I am a Level II EMDR Therapist and use this treatment modality with many of my clients.
Silence about trauma also leads to death-death of the soul. Silence reinforces the godforsaken isolation of trauma. Being able to say aloud to another human being, “I was raped” or “I was battered by my husband” or “My parents called it discipline, but it was abuse” or “I’m not making it since I got back from Iraq,” is a sign that healing can begin. – Bessel Van Der Kolk,
What is EMDR Therapy?
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is considered one of the most effective treatments for trauma, and is both evidence and research-based. EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma and in a much shorter time than traditional talk therapy. It is often the treatment of choice for processing the emotional charge of painful experiences and memories, and has been used successfully to treat anxiety, depression, fears and phobias. Other issues we can use EMDR with include:
- Complicated Grief
- Negative beliefs about yourself or body image
- Toxic Shame
- Problematic relationships
- Car, motorcycle, ATV accidents.
- Fear of flying
- Fear of success or failure
- Performance anxiety (Musicians, Athletes & Actors)
- Symptoms of trauma
- Any ‘stuck’ painful emotions or memories
- Childhood abuse or neglect
- Migraines and Chronic Pain
How Does EMDR Therapy Work?
When we go through something painful or traumatic, our brains can have difficulty processing or ‘digesting’ the experience. The painful memory can become stuck in our memory network along with the sensory information from when the experience happened. This is why certain smells, sights, textures and tastes may bring back the memory of that experience in a very clear, and disturbing way. Even if it happened years ago, it can feel as if it happened today.
EMDR helps to “unlock” those disturbing memories and experiences through Bi-Lateral Stimulation (BLS). BLS can take many forms, including eye movements, tones, tapping and/or tactile ‘pulsers’. By alternating stimulation of both hemispheres of the brain, new insights often occur as the issues become unstuck allowing the client to make sense of them. This allows the client to have one foot in the past and one foot in the present while remaining safe and in control.
The memories themselves do not disappear, however your relationship to the memory will likely change, making the memory feel much less scary and painful, both in your mind and body. For instance, a rape victim shifts from feeling horror and self-disgust to holding the firm belief that, “I survived it and I am strong.” Unlike talk therapy, the insights clients gain in EMDR therapy result not so much from clinician interpretation, but from the client’s own accelerated intellectual and emotional processes. The net effect is that clients conclude EMDR therapy feeling empowered by the very experiences that once debased them. Their wounds have not just closed, they have transformed.
Clients who recieve EMDR Therapy often report feeling increased confidence, positve self-image, more control over their emotions and a sense of freedom from past experiences, phobias and fears.
Extended sessions are recommended to allow you to explore more deeply into the processing and stay there longer–and therefore heal more quickly.
For more info about EMDR Therapy, please visit www.EMDR.com