What is EMDR Therapy?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) uses bilateral stimulation to target events that cause you emotional and mental distress. This is similar to how our brains process information during REM sleep when our eyes twitch back and forth. This is done by using eye movements following a light bar or the therapist’s fingers. It can also be done using “tappers” that are vibrating handheld devices that you hold in your hands. Your brain and body do all the work to reprocess maladaptive neural networks (the initial event and associated memories) using the resources you have now. This opens space for you to integrate adaptive thinking that will change the way you view and experience life.
Why choose EMDR Therapy?
We all have events from our past that shape our perceptions and responses to our present challenges. Some people have “Big T”, trauma such as experiencing war, witnessing a death, a car accident, hurricane, or experiencing sexual abuse. Some people have never had a single incident that causes them distress but an accumulation of “Little T” trauma. These may be repeated emotional abuse, physical abuse, neglect, bullying, stalking, harassment, vicarious trauma, relationship problems and work issues that create chronic traumatic stress in a person’s life. Both contribute to a negative effect on the person and their mental health. Trauma is any deeply distressing or disturbing experience that causes a person to feel that their life is no longer safe, predictable, or under their control. Trauma affects a person’s ability to cope, feel the full range of emotions and can cause a person to feel helpless. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is often the result of trauma. Some symptoms of PTSD are hyper-vigilance, flashbacks, exaggerated startle response, nightmares, irritability, sleep disorders, anxiety and depression.
EMDR can be used to treat:
Loss & Grief
Just a few potential benefits of EMDR:
Decreased anxiety & depression symptoms
Increased resources for managing daily stressors
Increased positive self-image
Increased understanding of self and others
Improved outlook on life
Improved sleep/ decreased nightmares
Decreased somatic complaints/chronic pain
Overall improved mood and sense of emotional control
What does an EMDR therapy session look like?
When you begin EMDR you will have a few 45-55 minute sessions of getting to know the therapist, the therapist gathering a full history, determining the target events to be used, and gaining understanding about EMDR so that you will feel comfortable with the process. Once EMDR targets are determined 80 minute sessions will be scheduled with 45-55 minute sessions being added intermittently to assess progress. Although EMDR has been shown to dramatically improve quality of life within a few sessions, it is important to continue healing and growth through therapy to ensure long-term resiliency. Each person’s EMDR journey will be different and therefore the amount of time to complete EMDR therapy will also vary.
Erin is EMDR trained and ready to help!
Erin is so excited to be able to share this treatment option to those of you who have tried traditional talk therapy but are still plagued by deeply rooted emotional and mental pain. Erin is enthusiastic and hopeful that it will provide you with relief.