Through the use of Eye Movement Reprocessing Desensitization (EMDR), individuals can process through traumas without need for talking or providing details of difficult experiences. This service can help with processing phobias, singular traumatic events, and more complex traumatic experiences. It is also beneficial to those seeking a new way to address general concerns without knowing a specific incident or place to start from.
Though this service can be sometimes misconstrued as a "quick fix" by some- as with any mental health treatment there is no guarantee of a set timeline for healing. Many factors determine the course of treatment including client history, extant stressors, readiness for processing, and more.
In the same way the body wants to heal itself, so does the brain.
When your body is injured- let's say by a wooden splinter- the body will heal over that wound, whether or not that splinter is removed. Healing over the wooden splinter can create problems down the line- perhaps ongoing ache or infection. Going back and removing the wooden splinter allows for proper healing of the wound.
Similarly, when trauma occurs the brain does not effectively integrate the experience (creating a metaphorical "wood splinter") which will then heal over whether or not the trauma is fully processed. This can result in maladaptive behaviors, triggers, and cognitions.
The work of EMDR is to go back and remove these "splinters" by processing past traumas so the brain can heal in a more adaptive way.
EMDR is an evidence based practice that involves the use of bi-lateral eye movement or tapping to engage in dual attention with both the past as well as present. By doing this, individuals are able to address painful and challenging memories with informed techniques and perspectives from the present.
Though many think only of the BLS/DAS as the heart of this method, EMDR includes an 8 phase protocol that is designed to ready the client for processing, establish targets and treatment goals, process trauma, and then eventually install more adaptive cognitions for future experiences.
The EMDRIA recommended length of an EMDR session is 80 minutes, which is longer than the traditional therapeutic hour.
[Unlike my other services, "Intensive" EMDR sessions (multiple EMDR sessions back to back, lasting most of the day) can be arranged after an initial 50 minute paid consultation in order to assess readiness/appropriateness in greater detail.]
Many people hope to find an EMDR provider who will work with them on one specific issue or target they are "stuck" on while they maintain their relationship with a different primary therapist.
EMDR can be provided as an adjunct service in certain circumstances in order to accelerate or support primary therapy work and goals. However additional considerations, precautions, and planning must be addressed if treatment will proceed in this manner.
If you are interested in EMDR as an additional service to your primary therapy, please schedule a free consultation to further explore whether we would be a good fit for this model of treatment.
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