In commemoration of May as Mental Health Awareness Month, Citizen Advocates is highlighting the trailblazing work of its clinicians in the field of Eye Movement, Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy.

Commonly referred to as EMDR, it is a type of therapy that uses visual, auditory or tactile stimulation in a left-to-right rhythm across the two sides of the body.  EMDR helps patients identify feelings, thoughts or images that are associated with a traumatic memory; desensitize those ideas; and then reprocess how the ideas relate to the memory.

“I always start by asking a patient: ‘What keeps you from living the life you want to live?’” said Terrianne Yanulavich, LMHC, Ph.D., Citizen Advocates’ Clinician Team Lead, Supervisor.  “The answer to that question boils down to the event, the trigger, the trauma.  EMDR takes away the awful feeling associated with trauma, not the memory itself.”

EMDR was developed by psychologist Francine Shapiro in the late 1980s after noting the therapeutic effects on herself while watching birds flitting back and forth during a walk in the woods.  Ms. Yanulavich received her training under Ms. Shapiro and has been certified to practice EMDR since 2003. She is one of five EMDR-trained clinicians at Citizen Advocates providing this vital service to the North Country.

To contact Citizen Advocates, or learn more about EMDR visit

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