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ACOA therapy for Adult Children of Alcoholics
Available in Virginia and Massachusetts

I’m a grown adult with a successful career - so why do I feel


like a kid who is about to get in


Sitting at your computer early one morning - because you’re always in early - and you see the email pop into your inbox. It’s your boss asking to see you. Right away you feel a pit in your stomach and your mind starts to race. You assume something is wrong and that you must have caused it.

And lately...

You wake up in the morning already tired and want to pull the covers back over your head. You dread all the things on your schedule that you said “yes” to when you meant “no.” You’re not sure how you always end up taking on the extra things that need to get done. Lately you’ve been getting more migraines and your IBS is flaring up. You’re wondering if things would feel better if you changed jobs, or even careers.

And then...

You’re on vacation with your family, and everyone is having fun except you. Your brain won’t shut off. Your family says you’re "moody" or “intense”. They’re asking you what’s wrong. You don’t explain it to them because you don’t know what to say, and even if you did, they wouldn’t get it. You told yourself you weren’t going to do work while you were away, but you’re worried someone will miss something.

Many Adult Children of Alcoholics are surprised to learn they bring their personal issues to work.

It's understandable.


Many of us grew up in homes with alcoholism or other family dysfunction. We learned early on to cope by switching parts of ourselves off when we left home every day. It’s what we had to do to get through the day. As children, we excelled in school despite what was going on at home. We enjoyed a sense of security, connection and accomplishment that we never felt at home. We thought of ourselves as different people inside and outside of our homes because, well, in a way we had to be.


So it’s no wonder we grew up to be adults who think it’s normal to ignore and compartmentalize our feelings. We expect ourselves to perform at work no matter what.


And it’s no wonder we use our work as one of our primary coping mechanisms.


We work to feel good about ourselves. We work to give ourselves a feeling of control. We work to feel excitement and pleasure. We work so we don't have to feel whatever it is we would be feeling if we sat still for a minute. And for a little while this strategy is effective.


Until it isn't.


Then we need more. We need more accomplishment, more recognition, more intensity, more busy-ness, more control. This is like an alcoholic who needs more drinks to get the same high.

For many of us, work becomes our drug of choice.
Here's the thing:

if you don’t deal with your childhood issues, your career will.

Are you ready to:

Wake up in the morning feeling rested, calm and in control

Say yes when you mean yes, and no when you mean no – without the overthinking

Be at work when you’re at work, and home when you’re at home, so that you can be present with the people you care about

Show up as your full self, so your life on the outside matches what you feel on the inside

Have a relationship with your work where it works for you as much as you work for it

Finally clear out those old emotional blocks and get that freedom and peace you’ve been craving

Together we will:

Identify what you want to change, what you want more of and less of in your day

Soothe childhood survival patterns that are no longer serving you

Strengthen your ability to use new emotional skills, such as gentleness and humor

Reprocess the old survival patterns that your brain has been using so the past can be in the past where it belongs

Develop new, life-giving perspectives about yourself and others that will guide you in the future

You can be successful AND feel worthy - despite how much money you’re worth.

You can be successful AND feel grounded - without running yourself into the ground.

You can be successful AND feel in control - without being controlling.

You don’t have to continue repeating old emotional survival strategies.

You can start being who you want to be today, instead of who you had to be as a child.

Your future self will thank you.


Areas of Expertise:

  • Entrepreneurs / business owners who identify as ACOA

  • Career decisions for ACOAs

  • Performance anxiety / fear of public speaking

  • Confidence issues

  • Creative blocks

  • Perfectionism

  • Dealing with work stress / burnout



  • What is EMDR?
    EMDR is an evidence-based treatment for emotional trauma and other conditions. When we experience situations that are overwhelming, our brain sometimes has difficulty processing that experience all the way through to a natural conclusion. The experience sits in an incompletely-stored bundle on our neural pathways, along with all the thoughts, beliefs, feelings, sensations and images that were part of that experience. Parts of us get stuck in “trauma time.” EMDR helps the brain access that bundle that has gotten stuck and reprocess it, so that you can complete the experience now in the ways that you needed to then, but couldn’t. Research shows that our brain has the ability to change and create new neural pathways. EMDR harnesses the brain’s natural ability to change and form new neural connections, which allows you to develop more life-giving beliefs about yourself and the world around you. More information about EMDR is available at
  • What kinds of issues can you treat with an EMDR Intensive?
    EMDR Intensives can be helpful for a wide range of issues. I specialize in helping Adult Children of Alcoholics, and I have also seen tremendous results for people with other types of trauma, including childhood trauma, attachment trauma, workplace trauma, traumatic birth experiences and accidents, as well as for performance anxiety, fear of public speaking, creative blocks, and phobias.
  • I have experienced a lot of trauma in my life. Is it safe for me to do an EMDR Intensive?
    Think of an EMDR Intensive as an accelerator for your progress. We don’t skip any steps in the process, we do the steps a little faster and more efficiently. We will assess your history and discuss what the right next steps for your healing might be. We start where you are, and – as I frequently say to my clients – we don’t push our way through therapy. We can only go as fast as the slowest part of you.
  • I already have a therapist. Can I do an EMDR Intensive with you?
    Yes! Sometimes therapists and clients feel stuck. They know there’s a block they keep hitting over and over, no matter how hard they both work. It can be discouraging for both the client and the therapist. Sometimes an intervention using a different approach can help shake things loose. I can collaborate with you and your primary therapist to resolve the stuck point so you can move forward. Adjunct EMDR does not replace or interrupt your primary therapy. To me, it's like the relationship between your primary care doctor and a specialist.
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