What kinds of issues does EMDR treat?
Honestly, I think EMDR can help anyone seeking to have a better relationship with themselves and others. There are so many practices of EMDR which I may use to support you during a session.EMDR is especially well-suited to help you if you are struggling with:
- PTSD and post-trauma symptoms, whether the trauma is recent or far in your past (EMDR also treats complex, or cumulative, PTSD)
- mental health first-aid after an upsetting event
- panic disorders
- somatic symptoms, meaning your emotional pains become physical symptoms, like digestive or pelvic issues
- phobias of all kinds
There are lots of therapy options. Why would I choose EMDR therapy?
EMDR can be a deep and effective practice that leads to dramatic changes in your physical and emotional wellbeing, often with changes being felt after the first session and increasing with more sessions.
EMDR is evidence based, meaning there is a robust body of peer-reviewed research supporting its effectiveness. For one example, from the ’90s through to the present day, multiple studies have verified through brain imaging technology that EMDR can literally change what part of your brain stores an upsetting memory. This changes the way the memory makes you feel, among other things.
If you want to review EMDR research, one good resource is the Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, which keeps many of their articles freely available online. The EMDR International Association also compiles recent studies on EMDR here.
EMDRIA has lots of basic info to learn more about EMDR, which is recognized as effective treatment for trauma (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and panic disorders by the APA (American Psychiatric Association), NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), and the WHO (World Health Organization), among others.
What will it be like to receive EMDR?
EMDR is different for each person. One essential aspect of EMDR therapy is: left/right brain stimulation. You may tap left-right on your own arms or legs. You may use headphones to provide beeps or clicks alternating left and right. We may even use “tappers,” which you can hold in your hands while they “tap” left and right.
EMDR is a personal experience that often involves visualizing important memories in your life and noticing changes to your emotions and senses throughout the period of left-right brain stimulation. I would help you prepare for the process thoroughly, support and guide you throughout the powerful reprocessing, and then make sure you are ready for your week by closing down the session with care.
I’ve had a bad experience with EMDR, or I heard bad things.
I trained at the Parnell Institute, which specializes in a form of EMDR called Attachment-Focused EMDR. This is a person-centered approach, and basically means that you feeling supported is the most essential element of EMDR’s success.
I specialize in AF-EMDR because I know EMDR can be life-shifting. Such a meaningful experience can leave you in new and unfamiliar territory, if your therapist isn’t making sure the work is at the right pace for you and with the right supports. If past EMDR therapists have left you hanging after such big changes, I want to help address that trauma as well as get back to the issues that originally led you to seek EMDR in the first place.