I am a certified EMDR practitioner specializing in using this type of therapeutic approach with my clients. EMDR is a proven effective evidence based practice that can help change your life. EMDR stands for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, and while it might sound complicated, its principles are simple, tested and highly effective for resolving emotional difficulties caused by disturbing, difficult life experiences.
Extensive research has shown EMDR to be proven highly effective in the treatment of trauma as it seems to have a direct affect on the way the brain processes information. It helps people reprocess upsetting memories and come to a more useful and less upsetting present understanding. In 2004 the Dept. of Veteran’s Affairs and Department of Defense determined that it was an effective treatment for trauma.
When upsetting things happen to us they often get “stuck” in our minds and we can relive them over and over again through our daily thoughts, feelings and body sensations. Upsetting things that happened to us in the past can if left untreated, negatively affect and interfere with our daily lives. This can affect how we see the world, interact with other people and cope with new situations.
After a successful EMDR session a person can remember a past event but is less upset by it and no longer relives the troubling images, sounds and feelings. This is accomplished through the use of standardized protocols that combine the use of different psychotherapies with a Dual Attention Stimulus (DAS) either eye movements, tapping, tactile stimulus or auditory tones.
This helps to integrate all parts of the brain and mind together, and therefore, allow for access to the body’s natural healing mechanism. Therapy that once took years to make a difference may now be accomplished in a much shorter period of time. I have witnessed again and again over my years of practice the profoundly positive impact EMDR therapy has had on my clients and their lives.
EMDR Success Stories
I have found EMDR to be a very effective tool for treating phobias and anxieties of all kinds. Here are just a couple of examples of how my EMDR work has helped past clients overcome their fears and improve their lives.
Fear of Flying
This is a common one that affects many people and can restrict their lives and in many cases their ability to travel. One adult client who came to me was so terrified he had been unable to get on a plane for 20 years as the very idea of flying created symptoms of panic and huge upset in his body. On completion of EMDR treatment he reported successfully taking a flight across country whilst being able to remain calm and feel safe. In fact he felt so confident on completion of that trip, he booked another trip the following week and subsequently applied for his first passport!
I have successfully used EMDR to treat clients with all sorts of challenges and different kinds of trauma, but one I commonly come across in my practice is medical trauma.
With the help of EMDR I have been able to work together with clients to process past upsetting medical experiences and help their body and brain “make sense “ of what happened in the past so that they are able to experience current medical visits or procedures or those in the future in a very different and calm way.
One example was a child who came in with extreme anxiety around going to the dentist. The anxiety was so intense that the child was not able to sit in the chair at the dental office and refused to allow any treatment to take place. Using EMDR I was able to assist the child and the parent in processing traumatic incidents in the past around medical procedures that had triggered this stressful body response. Following completion of treatment, the child successfully went to the dentist and was able to sit in the chair and allowed the dentist to perform a check up and cleaning without resistance or upset. So profound was the change that the dentist was taken aback and asked the parent what had happened!