A Community of Heart Profile: Regina Morrow



What is immediately noticeable about Regina D. Morrow when you first meet her is her heart and capacity for joy. She embodies the best of the legacy of her family. Harold Forbes Davis and Rebecca Nan Stringer Davis came from Thomasville, GA. They met at Mercer University. Harold was a creative thinker and researcher who ???with his 3 brothers- built their father's water meter business into the Davis Water and Waste company concentrating on anything that had to do with the treatment of water. His focus always was on how to make something work better in an ecological manner and his generosity resulted in his making friends wherever he traveled throughout the South as he sold pipes, pumps and sewage plants and helped people with the implementation of these products. He passed down his generosity, creativity, resourcefulness and concern for the environment to his daughter. Nan was a homemaker who opened her door to family, friends and exchange students. She would always look for the good in people and -early on- would redirect Reg into rethinking any negative comment she might have about someone. This perspective has become a part of Reg and no matter how many issues clients have, she is always able to point out the good and "hang in there" with them. Reg was the middle child with an older and younger brother. Her family moved to Florida from Georgia when she was in first grade, but mainly lived in Sarasota. Regina worked in the lab of the family business in High School and learned how to be more scientific, even when using unusual measures that might be considered "weird and different." According to her father, "If it got results, go for it!" It was assumed that Reg would go into the family business and become an engineer. However, she had other interests. Other experiences shaped Reg's professional path. She was influenced by an encounter with a man who tried to force entry into her home. Although she prevented it with "brute force and my fear," the experience stayed with her ??? especially the fear her parents and boyfriend had when she told them. She was also influenced by "good losses." She had time to reflect with her grandmother during the course of a catastrophic illness and support her father as he passed surrounded by all of his family at their favorite place in the world on the Ichetucknee River outside of Gainesville. In college, Reg took the Strong Inventory to help her figure out her professional path. While the test did not provide the answer, the questions were invaluable. She wanted a financially viable career that would allow for her independence, self-directedness and develop her interest in families and the stressors that affected them. In 1985, she graduated from the University of Florida, Gainesville with a BS in Psychology and later, in 1987, with a M.Ed. and Ed.S. in Mental Health Counseling with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy. During her studies, she had experience as a Crisis Counselor Volunteer at the Alachua County Crisis Center, an Addictions Specialist and then Counselor at the Little House Adolescent Substance Abuse Program, and as an Intern at the Seminole Community Mental Health Center and then with Behavioral Health Associates. She noted that often family and group therapy stirred the adolescents up while she had much better results reaching them when she took them running or camping. She established a local American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy in 1986-1987 and in, 1992, became the President of the Central Florida AMFT. After graduate school, she married Michael Morrow and they moved to Orlando where he worked with Earth Resources. His job was to figure out how to clean up toxic chemicals that had contaminated the earth and then organize the cleanup. In 1992, in order to travel less and reduce exposure to toxic chemicals, Mike worked for Disney where his job was to make sure that there were no toxic chemicals on Disney property. He was also asked to implement an Emergency Response Team (ERT); this is how Reg learned how an ERT functions. Her first job after Graduate School was as a Behavioral Health Therapist with Behavioral Health Associates, a division of Physician Associates of Florida where she had the opportunity to work with couples, children, adolescents and facilitate groups on depression management, anxiety mastery, surviving childhood abuse, and ADHD parent training. It was an ideal position. In the company of 22 therapists, Reg was able to be innovative in supporting the care and recovery of patients. Unfortunately, with the advent of Managed Care, this climate changed and she moved on to her own private practice. From 1997-2003, Reg worked as a part time School Counselor for Central Florida Prep School where she provided counseling for students in grades K-12, consultation with staff on classroom management and team development and provided counseling services for the staff. As a Consultant for Behavioral Health Associates, Carl Nickeson introduced Reg and her colleagues to EMDR. She was first trained in EMDR, in 1995 by Steve Silver, and -with the encouragement of Cathy Strand- they practiced on a weekly basis supporting and critiquing each other by sitting in on each other's sessions. They continued this strategy after their Part 2 with Francine, training and attended Carl's no fee study group. By 2000, Reg became a Facilitator and also an EMDRIA Consultant. The Red Badge experiences during the process of becoming a facilitator were encouraging and supportive. Each mentor brought a different perspective to the table and increased the ways Reg viewed EMDR. She also recognized the depth of talented EMDR professionals in California and New York. It became important to build depth in Florida. This was the beginning of the urge to bring more EMDR to Orlando. She wanted to create an EMDR community in Orlando. Upon Carl's urging, Reg picked up the responsibilities of Regional Coordinator and began organizing and providing EMDR trainings in Orlando. Carol Crow shared this same desire to grow Florida and alternated trainings between Tampa and Orlando with Reg. During the journey to become a facilitator, Reg met Deborah Kennard. They became great friends, attending conferences, consulting about their experiences, and later did the Trainer's Training together. Deb's enthusiasm for EMDR, facilitating and training buoyed Reg's courage to keep it up! From Marilyn Luber, she learned the skills needed to do Logistics for training, adding to her already excellent people skills, team building and ability to support practitioners and EMDR staff. Marilyn's warmth and focus on the mission left a powerful impact on Reg. During one of Francine Shapiro's Plenary addresses as EMDRHAP was beginning to grow, Francine spoke about how treating trauma in the world can end the violence. It was at this moment that Reg was truly inspired and became excited about the idea of training others. She had already become the EMDRIA Regional Coordinator for Orlando in 2005, complementing the work that Carl was doing with the no fee study group. She began to facilitate for HAP and spent time with Roy Kiessling getting involved with the process of making the training simpler and more efficient. She liked watching the light bulbs going on during the training as people struggled and then got what was taught. She appreciated Roy's mentorship and encouraging her to find her own voice. He was the one who suggested she become an EMDRHAP trainer. She agreed and she began in 2007 and completed in 2008. He is an amazing mentor in Reg's eyes. I n 2009, she began the first formal recruitment for the EMDRHAP Trauma Recovery Network (TRN). She was inspired by Mike's work with Disney and felt that there should be a response by the mental health community. She encouraged colleagues to join and has a steering committee of four who are actively engaged in Orlando's TRN. They have had trainings in Elan Shapiro and Brurit Laub's Recent Traumatic Episode Protocol (R-TEP) to help therapists know what to do in case of emergency. In fact, this project has stimulated Reg's creative thinking about the kind of EMDR clinician she wants in her community. She wants therapists to actively advance in EMDR and "get it in every cell of their bodies". Reg says, "When I think of growing an EMDR Clinician, I want them to desire to bring more to their community. When Marina Lombardo was getting certified, her graduation project was to write the ???Infertility Protocol for EMDR.' The Regional meetings have become a wonderful venue to showcase the developing talent in our community and stimulate friendships and peer relationships. The Regional meetings are successful due to the contributions of members and participants offer to help grow it in many ways. I think that encouraging this type of extra activity for a consultee is a way of integrating their expertise into the community. One of my latest certified practitioners is in the Christian Community on a lecture circuit talking to her community. Christian Counseling is one of her areas of expertise. Now, she can take her expertise into the community. She is explaining trauma on their terms, helping them see the importance of treatment and encouraging them to promote EMDR. The goal is to find whoever really cares and keep them invested through community commitment and elevating their expertise. Then, it is hard to back out!" It is not surprising that Reg won the EMDRIA Award for Outstanding Regional Coordinator in 2010 as she has given her heart and soul to this calling. Upon reflecting on her journey to become a therapist, the talented mentors in Reg's life have made a huge impact. Reg carefully sought out many of the mentors who were known to be encouraging and focused on their craft. Others seemed to somehow just pop up. Mentoring well "pays it forward," improves the world, and, in our case as EMDR therapists, will contribute to easing suffering. It is a gift to develop a relationship with a good mentor and a life changing experience to receive it and to give it. Continuing in this spirit, Reg has this to say to our community: If you are mentoring somebody, help him/her build a root to be good at something to allow EMDR to grow. Whether it is a protocol, a regional group, a study group, a research project, a TRN, volunteering for HAP, giving lectures and/or public talks, it is important that somehow clinicians participate in building the roots of EMDR in their community. Their community can be their county they live in or their country, or a specialty population such as working with perpetrators, whatever it is that is their community or population. I love encouraging their enthusiasm for EMDR and establishing some path beyond just being a good EMDR therapist, help grow EMDR and therefore the relief from suffering. I want them to go back to their community and grow EMDR in it." Reg is an active speaker in her communities of Orlando, CFAMFT; EMDRIA; Regional Meetings; MFT graduate students; Mental Health Counselor's Association; Central Florida Prep School Staff; and Florida Council on Family Relations on subjects ranging from Neuroecology, to attachment styles and the therapeutic relationships, trauma, core tasks of expert therapist, family therapy, parent-teacher partnership and, of course EMDR and related topics. She has written a book review in the Journal of EMDR Practice and Research and an article on "EMDR Target Tracking." She has co-authored the article "Infertility Protocol with EMDR" with Marina Lombardo in EMDR Scripted Protocols: Special Populations. When not working in her practice or with EMDR, Reg is archiving family videos, gardening, sailing and traveling and interacting with her children, Becca and Michael. Regina is a talented woman who has brought her gifts of heart, intelligence, innovation and dedication to our EMDR Community. We are lucky that we have her among us.


“A Community of Heart Profile: Regina Morrow,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed July 15, 2024, https://francineshapirolibrary.omeka.net/items/show/7676.

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