Trauma occurs when we experience extremely difficult or emotionally challenging situations without the opportunity to process them in a healthy way. Persisting symptoms such as fear and reactivity are due to incomplete processing of the initial event. Having faced such situations alone, unsupported, or too young, frightened, or confused to understand what happened can undermine your ability to adapt to the experience. This lack of integration often results in a tendency to react as though the threat is happening now even when none is present.
If you have experienced an accident, an assault, sexual abuse, child abuse or neglect, the death of a loved one, or have lived among substance abusers or physical violence and the experience has left you feeling unable to cope, you have likely suffered a trauma. Unexplained anxiety, depression, destructive relationship patterns or phobias are sometimes indicators of traumatic experiences that can’t be traced to a specific event.
What is EMDR?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy approach for healing unresolved trauma. It helps you reorganize difficult emotions so it no longer feels as though the emotion is in control.
Starting in an atmosphere of safety and calm, I help you identify stuck memories and the troubling feelings and beliefs associated with them. We access more adaptive parts of the brain and remove blocks to healing. Once activated, the brain easily begins to free-associate and naturally calls up new, healthy associations – your brain does the healing work with little or no conscious effort by you. It is not necessary to describe the details of the trauma.
Depending on the extent of the trauma, symptom relief can occur quickly with EMDR compared to other treatment approaches. You will gain a deeper understanding of why you tend to react in certain ways, reduce fear and worry, and move more freely in your life.
If you would like to find out more about EMDR before getting started please visit the EMDR International Association.
What It’s Like
We begin the EMDR process by creating an atmosphere of physical and emotional safety and calm. I help you to access visual, emotional and sensory memories and to construct useful meanings or “cognitions” that represent the memories. Unlike other forms of therapy, it is not necessary to describe the details of the trauma. We will identify places in your body where feelings or blocked energy is being stored. We then use the cognitions, along with bi-lateral stimulation (BLS) to access more adaptive parts of the brain. BLS is a process of alternating stimulation of both sides of the brain by tapping, hand-held pulsers, or hand movements. Once activated through BLS, the brain easily begins to free-associate and naturally calls up new, healthy associations – your brain does the healing work with little or no conscious effort by you.
After a series of sessions clients typically notice feelings of relief and distance from symptoms, a decrease or elimination of disturbing memories, relief from physical symptoms, and a dropping away of both present and anticipated triggers. The reactivity diminishes. The same processes that were used to resolve negative feelings are then used to create new adaptive, positive feeling states.
You can contact me today for 20 min free consultation.