Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a scientifically validated therapy model that integrates psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, experiential, physiological, interactional and other models to rapidly achieve a lasting treatment outcome of healing for trauma, negative self-beliefs, and hard to break patterns. It is a type of psychotherapy, not just a technique (of eye movements). EMDR has provided relief for more than 2 million people.

Why does EMDR work?

When we experience a traumatic event, it seems to get stored in our memory networks in a way that keeps them “stuck” in the nervous system and the original pictures, sounds, thoughts and feelings can become distorted and significantly affect us in the present. The eye movements used in EMDR change the ways the memories are stored so that the individual can come to a new realization that the even is actually in the past and that present events that have triggered similar traumatic feelings no longer have the same “charge.”

EMDR includes reprocessing of negative cognitions about the self that were previously associated with the trauma to positive, true self-beliefs. During this reprocessing phase the disturbing memories are accessed within the present moment; the client is not regressed as in some other therapy models.

The repetitive bi-lateral eye movements stimulates the right and left sides of the brain and facilitates healing from trauma much more rapidly than traditional therapy. It is not uncommon for a client to experience healing in a 90 minute session that would take months or years to accomplish with regular “talk therapy.” It is a proven technique for working with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other traumatic events, self-limiting beliefs, and hard to break patterns. It can also be used for performance anxiety and life enhancement issues.

What’s the Process of EMDR?

1. Assessment: Determining your triggers and what negative self beliefs have formed as a result. (usually 2 -3 sessions)
2. Preparation: Building your emotional resilience and setting up resourcing like mindfulness skills, calm place resourcing, etc. (1+ sessions depending on your need/experience)
3. Processing: The number of processing sessions will depend on how fast you process and how much ‘stuff’ we’re processing.
4. Consolidation: Where we talk about the changes, do some “future template” work, and wrap up.

For more information on EMDR, visit the Emdria.org website or visit my Resources page.