Helping Clients to Live – Not Just Survive Life

Holly Pearlman sets forth her professional mission when it comes to providing therapeutic services to her clients:

“I want my clients to live life, not just survive life.”

As a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, Holly explains that she is dedicated to helping people heal from traumatic experiences and wounds from the past. Holly describes trauma as being an intruder. “It has a sneaky way of coming in and creating a landscape of mood and personality disorders, depression, anxiety and a whole lot of crazy making that make some people feel out of control. For many, creating a mask for the world to see leaves a trauma survivor feeling tremendous shame and discomfort deep inside,” she explained.

As is discussed in greater detail later in this article, Holly provides four primary types of treatment options for her clients. Oftentimes, a client is involved in more than one treatment process in a compilatory manner at the same time. The four primary therapeutic treatments Holly provides to her clients are:

  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • ERMD
  • Somatic Experiencing

Each of these courses of treatment is considered more fully shortly in the article.

Introduction to Holly Pearlman

Holly Pearlman encapsulates why she likes to work with trauma survivors by stating: “I love working with Trauma Survivors because they tend to be some of the most courageous people I have ever met. I enjoy working with adults of all ages because it’s never too late to heal from wounds of the past. I’m so grateful and honored to be able to aid people in their healing process.”

Holly candidly notes that another reason why she likes to work with trauma survivors is that she is one herself. “I get it on a level I couldn’t unless I experienced similar incidents and then later knowing what it’s like to heal from it. I know the amount of courage it takes from my own personal journey,” she explains to new clients.

A Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in both California and Illinois, Holly earned a bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science from National Louis University in Chicago. She received a graduate degree in Clinical Psychology, Counseling Specialization, with a concentration in Crisis and Trauma from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. In addition, Holly received a Master of Arts Certificate in Holocaust and Genocide studies from Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, as well as the International School for Holocaust Studies in Jerusalem.

Treatment for People With Hoarding Disorder

Holly Pearlman provides professional therapeutic services to clients suffering from a variety of conditions rooted in trauma, including hoarding disorder. More recently, she has become increasingly involved in assisting individuals considered hoarders. Indeed, Holly explained that she has become passionate about assisting people with hoarding disorder.

“There are not a lot of clinicians who are well trained in hoarding,” Holly noted. Holly received her training in regard to serving the needs of clients with hoarding disorder from a colleague with a broad background and significant expertise in working with individuals diagnosed with hoarding disorder.

Hoarding disorder is defined as “a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. A person with hoarding disorder experiences distresses at the thought of getting rid of the items. Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs,” according to the Mayo Clinic.

Holly explained that hoarding arises because of the way which the brains of some individuals are wired. This wiring results in hoarders having a different relationship with things that is the case with people who are no afflicted with hoarding disorder.

In addition to the attachment to items, Holly explained that hoarding is also associated with memory issues. She made note that common items hoarded include clothes, magazine, and newspapers. The nature of these frequently hoarded items has a direct connection with memory issues. Some people are motivated to hoard these types of items in a perceived effort to protect against memory loss. These items provide resources should certain hoarders have a memory issue and need to recall something or another.

Precise numbers of people who can be classified as hoarders are difficult to pin down. Hoarding remains hidden in many cases, not only by people afflicted with the condition but by their family members as well. Noting this, many experts involved in treating people who hoard and researchers who study the disorder estimate that about 5 percent of the U.S. population suffer from hoarding disorder.

Holly affirmed the clinical definition of hoarding provided by the Mayo Clinic. “Stuff comes in and it’s not going out. The result is clutter,” she said.

Hoarding disorder typically develops from some type of trauma, according to Holly. Examples of trauma that commonly are associated with hoarding disorder include divorce, death of a significant other, or a financial calamity. Nearly any type of trauma can underpin hoarding disorder. “Anything that is devastating or traumatic to them,” Holly added.

Holly made two points clear. First, hoarding is not a consequence of someone being lazy. Second, hoarding is not the result of some type of character flaw.

Holly explained that many people who hoard have family members who do the same. In point of fact, some researchers have concluded that hoarding has a genetic connection in about 50 percent of cases.

Speaking of family, Holly made clear that the family of a hoarder needs to be involved in the therapeutic process. When involved in therapy with a hoarder, Holly conducts sessions from time to time that includes not only the client but certain family members as well.

Most people with hoarding disorder do not make an appointment with Holly seeking assistance. There are instances when a family member, or someone else, make arrangements to connect a hoarder with Holly. She also noted that in many cases a person will schedule an appointment seeking assistance with another type of mental health issue arising from a traumatic event. A person may seek assistance for PTSD. After therapy commences, hoarding disorder comes up as an additional issue not part of the original connection made by a client with Holly.

Overview of Trauma Therapy Options With Holly Pearlman

As mentioned previously, Holly utilizes four primary courses of therapy for her clients. Oftentimes, these therapeutic courses work in tandem with one another.

Individual Therapy

Individual therapy is a major element of the therapeutic services Holly offers to her clients. Holly explained that two treatment modalities (discussed in a moment) are at the heart of individual therapy. These modalities are Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing and Somatic Experiencing.

“Healing from traumatic experiences requires you to take care of your mind and your body. That means paying attention to what your body is telling you and caring for your mind and your brain. When people begin to care for themselves by paying attention to themselves, healing takes shape and healthy changes take place in your brain and your body,” Holly advises.

Group Therapy

Holly has specific objectives for the different groups she organizes. “It is my hope that these intimate gatherings will provide an opportunity for education, growth, and support, where each client feels comfortable in sharing your feeling, thoughts, and beliefs,” Holly noted.

A group that began organizing in = 2018 is called “The Other Woman Group.” As the moniker indicates, the group will be for “women who have found themselves in romantic relationships with a married man or woman.”

Another group slated to form in the summer of 2018 is the “Triggered by #MeToo Group.” This group is designed to support individuals who found themselves triggered on some level by the #MeToo Movement.

EMDR Therapy

One of the types of therapy available Trauma Therapy Treatment with Holly Pearlman is Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing or EMDR. The American Psychological Association defines EMDR as “A structured therapy that encourages the patient to briefly focus on the trauma memory while simultaneously experiencing bilateral stimulation (typically eye movements), which is associated with a reduction in the vividness and emotion associated with the trauma memories.”

Holly described EMDR as being “a simple but efficient therapy using bilateral stimulation ─ meaning the stimulation moves between both sides of the brain. We do this with handheld tappers, auditory tones or eye movement ─ to accelerate the brain’s capacity to process and heal a traumatic memory. EMDR is effective in alleviating trauma-related symptoms, whether the traumatic event occurred many years ago or yesterday,” according to Holly.

“With the utilization of EMDR Therapy, I hope to help my clients fully process disturbing images and the emotions that are linked together and appropriately store them in the brain without the emotional charge it once had. It is a very useful therapy for people who find it difficult to share their painful memories, as I don’t need ‘the story’ in order to help the client process their memories. We can get the work done without re-traumatizing a client,” Holly explained.

Somatic Experiencing

Holly describes Somatic Experiencing as:

Somatic Experiencing is a natural form of healing that can help you learn how to settle and release physiological activation from your body. Very often this process helps to reduce stress and return to a sense of regulation and mastery in our lives. Somatic Experiencing will support you in learning how to attend to uncomfortable sensations in your body and gently unwind them through your conscious attention. Somatic Experiencing is particularly useful in managing stress because so many of the symptoms are physiological.

An element of Somatic Experiencing is “pronking,” according to Holly. This involves the discharge of energy within a client’s body that exists as the result of a prior traumatic event.

Contact – For More Information

Information on the array of services offered by Holly Pearlman can be obtained by contacting by phone at 818-619-3142, or via email by writing [email protected]. Her website is at Holly will also schedule a 20-minute preliminary consultation at no charge.