EMDR for Clients
What is EMDR?
EMDR stands for Eye Movement and Desensitization and Reprocessing and is an evidenced based therapy shown to help individuals who have experienced trauma. EMDR is a way to access negative memories from the past that are still upsetting in the present, so that your brain can re-process those memories and reduce the negative feelings associated with them. The process is centered on back and forth movement of the body–typically eye movements or tapping–and allows for insights and resolution that are not always accessible through traditional talk therapy. The goal is not to change the facts of the memory, but to change your relationship with that memory. Because of this, many EMDR clients report decreased emotional and physical reactions when encountering conscious and subconscious reminders of the trauma or memory.
If EMDR sounds strange or confusing, I don’t blame you! I became passionate about the approach after experiencing its benefit first hand in my own life. While working abroad one summer many years ago, I became very sick with an unknown illness. Even after treatment and a full recovery, the memory shaped how I reacted to common illness. In the years following my illness, I found myself having intense emotional reactions to everyday sickness. My mind knew I was safe, but my body held onto the trauma of my experience and continued to signal to me that I was in danger. I attended talk therapy sessions for many months that helped me gain cognitive insights about what was happening and helped me to feel validated, but my emotional and physical distress around illness persisted. I was at a loss on what to do and was referred to an EMDR therapist.
Although the EMDR format felt different at first, in a relatively short amount of time I was able to experience relief from my symptoms in a way that I never had before with talk therapy. I felt like my body was finally calming down and I had newfound control over my reaction to getting sick. This work benefited me personally and also inspired a professional commitment to learning more about EMDR and how to use it to help others.
I share this personal story not to convince you that EMDR is the solution to all problems. EMDR is not for every person or for every situation. But in the right settings, I believe it to be a highly effective tool for moving beyond trauma when other forms of talk therapy are not enough. As a trained and certified EMDR clinician, I have witnessed incredible transformation from courageous clients who have faced their traumas and worked through them to find healing. I feel honored to do this work alongside my clients and to be a witness to their growth. I am committed to continuing to learn and evolve my EMDR skills to provide the highest level of care backed by the most current research. I am currently a Consultant in Training through the EMDR International Association and have the privilege to learn alongside other clinicians who are also committed to meaningfully integrating EMDR into their practices.
If you would like to talk more about whether EMDR might be the right fit for you, please feel free to reach out to discuss more using my contact form.