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EMDR Therapy

What is EMDR Therapy?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an integrative psychotherapeutic technique found to be very helpful in enabling clients to heal from symptoms and emotional distress brought on from a variety of life experiences.

When individuals experience a stressful or traumatic event, an interference can occur with the way the brain processes information. When a memory or experience gets "stuck" in the brain, a person may become vulnerable to conscious or unconscious triggers from the recollections, images, sounds, smells, and feelings that are reminiscent of the experience.

The goal of EMDR treatment is to shift the way the brain has negatively stored experiences and reduce or eliminate the distress caused by the symptoms. 

EMDR therapy uses a technique called bilateral stimulation to repeatedly activate opposite sides of the brain. Therapists often use eye movements to facilitate bilateral stimulation. These eye movements mimic the period of sleep referred to as a rapid eye movement or REM sleep. This portion of sleep is frequently considered to be the time when the mind processes recent events in a person's life. Bilateral stimulation of the brain can also be achieved with tapping, hand-held pulsating device and headphones. 

Bilateral stimulation reduces and/or removes the emotional charges left after experiencing a stressful or traumatic event. EMDR therapy activates mechanisms in the brain that help process the memories and emotions it evokes. EMDR seems to help the brain reprocess memories in such a way that normal information processing is resumed.

When EMDR is effective, a person who undergoes it comes to understand, both consciously in their mind and unconsciously in the physical functioning of their brain, that the event is in the past and no longer a threat. This means a reduction in symptoms, a shift from a negative self-belief to a neutral or more positive one, and the possibility of improved occupational, social, and relational functioning as well as a greater quality of life.

Do you experience distressing emotions that appear to you, and perhaps to others, to be excessive given the current situation? Do you tend to be highly reactive to certain triggers? Is there one or more dysfunctional beliefs that you believe about yourself that on an intellectual level you know is not true?

Therapists often use EMDR to help clients uncover and process beliefs that have developed after stressful or traumatic experiences.  For a more detailed explanation please visit the EMDR Institute, Inc.

Call today for an appointment/assessment and see if EMDR might help you release what no longer serves you.