EMDR Therapy

The description on this page is taken directly from the EMDR International Association. You may find more information about EMDR by visiting www.emdria.org


What is EMDR Therapy?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. EMDR is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from many different treatment approaches.


What kind of problems can EMDR treat?

Scientific research has established EMDR as effective for post traumatic stress.  However, clinicians also have reported success using EMDR in treatment of the following conditions:


 Panic Attacks, Complicated Grief, Dissociative Disorders, Disturbing Memories

 Phobias, Pain Disorders, Performance Anxiety, Stress Reduction, Addictions

 Sexual and/or Physical Abuse, Body Dysmorphic Disorders, Personality Disorders



How does EMDR work?



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, 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 feelings 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. Many types of therapy have similar goals. However, EMDR appears to be similar to what occurs naturally during dreaming or REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Therefore, EMDR can be thought of as a physiologically based therapy that helps a person see disturbing material in a new and less distressing way.


If you are ready to know more and schedule a free 15 minute consult, call me at +1 (540) 492-0773.  I would love to hear from you!