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EMDR

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy

Sarah has been trained in EMDR therapy, through an EMDRIA approved course. She is very excited to offer EMDR services at her practice, because EMDR provides additional healing that is difficult to reach through other therapeutic methods. 

The name may be confusing but you no longer need to use eye movements to receive the benefits of EMDR. Research has shown that there are other ways to achieve the same results with other methods of left/right (bilateral) stimulation. The bilateral stimulation is important for remaining present in the now while healing from the past. It is also believed to be important for preparing the brain to reprocess traumatic memories and store them the way that regular memories are stored. 

When we experience a trauma, the memories are stored differently in the brain than typical memories. We can see this on scans, but we also can feel it. When you recall most memories, as you pull them up and remember then as best you can, play them all the way through, we may get the sense of joy, sadness, love, disappointment, or anger. When we recall a traumatic memory with the same attention to detail, your body responds to those emotions as if it is happening now. Intense sadness, disappointment, fear, etc. 

Even if you have fully reprocessed those memories, and understand that it was not your fault, the negative messaging you got was not yours to take on, that you are safe now, triggers may still arise. You have probably developed skills to manage the emotions when they come up and use your skills as needed. But because of the way the memory is stored in the brain, the memories are still triggerable. With EMDR we can move the trauma memories to be stored in your brain just like any other memory. It won't be like it didn't happen, but the triggering effects associated with those memories will not be an issue. 

Some people think that they can come to EMDR therapy and start reprocessing right away. It is important to build tools and trust before any engaging in the reprocessing part of EMDR. But developing the therapeutic relationship is also an important step of EMDR. 

If you want to engage in EMDR services, it also does not mean that you will be reprocessing the past all of the time. Therapy can still focus on current life stressors, symptom management, and personal growth. 

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