mental health, therapy, counseling and psychology terms glossary

EMDR Therapy

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy is a popular therapy modality for treating past traumas. The symptom being treated may not even appear to be related to a traumatic event, but EMDR may be used to discover hidden problems that, once surfaced, can be repaired and lend to the resolution of the original symptom.

EMDR Therapy sessions consist of alternating eye movements, sounds, or taps to help dislodge stuck memories, encouraging the brain to resume its natural healing process. The therapist uses a device that moves side to side and that activates both brain hemispheres and then works to pinpoint areas of the memory that were significant – scary, disappointing, or otherwise stressful.  As part of our natural fight or flight stress response system, the brain can work to protect us from stressors and potentially block out events and feelings.

While past trauma may be hidden in the subconscious, it usually affects our conscious lives. Using EMDR to reveal a past hurt allows it to be addressed with a new perspective – essentially allowing the wound to heal properly so it can be released. EMDR is helpful for children and adults with a variety of challenges including abuse, trauma, stress-related issues, performance anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, bullying, betrayals, grief and loss, chronic illnesses, accidents, and many more.

Would you like to discuss how EMDR Therapy may work for you?