EMDR Therapy Explained.

EMDR is a drug-free psychotherapy treatment that helps guide the body through the natural grief & healing process when we can’t do it on our own. Performed by a Licensed Mental Health Counselor & certified EMDR therapist.

Human Instincts Can Block the Mental Healing Process

Natural Human Instincts

Things happen every day that could cause us to have negative thoughts and feelings. When we stub our toe, we can trigger an explosion of anger, fear, anxiety, and pain all at the same time, in a split second.

If you’ve ever been unlucky enough to stub your toe so hard you suddenly find yourself in excruciating pain, you may have experienced the human body’s instinctual fight, flight, or freeze stress response.

Feeling powerless and thinking (or screaming) things like “OH MY GOD I’M GOING TO DIE,” or “I’M IN DANGER!” in this moment are part of our body’s natural response to distress.

After a minute or two, the pain subsides and we catch our breath. Our instincts retreat as our brains analyze the situation and determines it’s safe.  We might have a flashback of the pain later on in the day, but we feel better and we go on with our day.

Trauma Can Confuse Your Mind

When trauma on a much bigger scale happens like a serious accident, violence, or abuse, our mental recovery can be challenging. There is no telling what our own memory processing system extracted from the event and moved into long-term storage.

Our individual experiences and memories shape our core beliefs. Negative, violent, and stressful life events can injure our thought process.

Cloud shaped like a brain with labels for the areas wh of the Prefrontal Cortex, the Amygdala, and the Hippocampus

Our brains need time to grieve and mentally heal from a traumatic event. During the healing process, sometimes trauma can cause a dysfunctionally stored memory, as in PTSD.

Time passes and you might not think about the event very often, if ever. Beliefs and feelings associated with the event have shifted to your sub-conscious, also known as long-term memory.  Eventually, in a matter of months or years, the mental wounds surface.  Something outside triggers  the dysfunctional memory and unwanted behaviors begin.

Dysfunctional Memories Can Be Repaired

Eye Movement Desensitization and Resolution therapy is a mental health treatment by a licensed therapist that uses bi-lateral stimulation, similar to eye movement during REM sleep, to access the sub-conscious and take stress responses out of memories.

An EMDR session is like physical therapy for the mind.

During an EMDR session, we will work together and do bilateral movement exercises, while you simultaneously focus on thoughts and feelings around a target memory. The past event causing you distress today is your target memory.

Present Distress

PTSD symptoms, frustration, sadness or anger, emotional or physical pain stopping you from feeling your best.

This includes things like performance anxiety, auto-immune disorders, or substance dependency.

Target Memory

Your target memory will be determined before the psychotherapy exercises begin.

This memory could be one you already know is causing distress, or we may discover it when we talk about the troubles you are having today.

Future Responses

An exciting part of EMDR therapy is you get to pick your own emotions to think and feel when a trigger from the past arises.

If you had the chance to control your mindset, what would you change? Build a new pathway to invoke emotions chosen by the person you are today.

EMDR Compared To Other Psychotherapies

Proven Relief

EMDR is proven to provide relief in fewer sessions than other psychotherapies. We target a specific mental wound causing distress in your life.

With each session, the wound heals a little more. Soon enough, you will notice a positive change in your or your family member’s behaviors.

No Homework

Unlike other treatment orientations, EMDR does not require work outside of appointments.

The work is done on the sub-conscience mind during the session.  As each session is completed you will begin to notice a change in your responses to distubances.

No Detailed Descriptions

This therapy does not require clients to explain the disturbing memory in great detail. 

We’re doing therapeutic exercises with just your thoughts to shut down disturbances.  We’ll work on setting future responses that will help you reach your goals. 

Proven, evidence based psychotherapy

EMDR therapy is recognized as an effective form of treatment for trauma and other disturbing experiences by the American Psychiatric Association, the World Health Organization and the Department of Defense.

EMDR therapy is well known for its success healing PTSD, complex-trauma, anxiety, and depression.
EMDR therapy can also provide relief for performance anxiety, migraines,  mood disorders in children and adults, autoimmune disorders, childhood and attachment trauma. 

Change pathways in your brain

Pathways are built consciously when we work to form good habits like exercising or drinking enough water. 

Unwanted behavior can be caused by a pathway formed from a disturbing incident in our past.  When we cannot overcome negative reactions on our own, a licensed EMDR therapist can assist in re-setting responses to form new pathways.