• Trauma & EMDR Therapy

    Trauma & EMDR Therapy

    Key Ideas

    • Trauma can include major events that are often life threatening or result in significant loss. Trauma can also include more subtle experiences that negatively affect the way we view ourselves, others, and the world. EMDR can address both categories that negatively impact our lives.
    • Memories are stored in the brain as associated networks. Our memories can be stored with thoughts, feelings, images, and body sensations. These memories form the foundation for the ways we view ourselves, others, and the world. They strongly influence our behaviors both positive and negative.
    • Our brains are designed to heal after trauma, similar to how our body is designed to heal after physical injury. However, when we experience something traumatic, our brain may struggle to process in helpful ways without assistance. This makes it more likely that we will experience unwanted symptoms (i.e. nightmares, flashbacks, continued high emotional distress, unnecessarily negative views of ourselves, over-estimating danger, etc).
    • EMDR may help process disturbing events that continue to feel unresolved in the present.

    “Being traumatized means continuing to organize your life as if the trauma were still going on—unchanged and immutable—as every new encounter or event is contaminated by the past.”

    ― Bessel A. van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score

    Explanation of EMDR: Eye movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

    One of the things that makes EMDR different than talk therapy is the use of bilateral stimulation while processing. It helps the whole brain focus on processing experiences in a way that may not have been possible when the original situation felt intense. This used to mean Eye Movements, but has evolved; I use a “tapper.” Desensitization refers to decreasing the distress experienced once a trauma is over. {EMDR does not take away the experience of grief associated with traumas when something or someone significant was lost.} The reprocessing during EMDR happens in your brain and body rather than through conversations like in talk-therapies.

    “When a trauma occurs, it seems to get locked in the nervous system with the original picture, sounds, thoughts, and feelings. The eye movements we use in EMDR seem to unlock the nervous system and allow the brain to process the experience. That may be what is happening in REM or dream sleep- the eye movements may help to process the unconscious material. It is important to remember that it is your own brain that will be doing the healing and that you are the one in control.”

    – Francine Shapiro, PhD (Developed EMDR)

    For More Information

    EMDR is Endorsed by:

    • American Psychiatric Association
    • Department of Veterans Affairs
    • Department of Defense
    • World Health Organization
    • International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies

    Request EMDR Therapy