EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) developed by Francine Shapiro, is a powerful short-term, empirically proven and highly effective therapy for the treatment of trauma. Psychological trauma results from reliving an event(s) from the past over and over again because the images, smells, sights, sounds and feelings are living as emotion in the body and can be triggered in the present. When activated, these memories cause a negative impact on our daily functioning and interfere with the way we see ourselves and our world and how we relate to others.
EMDR does not involve the use of drugs or hypnosis but is rather a simple, collaborative and non-invasive approach between the client and therapist in which effective healing occurs. EMDR involves recalling beliefs about the emotions, thoughts and bodily sensations felt during the traumatic event that became frozen and continue to interfere with one’s ability to completely process the experience. Once the event(s) have been processed through EMDR, the psychological trauma(s) no longer have such devastating effects.
A key element of EMDR is “dual stimulation”. During treatment, you are asked to think about memories, triggers or painful emotions while simultaneously focusing on some form of bilateral eye movements, bilateral tactile stimulations, or chimes that pan back and forth from ear to ear. It appears the dual stimulations relieve the anxiety associated with the trauma so that the original event can be examined from a more detached perspective, somewhat like watching a movie of what happened. This enables the therapist to access positive ways of reframing the original trauma, called reprocessing and to release the body’s stored negative emotional charges, called desensitization.
The use of EMDR therapy involves specialized training and we are experienced and trained in this treatment modality. Please call us with any questions if you think this may be a treatment option for you. EMDR is safe and effective for both adults and children.
Some examples of traumatic events include but are not limited too: childhood and current sexual, physical, emotional or verbal abuse, witness or experience of a violent attack, car accidents, death, dying, medical diagnosis, surgical procedures, natural disasters, batter in relationships, bullying, neglect, rejection, infidelity, and an animal attack.