In his recent book “The Body Keeps The Score” Bessel van der Kolk (2014) writes; “EMDR loosens up something in the mind/brain that gives people rapid access to loosely associated memories and images from their past. This seems to help them put traumatic experience into a larger context or perspective.” He emphasizes the fact that EMDR is not about asking clients to talk about the details of their traumas, but rather EMDR entails “regulating the intense memories activated by trauma.”
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR), was created by Francine Shapiro, PhD, a clinical psychologist. It is a treatment approach that enables clients to safely deal with traumatic memories in the here and now. It is a highly effective treatment for PTSD, based on the findings of over 20 controlled research studies.
EMDR targets unprocessed or “stuck” memories that are comprised of negative beliefs, emotions and physical sensations. First the client brings up an image of the event and then the therapist will ask the client to notice any negative thoughts and/or sensations in the body. Once the client has an awareness of his/her somatic and cognitive state, the therapist begins the process of Bilateral Stimulation, instructing the client to follow her fingers with her eyes.
Eye movements activate the brain’s information processing system so that old memories can safely be processed in the present. Bilateral Stimulation (BLS) can also be done using taps or auditory tones. The BLS results in the brain starting to make different connections which allow the client to safely process the memory with the therapist’s support.
In my practice, I combine traditional talk therapy with EMDR and somatic approaches including: NARM (the Neuro Affective Relational Model), Brainspotting and TRM (the Trauma Resiliency Model). I help my clients learn how to access their body’s natural capacity to heal itself.
I am an EMDR certified therapist, and a member of EMDRIA. I'm trained in Attachment Focused EMDR, which was created by Dr. Laurel Parnell.To learn more about EMDR, watch the video below.