Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an extensively researched, effective psychotherapy method proven to help people recover from trauma and other distressing life experiences, including PTSD, anxiety, depression, and grief and loss.
The following is adapted from EMDRIA, the international association of EMDR Therapy.
How is EMDR therapy different from other therapies?
EMDR Therapy does not require client's to talk in great detail about the distressing issue or to complete homework between sessions. EMDR Therapy. Rather than focusing on changing the emotions, thoughts, or behaviors resulting from the distressing issue as in Cognitive Behavior Therapy, EMDR allows the brain to resume its natural healing process. EMDR therapy is designed to resolve unprocessed traumatic memories in the brain. For many clients, EMDR therapy can be completed in fewer sessions than other traditional "talk" therapies.
How does EMDR therapy affect the brain?
We know that our brains have a natural way of making sense of traumatic memories and events. While many times traumatic experiences can be managed and resolved spontaneously, they may not be processed without help. This is because often times the traumatic experience overwhelmed our brain's ability to process the experience at the time. For example, the trauma occured during childhood, we felt helpless during the traumatic experience, or we were unable to affect change or the outcome of the experience.
Stress responses are part of our natural fight, flight, or freeze instincts. When distress from a disturbing event remains, the upsetting images, thoughts, and emotions may create an overwhelming feeling of being back in that moment, or of being “frozen in time.” EMDR therapy helps the brain process these memories and allows normal healing to resume. The experience is still remembered, but the fight, flight, or freeze response from the original event is reduced or resolved.
Can EMDR cure trauma?
EMDR is not a miracle cure for trauma and it does not claim to be. It is, however, very effective in reducing the stress response associated with the trauma. It can jump-start the healing process in a way that traditional talk therapy may never be able to. It helps to calm the stress response enough so that the thinking part of our brain can process the experience. There is still a need for ongoing therapy to help trauma survivors make sense of their world, themselves, and others. The healing journey is often started with EMDR, for many, however, it does not end with EMDR.
Who can benefit from EMDR therapy?
EMDR has been shown to be effective in addressing a wide range of challenges:
Anxiety, panic attacks, and phobias
Chronic Illness and medical issues
Grief and loss
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other trauma and stress-related issues
Violence and abuse
We'll help you through this process, tailoring each step to your unique needs and circumstances. EMDR can help you begin your healing journey so that you can experience transformation and growth.