ABOUT EMDR

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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 many different treatment approaches. It may be used on it's own to address specific issues or it may be integrated into therapy or somatic sessions for a more holistic approach.

Sometimes events happen in a person’s life that, for whatever reason, do not get properly processed and instead get stored as unprocessed memory. In more severe cases this may led to PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) where symptoms such as flashbacks keep returning us to the original trauma. However, a wide variety of experiences may get stored in this way, simply because at the time of the experience we did not have the necessary emotional, physical, or psychological recourses to deal with what has happened. That event, big or small, can then become an unprocessed memory and the physical sensations, emotions, thoughts, or images associated with the event can get stored in our mind and/or our bodies, creating symptoms that may be distressing or problematic. In a sense it is as though we were moving forward in life at the same time as a part of us is stuck in the past, still caught up in that troubling event and unable to move forward. From a psychodynamic perspective we could understand that this unprocessed, stuck part needs to be brought into the present and (re)integrated.

EMDR Therapy can help identify and process these stuck pieces. It helps facilitate the activation of the brain’s inherent system to process and integrate the information that got stored or stuck. EMDR Therapy can be used on its own or it can be integrated with psychotherapy as well as somatic modalities in order to access different levels of mind and body awareness.

WHAT KIND OF PROBLEMS DOES EMDR TREAT?

  • PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
  • Sexual or Physical abuse
  • Panic attacks
  • Performance anxiety
  • Stress reduction
  • Disturbing memories
  • Phobias
  • Addictions
  • Body related disorders
  • Personality Disorders

WHAT IS PTSD?

A person may develop PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) if he/she is exposed to or witness to a traumatic event in which there was an actual threat of death, serious injury, or harm to the self or others, or if he felt intense fear, helplessness, or horror.

People suffering from PTSD often experience:

  • Disturbing memories & thoughts
  • Nightmares
  • Sleep related issues
  • Anger problems
  • Difficulties concentrating
  • Hyper-vigilance
  • Flashbacks of the trauma
  • Elevated stress response

LINKS, ARTICLES, & RESOURCES:

EMDR International Association

Neurobiological aspects of EMDR 

Hypothesized Mechanisms of Action


Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.

-C.G. Jung-