Patty Giffin, Ph.D.

Patty Giffin

Patty Giffin, Ph.D. has been an avid student and teacher of EMDR Therapy since 2000. She has worked as an EMDR trainer for HAP/Trauma Recovery since 2012 and facilitated and consulted with hundreds of therapists. She appreciates the remarkable efficacy of EMDR Therapy, and the emphasis Francine Shapiro put on research. As a consultant she offers the following dimensions:

  • As a certified yoga teacher, she recognizes the important role of somatic aspects of therapy and can teach how to utilize relaxing and activating postures of yoga and breathing techniques to help clients in their healing journey.
  • As the teacher of a weekly insight meditation group (since 1997) she enjoys the subtle integration of a more spiritual perspective into therapy when helpful. The silent aspect of reprocessing in the EMDR Therapy model is a form of meditative inquiry.
  • As a volunteer with hospice agencies she is aware of the profound lessons of dying and death. She teaches this sensitivity and helps trainees learn how to apply it to all aspects of both small and large traumatic experiences, and she shows how that attunement is essential in all phases but especially the assessment and reprocessing phases of EMDR Therapy.
  • As a lifelong learner Patty likes to listen to her students and learn from their experiences and challenges. Straightforward and kind, she helps students feel empowered even when they are trying new skills. Especially when a therapist has been practicing a long time, it can be quite the challenge to try on a new paradigm of treatment but having been through that learning curve herself, Patty aids the students in recognizing how much of their experience and skill is already applicable to this new model.
  • As a lover of nature and wilderness and enjoying life to the max, Patty spends a lot of time hiking, skiing, kayaking whitewater rivers and oceans, enjoying music and dancing, and gardening. She believes in magic.
  • As a student of the Spanish language she has volunteered at a medical facility for undocumented Latinx workers and is sensitized to how those issues may impact trauma therapy work.

Patty started practicing psychology as an inpatient psychiatric aide in the late “60’s in mental hospitals in Washington, D.C., where straitjackets and lobotomies were still being used to “control” patients because psychotropic medications were not yet commonly prescribed. In the mid-1970s Patty studied the concept of “flow” with her mentor M. Csikszentmihalyi and received a Master of Science at the University of Chicago. She completed her doctorate at the University of Utah in 1987 with a dissertation about the inequities of reimbursement in mental health care. Patty has had a private psychotherapy practice for over 30 years specializing initially with complex mood disorders and now primarily post-traumatic stress disorders. Her resource box is full of many tools in addition to EMDR Therapy, including hypnosis, somatic awareness, process work and gestalt, psychodynamic and Jungian therapies.