WHAT IS EMDR?
EMDR is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that occur after traumatic or disturbing events and situations.
Just like our bodies have built in mechanisms to heal from a physical injury, our brain’s information processing system is built to naturally move towards mental health and healing after a psychological injury. Sometimes, the system gets blocked and the emotional wound stays stuck and festers, causing immense suffering. EMDR removes the block and lets your brain get on with the business of moving past the distress.
What makes EMDR different than just talking about my PROBLEMS?
First, it helps you to feel better faster than traditional therapies. It is proven to work quickly and the results will last.
What happens during EMDR sessions?
- First, we will identify the targets for healing and desensitization. These may be distressing memories from the past and/or current situations that cause upset and anxiety.
- We ensure your safety and wellbeing for undergoing this treatment by teaching you a variety of stress reduction techniques and resources for managing your emotions.
- EMDR procedures include “bilateral stimulation” of the brain through the use of rhythmic tones that you hear through headphones and small vibrations that you feel with hand-held paddles. While this stimulation is happening, you will be asked to focus on the imagery, sensations and negative beliefs about yourself that are associated with the target to be healed. This leads your brain to make new associations and connections and reprocess the pain into a manageable and more positive set of beliefs and feelings. You can think of it like a process that “wakes up” all of your brain to be more flexible and resilient and confident.
- When the level of anxiety you experience is significantly lowered, and the level of healthy, adaptive thinking is significantly raised, we will know that the trauma resolution is complete.
- Sometimes a single EMDR session will do the trick for a relatively straightforward target, and other times it may take several sessions to resolve more complex trauma.
- Going forward, we focus on expanding your coping and self-calming skills to deal adaptively with all of life’s stressors.