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Ayan Mukherjee – Certified EMDR Therapist and Trauma Specialist

EMDR Therapy Toronto - Ayan Mukherjee - EMDR Therapist Near me - Trauma Therapy TorontoMy name is Ayan Mukherjee and welcome to EMDR Therapy Toronto. As a Registered Psychotherapist and a Certified EMDR Therapist and Consultant, I specialize in EMDR Therapy, anxiety, PTSD, childhood trauma, Complex PTSD and Spiritual Psychotherapy.

I was trained in EMDR in 2017 and I have earned the designation of EMDRIA-Approved EMDR Consultant, which means that I can train and supervise EMDR therapists. There are many EMDR therapists in Ontario presently, though most of them have only completed their EMDR basic training. EMDR Consultant - EMDR Therapy Toronto - Ayan Mukherjee

In my case, I have completed the EMDR Certification process and the subsequent process to become a consultant/supervisor, teaching EMDR Therapy to newly-trained EMDR therapists. This process takes a minimum of 3 years to complete and a lot of experience using EMDR Therapy in various situations with different client populations and issues. Click on the EMDR Consultant badge to verify the requirements for earning the EMDR Consultant designation.

Prior to my EMDR training, I graduated with a degree in Spiritual Psychotherapy from the Transformational Arts College, Toronto, in early 2016. Since then I have also trained in other trauma-informed, somatic therapies, such as Internal Family Systems, Ego States Therapy, Somatic Psychotherapy, Deep Brain Reorienting, etc. You can read more about me on my bio page. You can know more about these modalities and my therapy style by reading through the extensive FAQ section given below. 

 

FAQ About Ayan Mukherjee's Therapy Practice

Do you offer in-person therapy sessions?
Due to the COVID-19 lockdown and social distancing protocols, I decided to start offering video sessions through Zoom on 23rd March 2020. Since then myself and my clients, along with the rest of the EMDR Therapy world have realized that EMDR therapy is completely doable and effective through video sessions. Owing to the enduring popularity of Remote EMDR Therapy, I am no longer offering in-person sessions and exclusively offering Zoom videoconferencing sessions only. Zoom is free for you and you don’t need to create a profile, or an account. It is also encrypted and secure. You just need to click on my Zoom meeting room link and follow the prompts. I will be sending this link when we book our session.
What are your hours and fees? Do you have a sliding scale?

I work Monday to Thursday, with my first session beginning at 10 am and my last session ending at 6 pm. I do not see clients on weekends.

My fee is $170 (incl. of HST) per hourly session. My sliding scale slots are full and I no longer offer a sliding scale.

Do you offer a free consultation?

Yes, I do offer a 30-minute phone consultation before booking our first session. In this call, I ask you a bit about the reasons why you are reaching out and then you can ask me any questions that you may have. I also speak more about my approach and if we both agree that it could be a good fit, then we can book our first session at the end of the call.

What client populations do you work with?

Currently, I only work with adults in individual therapy sessions. I do not work with children, couples or families.

Which school are you affiliated with and what are your credentials?

EMDR Consultant - EMDR Therapy Toronto - Ayan MukherjeeI was trained in EMDR in 2017 and I have earned the designation of EMDRIA-approved Certified EMDR Therapist and Consultant, which means that I can train and supervise EMDR therapists. I completed my degree in psychotherapy in March 2016 from the Transformational Arts College (TAC), based in Toronto and received the title of RP – Registered Psychotherapist. The Registered Psychotherapist designation is regulated by the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO).

Review my EMDR credentials on the EMDRIA page.

Review my page on the CRPO psychotherapist public directory.

What types of therapeutic techniques do you utilize?

My style of conducting therapy is of an eclectic nature, while being firmly grounded in a client-centered, collaborative approach. This means that I use different modalities, based on what fits the situation and I am not stuck up on one school of thought.

Having said that, I do utilize EMDR Therapy quite often, along with other modalities such as Deep Brain Reorienting, Ego States Therapy, Internal Family Systems, Somatic Psychotherapy, Polyvagal Theory, Structural Dissociation Theory, and Spiritual Psychotherapy. I am also a big believer in the power of guided imagery to transform our subconscious mind and love working with archetypes, ancestral trauma, and psychedelic experience integration. I also bring in concepts such as Non-Violent Communication (NVC) for improving my client’s relational and communication skills.

What do you mean when you say that your techniques go beyond “talk-only” therapy?

In typical “talk-only” therapy, the focus is on generating insight into the client’s issues and understanding the situation rationally and realistically and then transforming the client’s behaviours, as the thinking pattern becomes more rational and balanced. Talk-only therapies, like CBT, deal primarily with the conscious, rational part of the brain.

But studies in neurobiology show that our feelings, defense mechanisms and gut reactions to situations arise from more primitive parts, such as the emotional (mid-brain) and the survival (brain stem) sections of the brain. These parts are often outside the direct control of the rational part of the brain. So you may rationally understand your issues and have a lot of insight, but that may not help you heal from your symptoms.

Therapies such as EMDR and body-based psychotherapies work more directly with these primitive parts of the brain that are responsible for fight, flight, freeze, submit and other dissociative defense mechanisms. These defenses when out of balance can cause anxiety, panic attacks, depression, depersonalization, derealisation, etc. This is what I mean when I say that the therapies I practice go beyond “talk-only”, rational therapy.

Are you covered under extended health benefit plans?

If your health benefit covers you for Registered Psychotherapists (RPs) under the Psychological Services section, then you can submit my receipts for insurance claims. Lately, more and more companies are covering RPs within their plans.

What level of privacy can I expect?

In general, all communication between us is confidential and I will only release information about our work to others at your request and with your written permission.

There are certain situations, however, where I am required by law to reveal information obtained during therapy to other persons/agencies, even if you do not give permission. These are the situations:  If you threaten grave bodily harm or death to yourself or another I may inform medical or law enforcement personnel. If you report to me knowledge of physical or sexual abuse of a minor child by an adult, or of an elderly or disabled person I am required to inform the appropriate agencies. If you report the sexual misconduct of a mental health professional I am required to report it to the appropriate College. If you become involved in a legal case (child custody, civil suit, etc.) I may be required to produce records or testify. I will do everything I can to keep your records confidential but sometimes it may be out of my control to do so.

Is psychotherapy a regulated health profession?

Psychotherapy is regulated in Ontario by the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO), which was proclaimed in April 2015. I am a member of this regulating body.

FAQ About EMDR Therapy and Trauma

How can EMDR Therapy Help Me?
EMDR Therapy Toronto – EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. EMDR Therapy is typically used for treating anxiety, phobias, PTSD and clearing other symptoms from traumatic events, such as domestic violence, childhood trauma, sexual abuse, accidents, etc. Briefly, EMDR Therapy works on the model that some of our presenting issues can be traced back to memories from our past, which did not get “digested” or processed properly by our brain’s information processing system. This would likely happen if the memory was experienced as being traumatic. EMDR processing happens by firstly desensitizing the emotional charge in the memory. When that happens, the brain considers the memory to be less important. Secondly, EMDR Therapy helps the brain consolidate these memories by transferring them from short-term muscle memory to long-term memory. It results in that feeling of finally moving on from the traumatic event. For complex trauma and childhood developmental trauma, EMDR Therapy needs to be combined with other modalities, such as Internal Family System, some form of somatic psychotherapy, emotional regulation techniques, attachment-based modifications to EMDR Therapy, etc.
What all issues can EMDR Therapy help me with?

The American Psychological Association (APA) has recognized EMDR Therapy as the therapy of choice for PTSD. Though there are also many different variants and protocols that other therapists have created over the years, to adapt EMDR Therapy for other issues, such as anxiety, phobias, attachment and relational traumas, dissociative disorders, etc.

I have significant anxiety/PTSD-like symptoms, but I can’t think of big traumatic events in my life. Can EMDR Therapy still help me?

The definition of trauma has changed in recent times. Currently, it is defined as anything that overwhelms us psychologically. There are two types of trauma, one called “Big T” trauma, such as war, sexual abuse, rape, physical assault, major accidents, natural disasters, torture, etc. The other is called “small t” trauma, such as verbal, emotional, psychological abuse, childhood neglect, abandonment, smothering, difficult breakups and other forms of relational, attachment and childhood developmental traumas.

“Big T” traumas are generally highly intense and short-lived, often showing up as discrete events in a client’s trauma history. “Small t” traumas on the other hand can be of lower intensity that can go on for years. “Small t” traumas are no walk in the park and can cause significant post-traumatic stress symptoms, if not full-blown PTSD.

When it comes to attachment, relational and childhood developmental trauma, EMDR Therapy may need to be adapted to the client’s specific situation. I do practice a variation of EMDR called Attachment-Focused EMDR Therapy. We can discuss this more during our free 30-minute phone consultation.

I have heard that EMDR Therapy can heal issues within a few sessions. Is that true?

EMDR Therapy can be very effective, but it is not a magic pill and every client’s situation is unique. Our issues are often multi-factorial and thus many factors are needed to make therapy effective in healing your symptoms. This includes the strength of our therapeutic relationship, your coping mechanisms, your ability to regulate overwhelming feelings and to feel safe in your body and with other people, the level of dissociation that we are working with, the quality and quantity of supports in your life, etc.

EMDR Therapy is one of the factors within this framework. Having said that, I strongly believe in a results-oriented approach and we will work collaboratively to ensure that the therapy is meeting your needs.

EMDR Therapy for Single Event Traumas vs. Childhood Developmental Traumas. How are they different?

In cases of single event traumas in adulthood, where the client had a relatively trauma-free childhood with secure attachments, EMDR Therapy can be quicker in terms of showing results. I analogize the trauma to be like a localized tumor in the body, which can be directly accessed and dealt with.

While in cases where there is significant childhood trauma, or significant dissociation, EMDR Therapy needs to be implemented with other modalities and the therapy process can be slower and more long drawn out. Dealing with the trauma is then similar to dealing with late stage cancer, which has metastasized to different parts of the body. The trauma then affects every aspect of our personality and our sense of self. It is not as cut and dry as the scenario presented above, with single event traumas.

Once we conduct the intake in the first session, I shall present a treatment plan to you and work collaboratively with you to adapt EMDR Therapy and other modalities, to your unique situation, in a safe and effective manner.

What other therapeutic techniques do you utilize along with EMDR Therapy for trauma?

When it comes to clients who come to me for trauma, I use the triphasic trauma model. This model has 3 phases:

  • Stabilization Phase: In this phase we are ensuring that the client is able to deal with overwhelming emotions, that may arise in between sessions and certain skills are taught and practiced. In this phase I bring in trauma-informed mindfulness, body-based psychotherapy and breathing and relaxation skills. We also work on some dissociation in this phase, if it is present, using Ego States Therapy, Internal Family Systems and Structural Dissociation Theory.
  • Reprocessing Phase: This is the phase where we reprocess memories and I often use a combination of standard protocol EMDR Therapy, Attachment Focused EMDR, and Deep Brain Reorienting.
  • Integration Phase: In this phase we ground the gains made in therapy into real life. This is where I help the client learn new behaviours and teach and practice effective relating and communication skills

Please note that these phases are not linear in nature. We can also stay in phase 1 for the whole duration of the therapy and it can be very effective in stabilizing a client’s symptoms. We can talk more about this on our free 30-minute phone consultation.

What is “parts work” and how can it help me? Is it like having Multiple Personality Disorder?

“Parts work” is a colloquial term for therapeutic techniques that help us to look at ourselves as comprised of various parts, with slightly differing agendas, needs and desires. Internal Family System (IFS) is one such therapeutic technique. It can help to reduce the polarization and the tug-of-war between opposing parts, such as your Inner Child and your Inner Critic. I also use other forms of “parts work” such as Ego States Therapy and Structural Dissociation Theory. IFS is not the only model for parts work.

Identifying parts in your psyche does not mean that you have Multiple Personality Disorder (currently known as Dissociative Identity Disorder).

Based on what I have read, I think I have dissociative symptoms/ depersonalization/ derealization. Do you work with these symptoms?

Yes, I do work with clients experiencing dissociative symptoms. I use the model of Structural Dissociation Theory to help my clients slowly and safely reduce the level of dissociation in their psychological system. Please note that dissociation is one of the ways in which our body protects us from overwhelming feelings and sensory overload. We can discuss more about your unique situation during our free 30-minute phone consultation.

FAQ About Spiritual Psychotherapy

Do you practice Spiritual Psychotherapy and if so, what does it include?

Prior to my deep dive into complex trauma training and client work, my psychotherapy training program had a significant component of non-denominational spirituality within it. I have strived to integrate a spiritual lens into trauma healing. I believe that without this lens the healing potential is incomplete and not holistic enough. I also understand that not everyone is open to the spiritual aspect and that is fine. Some folks just want to see me for my expertise in EMDR Therapy and that works for me as well.

I incorporate the following modalities within the category of Spiritual Psychotherapy:

  • Spiritual Direction – Through spiritual direction I help you reconnect and strengthen your connection to the transcendental, to the Divine, to God, to Nature, whatever is the way you conceptualize divinity. My approaches will be contained within your religious or spiritual background for this reconnection, be it a denomination of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, non-denominational spirituality, nature worship, etc.
  • Energy Body, Aura, Chakras, etc. – I do not engage in energy healing practices, such as Reiki. Though, I can help you research, understand, and try to have direct experiences of your soul/Self, auric field, chakras, subtle bodies (etheric, astral, mental, causal bodies), and other esoteric concepts, such as karmic cycles and reincarnation. The goal is to expand the framework of your trauma healing to transcend the boundaries of just the physical body, brain and nervous system. You are so much more than that! A good introduction to these topics can be found via the Spirit Science series on Youtube.
  • Navigating Dark Night of the Soul, Hero’s Journey & Psychedelic Experience Integration – Sometimes depressive symptoms, panic attacks, depersonalization/derealization, severe existential anxieties, such as health anxiety and death anxiety can unexpectedly manifest and disrupt our lives. We can conceptualize some of these phenomena as a Dark Night of the Soul experience and I can help you navigate it using the concept of the Hero’s Journey. All other modalities, such as EMDR Therapy would then get utilized with this deeper understanding. I am also happy to help you integrate your experiences with psychedelic medicine, such as psilocybin, Ayahuasca, DMT, peyote, etc.
  • Spirit Releasement Therapy Protocol – It is a therapy protocol that was developed by a psychologist named, William Baldwin, in the early 1990s. You can know more about his methods from the book: Healing Lost Souls. I am happy to speak more about these modalities during our call, if you like. It includes three components:
    • Releasement of attached entities and fragments – Entities of various kinds can be attached to our auric field and they can cause all kinds of issues and challenges. The releasement is neither harsh, nor scary, and is full of loving grace and compassion for the client, and the stuck entities. We may also identify and release undesirable soul/mind fragments of living people, such as ex-partners, abusive parents or trauma perpetrators that got attached to the client. The releasement is done through a line of inquiry and the client has direct experience of everything. I do not do anything psychic from my end, nor is there any use of any occult practices or magick of any kind. I have facilitated many such entity releases since I incorporated this modality into my toolbox. The goal is to remove all external interferences, as much as possible, before identifying what symptoms are truly yours and then working on those with conventional trauma therapies.
    • Past Life Therapy – Many physical symptoms, psychosomatic issues, and strong relational dynamics have a past life origin or component to it. Past Life Therapy is akin to doing EMDR Therapy on a cellular memory of an event that did not happen in your current lifetime. You will have direct experience of whatever shows up, and it is typically not scary or traumatizing. This form of Past Life Therapy does not involve the use of hypnotic induction.
    • Soul/Mind Fragment Retrieval & Re-integration – Often when we experience significant traumas, a small portion of our consciousness/energy can get pushed out of our energy body and get stuck in that time and space. It may lead you to feel like you lost a part of yourself, or you don’t feel whole. This form of therapy entails the use of guided imagery and a specific line of inquiry to connect with those soul/mind fragments, bring them back to present time and reintegrate them into your energy body. We can then follow up with EMDR Therapy processing of those trauma memories for a holistic healing approach.
What are some signs that I might benefit from Spirit Releasement Therapy Protocol?

I want to be clear that whatever spiritual work we do, it would be done within the ethical and relational container of trauma-informed psychotherapy. You are working with a Registered Psychotherapist and EMDR Consultant, not an unregulated energy healer, psychic or medium.

In my clinical experience, the modalities contained within the Spirit Releasement Therapy Protocol can potentially be a good fit for the following phenomena: psychosomatic pains and illness which have no organic biological cause; feeling not like yourself at times, or not in your body, without meeting criteria for a dissociative disorder; having dark dreams, nightmares, sensing dark “stuff” around you; being hammered by intensely negative intrusive thoughts that don’t feel like yours; sudden onset of depersonalization, derealization, or feeling like your body is not a safe place to inhabit. I also specialize in working with dissociative disorders and some of the above phenomena also gets manifested when there is significant structural dissociation and fragmenting. I am happy to discuss these concerns in our sessions and work collaboratively with you, in a creative and out-of-the-box way that is still within the ethical and regulatory framework that I am committed to adhere to.

I do not resonate with the spiritual stuff, but I would like to work with you using EMDR Therapy and conventional trauma therapy modalities. Is that doable?

The spiritual “stuff” has become an important part of my psychotherapy practice and also the lens through which I perceive everything around me. I have a consistent personal spiritual practice that involves mantra chanting and meditation. Having said that, I am willing to put the spiritual hat aside for our work and stick to conventional trauma therapy, if that’s what you need. A sizeable percentage of my clients don’t need the spiritual component anyway. Although, given the healing and transformations that I have witnessed with spiritual psychotherapy, I would feel negligent if I didn’t tell you that this approach exists and let you decide whether you want to try it out or not.

Is there a separate consent form for spiritual psychotherapy?

Yes, because EMDR Therapy and trauma-focused psychotherapy form the core of my private practice and I want to give new clients the choice to opt-in to the spiritual psychotherapy component.

If we both believe and agree that spiritual psychotherapy is needed, then I will send you the Spiritual Psychotherapy Consent Form through the Jane system. This consent form is typically sent after our first or second session, or later in the therapeutic journey.

 

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