Dr. Afra Moenter
Founder of FNDcourage
“My clients have taught me, educated me, invited me to deeply understand the complexity of FND. Without their help I would have not come to a place of such intimate understanding of an experience that might have one name, though shows up in such unique ways. PNES is never the same, it is deeply personal.” Afra Moenter, Ph.D.
Dr. Afra Moenter has been supporting individuals diagnosed with Functional Neurological Symptoms – for over 10 years. Her special interest in FND started in 2002 while researching for her doctoral dissertation on complex partial epilepsy and PTSD. It was then that she experienced how deeply effective Sensorimotor Psychotherapy® is in the healing process of individuals diagnosed with FND, and over the years her curiosity and commitment to helping individuals with FND lead to a trauma-informed treatment protocol that has helped many to become symptom free.
At the heart of the Four Foundations is the idea that FNS function as a “reset-mechanism” of the brain, are the brain’s attempt to reorganize a state of equilibrium. A FNS brain is dysregulated, caught between hyperarousal (panic, fight, -or flight reaction, hypervigilance) and hypoarousal (freeze, numbness, dissociation, confusion). Through mindfulness based psychoeducation, based in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy®, the individual experiencing FNS can learn how to self-regulate the over, – or underactivated brain, and find what Dr. Moenter calls the “unshakable ground” to walk on.
The use of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy® has become more refined and sophisticated during Dr. Moenter’s daily dedication to helping those with FND, her practice of relational mindfulness, her 25 years of extensive training and experience in working with symptoms of chronic stress and trauma, and her everlasting curiosity about how to end unnecessary suffering. Dr. Moenter received her Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Sciences with a concentration in Psychology and a specialization in Neuropsychology, as well as a M.A. in Therapeutic Psychology. Her approach reflects the synthesis of various psychotherapeutic trainings that she successfully completed:
- Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Level II; a process that uses the body (rather than cognition or emotion) as a primary entry point into processing traumatic life-experiences.
- Gestalt therapy; a method of awareness which enables the client to focus on his/her experience in the present moment.
- Hakomi Somatics; a psychotherapeutic approach based on the principle that mind and body jointly express and reflect deeply held, often unconscious beliefs about oneself and others.
- Trauma Dynamics, a psychotherapeutic method working specifically with individual, familial and cultural trauma.