Testimonials & Results

Survivor Testimonials

“This organization saved my life. I cannot thank you enough.”

– Kevin from Kentucky

“I honestly don’t think I would have made it through the first year of going on disability for Complex PTSD without the help, support and insight from Healing TREE. Thank you. I hope that those of you out there who want to make a difference in the lives of so many will help by supporting this incredible cause.”

-Anna From Michigan

Professional Testimonials


“This is the first time something like that has happened and I don’t want to self harm… It’s the EMDR isn’t it?”

EMDR Therapy Training Trainee sharing feedback from a foster care client who had had 7 years of traditional therapy before this.

“It’s amazing to me that the information’s value would show up so close to the presentation and be so immediately meaningful to my practice for it to be applied and shared so quickly.”

– Maureen Nolan, LAPC, MA CC, NCC
Attendee of Medical Clinic Speaking Engagement, Healing from Trauma: Hope and Inspiration in Atlanta, GA – 10.26.16

“[Healing TREE Founder + CEO] Marissa’s presentation was impactful and informed. I am grateful for Marissa’s survivor-leadership, as well as for the inspiration and solidarity that this presentation offered for our Participants.”

– Alissa L. F. Tertichny, LMSW
Staff Attendee of a Women’s Residential Program Speaking Engagement, The Journey In and Out of Trauma in Atlanta, GA – 10.27.16

A “hold” is a physical restraint licensed adults use on children who become a danger to themselves or others. Before receiving EMDR, an 11 year old client of hers was having to be put in a hold an average of 16 times per week, with each hold lasting 45 minutes to 3 hours and taking 5 staff members to hold her. She was also put in an average of 6 seclusions (solitary confinement) per week, each lasting about 30 minutes to an hour. After receiving EMDR, she has not been secluded in 4 months and has gone down to an average of 2 holds every 3 weeks for about 2 minutes each. This little girl was previously attacking people, biting people and throwing furniture that adult staff had a hard time even moving. She hasn’t been on a hold at school for 2 months and her grades are way up and keep improving. She now simply says “I need my buzzys” when she feels activated and she then receives EMDR grounding and she has taught all of the staff at the social service agency to do “monkey taps” (bilateral stimulation) with her.

A 17 year old client has an arson charge (burning down the home she was abused in) and an attempted murder charge and has been blacklisted from every other treatment facility and foster home in the nation (I didn’t even know that was possible, apparently they can’t even laterally move her) and had self injurious behavior that was horrifically intense. She had surgery for a brain tumor and since then has repeatedly reopened the wound and put items ranging from (now banned) marker caps and lollipops to her own teeth she pulled out into her head. She would self harm if she didn’t get what she wanted for dinner. After receiving EMDR, she has had no self injurious behavior for 9 months. The longest she went before the treatment was 6 weeks. She is now graduating high school ahead of schedule and is going to go to college and live on her own. The staff went from asking “how do we keep her alive?” to “where is she going to go to school?” She used to risk infection and death every time she self harmed in those ways and so her therapist claims she would very likely be dead without receiving EMDR. She is now showing no behavioral problems and so doesn’t even meet their criteria for their level of care anymore. Classmates of hers hid objects she could self harm with in the bathroom “in case she wanted to” and she now says to them “I don’t want to do that anymore, that doesn’t serve me.” Recently, after she received some very unfortunate news about her mother, instead of self harming, she began to do slow bilateral stimulation on herself and then said to her therapist, “This is the first time something like that has happened and I don’t want to self harm… It’s the EMDR isn’t it?” She had had 7 years of traditional therapy before this. So, yes, yes, it is.

– Therapist who received Healing TREE’s EMDR Therapy Training, done by Dr. Jamie Marich and team

“[Healing TREE is] providing an important and much needed service by raising public understanding and awareness of the wide range of experiences that constitute trauma and safe, effective, mind-body approaches for healing.”

-Kalpana Murthy, LPC, EMDRIA Certified EMDR Therapist
Attendee of a Medical Clinic Speaking Engagement, Healing from Trauma: Hope and Inspiration in Atlanta, GA – 10.26.16


Results


“Completely changed my mindset in how to treat our trauma youth. My teens are making progress so much quicker than with previous trauma treatments.  We are no longer taking meds for nightmares relating to PTSD! Can not say enough great things about EMDR and the trainers.” 

– EMDR Therapy Training Trainee
Louisville, KY – 2. 20-22.19

“I think the most valuable thing I learned from this talk was to look at those who have mental illnesses in terms of what happened to them instead of what’s wrong with them. Marissa is an amazing speaker and she’s very knowledgeable and I think everyone should hear her speak.”

-Student who attended Red Flags of Abuse and Interpersonal Trauma college engagement

Type of Event: College Speaking Engagement

Audience: Open to entire campus community, co-sponsored by the Relationship Peer Educators (RPE) and the Counseling Outreach Peer Educators (COPE) 23 questionnaires filled out 

Topic:Red Flags of Abuse and Interpersonal Trauma

Speaker: Healing TREE Founder + CEO Marissa Ghavami 

Time: 1 1/2 hours including Q&A; 30 minute pre-engagement with Peer Educators

Venue: College of the Holy Cross

Location and Date: Worcester, MA 3.14.2018  


100% of attendees said they learned something new from the speaking engagement

“I think the most valuable thing I learned from this talk was to look at those who have mental illnesses in terms of what happened to them instead of what’s wrong with them. Marissa is an amazing speaker and she’s very knowledgeable and I think everyone should hear her speak.”

–  Student Who Attended

Type of Event: Speaking Engagement at Staff Retreat

Audience: Staff at a domestic violence program and shelter; 14 questionnaires filled out, approximately 2 left blank/not turned in 

Topic:Trauma Bonding Using Real Life Examples

Speaker: Healing TREE Founder + CEO Marissa Ghavami 

Time: 2 1/2 hours including Q&A

Venue: Golden House Staff Retreat

Location and Date: Green Bay, WI 5.23.17  


100% of professionals said they feel better prepared to recognize the signs of trauma bonding after attending the speaking engagement

“I feel like I want to share this training with everyone I know – this is so important.”

–  Diane Sohr, Crisis Advocate, Attendee of Speaking Engagement at a Staff Retreat for a Domestic Violence Program and Shelter


Type of Event: Keynote Speaking Engagement

Audience: 2017 Changing Face of Adoption Conference 

Topic:The Journey In and Out of Trauma

Speaker: Healing TREE Founder + CEO Marissa Ghavami 

Time: 1 1/2 hours including Q&A

Venue: Kalahari Resort

Location and Date: Wisconsin Dells, WI 9.13.2017  


“It was inspiring to hear Marissa’s story and an experience of how the right work can really help heal trauma and the brain. It would be interesting to see how Marissa’s work intersects with the WI Trauma Project.”–  Conference Attendee 

“Marissa was an excellent speaker and very inspirational.”

–  Conference Attendee

Type of Event: Breakout Speaking Engagement

Audience: 2017 Changing Face of Adoption Conference

 Topic:The Journey In and Out of Trauma

Speaker: Healing TREE Founder + CEO Marissa Ghavami 

Time: 1 1/2 hours including Q&A

Venue: Kalahari Resort

Location and Date: Wisconsin Dells, WI 9.13.2017  


With regards to what they learned, the most common response amongst attendees was “Trauma Bonding”.

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