James Benda, M.A., Therapist
James Benda, M.A., Therapist, works with individuals (15 and older), couples and families. He welcomes and has experience working with clients who come from a variety of family styles and cultural backgrounds. James takes a collaborative approach, engaging in the process of listening, reflecting, and being curious in order to attempt to understand everything from a client’s current functioning to their historical contexts from their point of view. He seeks to help clients explore and identify how their experiences relate to the construction of their roles, their values, what they want and/or need, and their current challenges. Sometimes, the expansion of awareness is all that’s necessary for people to work through obstacles, restore feelings of connectedness and wholeness and move forward on their own.
When more in depth work is necessary, James’ training as a trauma therapist has allowed him to develop an expertise in identifying and integrating the obstacles that inhibit people’s ability to to move forward. He believes in creating a safe, warm, and trusting environment to explore how, when, and why these obstacles began. Often, there is the need to apply wisdom and self-compassion to our situations to get us back to feeling we are on our right paths. When this isn’t possible with “talk therapy,” James’ is trained to utilize EMDR to help people process their trauma.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy is a “breakthrough” therapy treatment based on an Adaptive Information Processing model developed in the late 1980’s. This model suggests that traumatic memories are a unique kind of memory that can be transformed in therapy by the use of dual awareness, combining the process used naturally in dreams (the Rapid Eye Movement state of our sleep cycle) to process our waking experiences, while remaining alert in the present moment. EMDR therapy is recognized by several clinical studies as a very effective and expedient method for working through trauma. EMDR is endorsed by the World Health Organization as not only a treatment for trauma, but also for a broad range of pathology including anxiety and depression.
James has a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy, is EMDR trained, and has additional training using EMDR for Dissociative disorders and Complex PTSD. James is Prepare/Enrich Certified. He works under the supervision of Craig Rens, MA, LMFT while working towards independent licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist.