Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an evidence-based treatment for trauma. This treatment modality is based on the Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) model developed by psychologist, Dr. Francine Shapiro. The theory asserts that when trauma happens our brains have a natural way of managing distress when the experience is properly processed. Disturbance occurs when we get "stuck" in the traumatic experience. After a trauma, the stress response (fight, flight or freeze) can become retriggered by thoughts, emotions, or experiences that are in some way related to or resemble the original trauma. This can result in trauma reexperiencing, flashbacks, a sense of overwhelm, lack of focus, intense emotions such as sadness, anger, or anxiety as well as disturbing thoughts or mental images. EMDR Therapy helps the brain process the trauma experience to allow natural healing to reoccur. Often after successful treatment, patients feel less triggered by the traumatic experience, decrease in uncomfortable emotional intensity, and less disturbing thoughts. One might feel more at ease, calm, hopeful, and in control of their future after processing past trauma. Unlike other types of trauma treatments, EMDR does not require repeatedly sharing ones story in great detail. Instead, EMDR therapy utilizes bilateral stimulation to process traumatic memories. In other words, you will follow your therapists lead in moving your eyes back and forth or engage in a special form of tapping while internally processing your traumatic experience in session. EMDR therapy involves an eight phase approach which includes the following: History taking and treatment planning, preparation, assessment, desensitization, installation, body scan, closure, and reevaluation.
To get started with EMDR therapy, schedule an appointment today.