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EMDR is a scientifically proven effective therapeutic approach that requires specialized training.  It was developed for treating emotional difficulities & disorders that are caused by traumatic events such as:

  • Sexual Abuse

  • Traumas

  • Crime & Violence

  • Veterans/War

  • Physical Abuse

  • Foster Care

  • Phobias

  • Family Disruptions

  • PTSD

  • Attachment

  • OCD

  • Natural Disasters

  • Addictions

  • Divorce

  • Food Issues

  • Grief/Loss



No one knows how any form of psychotherapy works neurobiologically or in the brain.  However, we do know that when a person is very upset, or their brain cannot process information as it does ordinarily.  One moment becomes "frozen in time", and remembering a trauma may feel as bad as going through it the first time because the images, sounds, smells and feeling haven't changed. Such memories have a lasting negative effect that interferes with the way a person sees the world and the way they relate to other people.


EMDR seems to have a direct effect on the way that the brain processes information.  Normal information processing is resumed, so following a successful EMDR session, a person no longer relives the images, sounds and feelings when the event is brought to mind.  You still remember what happened, but it is less upsetting.  May types of therapy have similar goals.  However EMDR appears to be similar to what occurs naturally during dreaming or REM sleep.  Therefore, EMDR can be through of as a physiologically based therapy that helps a person see disturbing material in a new and less distressing way.



In 1987, psychologist Dr. Francine Shapiro made the chance observation that eye movements can reduce the intensity of disturbing thoughts, under certain conditions.  Dr.  Shapiro studied this effect scientifically, and in a 1989 issue of the Journal of Traumatic Stress, she reported success using EMDR to treat victims of trauma. Since then, EMDR has developed and evolved through the contributions of therapists and researchers all over the worlds.  Today, EMDR is a set of standardized protocols that incorporate elements from many different treatment approaches.



During EMDR, the therapist works with the client to identify a specific problem as the focus of the treatment session. The client calls to mind the disturbing issue or event, what was seen, felt, heard, thought, etc, and what thoughts and beliefs are currently held about that event.  The therapist facilitates the directional movement of the eyes or other dual attention stimulation of the brain, while the client just notices whatever comes to mind without making any effort to control direction or content.  Each person will process information uniquely, based on personal experience and values.  Sets of eye movements are continued until the memory becomes less disturbing and is associated with positive thoughts and beliefs about one's self; for example, "I did the best I could." During EMDR, the client may experience intense emotions, but by the end of the session, most people report a great reduction in the level of disturbance. 





EMDRIA trained EMDR therapist
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