Meet Greta Lyders PhD
What unique skills or approaches do you offer your clients?
I just completed my advanced year of Somatic Experiencing® training in January of 2018, 216 hours of training! It’s like getting a second masters degree. So I enjoy helping clients understand confusing or distressing feelings, sensations and thoughts in terms of how their nervous system might be trying to protect them and/or trying to help them resolve past trauma or pain. Somatic Experiencing® is the chief theoretical framework I use to guide my clinical practice because it works well and gives people relief right away.
As I’ve learned Somatic Experiencing®, I started using “orienting to the environment with the senses” by inviting clients to “let your eyes go where they want to go,” as a calming strategy in place of relaxation exercises. It’s what wild animals do and it works.
In the medical setting, I frequently see people who have had panic attacks. They often feel relieved when they understand that all of their physical “symptoms” are part of the fight, flight and freeze responses of our biology and that they are normal. I know how to work with these responses to help clients get “completion” and free themselves from the straight jacket of trauma.
I enjoy the positive philosophy of DBT treatment, which is that “we are always trying to do our best” AND “we can also work toward changing what is not working for us.”
What do clients experience in working with you?
Clients learn that all of their thoughts, feelings and body sensations are meaningful. In traditional talk therapy, we often must rely on conscious recall of events to help us work through emotional distress. But sometimes, we have no conscious memory of the events that hurt us. I’ve worked with clients who have been date raped and weren’t conscious during the traumatic incidents they experienced. Using only the physical sensations in their bodies that emerge in discussing events related to the trauma, I helped them work through the body’s “memory” of the trauma without the need for specific recall of what happened after being drugged.
What do you enjoy about being a psychotherapist?
My greatest strength as a clinician is finding ways to help clients adopt a compassionate stance toward their “symptoms” or coping strategies. Empathy for others (expressed verbally or in body language) comes pretty easily for me, and I think clients sense safety.
What is your specialty?
Trauma! Clients are surprised that I have been seeing clients for over 23 years now, and I love going to work every day. What makes this so rewarding is that the moreI learn, the more I see my clients get better faster. It is so rewarding. So yes, working with trauma is so rewarding to see clients break free of the prison of feeling scared, alone, frozen and become confident and alive again.
Another specialty is helping clients with chronic or persistent pain. I have learned and used an EMDR protocol for treating chronic pain, and I also studied and have used an integrated EMDR technique (IEMDR) for treating migraines.
What have clients appreciated about you?
- My clients like how I consistently understand them from a stance of compassion.
- Clients like my sense of humor, and my ability to laugh at myself and with them when they are funny.
- My natural stance of giving everyone the benefit of the doubt,
- My intellectual flexibility and curiosity, which keeps me looking for better ways to help them