What is EMDR?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy, or EMDR, is a set of standardized protocols that incorporate elements from many different treatment approaches. It has been researched extensively and proven effective for the treatment of trauma.
These two videos are super helpful/concise and explain EMDR:
*EMDR International Association informational video.
*Good Morning America video segment that highlights Price Harry's experience with EMDR.
What Issues Can EMDR Treat?
EMDR is used to treat a variety of mental health issues. I am trained to treat the following:
- Panic attacks
- Complicated grief
- Disturbing memories
- Performance anxiety
- Stress reduction
- Substance Use Concerns
- Emotional, Sexual and/or Physical abuse
How Exactly Does EMDR Work?
It appears that EMDR has a direct effect on the way the brain processes information. When experiencing a trauma, the brain may not be able to process information as it normally does. A moment in time becomes “stuck” and the sounds, smells and images of a trauma may repeat over and over again. This can impact how a person perceives the world around them and relates to other people.
After a successful EMDR session, the brain can once again process information normally, and there can be a reprieve from reliving the trauma. The memory of a traumatic event will not go away, however, the physical and emotional distress when thinking about that memory will decrease/dissipate.
What is perhaps most interesting about EMDR is that it appears to be very similar to what occurs naturally during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. For this reason, EMDR can be considered a physiologically based therapy that helps individuals deal with distressing events in a new and less distressing way.
What are EMDR Sessions Like?
EMDR is an integrative psychotherapy approach that incorporates eight phases of treatment. How long it takes an individual to experience benefits of this therapy depends on their personal history.Treatment typically targets three different areas: past memories, present stressors, and future actions. The goal of this treatment is to process information and experiences differently. Each session aims to increase emotional awareness and self compassion.
How Long Does it Take for EMDR to Work?
A trained therapist may need several sessions to fully assess whether EMDR therapy will be an appropriate treatment. Many different factors are considered including housing stability, social/emotional supports, medications, substance use, and ability to ground/regulate emotions. Sessions with me typically last between 50-60 minutes.
I am now offering retreat-style EMDR Intensives which are can potentially expedite healing. Click here for more info about EMDR intensives.
The number and frequency of sessions is based on the type of problem, personal circumstances and the degree of the trauma. EMDR may be used within a standard “talking” therapy, as an adjunctive therapy with a separate therapist, or as a treatment all by itself.
EMDR is one of two treatments recommended by the World Health Organization for treatment of trauma.
Click here for an EMDR research overview.
Click here for information about the efficacy of EMDR.
I was trained at the Maiberger Institute in 2014. The training consisted of 20 hours instructional material, 20 hours supervised practicum, and 10 hours consultation.I am now certified in EMDR after working with Marisol Solarte-Erlacher & Associates.
All clinicians who practice EMDR are required to complete a basic training program. Clinicians who pursue subsequent EMDR Certification have highly advanced training and skills. Requirements to become certified in EMDR:
- At least two years of experience in field of license. I have been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker since July 2015.
- Conduct at least 50 EMDR sessions with at least 25 clients. I have conducted more than 1,000 EMDR sessions with more than 100 clients.
- 20 Hours of Consultation by an EMDR Consultant. From August 2021-September 2022, I worked with Marisol Solarte-Erlacher, LPC to complete my EMDR Certification in November 2022.
- 12 Hours of EMDRIA Credits:
- Parts work in EMDR Therapy
- Creating EMDR Resources in the Sand
- The Flash Technique
- Polyvagal-informed Interweaves