What is EMDR and how does it work?

EMDR Therapy

"The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering." ~ Ben Okri

EMDR is an effective, internationally researched, contemporary approach that helps us to overcome all kinds of negative, stressful experiences.

We all have a natural ability to heal from difficulty, but sometimes a disturbing experience  can overwhelm the healing process. This could be a single traumatic event, such as an accident, loss, or violence. It could be from a childhood experience of neglect or abuse. It could also be the result of a more subtle and yet impactful traumatic childhood relationship where you were overlooked, scapegoated or talked down to and criticized.

These kinds of experiences sometimes overwhelm our information processing system and get stored in memory in an incomplete way. We end up experiencing those old feelings, thoughts and body sensations as if the trauma were happening to us in the present, instead of safely contained as a memory of the past.

This can feel like being hijacked by emotions that feel overwhelming. Maybe you’re noticing that certain situations trigger a familiar set of thoughts or emotions, that leave you overwhelmed and anxious or depressed. Unprocessed trauma can result in anxiety, sleep problems, heightened fear, relationship difficulties, performance anxiety, physical problems, and can acutely affect our sense of self worth and safety.

The first goal is to build and strengthen your inner resources, increase self confidence and establish a sense of comfort. When you feel ready we can begin to process stuck traumatic memories in a safe, containing and careful way. Together we can put the traumatic events into the past, giving you more of a sense of choice and freedom to be in the present.

You can learn more about EMDR, research on its effectiveness and how it could help you here.