Do you often struggle with unpleasant memories from the past?
Are certain sights, smells, sounds, or sensations very unpleasant for you?
Do you avoid particular people, places, or things out of a fear of how they might make you feel or react?
Do you feel like something that happened to you in the past is bringing you down?
Do you ever experience anxiety or feelings of panic?
Do you ever have trouble focusing or concentrating?
If you’ve experienced any of the struggles above, EMDR Therapy could be helpful for you.
Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR) is an effective technique for treating the negative side effects of past experiences or traumas. Negative experiences from the past can have a lifelong impact on the brain. When something happens to us, whether positive or negative, our brain stores the memory. The experience then goes on to shape our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors moving forward. While we learn many helpful and positive things from past experiences, the negative experiences we have can get in the way of optimal functioning. Reprocessing negative past experiences and traumas has been shown to help reduce their negative impact. This can help clients move forward with an increased sense of calmness and confidence.
Unlike many other types of therapy, EMDR does not require extensive talking. It's an 8 step protocol that is designed for structure and efficiency. The severity of memories treated by EMDR can vary from unpleasant to unbearable. Many clients appreciate that EMDR is designed to get to the root cause of their challenges quickly.
EMDR starts out with the therapist getting to know you and gathering your history. You will then learn techniques for calming down when you are feeling stressed or disturbed. Next, your therapist will then guide you through selecting memories to reprocess based on the challenges you’re currently experiencing. The therapist will work with you to determine which memories might be most helpful to reprocess. Your therapist will bring in several different strategies in the process and will guide you along the way.
EMDR is an evidence based technique effective for treating issues such as:
Chronic Illness, Pain, & Medical Issues
Grief & Loss
Emotional & Physical Abuse
Upsetting events that may seem minor
During EMDR, your therapist will ask questions to help you tune in to your memories and how you are currently experiencing them. As you move through the process of EMDR therapy, your therapist will help track how things change for you. This is done through reporting what you’re feeling and noticing in your mind and body. There is no right or wrong, you simply report back on what you’re experiencing in the moment.
EMDR therapy is helpful for a wide range of individuals. Every person is unique and reacts differently to stressful experiences. What seems like 'no big deal' to one person might be a very big deal to another. There's no issue too small to address in therapy. Some clients seek EMDR because they went through difficult times as children. Whether they were bullied at school or experienced challenges at home or in the community, these experiences had lasting impacts on them as they matured.
Many clients also seek EMDR for experiences in adulthood that have left them feeling scared, stuck, or angry. Getting fired, being cheated on, getting divorced, making embarrassing mistakes, or witnessing or experiencing accidents or violence are all things that commonly get treated with EMDR. After completing EMDR, many clients look back on their unpleasant experiences more neutrally. They find that negativity from the past no longer stings like it used to and no longer prevents them from moving forward.
If you are interested in EMDR therapy for reprocessing difficult memories or unpleasant symptoms like anxiety, please schedule a free virtual consultation to see if EMDR or another type of therapy might be appropriate for your situation.