Barbara Eggenberger, MFT
I offer you a healing path back to your essential self. The process is intriguing, enlightening and permanently life changing. We go as fast as your body/mind/spirit will allow. As we clear what is not you out of the way, your unique essence will become more and more evident in every facet of your experience.
I have a friendly direct style that gets to the heart of the problem quickly. I combine several modalities, both clinical and alternative, to bring healing and resolution to chronic issues. The healing process is transformative, mysterious and beautifully effective.
What's in the way
"Maybe the journey isn't so much about becoming anything. Maybe it's about un-becoming everything that isn't you, so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place."
- Paul Coelho
What if all your difficulties in life were the result of trauma and not character defects? And what if healing the trauma set you free to express and develop yourself in ways you had always dreamed of but could not manifest?
Trauma comes in big and small ways, not just from war and disaster but also from wounded parents, difficult birth experiences, tragic losses, separations, attachment failures in your first five years of life and the DNA markers of previous generations,
We are all traumatized.
I know. It's a big secret! Even war veterans don't believe they are traumatized. We are biologically programmed to ignore our trauma and carry on as if it never happened. Unfortunately, our bodies cannot forget and continue to react to it until it is healed..
Everyone pays the price. Our closest relationships. Our dreams. Our joy. Trauma is even passed on in our DNA and can impact our children, grandchildren and our great-grandchildren.
Unless we heal it, unprocessed trauma will be our legacy.
Luckily for all of us...we now know how.
We understand so much more about trauma and how the body stores it because of brain scans. The past decade has seen an explosion of research using brain imaging to assess the effects of traumatic stress on the brain.
What's very clear at this point is that trauma alters the brain. Early trauma (preverbal) is trapped in parts of the brain that are inaccessible to talking forms of therapy. In fact there is growing evidence that talking about trauma creates a reinforcement track in the brain that makes the trauma even more difficult to heal.
Brain and body-based therapies heal all forms of trauma. They are also effective in supporting new behaviors and expansion in all areas of life, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. The following are my favorite modalities for healing trauma and supporting expansion.
Therapy That Works
Our brain has an instinctive impulse to restore us quickly to a state of equilibrium following a traumatic event. It will do this by isolating the traumatic experience from our active memory. By doing so, our feelings are separated from the "knowing" areas of awareness.
These isolated experiences do not go away and they do not get updated. They will continue to respond emotionally to anything that sounds, smells, acts or looks like the original event. This is why people "blow up" for no reason. This is why veterans dive under the table when a car backfires even though the war has been over for twenty years. This is why we get angry with our spouse but can't remember why the next day. Something has gotten triggered but the emotional memory has been hijacked from the active memory.
You can talk all you want to about the trauma but nothing will change. You will continue to be triggered and react over and over until that isolated trauma in your brain gets processed.
To process trauma, we have to reduce the talking and make contact through the body/brain in ways that resolve the stuck energy. My favorite approaches are EMDR, Brainspotting, Somatic Release and Systemic Constellation Work.
Check them out below.
While accessing a painful experience, EMDR uses bilateral movement (eyes, sound, tapping) to cause the brain to process whatever we are focusing on. The movement, much like REM sleep, processes painful thoughts, feelings and events. The bilateral movement allows the brain to make associations and neural connections needed to completely digest the troubling information.
EMDR works best on known trauma. Trauma that is stored in pre-verbal memory is not accessible through EMDR.
Brainspotting works by holding the eyes on a fixed spot while accessing an activated feeling in the body. It works with the deep brain where pre-verbal trauma gets stored.
Brainspotting can reduce symptoms, heal core negative beliefs and give you access to powerful parts of yourself that have been blocked by unresolved early trauma.
Early trauma can begin inutero, at birth and in the first three years of life. It forms our strongest negative beliefs and plays them out our whole lives because they are not stored in active normal memory and therefore are frozen in time and never updated.
Brainspotting goes to the place these memories are stored and quickly contacts, releases and resolves them.
Empathic Somatic Release
Traumatic experiences get caught in the soft tissues of the body. The suddenness of the trauma interrupts the body's experience and results in chronic tension. To release these areas of contraction, I attune empathically to your body and feel into these contractions and allow them to release through my body. The result is immediate relaxation and relief in your body.
Systemic Constellations Work
Systemic Constellations blend modern psychotherapy with ancient shamanistic healing to resolve traumas within the Family Soul. Once clients are energetically freed from the traumas of their ancestors they can make new choices in the here and now, and often find that longstanding problems fall away of their own accord, without any conscious effort.
Trans-generational traumas, also known as epigenetics, are systemic traumas that are carried through DNA markers into the present through our ancestral lineage. These traumas result in "family issues" like addiction, depression, anxiety, guilt, and chronic illnesses. These issues are often brushed aside as "All the women in my family suffer from depression." Or, "All the men in my Dad's family have been drinkers." Often these conditions are the result of traumas that happened two to three generations back that have never been addressed and healed.
When these systemic issues are placed in the Knowing Field of Constellations, the hidden dynamics that are sustaining them are revealed to be healed. This work is magical to experience and beautifully healing for all systems, i.e., family, couple, work, money, parent-child, etc., and even psychological systems of depression, anxiety and relationship with Self.
How I Work
I use a combination of all of these modalities to heal underlying trauma depending on your symptoms, their duration and level of distress. All of these modalities include cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness.
I begin each session by somatically attuning with the client and quickly releasing any contracted energy that shows up. Then we set a goal for the session. I may put a symptom or a situation in the constellation field and end up Brainspotting or doing a constellation. I use EMDR in every session both informally for the client’s self soothing or formally as a full EMDR session. All of these modalities clear trauma and allow a return to natural healthy flow. The sessions are dynamic and powerfully effective resulting in significant relief by the end of the hour.
Education & Qualifications
Licensed MFT in California (MC37016) and Oregon (T0613).
M.A. in Counseling Psychology, 1995
B.S. in Psychology, 1985
Certified in Brainspotting.
Trained in EMDR (Levels I/II).
Certified in Family Constellations Work.
Before becoming a therapist I was working in a large international technology corporation and raising my family in the suburbs. Life shifted and I had an opportunity to change careers.
Right out of graduate school, I joined a private practice as an intern while also working for my local school district in an early intervention program for troubled children and I also worked in a clinic that served low-income families. Life was full and rewarding.
Finishing graduate school and getting licensed were rites of passage for me. I had to face my own wounding and my life changed dramatically. For awhile it felt like everything inside and outside of me was falling apart, (It was.) By the time I moved into my own private practice office, a new me had formed and I was living a very different and much richer authentic life.
I have always attracted high-functioning, deeply traumatized clients. Clearing trauma and opening up a client's connection with their authentic being is a calling for me. Beyond analysis and understanding and talking, there is a wonderland of Self just waiting to be freed and accepted. As I became skilled at contacting, processing and releasing trauma, my life as a therapist opened up to the magical ways of healing. Most of them are beyond talking, thinking and knowing. They are mysterious, not knowing and permanently transformative.
I am licensed in Oregon and California.
My fee is $175 an hour and I do not accept any insurance, although I am happy to provide you with a super bill for reimbursement from your insurance company. Just ask. Sessions last an hour and I usually see clients every other week.
I accept checks, credit cards, Venmo, and Zelle and expect payments on the day of the appointment.
For the foreseeable future, I am treating clients remotely by phone or Zoom.
1905 22nd Street
Sacramento, CA 95816
834 SW St. Clair, #202
Portland, OR. 97205