EMDR Therapy

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Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy is a well researched and effective treatment discovered in 1987 by psychologist, Dr. Francine Shapiro. It is based on the Adaptive Information Processing model which states that the brain’s information processing system has a natural ability to move toward healing.  

EMDR is used to treat but not limited to:

  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Grief/loss
  • Guilt
  • Life Crises (e.g., loss of employment)
  • Panic Attacks
  • Performance Anxiety
  • Phobias
  • Trauma and PTSD

EMDR stand for:

  • Eye movements - Bilateral stimulation of the left and right hemispheres of the brain is done with eye movements (i.e., client’s eyes follow the psychologist’s fingers/hand/wand or a dot on a screen). The eye movements mimic what happens in REM sleep (rapid eye movement where we process information unconsciously), but in EMDR this is done while the client is awake. Alternate bilateral stimulation such as tapping, butterfly hugs or tones may also be used.
  • Desensitization – In the desensitization phase, processing is done to remove the emotional disturbance linked to the issue/incident/memory.
  •  Reprocessing – In the reprocessing phase, unhealthy negative beliefs associated with the issue/incident/memory are replaced with more adaptive beliefs.

What you can expect:

  • A thorough history will be taken to assess whether this therapy can be incorporated as part of the treatment plan and a checklist of client readiness will be reviewed before proceeding.
  • EMDR therapy is different from other psychotherapies in that the client can decide how much information will be shared with the psychologist about the distressing concern and completing homework between sessions is not required.
  • The client and psychologist will work together to identify specific targets to address.
  • EMDR therapy may illicit intense emotional response initially, but this is temporary. You may feel tired during the session or after, this is natural due to the processing that occurs.

Session duration and length of therapy:

  • EMDR sessions are typically booked for 60 or 90 minutes. There is an option for "intensive sessions" as well. These sessions run longer  (i.e., 3, 4, etc. plus hours) and may occur frequently. Feel free to contact me to discuss whether intensive sessions might be a fit for you. 
  • The overall length of therapy is dependent on client’s history, issues being treated and client’s ability to tolerate disturbing emotions.

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Trauma is what happens inside you as a result of what happens to you - Gabor Maté

Healing doesn’t’ mean the damage never existed. It means the damage no longer controls your life – Akshay Dubey