Anxiety. Depression. Panic. Fear. Trauma.

this doesn't need to try and define you anymore.

HOPE and HEALING are available through EMDR

What is EMDR?

 

What is cool is that the mind can often heal itself naturally, in the same way as the body does. Much of this natural coping mechanism occurs during sleep, particularly during rapid eye movement (REM). Francine Shapiro developed Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) in 1987, utilizing this natural process in order to successfully treat Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Since then, EMDR has been used to effectively treat a wide range of mental health struggles.

What happens when you are traumatized?

Most of the time your body routinely manages new information and experiences without you being aware of it. However, when something out of the ordinary occurs and you are traumatized by an overwhelming event (e.g. a car accident, natural disaster, a witness to violence, etc.) or by being repeatedly subjected to distress (e.g. childhood neglect or other forms of abuse), your natural coping mechanism can become overloaded. This overloading can result in disturbing experiences remaining frozen in your brain or "unprocessed". Such unprocessed memories and feelings are stored in the limbic system of your brain in a "raw" and emotional form, rather than in a verbal “story” mode. The limbic system’s traumatic memories can be continually triggered when you experience events similar to the difficult experiences you have been through. Often the memory itself is long forgotten, but the painful feelings such as anxiety, panic, anger or despair are continually triggered in the present. Your ability to live in the present and learn from new experiences can therefore become inhibited. EMDR helps create the connections between your brain’s memory networks, enabling your brain to process the traumatic memory in a very natural way. It's fascinating, and so is the 30 years of research that supports it.

What if I haven't experienced trauma, is EMDR still for me?

Many people wonder if EMDR is an appropriate intervention for them if they haven't experienced something traumatic. The good news is that EMDR works to neutralize ANY distress, ANY disturbance and ANY unpleasant memories that have either happened in your past or is happening in your life today. 

 

What is an EMDR session like?

EMDR utilizes the natural healing ability of your body. After a thorough assessment, you will be asked some specific questions about a particular disturbing memory, but does not ask for details of the event. Eye movements, similar to those during REM sleep, will be recreated simply by asking you to watch the therapist's finger moving backwards and forwards across your visual field (or via an app that utilizes a colored ball on your computer screen). Sometimes, tapping or tones may be used as well. The eye movements will last for a short while and then stop. You will then be asked to report on what you feel or notice during each of these sets of eye movements. Experiences during a session may include changes in thoughts, images and feelings. It is critical to let you know that you can STOP at any time, no questions asked, and without consequences of doing so; you, the client, remain in control the entire time. With repeated sets of eye movements, the memory tends to change in such a way that it loses its painful intensity and simply becomes a neutral memory of an event in the past. Other associated memories may also heal at the same time. This linking of related memories can lead to a dramatic and rapid improvement in many aspects of your life.