Evidenced Based Trauma Therapy
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. This therapy works to alleviate the pain of traumatic memories and disturbing experiences. Often when we experience a painful or traumatic event we are overwhelmed in the moment, and the memory is often not stored correctly in the brain. EMDR is a way to tap into these memories and help assist in processing them correctly so that they no longer cause the same level of distress.
How EMDR Works
The first step in any trauma therapy is to develop coping techniques that allow individuals to access a sense of calm, or feeling grounded. Many people who have experienced trauma feel unsafe in their bodies, in their relationships and in the outside world. This stage can take days for some – for others it might be a longer process. One of the exercises commonly utilized in this first stage is to create a Calm Place. If you are interested in learning more about the Calm Place Exercise please click here.
Once someone is able to access a feeling of calm painful and traumatic memories are identified, as well as negative self- beliefs. These memories and beliefs are targeted using bilateral stimulation which targets both sides of the brain and works to process the painful and traumatic memories that are trapped in the nervous system.
The final step helps individuals to develop positive feelings about themselves. EMDR can assist with the following issues (this list is not exhaustive):
- Trauma and PTSD
- Anxiety and Panic Attacks
- Sexual/Physical Assault
- Disturbing Memories
- Low Self Esteem
- Relationship Problems
- Emotional/Physical Abuse
I am trained in EMDR therapy and have seen first hand the success clients can have with this therapeutic option. If you would like to read more about EMDR, specifically about the research that supports it’s effectiveness, you can check out my blog post here.
I completed my training in 2014. I continue to engage in advanced training and consultation, and am a Certified EMDR Therapist.