Annual Bling & Bags Bingo

Set for April 3 at Crowne Plaza

Save the Date for CAC’s annual

Bling & Bags Bingo fundraiser:
Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Now at the Crowne Plaza Hotel

at Bell Tower Shops!

​​Calling all sponsors and raffle basket donors—we need you! Here's your chance to put your company or product in front of

300 professional women.


Interested in serving on the event committee? We need you too! Contact Lisa at or call 939-2808. 

Our heartfelt thanks to all the individuals and businesses who contributed so generously to our back to school drive: Elvia Arana, Kelly Boone, Coral Isle Builders, CRS Technology, Edison National Bank, Ellen Ferguson, Karin Fine, Kiwanis Gateway to the Islands, Cynthia Pledger, Miriam Sexton, Ellen Stone, Brittni Tejero, Tri-Town Construction, Cari Turner, Carmen Walker and Wildcat Run Charitable Foundation. As always, our apologies if we inadvertently left off anyone’s name!

Thank You Back to School Donors!

Scenes from Pine Manor Summer Camp

This August, the Children’s Advocacy Center of SWFL (CAC) had the privilege of hosting 22 trauma and abuse therapists from around the state for a five-day intensive training in a psychotherapy treatment called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR.

The training, the last of three EMDR trainings throughout the state funded by the Florida Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers, was attended by mental health clinicians from Collier, Miami-Dade, Sarasota, Polk and Leon counties, as well as by four of our own licensed therapists. The training was facilitated by Claire Mauer, LMHC, certified EMDR therapist and trainer, and assisted by Mary Jo McHaney, LMFT. Each day consisted of both lecture  and practicum opportunities, as well as case discussion in small group learning environments and individualized observation by trainers.

The children in our Pine Manor Summer Camp Program had a blast this year! There were all sorts of outings, including a day at Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, bowling and pizza at Head Pinz and even some go cart racing at Mike Greenwell’s Family Fun Park.

Thank you to Chico’s FAS/Soma for its donation of undergarments and beautiful sleepwear. Thank you to Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, Gateway Women’s Club and Women’s Community Club of Ft. Myers for their financial support.

                                                  Thank you FGCU                                                                students Delaney,                                                              Haley, Caslyn, Candice                                                      and Christina who came                                                    for a tour then returned                                                    with this amazing                                                                donation.


Copyright 2018, Children's Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida.

Notice of Privacy Practices. All Rights Reserved.

If you know of or suspect child abuse, call 1-800-962-2873. Caller information is kept confidential.

Accredited by the National Children's Alliance and the Council on Accreditation. CAC is proud to be a United Way partner agency.

EMDR Training at CAC

Thank You To...

EMDR has a relatively short history; it was developed in 1989 by Dr. Francine Shapiro. While the treatment has primarily been researched over the last 25+ years as a method of addressing trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), clinicians have also found success in applying the treatment with clients managing issues such as eating disorders, dissociative disorders, phobias, grief, addictions and general stress reduction. It is one of only two treatment protocols recommended by the World Health Organization for PTSD, and it is recognized and recommended by the American Psychological Association as an effective treatment for PTSD as well. 

The basic tenet of EMDR is that the mind is capable of healing from psychological wounds (such as trauma and abuse), just as the body is capable of healing from physical wounds. If we cut our hand, our body automatically begins to work to heal the injury. However, the healing process can become blocked, such as by an infection or repeated injury, leading the wound to fester and cause pain. But once the block is removed, the body can carry on with the healing process as usual.

Much the same can be said for our emotional and psychological wounds. While our brain’s information processing system naturally gravitates toward mental health, this process can be blocked by the impact of a disturbing event, such as the incapacitating fear or negative thoughts of self that are commonly found in the aftermath of trauma. EMDR works by identifying and targeting the “block” in the brain’s natural healing process, then facilitating that healing process through specific protocols.

While typical talk therapy relies heavily on the clinician’s interpretations and reflections of the client’s experiences, the beauty of EMDR intervention is that the client is gaining insight from their own processing. This adds a layer of empowerment and self-efficacy to the healthy and more positive conclusions they develop.

To stimulate this accelerated processing, the therapist uses bilateral stimulation, or BLS. This is most commonly achieved by having clients use their eyes to follow a focus point, such as the therapist’s fingers, in a back and forth motion (hence the “eye movement” portion of EMDR). One theory of why BLS is effective is that it simulates the natural processing that our brains do in the REM portion of sleep.

Over the next several months, the therapists who participated in the training will be implementing these skills with their own clients, under supervision via consultation calls with an EMDR-certified consultant well-practiced in using EMDR with child and adolescent populations. These consultations will allow our newly-trained clinicians to fine-tune their skills and become approved as EMDR basic-trained therapists, to further personalize their skill sets to the needs of our young clients at CAC.