Why EMDR Therapy?
EMDR therapy stands for Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing Therapy. It is a Trauma Therapy for overcoming anxiety, stress, life disturbance, and trauma.
- Do you feel continuously overwhelmed?
- Does your stress cause you to feel like a “deer in the headlights”?
- Does your overwhelm make you feel in a frozen state? Or make you feel like you need to run and hide?
- Are you easily triggered to anger or feel overly aggressive?
- Have you experienced tough live events that have left you feeling anxious, distracted, or preoccupied?
Trauma Comes In Many Forms
Most of us are used to thinking of trauma only as those big events that appear in the newspapers. War veterans, survivors of natural catastrophes and terrorist attacks, but these are the sufferers of trauma in the popular imagination. In fact, by dictionary definition, trauma is any event that has had a lasting negative effect. We all know people who have lost jobs, loved ones, even possessions and have truly suffered as a result. When you lose your peace of mind or your ability to function efficiently, there can be serious physical and psychological consequences no matter what the cause. Regardless of the “triggers,” the causes are generally found in earlier life experiences. We call these experiences trauma. And EMDR Therapy is designed to heal your trauma.
Trauma Can Be Healed
Anxiety, stress, guilt, rage, and fear regardless of the cause are extremely unhealthy if they are long-lasting. Fortunately, the body uses a process similar to digestion in order to resolve upsetting experiences. Just as the digestive system extracts nutrients from the food we eat, so does the minds information processing system. When functioning properly, the mind extracts useful information from our experiences. What we learn from this information allows us to move forward. When upsetting memories are processed, the related emotions, beliefs, body responses, and thoughts are transformed, becoming healthy and adaptive. Sometimes, though, negative experiences remain unresolved, leaving a residue of emotion to dominate our daily lives. The system becomes “stuck” as if it were choking on trauma, and often requires assistance in order to get moving smoothly again. This is where EMDR Therapy comes in.
Therapy for the Body, Therapy for the Mind
Most people think that therapy involves only talking about problems. However, one aspect of EMDR Therapy is that you do not have to talk in detail about a trauma for it to be digested by your own information processing system. Basically this involves what some have called “bottom up” instead of “top down” processing. In other words, rather then trying to talk through the problem, the processing occurs on a physiological level and allows new associations, insights, and emotions to emerge spontaneously. EMDR Therapy involves a very specific set of procedures to help this digestive function in the brain, which neurobiologists refer to as “information processing”
Trauma and other disturbing life experiences are stored in the wrong form of memory. Instead of being stored in explicit or narrative memory where they can remembered without pain, they are stored in “implicit” or “non-declarative” memory where they hold the emotions and body sensations that were part of the initial event. These memories are not able to connect with other, more helpful information and they remain isolated from other life experiences in our memory networks. For example, even though we can look at things rationally where other people are concerned, and know they aren’t to blame for certain things, we can’t view ourselves in the same way. We may recognize that a victim or rape should not be blamed for actions of the rapist, yet, placed in the same circumstances ourselves, feel somehow at fault. Basically, no matter how intelligent or spiritual or experienced or education we are, the memories can simply be stored in the wrong form of memory. We didn’t cause it—we are suffering form it.
Perhaps EMDR therapy is right for me, but I still have questions.
The memory system is in the brain. The brain is part of the body. Most of us recognize that if our body is cut it will begin to heal unless there is a block, such as a splinter. We are willing to enter into surgery, because we know our body will close and heal the wounds, just as it’s supposed to do. We think of issues with trauma, anxiety, depression, loss, stress overwhelm, and stuckness as different. But again, the brain IS part of the body and can heal just as the rest of the body does. EMDR Therapy is the right therapy for you if you have tried almost everything else, and are still NOT healing.
How Long Will It Take?
We expect the physical bruises and other physical ailments to heal in a matter of weeks, but we believe that healing psychological wounds may take years. This is not necessarily so; In reality, the brain can heal at the same rate as the rest of the body. So how long it takes, depends a lot on how much healing there is that needs to occur. Most people liken EMDRA therapy to a magic wand and describe effectiveness as much greater than other forms of therapy.
Who Needs EMDR Therapy?
People who feel they have tried many forms of talk therapy and are not having the results they hoped for would benefit from trying EMDR Therapy. EMDR therapy is a distinct from of therapy and has principles and practices that are different from many other forms of therapy and approaches. EMDR therapy is for those who feel something has occurred in their life that has cause a disturbance. Meaning there is a sense of a “before” and an “after”. This can be a breakup, relocation, a death, illness, money struggles or job loss, car accident, divorce. There are many life stressors that EMDR Therapy effectively and efficiently deals with.
How long are sessions and what else should I know about doing EMDR Therapy with you?
Sessions are typically 90 minutes. However, after several 90 minute sessions we cans step down to 60 minutes.
What you should know is I can never predict an outcome for a client, but I can assess progress and be open and honest about what I am seeing and how progress is being made, and what more potentially may need to be treated. I have worked with people for 3 weeks and completed healing, and continue to work with people for over 6 years in their healing and repair journey. Everyone is unique and has a unique way of responding to EMDR Therapy.
Because I have an investment in this working for you and know that all therapy is most beneficial with consistency and regularity I do ask that if you choose to work with me that you commit to six weeks of regular weekly treatment. After the six weeks we can assess further treatment needs and planning.
How much is EMDR Therapy and what if I can’t afford it?
For a 90 minute session my fee is $180.
If you don’t feel you can afford the full session fee I do offer a sliding scale, but I like to have a conversation about this first. Email me or call me and let me know you are interested in EMDR therapy and we can discuss options at that point.
Forms of payment include: cash, check, HSA, Credit Card, Flex spending.
I do not accept insurance, but I do provide the service of contacting my billing department and my biller can submit to your insurance for reimbursement.