EMDR - Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

Trauma therapy

There are many types of trauma. Trauma can be acute, such as a car accident or an isolated act of violence. Trauma can be sustained over a longer period of time, too, for example from an emotionally abusive relationship. Essentially trauma causes the body to send messages to the brain that there is danger even when the original event is long passed. When negative thoughts crystallize into negative core beliefs, as is the case with trauma, the reframing techniques used in talk therapy are not effective. Logically you can see why negative beliefs don’t serve you, but you still feel totally stuck. Also, talking about trauma can be highly dysregulating, making you feel worse, not better.

EMDR is a highly effective technique for treating trauma. It harnesses the brain’s natural capacity for healing itself, like what happens during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Both sides of the body are stimulated, which can happen in a variety of ways such as eye movements, butterfly tapping or alternating vibrations from handheld devices. This facilitates communication between the left and right lobes of the brain. In this way, the information stored in the body from the traumatic event can be safely shared with and processed by the part of the brain used in talk therapy.

Trust yourself and feel safe in relationships

One of the most devastating effects of trauma is that we don’t trust ourselves or others. We doubt our ability to make decisions or to function effectively. We perceive threats that others don’t or gravitate towards situations that reenact past trauma because it feels familiar. We blame ourselves when we get hurt, thinking “I should have known better.”

EMDR allows you to reconnect with the part of yourself that transcends the effects of trauma. It shows you that you can choose wisely and that you can believe in yourself. Ultimately negative core beliefs meant to protect are traded for more adaptive ones that allow you to move forward.

“Being traumatized means continuing to organize your life as if the trauma is still going on – unchanged and immutable – as every new encounter or event is contaminated by the past.”
– Bessel van der Kolk

Own your narrative

As negative beliefs give way to positive ones, we move from surviving to thriving. When information from our environment is perceived in a less threatening manner, we navigate through life differently. Most importantly, when we view ourselves more fairly and accurately, we have the courage to choose what we want rather than focusing on how we might be hurt. When you believe that you can be happy and fulfilled, you have the power to be so.

Start your therapy journey today.