Finding Healing Through EMDR Therapy: Chloe’s Journey to Empowerment

In the world of mental health therapy, there exists a method that transcends traditional talk therapy. It is called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy, and for Chloe Brown, it has been a transformative journey towards healing and empowerment.

For the past two years, Chloe has been under the guidance of Avery Kerr, Ph. D, a dedicated counselor at FSRV. Through EMDR Therapy, Dr. Kerr has helped Chloe navigate the depths of her trauma and emerge stronger on the other side.

“EMDR is pervasive as it fixes the issue beyond what can be logically surmised,” Chloe reflects. “It works…it sticks…I don’t have to try because of the root change. I know that I am different instead of trying to figure out the why.”

The essence of EMDR lies in its ability to reprocess traumatic memories through specific eye movements. It is not just about addressing the surface-level symptoms; it’s about delving deep into the core of one’s being and effecting profound change from within.

Chloe’s experience with EMDR has been nothing short of life changing. “EMDR does not focus on me having a voice…it involves memories and other things that are all incredibly important including my voice,” she shares. “My husband now jokes with me about how he used to be able to get away with stuff! Now I speak up for myself!”

Through the therapeutic journey facilitated by Dr. Kerr, Chloe has reclaimed her voice. She has broken free from the chains of silence and has emerged as a beacon of strength and resilience.

Dr. Kerr, reflecting on Chloe’s journey, shares, “I see her journey as one of integrating all parts of who she is so she can live her ‘true self.’ And identifying and healing limiting beliefs about ourselves moves us forward.”

Chloe’s story is a testament to the power of EMDR Therapy in fostering healing and transformation. It is a reminder that within the depths of our pain lie the seeds of our strength, waiting to blossom into a future filled with hope and possibility.

In the end, Chloe’s journey serves as an inspiration to us all—a reminder that no matter how deep the wounds, there is always a path to healing, and that path begins with the courage to confront our pain and the willingness to embark on the journey towards wholeness.

*Client’s name has been changed to protect their identity.

Annual Report 2022-2023

Family Service of Roanoke Valley supports individuals and families as they journey toward emotional wellness, healthy relationships and a future filled with hope. This document highlights every donation that we received for the fiscal year July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023.

We invite you to read through the highlights and outcomes, as well as the feedback from our clients and demographic information. We’ve also included some stories about how our programs make a positive impact in our community.

We want to thank everyone who contributes to our success by supporting us financially or giving us their time! Please click on the graphic below to read the full report!

In the Words of a Former Client:

When someone treats you with kindness, support and understanding, you don’t tend to forget it. Fourteen years ago, the wonderful staff at Family Service helped me through what was then the hardest time of my life. Navigating through territory I had never even considered before, I was gently guided to first take stock, then make a plan, and follow through. There were moments of revelation during which the staff held up a mirror for me to witness who I was and why. Through personalized exercises, I learned more about myself and my path than I ever could have by myself. With family hundreds of miles away from me, finding their services right around the corner meant a lot to me. Having impartial, compassionate support was priceless. I am ever grateful.

Heather Brush, Roanoke, VA

Annual Impact Report 2021-2022

This document is a broad overview of the programs and services that we offer to the Roanoke Valley Community and demonstrates the impact that FSRV has in the areas of counseling, public guardianship, and youth development.

Thank you to everyone who makes our work possible by supporting us financially or by volunteering!

Click on the graphic below to read the full report: 

Ariel’s Story

Ariel is a former client of Family Service of Roanoke Valley who experienced abuse and trauma as a child.  Ariel states that her mother was diagnosed with a serious mental health condition in addition to being a substance user.  Ariel’s father had a challenging childhood and as an adult, was sentenced to serve time in a Federal Prison. 

Ariel and her sister were removed from their home by the Department of Social Services and were placed into a group home in the Roanoke Valley.  While residing in the group home, Ariel received counseling services from Family Service of Roanoke Valley.  She said that if she could speak with her counselors today about her experience, she “would thank them for investing in [her] as a person rather than just as their job,” said Ariel.  She added: “when you invest in people – it’s genuinely a deeper connection…which makes you open up and process things easier…they appreciate you instead of feeling sorry for you…it makes me want to do better and be stronger in the end.”  Ariel also said, “You are able to express yourself at Family Service of Roanoke Valley.  I feel like I am who I am today because of the people who invested in me [there]!”

Note: The name of the former client has been changed to protect their identity.

Signs You Might Need Support

Recently there has been a lot of uncertainty growing with the COVID-19 pandemic, and many people are experiencing stress, heightened emotions, and grief that they have never experienced before. But how can you tell that you are currently struggling? There may be changes in your behavior or lifestyle that seem different, and you may not know how to handle them. Here are some signs that might indicate you need to seek support.

10 Signs You Might Need Support

  • Changes in mood-anger, hopelessness, sadness, irritability
  • Changes in behavior-not interacting with friends and family
  • Lack of interest in activities you have previously enjoyed
  • Sleep issues-can’t sleep, can do nothing but sleep, can’t stay asleep
  • Changes in weight or eating patterns
  • Problems with memory or concentration
  • Changes in personal hygiene
  • Increase in risky or reckless behaviors
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Worsening of chronic health conditions

It is also important to note that there are certain demographics that fall under the increased need of support during this time. The people impacted most strongly may include:

  • People of Color
  • People at higher risk of a severe case of COVID-19 – older people and those with underlying medical conditions
  • Care providers-family and professionals
  • Essential workers
  • Those with existing mental health disorders
  • Those people who use substances to cope
  • People who have lost their jobs
  • People who are homeless
  • People in congregate living
  • People who are socially isolated
  • People who speak English as a second language

If you are experiencing any of the signs above, or are a part of the demographic that may be experiencing high stress, your next step may be to learn how to cope with those emotions.

Healthy Ways to Cope With Stress

  • Know what to do if you are sick and are concerned about COVID-19.
  • Know where and how to get treatment and other support services and resources, including counseling or therapy (in-person or through telehealth services) and reach out if necessary.
  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including those on social media.
  • Take care of your body:
  • Make time to unwind and try to do some other activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with others and talk with people you trust.
  • Connect with your community or faith-based organizations.
  • While social distancing measures are in place, consider connecting online, through social media, or by phone or mail.

What Family Service Can Do For You

For our community during this time, Family Service of Roanoke Valley is offering up to 4 free short-term therapy sessions to people who may be feeling increased anxiety, fear, or depression caused by COVID-19 or by recent unrest in our communities. Sessions will be by video or phone and are open to anyone ages 10 or above.

After 4 sessions, referrals to other community resources will be offered.

To make an appointment call 540-563-5316, ext 4653.

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