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Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Image of an eye looking into the distance. Learn about Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and how EMDR therapy is a well researched therapeutic modality.

What is EMDR?

Eye-Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a well researched therapeutic modality that supports the integration and transformation of stress, symptoms, adversity, PTSD, CPTSD and trauma responses, so that they no longer contribute to symptoms in the present day.  EMDR may also be useful in building self esteem, improving performance and self confidence.  “Scientific research has established EMDR as effective for post traumatic stress.  However, clinicians also have reported success using EMDR in treatment of the following conditions: Panic attacks, Complicated grief, Dissociative disorders, Disturbing memories, Phobias, Pain disorders, Performance anxiety, Stress reduction, Addictions, Sexual and/or Physical abuse, Body dysmorphic disorders, Personality Disorders”.  

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EMDR therapy involves support for the process of integrating the past, while building confidence in the present and hope for the future.

EMDR differs from talk therapy in that it does not require talking in detail or focusing on changing the emotions, thoughts, or behaviors.  The emphasis is on allowing the brain to resume its natural healing and integration process.

EMDR therapy was developed to support the resolution of  unprocessed stress responses and the impacts of overwhelm & adversity that often remain activated in the brain & nervous system. 

EMDR utilizes bilateral stimulation (movement that crosses the midline of the body) in the form of eye movements, tapping on shoulders, alternating sounds.

EMDR consists of a structured 8 phase treatment modality:  initial history discovery & treatment planning, stabilizing/building security, preparation /assessment, desensitization, installation, body scan, closure, & reevaluation.  The most important part of EMDR is the preparation phase which very commonly is multiple sessions and requires effort in everyday day life – EMDR is not a quick fix! 

EMDR often creates a little distance from the impacts of stress & adversity, reducing the impacts on your well-being by shifting the charge.  Initially, this could bring up intense feelings, sensations, emotions so adequate preparation, pacing and resourcing are an essential part of the preparation phase.  

EMDR is based on “Adaptive Information Processing”, meaning that present day symptoms stem from our life experiences.  Symptoms can be thought of as re – experiences, because the past comes into the present through our beliefs, thoughts, feelings, behaviors, & sensations.

Introduction to EMDR Therapy
EMDR International Association Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/@EMDRInternationalAssociation

It is important that you have adequate information in order to make the decision to utilize and prepare for EMDR.   Please schedule a consult to discuss whether EMDR might be helpful for you.    

If you have questions about working with me or EMDR, please connect for a consultation by calling or booking online.

 It is normal and understandable to feel unsure about starting counselling, your questions and concerns are important.   You have many choices about how you engage in counselling  – let’s work together to discover what best supports you and your goals.