What is EMDR?
Or – let’s be honest – what the eff is EMD…R? First things first, it stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.
What the eff is that? Glad you asked! EMDR is a reprocessing therapy internationally recognized as an effective intervention for the treatment of past trauma.
In English, it is a type of therapy that will help you heal from bad experiences, whether that be in the near or distant past. What are “bad experiences?”
Well, that can vary from what we call “little t” trauma (discovering your car vandalized) to “Big T” trauma (witnessing a fatal car accident) and everything in-between.
Stephanie*, 24, came to me for EMDR to address her poor self-esteem, self-doubt, and social anxiety that was plaguing her due to years of bullying she experienced in high school.
Lydia*, 29, contacted me for EMDR sessions to process when she was raped ten years prior. She said, “…and I get triggered when people talk about it at work, or I see it on TV.” In our work together, we were also able to process her negative family experiences related to her father’s abuse and her mother’s harsh criticism throughout her childhood.
Monique*, 20, was encouraged by a counselor at her university’s counseling center to try EMDR when she talked about all the grief that she’d experienced over the past few years. Together, we processed the impact of losing her grandfather in 2018 and then a close friend to suicide in 2019.
When the past is present
Like Stephanie, Lydia, and Monique, if you may have had a bad experience that impacted you emotionally. You likely started to have “negative symptoms,” such as poor sleep, feeling distracted, over- or under-eating, bad memories/images, nightmares, feelings of guilt, or your body “jumps” when a door slams… the list goes on and on and is very personal.
Why would you want to get rid of these negative symptoms? Well, these symptoms suck and often lead to you having a hard time staying focused at work, feeling disconnected from your friends and family, and may cause problems for you at school and in other areas in your life.
Thanks to EMDR, the suckiness of these symptoms can be addressed in an eight-step protocol that will help you move past the bad experience while relieving yourself of the negative symptoms.
Move past what’s holding you back
In our work together using EMDR, I will help you to understand better the connection between the bad experience and your negative symptoms.
After drawing the connection, I will guide you through the EMDR protocol to reprocess the bad experience in a safe manner where you can talk about it without becoming overwhelmed.
Throughout the process, I will be present, patient, and allow you to guide the pace to ensure processing is completed. In the end, we will work together to transform the meaning of these experiences so that you will feel, be, and have a different, healthier, and more adaptive perspective to move past what has been holding you back.
EMDR is empirically demonstrated to work
As part of my training, I had to go through EMDR on my own as a client and can confidently assure you from my own experience: this sh*t works.
In addition to my own experience, EMDR has been evaluated in more than 20 studies that have demonstrated over and over that it is an effective treatment for trauma, anxiety, grief, depression, chronic pain, and other obstacles with which you are struggling and are affecting your mental health.
If you’re feeling stuck related to a bad experience(s) you had in the past, please reach out to discuss how EMDR can help you.
Here is a great two-minute video that explains EMDR best: