What is EMDR?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an integrative therapy that has been extensively researched with many populations and presenting mental health problems. It is effective for treating the following challenges:

  • Trauma symptoms, PTSD, Complex PTSD
  • Anxiety
  • Addictions
  • Complex grief
  • Addictions
  • Sexual/physical/emotional abuse,
  • Phobias
  • Dissociative disorders
  • Relationship betrayals & break ups,
  • Low self-esteem, perfectionism and self criticism
  • Processing difficult or shocking situations and experiences
  • Many more mental health problems

How EMDR Therapy Works

What is different about EMDR Therapy from regular therapy?

EMDR treatment is very different from traditional talk therapy as you don’t need talk about all the details of the presenting issue or experience in order for the therapy to work. Eye desensitization therapy uses something called “bilateral stimulation” through the forms of eye movements or tapping to access unprocessed (or “stuck”) memories or beliefs and process them through until completion, and the symptoms are significantly reduced or gone all together.

Healing from trauma brain change Vancouver EMDR Therapy

How does bilateral stimulation help me?

 “Eye movements or other forms of bilateral stimulation seem to activate your problem-solving process, something that happens during REM sleep when your eyes are darting back and forth. By focusing on a specific problem and its negative and positive emotions, sensations, and beliefs, then adding bilateral stimulation, your brain begins problem-solving. Since you are focused on the specific problem, your brain can work through it more effectively than what may randomly come up while sleeping.” – EMDR Consulting 

What can EMDR Therapy Treatment help with?

Oftentimes traumatic experiences can change our beliefs about ourselves and the people around us. With eye movement desensitization and reprocessing we not only target the specific experiences to and lower the intensity of your response to it, but also the beliefs that were formed as a result of these experiences. EMDR therapy can help you see the cognitive mismatch of thoughts and beliefs: what was in the past and what you know about yourself now, after the event.

EMDR helps link, blend and consolidate past negative experiences into a present adaptive network. This means that it supports your neural (brain) network in keeping what is helpful for you now and letting go of what is no longer necessary to ruminate or reflect on. Learn more about EMDR here.

Does EMDR Work with Trauma?

EMDR can be especially useful for trauma or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms. In fact, it is one of the best treatments for PTSD. EMDR can help you process disturbing events,  upsetting memories, thoughts, and feelings related to the trauma.

A traumatic event or target memory can be easily triggered in the present as you relive it over and over again through images, smells, sounds, and feelings. These memories can interfere with your daily functioning. 

EMDR therapy works by directly affecting the brain and “unfreezing” the traumatic memories. Over time you can work through the traumatic event. With effective treatment, you will be able to think about the event and it becomes less upsetting and is replaced with more positive beliefs.

It has been shown to be effective for traumatic events such as rape and sexual abuse, combat trauma, childhood trauma and neglect, life-threatening accidents, and symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and substance abuse.

EMDR Therapy Treatment in Vancouver or Online

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing is currently offered by our counsellors Lynn and Amy both in person in Vancouver and online. Your EMDR Therapist may also suggest combining with other therapies. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Internal Family Systems, One Eye Integration Therapy (OEI), and Somatic therapy are often used in conjunction as part of a treatment plan. Together they can provide a comprehensive approach to recovery that addresses both the emotional and cognitive aspects of addiction and trauma.

Book your EMDR session or free 15-minute consult below:

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