Unlocking Emotional Healing with
At The Facility, we offer Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, a specialized approach that has proven effective in addressing various emotional and psychological challenges. EMDR is recognized as a powerful therapeutic method, particularly in the treatment of trauma, anxiety, and stress-related disorders.
UNDERSTANDING EMDR + HOW IT WORKS
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy technique developed in the late 1980s. It has since gained widespread recognition and adoption in the field of mental health. EMDR is rooted in the idea that the mind possesses innate healing abilities, and by activating these resources, individuals can process traumatic memories and distressing experiences more effectively.
EMDR therapy involves a structured multi-phase approach designed to address and reprocess past traumatic events. During EMDR sessions, individuals work with a trained therapist who guides them through a process that combines elements of talk therapy and bilateral stimulation. Bilateral stimulation can be achieved through the therapist's finger movements, sounds, or tapping, which helps the individual process and desensitize distressing memories.
EMDR works by stimulating the brain in ways that lead it to process unprocessed or unhealed memories, leading to a natural restoration and adaptive resolution, decreased emotional charge (densensitization, or the "D" of EMDR), and linkage to positive memory networks (reprocessing, of the "R" of EMDR).
The therapy arc typically consists of multiple phases, including assessment, preparation, desensitization, installation, and body scan. Through these phases, your therapist will work with you to identify and process your traumatic experiences, develop coping mechanisms, and work towards resolution and healing.
Phases of EMDR Therapy
Assessment + Preparation
The EMDR process begins with an assessment. During this phase, I can gather information about your history, the traumatic events you've experienced, and your current symptoms and emotional reactions. This assessment helps me understand your unique needs and determine if EMDR is an appropriate treatment. Before diving into traumatic memories, I like to build a foundation of trust and safety. I'll use other therapy modalities and teach relaxation techniques and coping skills to ensure you are emotionally prepared to handle the intense emotions that may arise during EMDR sessions.
Desensitization + Installation
This is the core phase of EMDR. I will ask you to identify a specific traumatic memory or distressing thought. While focusing on that memory, you'll engage in the bilateral stimulation (as described above). This bilateral stimulation is believed to mimic the rapid eye movements that occur during REM sleep, which is thought to be a natural process for processing and integrating memories. After multiple sessions of desensitization, the goal is to replace the distressing beliefs or negative self-perceptions associated with the traumatic memory with positive and adaptive beliefs. We'll work to reinforce these positive beliefs while processing the memory.
Body Scan + Closure
In this phase, I'll help you identify and process any residual physical sensations or tension associated with the traumatic memory. I want to ensure that the trauma is fully processed and integrated on both an emotional and physical level. At the end of each EMDR session, I'll help you return to a state of emotional equilibrium. This often involves relaxation techniques to ensure that you feel grounded and safe before ending the session.
In subsequent sessions, I will assess the progress you have made in processing traumatic memories and reducing associated symptoms. If necessary, we will target additional traumatic memories or continue to work on existing ones.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Get Started with EMDR
The decision to pursue EMDR therapy should be made in collaboration with your mental health therapist, taking into account your unique circumstances and treatment needs. EMDR can be highly effective for many individuals, but it is crucial to ensure that it is the right fit for your specific situation and goals.
For new patients interested in EMDR, I always start with a phone consult. That gives me a chance to introduce myself, tell you about my clinical philosophies and practice style, and determine if I am a good fit to help you. We will then schedule an in-person or Telehealth Mental Health Therapy session. The first few sessions will be a time to openly discuss your symptoms, experiences, and treatment goals. It is normal to feel a bit hesitant about reprocessing difficult memories, so we will ensure your readiness before transitioning into EMDR. We'll begin with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and talk therapy to establish a foundation of comfort and trust. Throughout your care, I will do my best to provide the pros and cons of each treatment modality to give you the most beneficial therapy experience.
Everything You Want to Know About EMDR
In this blog, I'll address some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about EMDR, shedding light on its effectiveness, the process, and what to expect during EMDR therapy. Whether you're a newcomer to the concept or seeking detailed information about how I practice, I hope to provide clarity and insights to help you make informed decisions about your mental health journey.