Transforming Lives: The Power of Psychotherapy and EMDR Therapy for Dystonia Patients

Joyce Lutgens M.A., R.P.

Living with dystonia can be an overwhelming experience, and it's not just the physical symptoms that take a toll on us; the emotional aspects can be just as challenging. My name is Joyce Lutgens, I'm a registered Psychotherapist, and person affected by Dystonia, In this blog post, I'll share my personal story, the benefits of psychotherapy and EMDR therapy for dystonia patients, and the specialized services I offer at the Dystonia Recovery Program Virtual Clinic.

My Journey: From Dystonia Patient to Specialized Therapist

My journey in the field of mental health began back in 2006 when I embarked on a career dedicated to helping individuals grappling with severe and intricate mental health issues. Over the years, I’ve accumulated valuable experience in assisting people facing depression, anxiety disorders, trauma, ADHD, and guiding clients in overcoming challenging personality traits. I’ve honed my skills in various therapeutic approaches, including Client-Centered Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Schema Focused Therapy (SFT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and mindfulness teaching, both in individual and group settings.

However, in February 2019, my life took an unexpected turn when I received a diagnosis that would profoundly impact my personal and professional journey. At that time, I was diagnosed with cervical dystonia. My experience with dystonia began two years prior with mild symptoms, which eventually escalated during a particularly stressful period. The severe and debilitating symptoms that followed hindered my ability to drive, work, and even walk. Panic attacks and constant anxiety became constant companions, necessitating significant assistance with daily activities. Moreover, these symptoms exacerbated my discomfort in social situations, leading to self-imposed isolation. Fortunately, my diagnosis coincided with the discovery of the Dystonia Recovery Program, enabling me to embark on my recovery journey without delay. Although I have not yet achieved full remission, I have made considerable progress, and my faith in a brighter future remains unwavering.

A Personal Transformation and a New Mission

My personal transformation and firsthand experience within the Dystonia Recovery Program instilled in me a newfound purpose. Prior to my diagnosis, I had dedicated myself to the field of mental health, earning my Master’s in Psychology from the University of Nijmegen. My professional journey continued with postgraduate training in Health Care Psychology and Psychotherapy, as well as becoming a certified mindfulness teacher.

Inspired by my own journey as a patient and by the work of Dr. Farias, I felt a profound connection to his mission of improving the lives of dystonia patients worldwide. Subsequently, I became an integral part of Dr. Farias’s team at the Dystonia Recovery Program.

As a member of the team at the virtual clinic, I bring my expertise in psychotherapy and counseling to dystonia patients. My journey from a mental health practitioner to a specialized therapist in dystonia care has afforded me a unique perspective and a heightened sense of empathy for the challenges faced by patients. I understand the emotional toll that dystonia can exact, and my mission is to offer solace, strength, and healing.

Aligned with Dr. Farias and our dedicated team, my primary focus is to make a profound impact on the lives of those living with dystonia. Through our services at the Dystonia Recovery Program’s virtual clinic, our aim is to empower patients, enhance their quality of life, and foster a compassionate community.

With a solid foundation in psychology, mindfulness teaching, and psychotherapy, I am uniquely positioned to provide comprehensive care to those affected by dystonia.

Benefits of Psychotherapy and EMDR Therapy for Dystonia Patients

Let me highlight the key benefits of psychotherapy and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy for dystonia patients:

  1. Emotional Support: Psychotherapy offers a safe and non-judgmental space for you to express your feelings and frustrations. As a therapist, I provide validation and support, helping you navigate the emotional challenges.
  2. Stress Management: Dystonia often leads to increased stress. Therapy sessions can teach you effective stress management techniques, helping to reduce the impact of stress on your symptoms.
  3. Coping Strategies: I work with you to develop coping strategies tailored to your unique situation. These strategies empower you to face the challenges of dystonia with resilience and a positive outlook.
  4. Improved Quality of Life: By addressing the emotional aspects of dystonia, you can experience a significant improvement in your overall quality of life. You’ll learn to adapt and find ways to lead a fulfilling life despite the condition.

Specialised Therapy Sessions at the Virtual Clinic

At Dr. Farias’ Virtual clinic, I offer a range of specialised therapy sessions designed to meet your needs:

  1. Individual Therapy: In one-on-one sessions with me, you can openly discuss your emotions, fears, and challenges related to dystonia.
  2. EMDR Therapy: EMDR therapy is a specialised approach that can help you process traumatic experiences and reduce their impact on your emotional well-being.

Description of My Virtual Clinic Services

Here’s a brief overview of the services available at my virtual clinic:

  • Online Convenience: You can attend therapy sessions from the comfort of your home, eliminating the need for travel and allowing for flexible scheduling.
  • Personalised Treatment: Each patient receives a personalised treatment plan that addresses their specific emotional needs and challenges.
  • Experienced Therapist: I bring a unique perspective to therapy, having experienced dystonia myself and undergone extensive training. My goal is to provide compassionate and effective therapy.
  • Privacy and Confidentiality: Your privacy is of the utmost importance. The clinic ensures the highest level of confidentiality for all patients.
  • Affordable Options: I’m committed to making specialised therapy accessible.


Living with dystonia is a complex journey, both physically and emotionally. My personal experience as a dystonia patient, combined with my training and expertise as a therapist, has allowed me to provide a beacon of hope for individuals seeking emotional support and a better quality of life while living with dystonia. If you’re ready to take the next step toward emotional well-being and a brighter future, I’m here to help you on that transformative journey.

Joyce Lutgens M.A, R.P

You can book a session with Joyce Lutgens:

Dystonia Recovery Program Virtual Clinic

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