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How We Treat

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR therapy helps individuals recover from distressing life experiences that show up repetitively, as well as trauma, PTSD, anxiety, depression and panic disorders.

It is designed to be a short-term treatment that requires fewer sessions than most psychotherapies. Our brain processes traumatic memories via communication between the amygdala (our brain’s integrative center for emotions), the hippocampus (has a major role in memory including safety and danger) and the prefrontal cortex (analyzes and controls emotion and behavior). Often, our brain naturally processes and resolves difficult or traumatic experiences. However, when this does not happen, the memories tied to these experiences stay within us, causing us to get “triggered” when similar events occur. 

What is EMDR Therapy?

Attempting to cope with difficult memories by “figuring it out” (a cognitive/thought-based method) usually does not work because what we know and understand does not match what we feel. We cannot reason away the emotional experience or resolve it simply by applying knowledge. It is a change in our actual felt sense that enables us to cope.

EMDR is a method that enables us to naturally heal by connecting present events to associated events in our memory networks and allowing us to tap into the felt sense. This therapy is designed to resolve unprocessed traumatic memories. Eye movements (or other bilateral stimulation) are used for part of the session. As a result of this bilateral stimulation, the client is able to gain insights through their own process (not from the therapist’s interpretation). 

What is the Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) theory in EMDR?

The AIP is a learning theory that posits that experiences are automatically connected to our
memory networks. Our behaviors, perceptions/opinions, and attitudes are all associated with
these memory networks. Therefore, our past experiences inform or current way of being.
Emotional distress or problems arise when memories or events are associated in ways that are
not helpful, or with memories that have not been fully processed (see Solomon & Shapiro
2008). As a result, we often maintain negative cognitions such as “I am not enough” ; “I am
unsafe” or “I am unlovable”. With EMDR, associations to memories linked to such negative
cognitions can be explored and reprocessed to be maintained in a more adaptive and positive
way such as “I am enough”; “I am safe now”; or “I am lovable”.

EMDR Can Treat the Following:

"After just a few sessions of EMDR I was able to see and feel a clear separation between what I am currently struggling with and something from my past. Wow, this is not happening to me NOW, this is only a memory!”

We Can Help.

If you or a loved one can benefit from Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), we are here to help.
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