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EMDR Therapy

Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing Therapy

EMDR

"Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an extensively researched, effective psychotherapy method proven to help people recover from trauma and other distressing life experiences, including PTSD, anxiety, depression, and panic disorders." (EMDRIA)

EMDR is an evidence-based, well researched therapy that is shown to be effective with:​ Trauma, PTSD, panic attacks, grief, dissociative disorders, disturbing memories, phobias, performance anxiety, addiction, sexual and/or physical abuse, motor vehicle accidents

 

PTSD & TRAUMA

When most people hear the term, PTSD, they think of military & combat war veterans. And yes, this population does experience PTSD & trauma. But so do regular people who are living their day-to-day lives; away from war zones. Many people have experienced the little "t" traumas - not making a sports team; not fitting in at school; not passing a test. This little "t"s can all add up and result in symptoms of trauma. The big T traumas are things like experiencing a war zone, childhood sexual abuse, physical violence, neglect.  Both the big T & the little t traumas can be resolved through EMDR therapy.

Only a licensed mental health professional can assess, diagnosis & treat post-traumatic stress. But there are some behaviours that are signs of PTSD. If you have been traumatized you may have experienced repeated & disturbing memories, thoughts & images of a specific experience. Other symptoms include: 

  • Repeated, disturbing dreams

  • Suddenly feeling as though you are reliving the experience

  • Feeling upset when you are reminded of the experience and/or having physical reactions (ie heart racing)

  • Avoiding memories, thoughts, feelings or physical reminders of the stressful experience

  • Trouble remembering

  • Having strong negative beliefs and feelings about yourself & others

  • Blaming others

  • Losing interest in activities you were previously interested in; feeling distant

  • Taking too many risks; feeling "super alert" (hyper vigilant); jumpy & easily startled

  • Difficulty concentrating

EMDR can resolve these experiences. The therapy involves following a strict protocol, where you will think back to the trauma while being asked a specific set of questions. The therapist will used a light bar (or their fingers) to direct your eyes back and forth, emulating REM sleep. The therapist will continue with the protocol & eventually the memories of the trauma lose their charge. You will be left with a positive belief instead of the painful memory. 

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