What is EMDR Therapy?
EMDR is a treatment that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that result from disturbing life experiences. During an EMDR session, the client tends to emotionally disturbing material in brief doses while simultaneously focusing on external stimuli. The therapist will generally use eye moment as the external stimuli but might also use other stimulants like hand-tapping or audio stimulation.
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. The therapy was developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro in 1989 when she noted that tracking eye movments reduced distress levels. Over time, she discovered that it was not the eye movments themselves that were important, but the effect that the moment had on the brain.
This effect is known as bi-lateral stimulation, where each lobe of the brain is stiumulated in a rhythmic pattern. The same result can be achieved with hand tapping or auditory cues in headphones. The therapy is used to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorders by helping the client process a traumatic event. The current theroy is that the eye moments imitate what occures during REM sleep – a time in which we process information and consolidate memory.
EMDR Therapy Process
A EMDR therapy session involves entering a calm space with a therapist. The therapist will ask you to focus on one memory you have previously agreed on to process. Then the therapist will have you track their hand with your eyes while the rest of your body stays still. There isn’t much talking, and all the processing happens inside your own head. Many of our clients have had transformative experiences during EMDR sessions. They report:
- Less anxiety related to the traumatic event
- Reduced stress response when thinking about the traumatic event
- A new prospected on the traumatic event
- Postive feelings associated with having processed the traumatic event
Our EMDR Therapists
Marriage & Family Therapists, MA
Not Accepting Clients Currently
Licensed Professional Therapist, MS, LPC, NCC
Accepting Clients, Online & In Person
Licensed Professional Therapist, MA, LPC, NCC
Accepting Clients, Online Only