EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitization Reprogramming

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy treatment for trauma that has been judged effective by numerous professional studies. EMDR was developed by Francine Shapiro to resolve the development of trauma-related disorders caused by exposure to distressing, traumatizing, or negative life events such as rape or military combat. It is now used by trained therapists to treat all types of trauma such as that from childhood sexual abuse, physical violence, or accidents.

As a trained EMDR therapist, I have helped hundreds of people heal their traumas using this revolutionary method. There are many ways in which people experience trauma. Some traumas are major, while others result from less severe experiences. You do not have to be a victim of a severe trauma to benefit from EMDR.

What is EMDR and how does it work?

EMDR is an integrative psychotherapy which incorporates aspects of many major psychological methods including psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive, experiential, hypnotic and systems theory. Using a rhythmic sensory stimulus, which is often visual (hence the name “eye movement”) the client attends to his or her inner thoughts while free associating. As the linked material emerges, the brain is “reprogrammed,” and while the traumatic incident is still remembered, it no longer has the same paralyzing charge it had before EMDR treatment began.

While it was originally thought that only eye movements could facilitate rapid healing, we now know that numerous forms of bi-lateral stimulation such as tapping on the body, listening to alternating tones, or holding pulsers in each hand are equally effective as eye movements in releasing the old memories.

EMDR capitalizes on the natural ways our bodies and minds have to clear upsetting events. Sometimes our mind and /or bodies are unable to process what we are exposed to in the course of our lives. We believe that sometimes these memories get “stuck” and use EMDR to process these memories. involves much more than just the bi-lateral stimulation mentioned above. It is a multi-phase process that includes assessment, preparation, evaluation of past experiences, triggers, and desired changes. We work with the past, present,and future to unclog or thaw the frozen memories.

Is it effective?

Because EMDR is so unusual, it has been extensively researched to validate its efficacy.  It has been studied scientifically and validated repeatedly.

Originally EMDR was developed to treat trauma and PTSD.  We have since discovered that it is an effective technique for non-severe trauma (traumatas) as well as thoughts/behaviors that are resistant to change. With EMDR we can neutralize the origins of our resistance as well as empower ourselves to act differently in the future.

With the help of EMDR, people make connections that they wouldn’t normally make and are able to remember things that they had totally forgotten about. The healing that can be accomplished with EMDR is often amazing.

I recommend that interested clients visit the site  EMDRIA.ORG and read the book Getting Past Your Past written by the founder of EMDR, Dr. Francine Shapiro, for a better understanding of this fascinating technique.

I am committed to ongoing training in EMDR and actively exploring the expanding applications of this technique. To discuss how EMDR may help you resolve large or small traumas from your past, please call or contact me by email.