Traumatic experiences, both recent and remote, can leave you emotionally wounded and paralyzed. Flashbacks of past events, nightmares, obsessive thoughts, ongoing anxiety, and powerful unconscious fears can keep you stuck in the same patterns and can prevent you from achieving your goals in life. It is often difficult to resolve traumatic events so that they no longer have any power over you in the present.
EMDR is a highly effective, scientifically proven technique that is specifically designed to resolve deep seated traumatic wounds. Rather than just simply focusing on changing your thoughts, it addresses the root cause of traumatic psychological injuries, often bringing a sense of empowerment and peace in a relatively short period of time. The traumatic event becomes a memory that no longer has any power over your life. When the trauma is resolved, negative core beliefs about yourself are naturally replaced by positive beliefs and feelings, and a new orientation to your life emerges.
Brief description of EMDR
After an initial evaluation and discussion of treatment options, you will be prepared for an EMDR session by developing and strengthening your inner safety and emotional resilience. EMDR is not hypnosis: during an EMDR session you are fully conscious and may stop at any time.
When you are fully prepared for EMDR (including a complete psychosocial history) we will “set up” a session in which you target a disturbing situation. You will identify and explore feelings, thoughts, body signs, intensity level, and any visual aspects of the experience. Then we will use one of several options for moving your attention gently back and forth including eye movements alternating left to right, listening to simple sounds in headphones that alternate, holding small paddles that create a gentle vibration in your hands that alternates.
This experience of attending to stressful memories while simultaneously moving your attention from one side to the other assists you in “processing” traumatic memories. The experience is different for each individual and it can be very mild, or very intense. In a completed EMDR experience (which will likely take multiple sessions) disturbing feelings and thoughts about a traumatic event decrease in intensity and are often completely eliminated, while a new, spontaneous, positive belief about yourself is strengthened.
When you have completed the EMDR process, your body will not be reactive when you think of the originally disturbing situation or how it has impacted the present, and you will be able to visualize future actions that will support this new positive shift.
I have been using EMDR in my practice for over 30 years and have found it to be a powerful and effective tool for resolving many different types of trauma and related issues including childhood abuse, attachment issues, abandonment, neglect, rape, loss of a loved one, unresolved grief, recovering from affairs, addictions, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, auto accidents, war trauma, complex PTSD, developmental trauma, and many other issues that are trauma based.