keywords:  buddy system; anxiety; depression; cptsd; trauma recovery; emdr therapy


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Susie Morgan, LMFT serving Encinitas & North County San Diego - EMDR therapy for PTSD, CPTSD, Developmental Trauma, Dissociation



I use this quote in a module on Defenses in The EMDR Readiness Course.

It can be so hard to let ourselves feel what we feel, connect to how our body is holding those feelings, accept the complexity of those who raised us rather than insist they be all good or all bad, and see our history for what it was and not what we wished it would be.

Doing so allows us to become our own best nurturer and protector - so that we can be free to author our future rather than be trapped by our past.


Keywords:  tears; truestrength; cptsd; developmental trauma; trauma recovery; emdr therapy



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Susie Morgan, LMFT serving Encinitas & North County San Diego - EMDR therapy for PTSD, CPTSD, Developmental Trauma, Dissociation



We don’t get to choose how our stories begin.
There is a time though when we realize that we get to author what comes next for us.

To do so, we often must engage in the courageous work of editing the past - which I believe is possible through EMDR therapy.

We have the power to reprocess memories, so that the meaning we have assigned to our experiences is re-written.

Instead of worthless, we become able to see the evidence of our worth. Instead of unlovable, we see that we are and have always been precious. Instead of bad and to blame for what happened, we see that we were young and powerless - and that we are now adults and powerfully able to choose our next chapter.

Keywords:  story; cptsd; developmental trauma; emdr therapy


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Susie Morgan, LMFT serving Encinitas & North County San Diego - EMDR therapy for PTSD, CPTSD, Developmental Trauma, Dissociation

No matter how exhausted we are - or how discouraged - or how hurt - we must remember that at our very core, we are Lionhearts.

Thanks to Erin Van Vuren for the wonderful original post!

Keywords:  resilience; undaunted; lionheart; ptsd; anxiety; depression; complex ptsd; emdr therapy


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Susie Morgan, LMFT serving Encinitas & North County San Diego - EMDR therapy for PTSD, CPTSD, Developmental Trauma, Dissociation


The book “Attached.” by Levine and Heller does an incredible job of explaining adult attachment theory. We often think of attachment as something that only applies to infants, but the reality is that it is crucial throughout our lives.

If as little ones, we had caregivers who provided us with the nurture, protection, and guidance we needed, then we are far more likely to gravitate toward secure relationships in adulthood.
When this is not the case, our nervous system learns to predict that others won’t be there in the way we need them to be, and this tends to become a self-fulfilling prophecy with those we instinctively choose as partners.

We are most able to thrive when we have a secure base, both as children and as adults.
Repairing our attachment systems - so we are better able to choose secure relationships - is possible through EMDR therapy modified to treat developmental trauma.

Keywords:  secure; attachment; developmental trauma; complex ptsd; trauma recovery; healing



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Susie Morgan, LMFT in North County San Diego - EMDR therapy for PTSD, CPTSD, Developmental Trauma, Dissociation

Was looking back at some photos of the first few days after baby Jericho came home and met his big brother Jack . . . We are all made for secure attachment.

Keywords:  secure attachment; held; emdr therapy


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Susie Morgan, LMFT in North County San Diego - EMDR therapy for PTSD, CPTSD, Developmental Trauma, Dissociation


The discouragement is thick some days - and it is immensely difficult to keep moving forward - weighted with the heaviness and daunted by the height of the obstacles before us.
Yet, somehow we do.

And sometimes in the light of the new day there is a new perspective, a new hope, a new breadcrumb to follow toward a path of hope.


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Susie Morgan, LMFT in North County San Diego - EMDR therapy for PTSD, CPTSD, Developmental Trauma, Dissociation


This gave me chills when I read it. It is exactly the reason I do EMDR therapy.

Whatever any of us may believe about the afterlife, too many people are carrying around hell inside themselves now - memories they feel they cannot escape.

EMDR therapy allows them to finally know all that is over and that they can be free.
I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Thank you to Your Beautiful Life by Alexa Ortiz for the original post.

Keywords:  memories; trauma; ptsd; complex trauma; emdr therapy

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Susie Morgan, LMFT in North County San Diego - EMDR therapy for PTSD, CPTSD, Developmental Trauma, Dissociation



I received this review today from a woman who used The EMDR Readiness Course in conjunction with her work with a therapist (which I think is an awesome way to get the most out of it!). I was floored by what she had to say and had to share!!

“I highly recommend this course! My issues of self-criticism, procrastination, co-dependent relationships, and passive aggressive behavior seemed impossible to stop. After coming to the end of trying harder and psychoanalyzing myself and those around me, I decided to give this course a try.

Through Susie's gentle and thoughtful videos I received empathic skills and savvy tools to address the ways trauma had negatively impacted me. In the videos Susie invites participants to document their journey through drawing and writing their experiences. Drawing and writing about experiences of pain as well as victory was incredibly empowering. I have become more accepting of myself and others through this process and my ability to respond to conflict has improved tremendously. The change that came from practicing these exercises is amazing!

These videos in conjunction with my own personal therapy helped me identify and move through traumatic memories that I would never have been able to face alone. I am so much more free in talking about my life and responding to my own and other people's limitations. I am so thankful I found this resource.”

Keywords:  healing; transformation; trauma; ptsd; cptsd; anxiety; depression; emdr therapy


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Photo by Ashley Vincent & Post by Susie Morgan, LMFT in North County San Diego - EMDR therapy for PTSD, CPTSD, Developmental Trauma, Dissociation


As little ones we are designed to have a cry that PULLS our caregivers to us!

It is called the “attachment cry” and was identified by researcher Jaak Panksepp as linked to the affective system of panic. The first time I heard this, I was fascinated, panic is actually the cry and reaching for someone!!

As little ones, when our caregivers reliably and lovingly respond, over time we internalize - I’m not alone, someone will be there for me, I am worthy of love and care and protection.

But when our attachment cry is met with anger, non-responsiveness, or unpredictable patterns of sometimes care, sometimes anger, and sometimes nothing - our nervous system cannot feel secure.

We conclude - I am alone, I am unsafe in the world, and I have no one I can rely on because something is intrinsically wrong with me.

For, out of a need to survive, we as little ones figure out some way to adapt - to make it more likely that our basic needs will be met. We have no power to change our caregivers - our only power is to conclude we are the problem that needs to be changed - and learn to cry less, cry louder, act out, be pleasing - whatever it takes!!

The work with the little self through Attachment Repair is my favorite - and perhaps the most profound - part of the EMDR Readiness Course!

Thank you so much to Ashley Vincent Wildlife Photography for permission to share this amazing photo!!  www.ashley-vincent.com

Keywords:  attachment; healing; trauma recovery; anxiety; depression; complex ptsd; developmental trauma; emdr therapy



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Susie Morgan, LMFT in North County San Diego - EMDR therapy for PTSD, CPTSD, Developmental Trauma, Dissociation



I have had the incredible privilege of witnessing my clients experience this so many times through EMDR therapy.

I cannot wait for the day when EMDR therapy is a household word and therapists are commonly well-trained in applying it to everything from single incident PTSD to the most complex trauma.

Keywords:  freedom; ptsd; complex trauma; emdr therapy


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Susie Morgan, LMFT in North County San Diego - EMDR therapy for PTSD, CPTSD, Developmental Trauma, Dissociation

There are some of us so good, so practiced, so skilled at holding all the pain inside - that no one can see the suffering.

Perhaps we learned this because there was no one interested in responding to our tears or no one strong enough to handle what hurt us.

With no one to hold us, we learned to hold it in - to show up - to keep going regardless of, as the poet writes, the “catastrophe” inside.

What a gift to find someone who notices anyway, who asks, who sees the pain behind our eyes and makes it safe enough that we can allow the tears to surface.

Not everyone will resonate with this learned pattern of coping by constriction. But for those who do, where is it okay to let what hurts be seen? With whom (person or animal) can you stop - at least for a moment - holding it all in?

Thank you to Chloë Frayne for the beautiful original post.

Keywords:  seen; heard; healing; depression; anxiety; cptsd; emdr therapy


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Susie Morgan, LMFT in North County San Diego - EMDR therapy for PTSD, CPTSD, Developmental Trauma, Dissociation


Be the adult we needed as a child.  Yes, of course to the children in our lives. But, also to the little ones, our younger selves, that are still inside of us - locked in the perception that it is still the past, not yet healed, not yet grown up - because they still haven’t received the nurture, protection, and guidance that would allow them to mature and function as adults in the here and now.

Remembering that we deserve our own nurture - our own protection - to make choices based on our wisdom rather than our fear - this can radically change the trajectory of our paths.

Keywords:  attachment; healing; trauma recovery; complex ptsd; developmental trauma; emdr


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Susie Morgan, LMFT in North County San Diego - EMDR therapy for PTSD, CPTSD, Developmental Trauma, Dissociation


There can come a day in which we can see ourselves accurately -

in which we can see the beauty in the scars from wounds healed only through honesty, patience and compassion with ourselves,

in which we can see the strength and determination evidenced in the cracks where we have picked up our broken pieces and glued them together, trusting that no matter how awkward and unfamiliar the new configuration is better than the old,

and in which we can see the story of a warrior, a Lionheart, that is our own regardless of any external opinion or validation.

Thank you to @jmstormquotes for the beautiful words and original post.

Keywords:  true beauty; true strength; lionheart; ptsd; cptsd; trauma recovery; emdr therapy


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Susie Morgan, LMFT in North County San Diego - EMDR therapy for PTSD, CPTSD, Developmental Trauma, Dissociation

If hopping out of the curtain at your brother counts . . . then we definitely have our own little Easter Bunny in the house!!

Keywords:  ptsd; complex trauma; emdr therapy


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Susie Morgan, LMFT in North County San Diego - EMDR therapy for PTSD, CPTSD, Developmental Trauma, Dissociation

The miracle in EMDR therapy . . . that the past can finally be in the past.

Keywords:  healing; trauma; ptsd; cptsd; emdr therapy


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Susie Morgan, LMFT in North County San Diego - EMDR therapy for PTSD, CPTSD, Developmental Trauma, Dissociation


Activating trauma memory networks - so that they can be desensitized and reprocessed with EMDR therapy requires being able to notice where disturbance is felt in the body.

Learning it’s safe to be present with and feel our body is no small feat, Lionhearts, if we have learned, since early on, that it is a choice to either be shut off from or overwhelmed by its sensations - nothing in between.

I’ve been learning more recently about how trauma-informed yoga can be a gentle yet powerful way to learn it is safe to inhabit our own bodies.

I love having increased knowledge of the array of components that can be drawn on to restore a nervous system and heal a life!!

(By the way, my other go-to favorite adjuncts to EMDR therapy are neurofeedback and DBT!)

Thanks to @daryldellsafaris for permission to share this beautiful photo!!

Keywords:  trauma-informed yoga; trauma; cptsd; lionheart; healing; emdr therapy


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Susie Morgan, LMFT in North County San Diego - EMDR therapy for PTSD, CPTSD, Developmental Trauma, Dissociation

We, as little humans, are entirely dependent on our caregivers to stay alive and will instinctively adapt in order maintain attachment in whatever way is possible.

Idealization occurs when it is too difficult to hold onto the connection with a caregiver while also becoming fully aware of the pain caused by that caregiver’s actions — or the pain caused by inaction when we needed their protection, nurture, or care.

This often involves us, as little ones, taking on the belief in our own worthlessness or unloveability – or even the shame of abuse endured – because making ourselves bad allows for the caregiver to stay good.

This is crucial when we instinctively perceive there are no other options for us to turn to — and it allows us to hold onto an illusion of some power and control, believing that we can earn love or stop the abuse by trying harder and being better.

I have seen the idealization defense to be particularly intense when the caregiver who was abusive was also the only caregiver providing nurture and connection.

I have also seen a more subtle type of idealization when a person senses they were more equipped mentally/emotionally to handle things than their caregiver or deeply believes their caregiver did the best that they could – as this can make it difficult to acknowledge the reality and impact of their caregiver not having met the needs they had as a child.

Working with the Idealization Defense can allow us to develop a realistic view of a caregiver, allowing awareness of all the nuanced complexities of that person rather than insisting on an all good or all bad perspective.

It can also allow our unmet needs to be acknowledged so that the experienced can be processed through and finally healed.

Keywords:  healing; cptsd; developmental trauma; emdr therapy


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Susie Morgan, LMFT in North County San Diego - EMDR therapy for PTSD, CPTSD, Developmental Trauma, Dissociation

Fresh as a doggie daisy!!

Sophie is such a sweet sport about having regular baths so she doesn’t “smell like a dog” for work!
I can’t imagine doing trauma work without the assistance of a therapy dog.

Her ability to bring someone back to the present, calm their nervous system, help them laugh through their tears - far surpasses my own!

Keywords:  grateful; grounding; therapy dog; trauma recovery; ptsd; cptsd; emdr therapy


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Susie Morgan, LMFT in North County San Diego - EMDR therapy for PTSD, CPTSD, Developmental Trauma, Dissociation

Learning to look at the little one - the younger self that went through whatever they did - with loving eyes is such a crucial part of healing from early painful experiences.

To be able to speak to the little self with words like these is also SO important - recognizing and communicating that they came up with the very bravest and best strategies they could to make it through a situation in which they had no real control.

These adaptations often no longer work all that well in the adult world - and can lead to so much frustration and self-loathing.

But, if instead of rejecting, we can scoop up and hold and comfort and thank that little one, then the nervous system can begin to recognize that the powerlessness of childhood is over.

And the brave child that fought with all they had to survive - can grow into a warrior and embody the power of adulthood and the wisdom gained through the battle to make it to today.

Keywords:  warrior; survivor; adaptation; attachment; complex ptsd; developmental trauma; emdr


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Susie Morgan, LMFT in Encinitas, CA - PTSD, Complex PTSD, Developmental Trauma, EMDR


Don’t give up fighting, dear Lionhearts. We have what we need - we ARE what we need - to win the battle each of us is facing.

Please share your thoughts on this - and especially your encouragement for each other today!! We definitely can’t do this alone.

Thanks to @papercrumbs for this beautiful original post

Keywords:  lionheart; ptsd; trauma; emdr therapy


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Susie Morgan, LMFT in Encinitas, CA - PTSD, Complex PTSD, Developmental Trauma, EMDR


I came across this quote and both nodded and cringed. In times of trauma, we often develop methods of coping that are the very best we can do at the time. Letting go of them is not so simple.

It might be that we learned to freeze and be silent - or drown out our emotions with alcohol or food or some other compulsion - or rage and lash out - or placate - or isolate - or any number of things just to try to get through, be safe, be loved.

These “adaptations” become habit, and it’s true that their appropriateness and usefulness does seem to have an expiration date. They can begin to do more harm than good.
Until the trauma memories are healed, it is hard to convince our nervous systems that we no longer need these adaptations.

However, I’ve seen the old coping behaviors lose their draw once we process through the pain that was their origin. It’s tough work to get there, but it’s possible.

Keywords:  adaptation; ptsd; cptsd; developmental trauma; trauma recovery; emdr therapy


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Susie Morgan, LMFT in Encinitas, CA - PTSD, Complex PTSD, Developmental Trauma, EMDR


Lionhearts, sometimes it is tough to feel our worth, our strength, our power.

And, yet, we ARE worthy, we ARE strong, and we DO have far more power than we realize!!

This photo is a friendly reminder for all of us to question those feelings of insecurity and inadequacy - and a bit of encouragement to do whatever healing work it takes to be able to be able to embody the truth of who we truly are.

Thanks to @joergstoeber permission to share this fantastic photo!!

Keywords:  lionheart; worth; strength; power; healing; emdr therapy


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Susie Morgan, LMFT in Encinitas, CA - PTSD, Complex PTSD, Developmental Trauma, EMDR


So many of us are looking out at the world - and scrolling through our feeds - feeling deep down that we just don’t have the life others do.

And we think it’s because we’re not good enough, not lovable enough, just not enough period.

The reality is, as Glennon Doyle so vividly states it, life is tough for every single one of us.
The appearances and pretty feeds hide a lot of pain and struggle.

To make it worse, so many of us use comparison to also diminish the validity of our own troubles - as if they weren’t “bad enough” to count because others “have gone through worse.”

Someone I was recently talking to - who has a only-in-your-nightmares kind of trauma history, reflected that above all else it was the WORDS that sunk in deepest and, like poison in her veins, destroyed her sense of worth more than all of the other stuff she went through.

Not everyone meets the criteria for the hashtags I use so much of the time - #cptsd, #complextrauma, and #developmentaltrauma.

On the other hand, I think far more of us do than realize it.

I believe that if we looked more at our stories - and not just at symptoms we label as biochemical #depression or #anxiety - we’d get what’s going on a whole lot better.

Perhaps, we’d also more readily understand how healing the way memories are held in our brain can be a possible path to finally feeling we are lovable - good enough - or simply enough!!

Keywords:  healing; complex ptsd; developmental trauma; trauma recovery; emdr therapy


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Susie Morgan, LMFT in Encinitas, CA - Brene Brown, CPTSD, Developmental Trauma, Attachment, EMDR


I love these words by Brene’ Brown and this wonderful Lionheart image from her team @themarblejar.

It is SO challenging to live this way when we grow up without the consistent nurture, protection, and guidance of secure attachment!

We often gravitate toward relationships that feel familiar - with similar dynamics to those we grew up with - and thus experience repeated reminders that love just leaves us with unmet meets and that risking vulnerability is entirely unsafe.

Healing the attachment system through EMDR therapy, modified to treat complex/developmental trauma, can shift what we see as possible in relationships, the quality of relationships we are attracted to, and what kind of treatment we believe we deserve!

It can help us follow Brene’s encouragement in the way I believe she means it - and choose secure relationships in which it is wise to love hard!

I believe the courage to do this work is truly Lionhearted!!

Keywords:  lionheart; cptsd; developmental trauma; attachment; emdr therapy


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Susie Morgan, LMFT in Encinitas, CA - Anxiety, Depression, Complex PTSD, Developmental Trauma, Dissociation, EMDR therapy


We can be so hijacked into believing something IS true because it FEELS true!!

This is especially the case when we have a history of frightening or painful experiences.
The reality based information often exists in our brain (we KNOW what is true) - but we simply can’t connect to it emotionally.

EMDR therapy can shift the way information is held in the brain and link up what was previously held neurologically isolated - so we can FEEL congruently with what we KNOW.

But, in the meantime Lionhearts, I hope this post can serve as a bit of encouragement, a reminder that your perception might actually be mistaken.

Whatever you are facing might not be as impossible as it seems, and you might just be quite capable of handling it!!

Keywords: complex ptsd; anxiety; depression; healing; emdr therapy


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Susie Morgan, LMFT in Encinitas, CA - PTSD, CPTSD, Developmental Trauma, Dissociation, Trauma Recovery, EMDR


So much of what we do in my household involves the buddy system!!

Jericho has been going with Sophie to her acupuncture appointments for a while now (the acupuncture works miracles for Soph’s hips and back - and their vet is wonderful and welcomes the bengals coming to increase their socialization and learn the vet doesn’t have to be scary).
Yesterday was Jericho’s first fore’ into wearing “Doggles,” so he could stay in the room during Sophie’s laser treatment.

Jericho did fantastic with his Doggles!! And I had to share this - slightly fuzzy but hilarious! - shot of his little grin as he hangs out and offers moral support to his big sis!!

Keywords:  complex ptsd; trauma recovery; emdr therapy; therapy dog


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Susie Morgan, LMFT in Encinitas, CA - Anxiety, Depression, PTSD, CPTSD, Developmental Trauma, EMDR therapy


A client once told me, “ I keep referring people to EMDR therapy, but they aren’t getting what I’m getting with you!”

The content of The EMDR Readiness Course represents much of what I have identified is that difference.

I crystallized the most powerful components of the work I do with clients to prepare them for trauma memory reprocessing — all of which have independent value even if someone never goes further on with EMDR therapy.

These exercises are what I have learned from the best of the best in the field and synthesized with my own 17 years of clinical experience.

Here is a look at what is inside The EMDR Readiness Course!!

Week 1 – Introduction
An introduction to how EMDR therapy can transform the way trauma memories are stored in the brain and important differences in safely and effectively treating Complex/Developmental Trauma compared to Adult Onset or Single Incident PTSD

Week 2 – Here Now not There Then
Two practical tools to remind the nervous system that the circumstances of the past are over and that the Here and Now of adulthood IS distinctly different than the There and Then of childhood

Week 3 – Okay to Feel Okay
Two methods to stop the swirling of negative thoughts and emotions – and a powerful exercise to tease out compelling reasons it actually might NOT feel okay to stop the swirling and feel better

Week 4 – Defenses
An examination of four intense obstacles that can block healing of Complex/Developmental Trauma – and multiple methods for profoundly down-shifting these defenses

Week 5 – Support Team
The development of a dynamic team of support figures – and the strengthening of a visceral connection to their Nurture, Protection, and Wisdom, as powerful scaffolding to support the work of healing from Complex/Developmental Trauma

Week 6 – Top Tens
An exercise designed to identify key life experiences and their ongoing impact on beliefs about your Worth, Responsibility, Safety, and Choices

Week 7 – Trauma Memory Networks
The identification of the Core Negative Themes causing disruption to your self-image and healthy functioning – and the strategic mapping of memory clusters to be addressed with EMDR memory reprocessing

Week 8 – Positive Memory Resources
The highlighting and strengthening of Neurological Golden Nuggets – so that EMDR reprocessing can more readily connect them to the trauma memories from which they had previously been isolated and unable to impact

Week 9 – Attachment Repair
A means of becoming the most powerful source of Nurture, Protection, and Wisdom for your younger self, who went through whatever your younger self went through – and developing a foundation for healing from Complex/Developmental Trauma and forming secure relationships in your adult life


Keywords:  ptsd, cptsd, developmental trauma; anxiety; depression; healing; transformation; emdr


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Susie Morgan, LMFT in Encinitas, CA - PTSD, Complex PTSD, Developmental Trauma, EMDR therapy


PTSD is said to be a disorder of time and space – the nervous system becomes confused and reacts in the present as if it is the past – it is a confusion between the There & Then versus the Here & Now.

Some of the most practical skills I teach my clients involve actively grounding in the present and identifying concrete reminders of how Now is distinctly different from Then.

With these reminders, the nervous system begins to learn that it can stand down from it’s incessant guard - reassured and reminded that the danger of the past is over.

Thanks to @langleav for the beautiful original post!

Keywords:  trauma; ptsd; emdr therapy


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Susie Morgan, LMFT in Encinitas, CA - PTSD, CPTSD, Developmental Trauma, Dissociation, EMDR therapy


I often observe to my clients that their experiences with early trauma seem to have given them spidey-senses.

Initially, there can be so much hypervigilant reactivity to trauma triggers, but EMDR therapy works wonders to calm this down by sorting out facts from fears.

An incredible gift comes when it becomes possible to listen to the wisdom of the intuition gained through the experiences of neglect and abuse. There is so much protective power in our gut instinct if we can learn to trust it.

Thank you to @yourbeautifullife for the original quote

Keywords:  intuition; ptsd; cptsd; emdr therapy


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Susie Morgan, LMFT in Encinitas, CA - PTSD, CPTSD, Developmental Trauma, Attachment, Dissocation, EMDR therapy


Lionhearts, a few days ago I posted about how the confidence to speak - or the belief that it is unsafe to have a voice - is often shaped in our earliest attachment relationships.
I couldn’t pass up adding this photo to the discussion!! I love that the father lion has a hint of a smile at his little one’s roar.

If - unlike this little one - our voice is silenced rather than encouraged, we often instinctively continue our silence long into adulthood - too often gravitating toward or staying in situations and relationships that do not welcome our voice.

To heal, we so often need to learn we can speak - and that there are those who welcome our voices and with whom we will be heard!!

We must learn we can roar, Lionhearts, when roaring is needed.

Thanks to @andrewschoeman for permission to use this amazing photo!!

Keywords:  lionheart; attachment; complex ptsd; developmental trauma; trauma recovery



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Susie Morgan, LMFT in Encinitas, CA - PTSD, Anxiety, Depression, Complex PTSD, Developmental Trauma, EMDR therapy


This honestly brings tears to my eyes, as it makes me think of my clients doing the work of EMDR therapy to repair what - for most of them - has been a lifetime of trauma.

Keywords:  developmental trauma; cptsd, ptsd; anxiety; depression; healing; emdr therapy


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Susie Morgan, LMFT in Encinitas, CA - PTSD, Complex PTSD, Developmental Trauma, EMDR therapy


As it is not only Monday - but the first Monday after Daylight Saving Time begins and arguably my least favorite day of the year as I am anything but a morning person! - I wanted to post this little bit of encouragement for all of us!!

And, in the spirit of this quote, Lionhearts, I wanted to tell you how grateful I am for all of you.

It wasn’t so long ago that I began sharing bits of my thoughts on social media.

I have been struck by the courage many of you have had to tell parts of your stories. I find myself sometimes tearing up, sometimes cheering, sometimes painfully wishing I could do so much more to support each one of you than this context allows. And, more and more often, I am becoming familiar with names and smiling when I realize that something I posted made a difference for someone I recognize. Please keep sharing your stories, your thoughts, and your kind words for each other, as you have been!! It is such powerful support when we are reminded we are not alone.

#lionheart  #kindnessmatters  #yourenotalone  #grateful  #ptsd  #cptsd  #traumarecovery

Keywords:  lionheart; ptsd; cptsd; trauma recovery


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Susie Morgan, LMFT in Encinitas, CA - Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, CPTSD, Developmental Trauma, EMDR therapy


I am ecstatic that this much needed paradigm shift is beginning to occur - and that Oprah is using her powerful voice to help it gain traction!!!

Oprah’s presentation on Developmental Trauma is airing on 60 Minutes tonight (Sunday 3/11)! 
Research is showing that trauma and attachment disruption during early development have a profound impact on the brain, the nervous system, mental health, and overall ability to function well in the world.

In my opinion, this fundamental shift in our understanding leads us to ask the most useful questions to inform our treatment approach.

And, perhaps even more importantly, it shifts our attitude from pathologizing to seeing a person’s story with eyes of understanding and compassion - which is especially important when the person we are looking at is our own self.

Keywords:  paradigm shift; developmental trauma; cptsd; anxiety; depression, ptsd


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Susie Morgan, LMFT in Encinitas, CA - Secure Attachment, PTSD, CPTSD, Developmental Trauma, EMDR therapy


One of best things about Saturday is that I can give in - to the relentless insistence on love that is Operation Belly Stop.

Every weekday morning as I head for the front door, Jack runs ahead of me and sprawls - cute spotted belly up - repeatedly - right in my path.

I tell him every morning with a laugh that, if any belly could keep me home, his would!!

And it’s true, he has assigned himself as officer in charge of ensuring everyone in this household feels securely attached - and he’s definitely winning over hearts and minds (and just about bending wills)!!

Keywords:  secure attachment; family; love warrior


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Susie Morgan, LMFT in Encinitas, CA - Anxiety, Depression, PTSD, Complex PTSD, Developmental Trauma, Attachment, EMDR therapy


A significant factor in trauma being trapped, unresolved in our nervous systems is the inability to respond in the way that we needed to at the time - to fight, to flee, to SPEAK!

Instead - because of our being little and without choice at the time or because of the absence of someone powerful and caring enough to intervene to protect us - we too often learned out of pure necessity to freeze, submit, please, and placate.

Thus, the trauma experiences and the related emotions and incomplete actions of things we needed to do and say stay locked inside us.

And we instinctively continue our silence long into adulthood - too often gravitating toward or staying in situations and relationships that do not welcome our voice.

Gabor Mate speaks powerfully to how damaging this can be to our bodies in his book “When the Body Says No.”

To heal, we so often need to learn we can speak - and that there are those who welcome our voices and with whom we will be heard!!

Keywords:  speak; truth; healing; cptsd; developmental trauma; anxiety; depression; emdr therapy


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Susie Morgan, LMFT in Encinitas, CA - PTSD, Complex PTSD, Developmental Trauma, EMDR therapy

Keywords:  international women's day; true beauty; true strength; ptsd; cptsd; trauma recovery


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Susie Morgan, LMFT in Encinitas, CA - PTSD, CPTSD, Developmental Trauma, EMDR therapy


There are some gifts that come only out of the darkest times of deepest pain - like the lotus from the mud, the rainbow from the storm, the phoenix from the ashes.

For some it is intuition so sharp it is like a superpower - for some it is a type of empathetic wisdom that allows them to touch others’ souls - and for some it is a drive that is determined to overcome all obstacles.

These are just a few that I have had the privilege to witness. What is yours?

These gifts do not make what happened okay, yet they are a beautiful redemption of what was ugly, unjust, and undeserved.

Keywords:  redemption; pheonix rising; ptsd; complex ptsd; trauma recovery; emdr therapy


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Susie Morgan, LMFT in Encinitas, CA - PTSD, CPTSD, Developmental Trauma, EMDR therapy


A sad but hard truth.

So often it is that we repeatedly find ourselves drawn into close relationships that parallel and repeat the patterns that hurt us growing up.

Perhaps even more tragic is that we can also inadvertently step into patterns of treating others in the way that was modeled for us.

A very wise young person put it this way while we were talking recently: “Hurt people hurt people - don’t become the people who hurt you.”

It takes so much courage to look squarely at all of this for what it is and to do the work of repair. But, Lionhearts, it can be so worth it to be the one to stop the chain of trauma and pain.

Keywords:  repair; cptsd; intergenerational trauma; trauma recover; emdr therapy


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Susie Morgan, LMFT in Encinitas, CA - Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, Complex PTSD, Developmental Trauma, EMDR therapy


The places that hurt - even if they are deep inside invisible to others - deserve to be acknowledged, held gently, and honored as valid.

They don’t have to measure up to some objective scale of what “should” be trauma.
They just ARE trauma.

And so they deserve healing.

Keywords:  wounds; trauma; depression; anxiety; healing; emdr therapy


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Susie Morgan, LMFT in Encinitas, CA - Secure Attachment, PTSD, Complex PTSD, Developmental Trauma, EMDR therapy

Secure attachment.

It is so much more difficult to form secure attachments in our adult relationships, if we did not have this as little ones.

Lionhearts, we can repair this!! We can learn to look at our little selves (who went through whatever they did) with loving eyes.

And by becoming our own most secure source of comfort, protection, and wisdom, we become more able to find and experience this in our relationships with others.

Beautiful photo and permission to share thanks to @wildmanrouse

Keywords:  lionheart; secure attachment; developmental trauma; cptsd; emdr therapy


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Susie Morgan, LMFT in Encinitas, CA - Attachment, PTSD, CPTSD, Developmental Trauma, EMDR therapy

When we grow up without secure attachment - without the consistent experience of being seen and heard and held and defended - we can get all mixed up about what love looks like and feels like.

We can conclude that somehow we aren’t good enough to to be loved the way we see others can be - so we must cling to whatever inconsistent bits of affection come our way (even if these crumbs are tainted with treatment that we know deep down is poisonous). Or we can conclude that love is too dangerous, so it is best to hunker down on our own rather than risk vulnerability to what feels like certain pain.

More and more research is showing that insecure attachment - early developmental trauma - is at the root of so much of what can cause us to struggle as adults - depression, anxiety, and vulnerability to repeated traumas and hurtful relationships.

The most exciting part of my work in recent years has been seeing how EMDR therapy can be modified to repair the attachment system and to see people re-learn what it means to be loved - and that they have been intrinsically lovable all along!!

Keywords:  lovable; secure attachment; cpstd, developmental trauma; emdr therapy


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Susie Morgan, LMFT in Encinitas, CA - PTSD, Complex PTSD, Developmental Trauma, Attachment, EMDR therapy

I received this wonderful response on Instagram from @thecptsdbrain to watching the first video of the EMDR Readiness Course! I am so excited at her response!!

There’s a link below to the video she is talking about - which explains what EMDR therapy is and how it heals trauma memories in the brain. The video is part of the first Module of a self-help course designed for those with Complex Trauma - meaning the tough stuff has been happening in your life since way back at the beginning.

It’s 40+ minutes long and is FULL of important information about how treating Complex Trauma safely and effectively with EMDR therapy is possible! But it has important differences from treating single-incident trauma.

The first Module of the course is available totally free of charge - because I wanted anyone considering EMDR therapy to treat life-long trauma patterns of trauma to be able to hear this information (without any obligation to buy anything). If you haven’t yet, please WATCH and SHARE! Not only could the video be important for you to see - but you never know who else might need to see it today too!!


Keywords:  healing; transformation; traum; ptsd; attachment; complex ptsd; emdr therapy



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Susie Morgan, LMFT in Encinitas, CA - PTSD, CPTSD, Developmental Trauma, Attachment, EMDR therapy


As EMDR therapists, we talk about the "posttraumatic growth" we can see so often in our clients - that after the work is completed they become healthier and able to thrive beyond where they were before they experienced the trauma.

It is beautiful to see - especially how some of the darkest, most painful experiences not only heal but become the source of wisdom and strength with which they soar!!

Thanks to @butterfliesandpebbles for the beautiful words!

Keywords:  transformation; posttraumatic growth; healing; emdr; ptsd; complex ptsd


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Susie Morgan, LMFT in Encinitas, CA - PTSD, Complex PTSD, Developmental Trauma, Attachment, EMDR therapy


Sharing this in case you need a warm fuzzy today . . .

I absolutely love that this is Jack’s favorite pillow. I so often find him touching it while he’s sleeping.
It’s so fitting. I’ve joked before that Jack has appointed himself in charge of making sure everyone feels “securely attached” in the household. He gives Sophie and Jericho baths, he cries when Sophie goes outside at night, he runs as fast as he can to the door and lays himself in front of it when I leave for work in the morning.

It’s so funny because he is an absolute rascal - who has a heart of pure gold.

Keywords:  secure attachment; cptsd; developmental trauma; emdr therapy


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Susie Morgan, LMFT in Encinitas, CA - PTSD, Complex PTSD, Developmental Trauma, EMDR therapy


There’s something about this that I really love.

Maybe it’s the quiet hope in it.

Healing from trauma doesn’t make everything smooth and perfect . . . But it can allow what is good and true to be felt.

Keywords:  trauma; cptsd; ptsd; healing; emdr therapy


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Susie Morgan, LMFT in Encinitas, CA - Anxiety, Depression, PTSD, CPTSD, Developmental Trauma, EMDR therapy


I’ve been thinking this week how important it is that we know - WHATEVER it is that we have been through - if it hurt us then it counts!

I have learned through years now of being a trauma specialist, that trauma isn’t just the the Big T kind we all think of.

While those events, of course, do damage, so can the littler experiences that our brain just didn’t quite know how to deal with - thus, they became like a fissure, which led to a series of cracks, and maybe eventually left us feeling like we were in pieces.

A similar sort of thing can happen - not from the occurrence of something bad - but from the absence of something necessary. It is so difficult to grow up feeling whole and secure in ourselves and able to lean into the support of those around us, without being seen and heard and guided and protected and nurtured as little ones.

I have seen that any or all of these types of traumas can be at the root of depression, anxiety, addictions, compulsions, and “personality disorders” - not just classic PTSD.

I believe it is so important that we recognize as valid anything that has caused, as the poet writes, “a beautiful soul made to feel anything but” - so that the impact of this tragedy can be honored and that soul can repaired and restored.

Keywords:  trauma; anxiety; depression; ptsd; cptds; emdr


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Susie Morgan, LMFT in Encinitas, CA - PTSD, Complex PTSD, Developmental Trauma, EMDR therapy


I found this quote in the preface of Francine Shapiro’s newly updated text book for EMDR therapists. I think it so beautifully captures what EMDR therapy is all about!

Keywords:  transformation; trauma; ptsd; emdr






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