Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an extensively researched, effective psychotherapy method proven to help people recover from trauma and other distressing life experiences, including PTSD, anxiety, depression, and panic disorders.
EMDR therapy does not require talking in detail about the distressing issue. EMDR therapy allows the brain to resume its natural healing process. EMDR therapy is designed to resolve unprocessed traumatic memories in the brain.
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, they may not be processed without help.
Stress responses are part of our natural fight, flight, or freeze instincts. When distress from a disturbing event remains, the upsetting images, thoughts, and emotions may create an overwhelming feeling of being back in that moment, or of being “frozen in time.” EMDR therapy helps the brain process 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.
EMDR therapy may be used within a standard talking therapy, as an adjunctive therapy with a separate therapist, or as a treatment all by itself.
A typical EMDR therapy session lasts from 60 minutes if a client is working with the therapist on a week-to-week basis. While this approach can still be effective, there is an option to do an EMDR Intensive that would allow clients to dedicate a few days to resolve their issues. To learn more about EMDR Intensives, click here.
Meeting with a clinician one-on-one for a first visit is the first step in addressing your symptoms. Based on this assessment, your therapist can help you decide on the best approach to begin to work on your symptoms. Starting treatment is a big step, and we’re here to help. Our clinicians are here to answer any questions you may have, and to help you through the process of getting started. To request information or to get started with a counselor, fill out our contact us form and we will be in touch.