How EMDR Works

30 Apr

I now incorporate EMDR into my therapy practice.  I am trained in EMDR and find it to be one of the most valuable techniques I have utilized in my 17 years in practice. Developed to address trauma and PTSD, it is now widely used for all sorts of challenges clients bring to therapy.

How EMDR Works

“When you get a splinter in your hand, your body works to close the wound.  The splinter irritates the wound, festers and causes pain.  Once the splinter is removed, healing resumes.  EMDR therapy does the same thing in your brain.  Our minds want to move towards emotional health, but if our processing is blocked or imbalance by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound will fester and can cause intense suffering.  Once the block is removed, healing resumes.”

What does EMDR involve?

EMDR is is an 8 step technique that includes assessment, positive coping strategies, dialogue, bi-lateral stimulation, and reflection.  The goal is to help you feel a sense of resolution, releasing feelings associated with the trauma and gaining new understanding of the traumatic event.

“EMDR therapy for a particular issue addresses not only the events from the past that set the problem in motion but also situational triggers that have perpetuated the problem in the present, as well as anticipated instances of the issue occurring again in the future”

EMDR can evoke strong emotions and body sensations during a session. This is normal and to be expected, since the method works to process out those stored negative feelings and body sensations. Usually this discomfort is brief and will fade as our mind begins  moving towards healing.

Many people have dramatic responses to EMDR and experience relief in a very short time compared to traditional talk therapies

What can EMDR help with?

While it is most often used to treat Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), it has also been used successfully for:

  • Childhood Abuse
  • Chronic Pain Management
  •  Disturbing memories
  •  Panic Disorder and Phobias
  •  Depression
  •  Grief and Loss

Comprehensive information about EMDR and research supporting it, can be found at and

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