Many people come to my office and have heard about EMDR therapy and that it is highly effective yet they do not know how it works.  EMDR is a powerful therapeutic tool that helps free people from the emotional, cognitive, and/or physical charge they consciously or unconsiously experience when a past hurt or trauma is triggered.  Imagine living your life as your authentic self, freed from any pain from your past.  Past pain can hurt our abilities to fully embrace our lives.  Do you feel haunted if you think about lets say a condesceding family member or friend, sexual abuse, a car accident, a degrading boss, a loss, parents who were alcoholics, or perhaps a teacher telling you that you would not succeed?  You know if you have unprocessed trauma or pain, if you stop and think about an incident and you feel an emotional charge, think negatively about yourself as a result of the incident, or if you feel a physical charge (muscle tightness, headache, throat tightness, stomach pain, etc.).  Usually we experince all the the above if a negative experience is stuck within us. By the end of your EMDR therapy, you will not longer experience any emotional, thought, or physical charge when thinking back to your negative experience or if you are around say the condescending family member or boss. You will also not be triggered by present day situations that bring up the past incident counsecioualy or unconsciously.

So, how does this EMDR actually work?  It seems to good to be true.  What we do is take the memory that is disturbing to you.  We then take the image that is the worst part of that memory.  Next, we bring up the emotions the image brings up.  We also bring up the negative thoughts you have about yourself such as I am not good enough, I am permanently damaged, I do not deserve, I am responsible.  Finally, we bring up the physical symptoms you experience when thinking about the image.

You then follow a light back and forth for about 24-36 sets while thinking of the image, emotions,  thoughts, and body sensations.  This light bilaterally stimulates your brain and it feels like you are riding on a train down the memory channel of the incident.  Things comes up whether it is emotions, tears, images, body sensations, or thoughts.  Your brain is working to rid itself of the troubling memory.  You will then become neutral about the incident leaving you feeling lighter and empowered.  Usually it takes between one to three sessions to feel neutral about a troubling memory.

As a therapist,  it is incredibly rewarding to see the transformation that takes place with my clients through the EMDR process and their life afterwards.  Continung on in life without carrying around a negative and hurtful experience helps us be our healthiest and most authentic self.  I use EMDR with people who have felt also felt anxiety (performance, social, etc.), emptiness, depression, low self-esteem, substance abuse, and PTSD with outstanding results.  Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.