(Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
Sometimes, trauma impacts us in ways we don't fully realize. When I talk about trauma, I mean all trauma. Some trauma, like abuse, is obvious. But not all trauma is so clear. What is traumatic for one person might not seem traumatic to another. While an accident or abuse is obviously traumatic, sometimes something that was said to us can be traumatic. If it feels traumatic and is stored as a traumatic memory, it can impact everything from our mood to our use of substances as a way to cope.
Once upon a time, therapists encouraged clients to talk about the details of trauma thinking that was helpful. That's not always true -- it can make the symptoms of trauma worse by deepening the neural pathways to the trauma. EMDR is an effective method of treating trauma that does not re-traumatize like traditional talk therapy can.
Basically, EMDR treats the symptoms of trauma by processing the images, emotions, sensations in the body, and the negative beliefs we form about ourselves as a result of trauma. It does not require you to go over the gory details of trauma and research has backed up its efficacy -- it's often used with war veterans. Throughout EMDR processing, we check in with built-in scales to make sure it's actually helping. I have been amazed at how it has helped so many of my clients to change negative beliefs about themselves that were holding them back or alleviate their symptoms of trauma. Additionally, it includes resource building as we work on developing healthy coping strategies as part of the EMDR process.
I don't use EMDR with all of my clients. However, for clients who feel that their history of trauma is impacting their life and their relationships, or who struggle with symptoms of trauma including nightmares, flashbacks, mood disruptions, or negative core beliefs, it is worth exploring and I am happy to talk to you more about it. I am a certified EMDR therapist which means that in addition to completing training in using EMDR, I have also completed the certification process which requires advanced training and experience.
If you’d like to research and understand EMDR more, visit: https://www.emdria.org/page/what_is_emdr_therapy