Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Recover from trauma and other distressing life experiences
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.
How is EMDR therapy different from other therapies?
EMDR therapy does not (necessarily) require talking in detail about the distressing issue or completing homework between sessions. EMDR therapy, rather than focusing on changing the emotions, thoughts, or behaviours resulting from the distressing issue, allows the brain to resume its natural healing and processing.
EMDR therapy is designed to resolve unprocessed (traumatic) memories in the brain. For many clients, EMDR therapy can be completed in less sessions than other therapies.
How does EMDR therapy affect the brain?
Our brains have a natural way to recover from traumatic memories and events. While many times traumatic experiences can be managed and resolved spontaneously, they may not be processed without help.
Stress responses are part of our natural fight, flight, or freeze instincts. When distress from a disturbing event remains, the upsetting images, thoughts, and emotions may create feelings of overwhelm, of being back in that moment, or of being “frozen in time.”
EMDR therapy helps the brain process these memories, and allows normal healing to resume. The experience is still remembered, but the fight, flight, or freeze response from the original event is resolved.”
Stimulating both areas of the brain together is thought to mimic how memories merge and are processed during dreams or REM (rapid eye movement). By effectively splitting the task of the brain – i.e. recalling the trauma while maintaining a rational awareness of their situation- EMDR appears to allow the brain to access the frozen memory safely, without a strong psychological response, and thus stimulate the normal processing system that enables the traumatic memory to be integrated into the individual’s memory correctly.
Who can benefit from EMDR therapy?
EMDR therapy helps children and adults of all ages. And can be used to address a wide range of challenges:
- Anxiety, panic attacks, and phobias
- Chronic Illness and medical issues
- Depression and bipolar disorders
- Dissociative disorders
- Eating disorders
- Grief and loss
- Performance anxiety
- Personality disorders
- PTSD and other trauma and stress-related issues
- Sexual assault
- Sleep disturbance
- Substance abuse and addiction
- Violence and abuse