EMDR therapy is an evidence-based and gentle therapy approach. Most people associate EMDR with the 4th phase, where you use bilateral stimulation, such as eye movements, taps, tones, or buzzers, to reprocess traumatic memories. However, it is a more robust and comprehensive model of therapy. Working with a well-trained therapist is important to unlock all the healing potential this model offers.
EMDR addresses the past, present, and future. Treatment of past experiences, current triggers,
and potential future challenges can alleviate unwanted symptoms and decrease or eliminate
the distress from disturbing past experiences. So you can enjoy more clarity,
a greater sense of self, and relief from present symptoms.
There are 8 comprehensive phases to EMDR therapy with many protocols and adaptations to cater to your unique needs. Although robust enough on its own, it can also effectively be combined with IFS therapy and structural theory of dissociation to best work with complex trauma and dissociation. I love to be intuitive and creative in my work with clients. Often combing EMDR, IFS, mindfulness, & transpersonal therapy with a transcendental twist.
EMDR therapy does not require talking in detail about the distressing issue or completing homework between sessions. EMDR therapy, rather than focusing on changing the emotions, thoughts, or behaviors resulting from the distressing issue, allows the brain to resume its natural healing process. EMDR therapy is designed to resolve unprocessed traumatic memories in the brain. For many clients, EMDR therapy can be completed in fewer sessions than other psychotherapies. - EMDRIA
How EMDR Works
EMDR is commonly used for overcoming all kinds of trauma.
As with any great therapy, the therapeutic relationship, a 'safe-enough' and compassionate environment, and a validating understanding of what you have and are going through is instrumental to deep healing.
We all have some level of trauma in our lives, and often unprocessed distressing and traumatic memories come back intrusively in the form of anxiety, nightmares, flashbacks, panic attacks, unexplained pain, body sensations, feelings of dread, fear, shame, despair, hopelessness, rage, and general overwhelm. Furthermore, having these intrusive symptoms can lead to unhealthy ways of trying to cope and mental health concerns, such as phobia, avoidance, obsessions, compulsions, substance abuse, eating too much, depression, shutting down, and much more.
EMDR uses bilateral stimulation, through eye movements, taps, sounds, or buzzers to stimulate the left and right hemispheres of your brain in quick succession. This helps the brain process memories that were stuck, fragmented, or frozen in a way that the brain can resume its natural ability to heal and move the distress out of the nervous system, so we can heal and recover.
When you are in REM sleep, your eyes move back and forth very quickly, believed to help us process events and memories from our day, similarly, the bilateral stimulation during EMDR therapy allows memories to process more adaptively.
In addition, I have advanced training that I integrate, using the vast knowledge and research on EMDR neuroscience, polyvagal theory, attachment therapy, structural theory of dissociation, as well as numerous creative and adaptive techniques and protocols.
Healing Through Acceptance
Effective EMDR therapy considers and heals the wounds carried by your mind, body, heart, & soul. Having a comfortable and sacred therapeutic space for trauma work is essential.
EMDR honors that you have innate wisdom and that you are designed to heal. What you are experiencing makes sense based on what happened to you, and this approach offers you gentle tools and protocols for deep wound healing.
Rather than trying to make it all go away, which doesn't work, you can integrate the memories, emotions, sensations, and experiences that were improperly stored. Providing corrective experiences to heal past wounds that cause current unwanted symptoms.
This empowering approach opens a path toward accepting yourself and becoming more empowered and present in your life now.
Complex Trauma & Loving Self Booklet
You Are Not What Happened To You
The Adaptive Information Processing Model
EMDR is guided by the adaptive information processing (AIP) model, which posits that trauma can store inadequately in the brain's neural networks. The stored (frozen in trauma-time) feelings, emotions, body sensations, and cognitions associated with the original trauma event can come up, intrusively when triggered, in the present and overwhelm you with, or without consciousness, of where they are coming from.
The goal of EMDR is to initiate your innate wisdom, neurobiologically, with some help from the therapy, to bring in the adaptive information that was not able to come through during the trauma. This is obtained through bilateral stimulation, a process that creates new neural pathways and the ability to access adaptive information. Therefore, effectively reprocessing the trauma and reducing the associated distress that was stored in the nervous system, body, and mind.
EMDR Effectively Treats
All Types of Trauma
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Anxiety, panic attacks, and phobias
Chronic Illness, pain, and medical issues
Depression and mood
Complex trauma and dissociation
Grief and loss
Violence & sexual assualt
“It is one thing to process memories of trauma, but it is an entirely different matter to confront the inner void—the holes in the soul that result from not having been wanted, not having been seen, and not having been allowed to speak the truth.”
-Bessel A. van der Kolk