EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) is a relatively rapid treatment that uses bilateral stimulation by sending alternating signals to the left and right hemispheres of the brain. Sound scary? Don’t worry, it isn’t. This process helps to access (and most importantly, reprocess) traumatic experiences that contribute to current problematic behaviors and beliefs (similar to what naturally happens during REM sleep). It takes a mind-body approach which helps us to identify the ways in which negative memories or emotions can be “stored” in the body or through body memory, and then to work through those memories or emotions in a more conscious, directed way. It can also help us to access adaptive information and our own innate wisdom distilled from previous feelings of calm, safe or empowered emotional states.
In addition, EMDR can be particularly helpful for working through distressing memories, emotional states and negative beliefs that feel “stuck” despite an intellectual awareness that these reactions may either be maladaptive or irrational. It can allow our minds and bodies to work through these experiences in a different way than what is possible with talk therapy alone. By identifying, reprocessing and resolving distressing memories from the past, we can establish a greater sense of wellness and personal freedom in the present, and feel less daunted by future-oriented concerns.
I have completed my training in EMDR, obtained the consultation hours required in order to qualify for certification as an EMDR therapist, and have engaged in my own personal EMDR therapy with a qualified practitioner. I have found that my personal experience as the recipient of EMDR therapy has been highly beneficial towards my own emotional wellness and has allowed me to let go of some the trauma that had previously haunted me for many years. Between my training and experience with EMDR, I can effectively provide this treatment modality while my application for certification is pending.
If you are interested in learning more about EMDR, how it works and its benefits, check out this video from the EMDR International Association.