Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

What is it?

EMDR psychotherapy is a process that is client lead through unprocessed memories and sensations that are connected in maladaptive ways and stored in the nervous system. These dysfunctional memories caused by adverse life experiences manifest in a wide range of clinical complaints such as,  panic, sexual dysfunction, personality characteristics, self esteem issues, relationship issues and cause problems in our present life.  Treatment is based on the Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) model. The negative experiences are reprocessed and positive, adaptive experiences are integrated allowing desensitization of the presenting sensations.

Who can use it?

EMDR has been found through evidence based research to have positive therapeutic results with a wide range of populations including combat veterans, persons with phobias, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, crime victims, people who work in a stressful or violent field such as police officers and firefighters, grief, sexual assault victims, victims of natural disasters and traumatic accidents etc.


How long will it take?

EMDR has been shown to relieve negative symptoms in a relatively short period of time. Depending on the extent of the trauma and the issues surrounding the distress some clients need only a few sessions while other clients need 8 or more sessions. The therapist and the client create a treatment plan with goals to determine individual success.


What happens in a session?

EMDR begins in the first session upon meeting but depending on the individual, bilateral stimulation (BLS) may not begin right away. BLS is the process in which the therapist leads the client through eye movements (and in some cases taps or clicks) which is believed to be the catalyst to begin the process of moving negative experiences towards an adaptive resolution.

Meet Chris Henrie our EMDR specialist.