Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy


 

What is EMDR? 

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. EMDR is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from many different treatment approaches. To date, EMDR therapy has helped millions of people of all ages relieve many types of psychological stress.

 

Is EMDR right for you? 

After over 10 years as a talk therapist, I have become a trained EMDR therapist. This means that I have undergone extensive training and supervision in order to be able to offer this additional modality to my clients. Some clients see me for only talk therapy, some see me for a mix of EMDR and talk, and some see me as an EMDR specialist. The last type of client can choose to see me singularly or see me in addition to a therapist they have already been working with. If you have had trauma in your life, EMDR can help you. If you battle depression, anxiety, phobias, OCD- even just a lack of confidence- EMDR can help you. 

 

How does EMDR work?

Essentially, EMDR helps move traumatic memories and experiences from your short term memory to your long term memory. This means you don’t lose any memories, but the intensity of the distress you feel when you call up that memory is greatly reduced.  Along the way, new neural networks are formed in order to reframe the memory that you choose to work on, so you are able to think of it with new emotions and connections, all of which you choose.

 

What does a typical EMDR session look like?

EMDR has distinct phases, and not all sessions will look the same from phase to phase. The initial phases are much like initial sessions of talk therapy, in which client and therapist identify what areas to work on together. Eventually, the therapist will begin bilateral stimulation with the client. That may look like the therapist moving her fingers back in forth in front of the client, or the therapist may use paddles that the client hold. My advice to anyone interested in this type of therapy is to look at the research as well as testimonials of people who have undergone the therapy.