EMDR Therapy

What Is EMDR Therapy and How Does It Work?

Have you been impacted by a distressing experience that has left you battling unwanted symptoms?

These symptoms can include the inability to focus, anxiety, increased stress responses, and sleep disturbances. (See “trauma” within the services section for more detailed trauma-related symptoms).

If so, it is possible that your stressful or traumatic experiences have become stored in your brain, making it unlikely to “block out” these memories. In other words, if you have tried decreasing distressing memories on your own and feel discouraged by the lack of success, please don’t give up. The brain needs a reprocessing mechanism in order to allow the memories to stop occurring automatically and frequently.

Hence the need for . . . EMDR therapy.

EMDR stands for “Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.” This type of therapy reduces symptoms of trauma and/or negative experiences by changing how your memories are stored in your brain and body.

As an EMDR therapist, I lead you through a series of bilateral eye movements (left to right) as you recall the traumatic or negative memories in a guided format until those memories no longer cause distress. There is no wrong way to do EMDR, and as your therapist, I seek to support your unique process of discovery.

What Does EMDR Do to the Brain?

EMDR reactivates different parts of disturbing memories and allows the brain to reprocess these experiences into positive ones. This concept of reprocessing enables the brain to properly “file” away a negative experience so that it is not being activated in the same way. Think of your brain as a giant filing cabinet. When not filed away properly, these negative experiences continue to invade when they are not supposed to.

Once this information gets filed properly in the brain through EMDR therapy, these thoughts and experiences become more of a distant memory no longer living in the forefront of the mind.

Another way to think about it is when we fall into a REM sleep cycle. This is when our bodies can recharge, and the brain gets to reorganize. This is why when we fall into this cycle, we may wake up feeling differently about experiences from the prior day.

Similarly, the eye movement portion of EMDR is when the brain triggers its own ability to heal those negative experiences just as in REM sleep. In other words, you are in control, but your brain is doing the heavy lifting!

Is EMDR Right for Me?

EMDR is effective for:

(This is not an exhaustive list).

EMDR is effective for children, adolescents, and adults (treatment methods are modified for children).

EMDR can also be effective for someone who experiences distressing emotions, is reactive to current triggers, or has a dysfunctional belief about themselves.

Benefits:

I am passionate about the unique and lasting benefits EMDR therapy has on individuals.

Research shows that by using EMDR therapy, people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference.

EMDR therapy reveals that the mind can heal from psychological trauma just like the body recovering from physical trauma. 

If you are interested in more information about EMDR, please refer to the following website: EMDRIA.

If you are looking for relief from distressing memories and can’t seem to shut them off on your own, you are not doing anything wrong.

EMDR may be an effective treatment for you.

If you are interested in discussing whether EMDR therapy would be a good fit for you, please contact me for a complimentary consultation.

Let’s Connect!

Book a free 15-minute phone consultation with me.