WHAT IS EMDR?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an integrative psychotherapeutic approach that helps people to heal from symptoms of emotional distress following disturbing life events. EMDR not only helps relieve psychological distress, but it has also been proven to enhance performance and has been proven to treat PTSD, anxiety, depression, and panic disorders. I have additional training in other protocols that have been proven helpful in healing stress and trauma during ongoing traumatic events, such as the Covid-19 pandemic
HOW DOES EMDR WORK?
When we experience trauma, these memories become stuck or frozen in our brains. Recalling them can elicit a reaction that may feel just as acute as the first time we experienced the event. The sights, sounds, smells, and feelings of the memory feel just as real to us as they did the first time we experienced the traumatic event. Trauma will have a lasting effect and interfere with our daily lives. EMDR seems to help us reprocess these traumatic events and resume normal processing of information. In other words, we no longer relive the trauma - it begins to feel like a distant memory instead. EMDR appears to work similarly to REM sleep on the brain - in other words, its a physiological based therapy.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING AN EMDR SESSION?
1) We work together to target an issue or issues as the focus of treatment
2) You will recall a disturbing issue or event as well as images, feelings, thoughts, and sensations associated with the event
3) I will facilitate bilateral stimulation of the brain using directional movement with my fingers (or you will facilitate yourself). You will then notice whatever comes to mind without pressure of trying to control content.
4) Eye movement continues until memory becomes less disturbing and content is associated with zero body sensation and positive self-belief
5) EMDR may illicit intense emotions and take place over the course of several sessions or more. For complicated trauma, treatment planning may be extensive. By the end of sessions or treatment, most people report a great reduction in level of disturbance.
IS IT SAFE AND EFFECTIVE?
The American Psychiatric Association, the International Society for Traumatic Stress, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration, the US Department of Veterans Affairs/Department of Defense, and the World Health Organization all recognize EMDR as an effective treatment. It has been empirically validated in over 30 randomized studies.