My experience as a psychotherapist has shown me where trauma is often the core of many of our problems. Traumatic experiences pushes us into “fight or flight mode.” This mode is a helps us survive the trauma but makes it harder for us to see situations clearly. Even if we understand our problems intellectually, many of us can’t resolve the problems. We may find that logic and rationality are no help here. This is because the connections between the part of our brain that remembers trauma and our rational thinking brain are very weak. EMDR treatments overcome trauma shutdown. EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and is well established by numerous independent studies.
How EMDR treatments work
EMDR treatments us establish connections between the rational parts of the brain and the “fight or flight” part. This connection helps us to solve the challenges ahead of us. There are many phases of an EMDR treatment, described in detail here. The phase of the treatment that most distinguishes EMDR treatments from most others is bilateral stimulation. This where the therapist uses a series of eye movements (or other types of stimulation) to help process past events.
One advantage of this treatment is that not all negative experiences need to be remembered and processed. These traumatic experiences are often linked in our minds. This means that when we are able to gain insight about some of the traumatic experiences, we might resolve all of them quite quickly. Many EMDR treatments focus on both past and present negative experiences, as well as anxiety about the future.
EMDR is not magic, but it is effective
While EMDR treatments might involving the waving of fingers in front of a person’s face in order to stimulate eye movement, I am not engaging in hypnosis or waving a magic wand. EMDR is real work, but is often quicker than talking therapy alone or treatments like Cognitive-Behavior Therapy and step-by-step desensitization. Often, the act of “resourcing” or using visualization to help cope with difficult memories is a critical part of the EMDR training, and can be every bit as important as desensitization itself.
I have completed basic training in EMDR and am now able to offer it to my clients. Treatment will differ from person to person depending on personal history and current situations. If you are interested in pursuing this treatment, send me a message through my contact page.