"When you come out of the storm you wont be the same person who walked in. That's what this storm's all about."
- Haruki Murakami
Developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro in 1987, EMDR Therapy (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing Therapy) has become one of the most researched and proven therapies in the world in the treatment of trauma and anxiety. Since 1987 hundreds of studies have proven that EMDR’s approach to healing trauma through a combination of mindfulness, imagery, body awareness, and cognitive skills directly addresses the memories and worries that disrupt our day to day life.
What does EMDR therapy entail?
Every EMDR process starts with us working together to develop
the resources (skills, tools, strategies, and social connections) you
need to have a successful healing journey. I help my clients approach developing these resources through a unique combination of guided imagery, parts work, and nature based therapy.
With strong resources in place we work together to create a treatment plan that outlines specific target memories, anxieties, and negative beliefs you hold about yourself. With these targets identified we begin a process called Bilateral Stimulation (BLS) which is at the heart of EMDR Therapy.
In essence, BLS supports both sides of your brain to be in better communication. When this occurs the Right Brain (the side that holds all the intense emotions, imagery, and creativity) and the Left Brain (the side holds the story and our logical/reasonable self) are able to process through the target memory and achieve a resolution.
What does EMDR do?
EMDR helps us reconnect to our wholeness - that same wholeness that trauma took away from us. Through EMDR my clients are able to re-establish a connection between their minds, and their bodies - their memories, and their felt sensations - their need to be protected, and their need to be powerful - their hurts, and their innate ability to heal.
EMDR doesn't take away or change the past. It doesn't eliminate memories, make us glad that it happened, or forget the hurt of all we've been through. However, EMDR does help discharge pent up energy.
When we experience trauma or get stuck worrying about the future our bodies and minds hold on to all that energy. This energy gets stored up as a means of ensuring our survival. It's a way of trying to stay ready for danger. EMDR helps move this stuck energy. We don't become any less ready to protect ourselves. We simply don't stay on such constant high alert that our lives are disrupted.
What does an EMDR session look like?
At the start of our session we'll identify a particular target memory to work on. We'll then support your brain and body to tap in to it's innate ability to heal and move beyond the pain of what we're targeting by using BLS. BLS can be achieved through visual, tactile , or auditory means. Some of my clients prefer to use their eyes to follow my hand or a light, others prefer to hold buzzers in their hands, while others prefer to listen to musical notes moving between one ear and the other.
We'll know that the target has been resolved when you're able to look back on the target without it causing an undue level of distress in the present moment. Some target memories can be moved through quickly (in as little as 4-6 sessions) while other more complex memories can take much longer.
My clients who go through EMDR sessions often discover a whole host of positive changes. Some of the most common experiences my clients notices are reduced anxiety and fear, clearer insight in to their relationships, stronger connections to their bodies, more compassion for themselves, more self-confidence, and reduced symptoms of trauma/PTSD such as hypervigilance, invasive memories, sleep disruptions, isolation, and anger. EMDR helps.
If you're struggling with one or multiple traumatic events, or anxieties, EMDR may be an incredibly supportive tool to support your healing. Reach out for a free 30 minute in-person consultation!
Always Remember That Healing Is Possible
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