In the early years of my work as a therapist, I noticed that for clients that had experienced trauma, traditional talk therapy seemed to bring about minimal change for them, and in some cases traditional talk therapy seemed to re-traumatize them. Regardless of all the work done by the client, they seemed to still be stuck. In 2006, I had the opportunity to experience EMDR as a client myself. I found that I was able to quickly move through some of the negative beliefs that had lodged themselves deep into my unconscious for years. I finally had freedom from the things that I had previously worked on for years in talk therapy. After this experience, I knew I needed to become trained in EMDR so that I could offer this type of experience to the clients I was working with.
What is EMDR?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a comprehensive, integrative psychotherapy approach. It enables clients to heal from psychological symptoms caused by traumatic life experiences. When traumatic events happen, our brain stores all the sights, sounds, bodily sensations and feelings that accompany that event. These events might be several little traumas, or big traumas. When we are in a state of distress, our brain seems to lose it’s ability to process an event the way it would in a relaxed state. So these negative sights, sounds and feelings get stored away in our brain prior to us being able to make any sense of them. Later in life, we will find ourselves “triggered” by a neutral event that will end up bringing up all the thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations from that negative stored trauma.
EMDR works to unlock the traumatic memory and negative emotions that have been stored away in the nervous system. Once unlocked, the brain can process through the traumatic experience and come to a place of healing. EMDR works fast in comparison to traditional talk therapy. Individuals can typically reprocess a traumatic event in a fraction of the time it would take to process through that event in talk therapy.
Prior to any EMDR therapy, a thorough history and evaluation is done to see if EMDR therapy is the best fit for you as a client.
FAQ About EMDR:
Is EMDR similar to hypnosis?
EMDR is not a form of hypnosis. During EMDR, the client is fully awake, aware of their surroundings, and in control of the session. However, like hypnosis, EMDR is a way to access parts of the unconscious mind that need to be brought into consciousness for full healing.
How long is an EMDR session?
A typical EMDR session is 50 to 90 minutes.
Will my insurance cover EMDR therapy?
Your insurance will cover EMDR therapy in the same way that they cover any other Mental Health therapy. You will want to contact your insurance company to see what your specific Mental Health coverage is.