EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
“The speed at which change occurs during EMDR contradicts the traditional notion of time as essential for psychological healing. EMDR has integrated elements from many different schools of psychotherapy into its protocols, making EMDR applicable to a variety of clinical populations.” – Bessel A. van der Kolk, MD, Boston University School of Medicine
After years of using EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), I continue to be amazed at the natural healing that can happen in such a short time that often just isn’t possible using only talk therapy. EMDR is a highly effective and well-researched therapeutic method for healing many types of psychological distresses. I have found it helpful in a variety of cases to address:
- Anxiety, fear, phobias
- Panic attacks
- Post traumatic stress disorder
- Chronic low self-esteem and inappropriate feelings of guilt, shame, worthlessness, or badness
- Symptoms of trauma (anxiety, hyper vigilance, intrusive memories) that are part of post traumatic stress disorder
- Negative patterns (emotions, thoughts, relationship choices) related to childhood trauma and abuse (sexual, physical, and/or emotional)
- Obsessive thoughts or compulsive behaviors
What are the benefits of EMDR?
EMDR therapy is often:
- Faster than traditional talk therapy
- Provides substantial change and permanent relief from chronic issues
- Able to get at the “heart” of issues, providing healing rather than just symptom relief
When is EMDR not appropriate?
EMDR is not a panacea and doesn’t fix every issue, and at times is inappropriately used by clinicians which in some cases has led to EMDR getting a “bad rap”. Careful evaluation and preparation by a trained and experienced clinician (or a new clinician with appropriate supervision) is important. I will work with you to set your expectations as to what EMDR can and can not do for you given your particular case and I will prepare you properly for treatment. In particular, I will never pressure you to work beyond your limits.
How Does EMDR Work?
EMDR engages natural healing by removing blocks to your body and mind’s natural trauma processing. It is not hypnosis, and it is not the clinician “doing something” or “healing” you, rather it is the clinician helping you engage your own capacities to heal yourself. I compare EMDR to healing a trauma memory the way a doctor helps heal a limb by putting it in a cast. The professional provides the right conditions, but the body does it’s own healing.
Current science tells us that when a person experiences trauma or is highly upset, their brain’s chemistry is altered. Traumatic memories are stored differently in the brain and are not processed naturally during the brain’s nightly memory consolidation process (as normal memories are). These “frozen trauma memories” cause automatic reactions to cues that often are not helpful.
I work with my clients to identify the memories that cause these reactions, and then we use EMDR to gently engage these memories and facilitate the body’s natural ability to process and neutralize the memory. EMDR allows the mind and body to release the trauma along with the old emotions, thoughts, and sensations. This also allows empowering insights, perspectives, and healing to occur.
Why not start your journey today?
Schedule an appointment today by phone 805.975.8399 or by e-mail.
If you are unsure if counseling is right for you, I am more than happy to provide a free introductory consultation to answer any questions you might have and to make the process of starting therapy a little easier.
Find Me: My office is in beautiful downtown Paso Robles, near the park.