Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy

What is EMDR Therapy?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy is an extensively researched, effective psychotherapy method proven to help people recover from therapy and other distressing life experiences, including PTSD, anxiety, depression, and panic disorders, to name a few.

How is EMDR different from other therapies?

EMDR does not require talking in detail about the distressing issue or homework between sessions. EMDR supports the brain to resume its natural healing process. EMDR therapy is designed to process traumatic memories in the brain, so the person is informed by these memories but not controlled by them. Part of the therapy includes alternating eye movements, sounds or taps. For many clients, EMDR therapy can be completed in fewer sessions than other psychotherapies.

EMDR can be done in-person or via virtual platforms and must be done with a properly trained and licensed mental health clinician.

How can EMDR Therapy help with the healing process?

Our brains have a natural way to recover from traumatic memories and events. This process involves communication between the amygdala (the alarm signal for stressful events), the hippocampus (which assists with learning, including memories about safety and danger) and the prefrontal cortex (which analyzes and controls behavior and emotion). While many times traumatic experiences can be managed and resolved spontaneously, others may be processed without help.

Stress responses are our natural fight, flight, or freeze instincts. When distress from a disturbing event remains, the upsetting images, thoughts, and emotions may create feelings of overwhelm, of being b ack in that moment, or of being frozen in time. EMDR therapy helps the brain processes these memories and allows normal healing to resume. The experience is still remembered, but the fight, flight, or freeze response from the original event is resolved.

*Information provided by the EMDRIA International Association