My life had become like ashes in my mouth. I felt nothing but fear, and maybe shame, but not even much of those because I was so shut down by a lifetime of “sucking it up” and “pulling myself up by my bootstraps” until, one day, those bootstraps ripped off in my hands. I was irritable, underemployed, joyless, easily startled, didn’t sleep much (and had nightmares when I did), deeply unsatisfied, lonely (despite work, family, and friends), and more often than not looking forward to the end of my miserable life.

All this came to pass despite 22 years of continuous sobriety as an active member of a 12-step program, plus years of talk therapy. And then a trusted person suggested I contact someone who could help me make the changes I needed to make. Bambi Rattner, Psy. D., engaged me in six solid days of a memory reconsolidation therapy called Progressive Counting (same principles as EMDR, but a different method, which she also knows well) and I put a past behind me that I barely knew I had. I slept a lot the next two weeks, then woke up a different person.

At 56, I was finally myself. Late, yes, but so much better than never. I was free of my intrusive memories from childhood and those gleaned from the dubious adventures that those awful childhood experiences caused me to seek as an adult. That’s what trauma really is: memories that won’t leave you in peace. In the years following treatment my marriage rekindled, my career changed (starting with a master’s degree at age 60!), my children forgave me for being so checked out for so many years, and I finally got to be a full participant in my life. I know joy now. And love. And sorrow—even anger and a useful amount of fear.

I can’t guarantee the same for you because this is my story. But I have since witnessed many people come through this treatment in far better shape than they went in. That much I can promise you. And Bambi knows how to get it done quickly, professionally, and discretely. I’d pick her again in a heartbeat for myself or anyone else I love.