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Eye Movement & Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy  

"“The past affects the present even without our being aware of it . . . today more than 20 scientifically controlled studies of EMDR have proven its effectiveness in the treatment of traumatic and other disturbing life experiences.”


― Francine Shapiro, Getting Past Your Past: Take Control of Your Life with Self-Help Techniques from EMDR Therapy

When traditional talk therapy doesn't cut it . . . 

Trauma is not just an emotional wound - it is a visceral, physical thing that touches us mentally, emotionally, and physically. One of the most famous books about trauma is The Body Keeps Score, by Bessel Van Der Kolk, aptly named because it highlights how trauma treatment must take a combined approach that heals mental and emotional wounds while also unlocking the trauma from the physical places we've held onto it in our bodies.

Healing from trauma requires both a "top-down" cognitive approach, which talk therapy and modalities like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy provide, as well as a "bottom-up," somatic approach. EMDR Therapy is a "bottom-up" approach it tends to be especially effective for treating trauma because it focuses on the root cause of the problem, not just the symptoms.

 

If you struggle with symptoms of unresolved trauma, even after being in therapy for years, EMDR therapy may be the missing link to help you break through any stuck points that have prevented healing and symptom reduction.  

For women like you who are navigating the complexities of their emotional landscape and symptoms of unresolved complex trauma. EMDR offers a tailored and effective path toward resolution, complementing traditional psychotherapy methods.

What exactly is EMDR therapy?

EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a therapeutic approach developed by psychologist Francine Shapiro in the late 1980s. It was initially inspired by Shapiro's observation that certain eye movements seemed to reduce the intensity of disturbing thoughts. EMDR involves a structured eight-phase process that incorporates bilateral stimulation, such as side-to-side eye movements or taps, to facilitate the processing of traumatic memories.

Signs and Symptoms of Unresolved Trauma

  • Anxiety

  • Avoidance of anything related to traumatic event or loss

  • Being easily startled, hypervigilant, and guarded

  • Control Issues

  • Depression

  • Difficulty trusting or engaging intimately with others

  • Dissociation or Derealization

  • Feeling numb and detached

  • Feelings of shame, guilt, or worthlessness

  • Fits of anger and irritability

  • Flashbacks, and intrusive thoughts

  • Irrational fears or phobias

  • Nightmares, insomnia, or other sleep disturbances

  • Physical Manifestations (ie. tight muscles, cardiovascular problems, unexplained pain or illness)

  • Relationship Issues, including inappropriate or disorganized attachments

  • Self-harm

  • Social withdrawal and self-isolation

  • Suicidal thoughts

Is EMDR effective?

Studies have shown EMDR to be highly effective, with research showing it is one of the most effective psychotherapy treatment modalities for alleviating symptoms related to trauma, anxiety, and grief, but there are many other issues and diagnoses that can benefit from EMDR or its modified versions. In fact, EMDR has been recognized by organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Psychiatric Association (APA) as a recommended treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The rates of effectiveness coupled with its integrative approach make EMDR a valuable and evidence-based therapeutic option for individuals seeking resolution and healing whether or not they have tried other forms of psychotherapy before.  

Types of Trauma EMDR Therapy can help you heal from: 

  • physical, psychological, or sexual abuse

  • human trafficking

  • physical assault or rape

  • intimate partner violence

  • domestic violence

  • witnessing violence against others

  • death of a loved one

  • a chronic or terminal diagnosis

  • serious accident

  • exposure to war

  • involved or affected by a natural disaster

  • ambiguous loss

How much does EMDR therapy cost?

EMDR therapy is an evidence-based treatment that is approved and covered by medical insurance, including Medicaid. Out-of-pocket fees vary depending on your therapist and the length of session. It is recommended that EMDR be conducted in longer sessions, often 90 min but can be effective in 60min sessions or longer EMDR "intensive" sessions spaning a few hours. 

 

Can EMDR Therapy be done online?

Yes! EMDR therapy can be done online, via video-based telehealth platforms, and is just as effective as in person. In fact, processing trauma can initially feel a bit scary, so engaging in this therapeutic work from the comfort of your own space can be helpful to the process. EMDR therapy online provides you with a flexible and accessible way to get treatment and eliminates the barriers standing in your way of engaging in the healing work you need to resolve trauma and start feeling better.   

 

Online EMDR sessions will involve the use of video conferencing platforms, allowing clients to engage with their therapist remotely and stay true to the therapeutic model. While the core principles of EMDR remain consistent in online sessions, certain modifications are made to adapt the therapy to the virtual environment. Instead of physically guiding eye movements, therapists guide clients through self-administered bilateral stimulation techniques, such as hand tapping, or using other technological platforms for audio or eyemovement BLS. In online EMDR therapy, therapists and clients collaborate to create a safe and conducive space, ensuring that the therapeutic process is as effective and comfortable as in-person sessions. 

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