About

Debra L. Kaplan, MA, LPC, LISAC, CMAT, CSAT-S specializes in helping adults and adolescents overcome addictions, issues related to sex and love, relationship struggles and unresolved traumatic stress (Complex Post Traumatic Stress-C-PTSD).  Debra’s expertise in working with sex addiction also includes working with couples and spouses affected by internet and pornography addiction, emotional / sexual affairs, and financial betrayal. Financial betrayal (also referred to as financial infidelity) is an often overlooked and misunderstood dynamic in committed relationships and marriages, but sustains the most harm to the individuals involved.

From Wall Street to counseling psychology

After earning her MBA in 1985 from Thunderbird School of Global Management, Debra’s career landed her in the commodity markets of New York. Time spent on Wall Street and on the commodity trading floor offered an unforeseen study in and passion for human behavior. Those years became the foundation for Debra’s studies in counseling psychology.

A life change brought Debra to Arizona in 1995. Given her passion for psychology and personal growth in recovery, Debra went on to complete a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology thus merging her academic and life experiences.

Training from the leading authorities in addiction and trauma

In Debra’s effort to remain current in her areas of expertise, Debra trains with noted clinicians in the field of trauma and addiction including, Dr. Patrick Carnes, Pia Mellody and Drs. John and Julie Gottman. Debra is a faculty member for the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP). IITAP was founded by Dr. Patrick Carnes, a recognized leader and expert in the field of sex addiction treatment. The institute promotes a highly effective, task-centered approach to treating intimacy/sex addiction, trauma, chemical dependency, and financial disorders which Debra utilizes and integrates into her work with clients.  She is a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT) and Certified Sex Addiction Therapist Supervisor (CSAT-S). As a faculty member, Debra lectures and trains therapists internationally in the CSAT model and incorporates her depth of knowledge in fields of trauma, neurobiology and addiction treatment.

Debra received additional training at The Meadows in Wickenburg, Arizona and continues to study under Pia Mellody, who is known for her groundbreaking work in codependence, boundaries, and the effects of childhood trauma on emotional development. Her research has profoundly influenced therapeutic standards for treating addictions. Debra utilizes Pia’s Post Induction Training in her approach to address trauma and emotional development.

Debra’s practice and intensive out-patient counseling also incorporates the work of Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, M.D. Dr. van der Kolk is one of the world’s foremost authorities in complex post-traumatic stress (complex PTSD). Since the 1970s, Dr. van der Kolk and his collaborators have published extensively on the impact of trauma on development, borderline personality, and self-mutilation. Their work has become the therapeutic standard for understanding and healing complex PTSD. Read more about treatment for complex PTSD.

At the cutting edge of addiction and trauma treatment

Debra is committed to providing her clients with the best treatment available. Toward this end, Debra stays current on developments in the field of addiction and trauma, including recent theoretical findings and new practice methodologies. Debra is an advanced level EMDR clinician, Certified Multiple Addictions Therapist (CMAT), Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT) and Certified Sex Addiction Therapist Supervisor (CSAT-S).  Read more about sex addiction treatment.

Debra utilizes proven modalities to help her clients overcome the negative effects of trauma. In utilizing EMDR to resolve trauma, Debra is certified in EMDR and incorporates advanced EMDR techniques for resolving complex trauma, addictions, and dissociative disorders. Debra also incorporates EFT, experiential therapy, and family of origin work. Debra currently serves as contributing author for The Meadows’ publications.

Debra is a member of EMDRIA, ISTSS, SASH, and IITAP, organizations dedicated to the treatment of trauma and the advancement of sexual health.

 

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