WHAT IS EMDR?
EMDR is an effective treatment for PTSD, anxiety, phobias, depression, and less severe responses to trauma. EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. The therapy works by reducing the intensity of your emotion related to traumatic events as your brain reprocesses traumatic memories. Therapists use bilateral stimulation to activate your brain. We have creative ways to activate both sides of your brain that include having your eyes track our fingers back and forth, or sound playing in both ears intermittently, or palm vibrations gently stimulating your hands intermittently. We have other creative ways to stimulate this process, and can work with you to devise a method that feels comfortable.
WHAT DOES EMDR TREAT?
During our lives, we experience traumatic events that overwhelm us. Examples of these types of events include, but are not limited to, car accidents, combat trauma, divorce, death of a loved one, physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, rape, bullying, intimate partner violence, romantic betrayals, a dog bite, a flood or other environmental disaster, terror attacks, and medical trauma. Because of the severity of the event, our brain shuts down to protect our body. The brain goes into a state of extreme stress and cannot fully process the event. The memory becomes “stuck” and holds on to the thoughts, feelings, body sensations, pictures, and smells experienced at the event. The brain stores these memories in an unprocessed form that “trigger” when activated. When something in our environment triggers these memories, you might feel as though the trauma is happening all over again.
WHO DO YOU TREAT WITH EMDR?
EMDR effectively treats adults, adolescents, and children. EMDR helps people eliminate internal obstacles to success or achievement, boosts their performance on tests, in sports, or in business, and reduces things like test or performance anxiety. We understand that trauma can leave a lasting impression on your brain and body, and we provide EMDR and other trauma-informed therapies to help you gain understanding and learn to make these experiences part of a healthy life.
We are happy to answer any questions you have about EMDR.
You can also visit the EMDR International Association for more information.
We’d love to talk!
Schedule your free 20-minute phone consultation to learn more about getting started.
Croitoru, T. (2014). The EMDR revolution: Change your life one memory at a time. New York, NY: Morgan James Publishing.
Shapiro, F. (2018). Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy: Basic principles, protocols, and procedures (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Guilford.