What Is EMDR?

Eye-Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy used to treat the troubling symptoms that can occur because of trauma.


Symptoms can include (but are not limited to):

  • anxiety
  • guilt
  • anger -depression
  • panic
  • sleep disturbance
  • flashbacks

What Does EMDR Stand For?

Eye Movement: Facilitating bilateral stimulation of the right and left hemispheres using eye movements. We can also achieve bilateral stimulation through alternating tapping, hand buzzers, or tones.

Desensitization: the removal of the emotional disturbance associated with a traumatic memory.

Reprocessing: the replacement of the harmful, negative beliefs associated with traumatic memories, with more nourishing, positive beliefs.

What’s Different About EMDR?

Research has found that traditional therapies have limited success in treating victims of trauma. EMDR has been proven effective in reducing the chronic symptoms which are experienced as result of trauma and the benefits appear to be permanent.

When a disturbing event occurs, it can get locked in the nervous system with the original picture, sounds, thoughts, and feelings. EMDR seems to unlock the nervous system and allows the brain to process the experience. We think this may be happening when we’re in the REM cycle of our sleep-the eye movements may help to process the unconscious material.

What Are We Doing?

  • we are giving the body what it needs to get unstuck from disturbing memories that negatively impact your beliefs about yourself and the world around you
  • your system knows how to heal itself unless there’s a block. We’re removing the block so your system can move toward healing
  • changing the irrational, negative, cognitive beliefs that formed because of the trauma (ie: ‘it was my fault’, ‘I don’t deserve love,’ ‘I’m a bad person etc....)
  • helping to clear the clouds that formed out of trauma and bring you back to your true self

What Can & Can’t it Do?

It Can...

  • shift disturbing memories factual (We don’t remove the information; we just make it neutral)
  • allow your brain and body to tap into your own healing potential and move towards healing
  • change irrational, negative cognitive beliefs about self

It Can’t...

  • change reality
  • change what you don’t want it to change
  • remove real emotions (sadness, grief etc..)
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