What is EMDR?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) has been researched and supported as an effective treatment modality for people who are experiencing symptoms of PTSD.  Traumatic experiences can get stuck in our body’s nervous system.  These "traumas" may be big like a car accident or death of a loved one, or small and consistent like being bullied or having a critical parent. We can then become sensitive to certain triggers, develop negative behavior patterns to cope or continuously engage in negative relationships with ourselves or others.

I often see people who think or feel a certain way about themselves or a particular event (negative), even though they know in their better judgment that the feeling is not true.  EMDR works to link both sides of the “thinking” left side and “feeling” right side of our brain together to unlock stuck emotions and core beliefs’ about oneself and helps develop a more true and healthy reality.  EMDR does not require a lot of talking, but more inner processing like visualization.  This allows for a certain sense of privacy in your own personal work. 

I have been practicing EMDR for over 5 years and have studied with Dr. Laurel Parnell (www.drlaurelparnell.com) who has been advancing the field of practice to include practice to address depression, anxiety, phobias, somatic concerns, eating issues and general thinking that leads to maladaptive patterns in our lives.  I have also developed Laurel’s practice of healing attachment trauma that may have occurred in the developmental stages as a child with primary caregivers.  This can include any combination of emotional, physical or sexual abuse, or even an overly distant, critical or helicopter caregiver, which may have led to troubled patterns in relating to others.

EMDR can be a very intense process as it is meant to target strong emotion.  EMDR tends to be most effective when a client is not actively involved in heavy substance use or taking many psychotropic medications.  EMDR targets emotional charge, and substances and medication can often numb a person’s emotional reactivity.