Sixty percent of our adult population suffers from some form of trauma. Unfortunately, the most common form of trauma is related to childhood abuse. One effective treatment method for those suffering from post-traumatic stress is EMDR for processing childhood abuse. Studies show EMDR to be an effective way to heal from the psychological trauma of childhood abuse and neglect.


What is EMDR?

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a therapy that enables people to heal from symptoms related to traumatic life experiences. Study after study has determined that EMDR therapy offers symptom reduction for people that would otherwise take years to accomplish with traditional therapy methods. EMDR proves that the mind can heal from psychological trauma just as the body can recover from physical trauma. 


What Qualifies as Childhood Abuse?

Nearly every person experiences trauma at some point in their life; what might be different is the extent of the trauma. Many of us experience “little t” trauma, such as being rejected by our crush or an embarrassing moment in gym class. However, almost 60% of adults have experienced a “big T” trauma. Many clients approach us for treatment because childhood trauma affects their adult relationships. The most common form of trauma is childhood abuse. Childhood abuse and neglect can be anything related to:

  • Physical Abuse, such as striking, shaking, or otherwise trying to force a child into a stressed state
  • Emotional Abuse, such as ridiculing or silencing a child, frequent shouting, or emotional withdrawal
  • Sexual Abuse, such as inappropriate touching, penetrative and non-penetrative touching, and grooming


What is EMDR Like?

The first few sessions of EMDR involve discussing what you want to work on and ways to better manage stress. After that, you’ll focus on a specific event and its negative feelings. While you focus on the traumatic event, the therapist will begin sets of side-to-side movements, sounds, or taps. Throughout the experience, your feelings or beliefs towards this particular incident will change.

Many people find after 1-4 sessions, their perspective on a traumatic event has completely changed. Thoughts that were previously unbearably painful are now less so. Triggers that might have caused panic before now barely cause a reaction. EMDR is particularly effective for individuals with Complex PTSD or those suffering from multiple prolonged layers of trauma.



EMDR is a therapy process in which people have an opportunity to work through a traumatic memory in a safe space. For example, therapists will often use EMDR to help with processing childhood abuse and neglect. After discussing which traumatic events you want to reprocess, your therapist will walk you through reprocessing the event. While the experience can be intense, many people report significant relief from their PTSD symptoms after just a few sessions. Consider EMDR if you are dealing with the negative impacts of living with PTSD.


Family Strategies Counseling and Mediation is a trauma-informed therapy office in Homewood, IL. We specialize in couples counseling, family therapy, child therapy, and trauma-based therapy center. Call (708) 798-5433 or email for appointment details.