I am a certified EMDR therapist. EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) is a form of therapy that helps people heal from trauma or other distressing life experiences.
EMDR therapy has been extensively researched and has demonstrated effectiveness for trauma.
Our brains have a natural way to recover from traumatic memories and events. This process involves communication between the amygdala (the alarm signal in the brain for stressful events), the hippocampus (which assist with learning, including memories about safety and danger), and the prefrontal cortex (which analyzes and controls behavior and emotion). While many times traumatic experiences can be managed and resolved spontaneously, they may not be processed without help. Stress responses are part of our natural fight, flight, or freeze instincts. When distress from disturbing events remains, the upsetting images, thoughts, and emotions create feelings of overwhelm, of being back in that moment, or of being “frozen in time.”
EMDR therapy helps the brain reprocess memories and allows normal healing to resume. It targets unprocessed or stuck memories that are comprised of negative beliefs, emotions, and physical sensations. The experience is still remembered, but the fight, flight, or freeze response from the original event is resolved.
EMDR Therapy does not require talking in detail about the distressing issue, or involve homework between sessions, like traditional talk therapy. Rather, EMDR focuses on changing the emotions, thoughts, or behaviors resulting from the distressing issue, allowing the brain to resume its natural healing process. EMDR Therapy is designed to resolve unprocessed traumatic memories in the brain.
EMDR was discovered by Francine Shapiro in 1987. It has since developed into a highly effective method for treating trauma, which extends beyond the limits of talk therapy. The method adheres to a set protocol with a series of bilateral eye movements, under the guidance of the therapist. Currently, other forms of bilateral stimulation are used that researchers found to be equally or even more effective for some clients. I offer a variety of visual, auditory, and tactile methods of bilateral stimulation.