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What you seek is seeking you. -Rumi


What is EMDR Therapy?

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 different treatment approaches.

How does EMDR work?

EMDR therapy is an integrative psychotherapy method that uses a technique called bilateral stimulation to repeatedly activate opposite sides of the brain. Therapists often use eye movements to facilitate bilateral stimulation. These eye movements mimic the period of sleep referred to as rapid eye movement or REM sleep, and this portion of sleep is frequently considered to be the time when the mind processes the recent events in the person’s life.

EMDR seems to help the brain reprocess the trapped memories in such a way that normal information processing is resumed. Therapists often use EMDR to help clients uncover and process beliefs that developed as the result of relational traumas, or childhood abuse and/or neglect. For a more detailed explanation please visit the EMDR Institute, Inc.

What does EMDR help?

EMDR had been originally established as helpful for PTSD, although it’s been proven useful for treatment in the following conditions:

  • Panic Attacks
  • Complicated Grief
  • Dissociative Orders
  • Disturbing Memories
  • Phobias
  • Pain Disorders
  • Performance Anxiety
  • Addictions
  • Stress Reduction
  • Sexual and/or Physical Abuse
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorders
  • Personality Disorders

What does a typical session look like?

If you've decided that EMDR therapy is a good fit for you, the first sessions will involve a discussion between you and your therapist about what you want to work on and how to improve your ability to manage distress.

When you're ready to move into the next phases of EMDR therapy, you'll be asked to focus on a specific event. Your therapist will guide you to a negative image, belief, emotion, and body feeling related to this event, then to a positive belief indicating that the issue has been resolved.

As you focus on the upsetting event, your therapist will begin sets of side-to-side eye movements, sounds, or taps. You'll be guided to notice what comes to mind after each set. You may experience shifts in insight or changes in images, feelings, or beliefs regarding the event.

It's important to note that you have complete control to stop the therapist at any point if needed. The sets of eye movements, sounds, or taps are repeated until the event becomes less disturbing.

EMDR Intensive Sessions

Unlike regular EMDR sessions spanning 60-90 minutes over several weeks, intensive sessions offer a more concentrated and extended therapeutic experience, often lasting several hours or a full day.

Our EMDR intensives are designed to cover more ground in a shorter timeframe, intensifying the trauma resolution process. The extended duration allows for deeper exploration and processing of traumatic memories, providing a comprehensive and impactful experience in a single session.

For those considering EMDR intensives, we recommend starting with a 2-hour session to gauge your comfort and preferences. Based on this initial experience, we can collaboratively decide whether to continue with 2-hour blocks or explore longer sessions in the future. At our center, we prioritize your comfort and pace, allowing you to dictate the flow of the session. Take breaks, regroup, engage in conversations, or step away for a moment—your session is tailored to your needs.

How does it work

EMDR therapy may be used within a standard talking therapy, as adjunctive therapy with a separate therapist, or as a treatment. Each session typically lasts 60-90 minutes, and it could take one or several sessions to process a traumatic experience.

The goal of EMDR therapy is to completely process the traumatic experiences that are causing problems and to include new ones needed for full health. The amount of time it will take to complete EMDR treatment for traumatic experiences will depend upon your history. Complete treatment of a single EMDR trauma target involves a three-pronged protocol to alleviate symptoms and address the complete clinical picture, including past memories, present disturbance, and future actions.

At its core, "processing" in EMDR therapy means setting up a learning state that will allow experiences causing problems to be "digested" and stored appropriately in your brain. This means that useful information from an experience will be learned and stored with appropriate emotions in your brain and can guide you positively in the future.

The inappropriate emotions, beliefs, and body sensations will be discarded. Negative emotions, feelings, and behaviors are generally caused by unresolved earlier experiences pushing you in the wrong direction. The goal of EMDR therapy is to leave you with the emotions, understanding, and perspectives that will lead to healthy and useful behaviors and interactions.

It's time to start living again

If you or your loved one has experienced a traumatic event or is struggling with anxiety, depression, or other emotional difficulties, EMDR therapy may be the right approach for you. EMDR therapy has been shown to be effective in treating a wide range of emotional and behavioral issues for children, teens, and adults. Our compassionate and experienced therapists are trained in providing EMDR therapy in a safe and supportive environment. Let us help you or your loved one break free from the past and move towards a brighter future. Take the first step towards healing and contact us today to schedule an appointment.