Do memories from your past affect your present?
Have you experienced traumatic events as a child or as an adult and have difficulty getting over them?
Do you have persistent anxiety, fears, or phobias that you want to address?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an extremely effective form of psychotherapy that is used to treat anxiety, depression, anger, panic, complicated grief, sexual abuse, sleep problems, obsessive compulsive disorder, symptoms associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and more. It can dramatically shorten the length of treatment and clients often report some immediate relief of their symptoms.
Traumatic experiences can cause troubling and even debilitating symptoms such as depression, stress, anxiety, or even a condition called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It is not necessary to have that diagnosis to benefit from the positive effects of EMDR therapy. This type of therapy was created by the psychologist Francine Shapiro, Ph.D, in 1987 and is used worldwide.
How many sessions will it take?
The number of sessions depends upon your specific problem and your personal history. Research has shown that a client who has experienced a single, acute trauma (ex: a car accident) can be processed within 3 sessions in 80-90% of participants. However, the amount of therapy a client needs will depend upon the complexity of your personal history. Please discuss this with me so that you can have appropriate expectations of this therapy approach.
How does EMDR therapy work?
The way any type of psychotherapy works has yet to be established definitely. Brain science researchers are still exploring how our very complex brains work. However, there is evidence that we have a natural “adaptive information processing” system that helps us adapt to events in daily life. Research suggests that when a person is upset, overwhelmed by negative emotion, the brain cannot process information, and the experience that caused the upset, as it normally does. Some traumatic events and recurring situations that cause intense emotional upset seem to become “frozen” in time or “stuck” in the brain’s information processing system.
This approach involves use of alternating lights, taps, tones or vibrations to stimulate the right and left hemispheres of the brain or alternating rapid eye movements. EMDR also involves targeting a specific memory, being aware of where the disturbance is held in the body, the emotions related to the memory and a negative belief that individuals have about themselves when they think of the memory. In preparation for treatment, clients are taught stress reduction tools, relaxation strategies and gain an understanding of how their beliefs about themselves are related to the symptoms they experience. The goal of EMDR is to reprocess disturbing memories so that individuals can experience changes in perception and attitude, moments of insight, and differences in the way they think, feel and behave.
I have successfully used EMDR with clients of all ages for problems such as:
A life crisis and difficult transitions: Divorce, betrayal, losing a job, health challenges
Anxiety, fears and phobias: Performance anxiety, fear of heights and flying, dental phobia, surgery, public speaking, driving anxiety, difficulty forming intimate relationships.
Traumatic events: Sexual assault, physical assault, childhood emotional, physical or sexual abuse, car accidents, fires, combat trauma, death of a loved one.
Please talk to me about EMDR therapy when you make first contact; I would be happy to answer your questions and discuss whether this is appropriate for your individual situation.