EMDR or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing is a form of psychotherapy that has been extensively studied and proven effective in the treatment of trauma and distressing memories from the past that are impacting current functioning. EMDR has been successful in treating symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, depression, phobias, performance anxiety, dissociative disorders, stress reduction, addictions, residual effects of abuses in all forms, and much more.
How does EMDR work?
We know that when a person is very upset, their brain cannot process information as it does ordinarily. On a physiological level, the brain floods with chemicals and renders it unable to properly process and store the disturbing event into a normal memory network. One moment becomes “frozen in time,” and remembering a trauma may feel as bad as going through it the first time because the images, sounds, smells, and feelings haven’t changed. Such memories have a lasting negative effect that interferes with the way a person sees the world and the way they relate to other people.
EMDR seems to have a direct effect on the way that the brain processes information. Normal information processing is resumed, so following a successful EMDR session, a person no longer relives the images, sounds, and feelings when the event is brought to mind. You still remember what happened, but it is less upsetting. EMDR can be thought of as a physiologically based therapy that helps a person see disturbing material in a new and less distressing way.
Who is EMDR for?
EMDR is for anyone experiencing negative behavioral or psychological symptoms that are impeding their ability to live life to the fullest, sustain strong relational connections, and keeping them feeling “stuck” or unmotivated in life”
How long does EMDR take?
It will take one or two sessions with a new client to gather history and work with the client to identify which distressing memories are creating the most negative symptoms in the present. The type of problem, life circumstances, and the amount of previous trauma will determine how many treatment sessions are necessary.