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Green Plant

EMDR

Who Benefits from EMDR?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a research-based treatment used to reduce unwanted symptoms developed from difficult and traumatic life experiences. It can be used to address generalized and targeted anxiety, panic attacks, depression, anger, PTSD, relationship difficulties, grief and loss, among other issues.

Depending on your personal history and symptom severity, EMDR can provide relief fairly quickly which is why I love using this approach.

How Does EMDR Work?

EMDR seems to stimulates what naturally occurs in REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and allows for normal information processing to be resumed so memories can get properly stored.

When we go through a distressing or traumatic experience, our processing system gets disrupted and the information (thoughts, feelings, body sensations, sounds) is left in a fragmented form. As a result, the moment becomes "frozen in time" and when the memory gets triggered in the present, it may feel as bad as going through it the first time. Such memories have a lasting negative effect that can interfere with the way we see ourselves and the world, and relate to other people.


Following a successful EMDR session, the memory is still accessible but less distressing, and you no longer relive the associated images, sounds, and feelings when the event is brought to mind.

What to Expect

Before we get to the reprocessing and desensitizing stage, we work together to identify a specific issue or distressing symptom as the focus of treatment.


Once we identify associated memories, I ask you to call to mind the disturbing issue or event, what was seen, heard, felt, thought, etc., and what beliefs are currently held about that event. Then, I facilitate the directional movement of the eyes (or other dual attention stimulation of the brain) while you focus on the disturbing material and just notice whatever comes to mind without trying to control the direction or content. Sets of eye movements (or bi-lateral stimulation) are continued until the memory becomes less disturbing and is associated with positive thoughts and beliefs about one's self.


During EMDR, it's common to experience intense emotions. However, by the end of the session, most people report a great reduction in the level of disturbance.


Each person will process information uniquely based on personal experiences and values. The presenting issue, your life circumstances, and the amount of previous emotional distress you've experienced will determine how many treatment sessions are necessary.

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