For over thirty years, Dr. Ferrie practiced psychotherapy in the Greater Toronto Area. He specializes in the psychological effects of traumatic stress which may result from child abuse, major accidents, first responders witnessing horrific scenes, combat, rape, assault, and more. These experiences continue to recur in the mind and interfere with the life of the victim.
Since 1996, Dr. Ferrie’s particular interest has been in the treatment of this traumatic stress using Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy. EMDR is one of the most studied and successful treatments for PTSD. Its purpose is to reprocess these traumatically stored memories so that, after successful therapy, they cease to cause disturbing symptoms, such as panic attacks, flashbacks, anxiety, depression, and nightmares.
In the 1980s the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association required type A trauma, now in the words of the DSM-5, be “Exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence” to be present for a diagnosis of PTSD. Surprisingly, this is the only diagnosis in that manual where the cause was stated, thus making it a true diagnosis and not just a description of symptoms. Without a cause, no real diagnosis. PTSD is thus the only true diagnosis in the DSM-5.
Evidence is accumulating that Major Depressive Disorder, Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, and others, respond to EMDR when underlying traumatic memories are addressed, even though they were not life threatening, as originally defined.
Neuroscience shows that actual changes occur in the brain with emotional trauma and how successful trauma-focused therapy, such as EMDR, produce the desired changes in symptoms and the brain itself. This is a landmark in psychiatry and neuroscience.
The 2018 presentation at EMDRC will be posted shortly.
Dr. Ferrie is a medical doctor, a member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, certified by the EMDR International Association (EMDRIA), and a member of EMDR Canada and the Medical Psychotherapy Association of Canada. He has made numerous presentations on trauma and particularly the use of the imagination in reprocessing memory. Some of these can be accessed by clicking on his presentations: