How is EMDR therapy different from other therapies?

  • EMDR therapy does not require analyzing 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.

Your health insurance or employee benefit plan may cover services in whole or part.

 I work with MHN, Optum/United Healthcare, Magellan, Evernorth, and Beacon.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy.

EMDR therapy enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress resulting from disturbing life experiences.  It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal.  Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy, people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference.

EMDR therapy shows that the mind can heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma.  When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound.  If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain.

EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes. The brain's information processing system naturally moves toward mental health. If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. Once the block is removed, recovery continues. Using the detailed protocols and procedures learned in EMDR therapy training sessions, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes.

EMDR therapy is an extensively researched, effective psychotherapy method proven to help people recover from trauma and PTSD symptoms.

Symptoms of Trauma

  • Depression, sadness, isolation
  • Avoiding responsibilities
  • Difficulty functioning in daily life
  • Exaggerated startle response, feeling on edge
  • Anger/Difficulty controlling aggressive impulses
  • Sense of numbness toward life
  • Difficulty staying present with life or other dissociative responses
  • Shame, guilt, intense worry
  • Acting out compulsive behaviors
  • Difficulties being in public places/crowds
  • Involvement in high-risk behaviors
  • Avoiding community activities
  • Marital/Family issues
  • Chronic pain, headaches, medically unexplained symptoms
  • Thoughts of 'I don't deserve to get help or 'I am hopeless/Nothing will work for me.'

EMDR Therapy and Depression

Depression can make a person feel hopeless, stuck, and overwhelmed. Traumatic and stressful life events often contribute to depressive symptoms such as negative thoughts, empty or sad feelings, low self-worth, and difficulty finding life pleasurable. EMDR can relieve these depressive symptoms and help reframe negative beliefs, resolve unprocessed trauma and adverse experiences, improve energy and mood, and create a more positive understanding of the self and others. EMDR therapy can be used alone or with other approaches to develop and promote a safe environment for clients to achieve their goals.

How EMDR Helps

Our brains have a natural way of recovering 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, sometimes help is needed to process blocks caused by stress responses. Stress responses are part of our natural fight, flight or freeze instincts. When distress from a disturbing event remains, the disturbing images, thoughts, and emotions may create feelings of overwhelm, of being back in that moment, or of being frozen in time. EMDR therapy helps the brain process these memories and resumes normal healing. The experience is still remembered, but the fight, flight or freeze response from the original event is resolved, and the memory feels farther away. The memory moves from maladaptive to adaptive resolution.

Source: EMDR International Association
Public Awareness Film for EMDR Therapy