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What Is EMDR?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR, is a powerful new psychotherapy technique which has been very successful in helping people who suffer from trauma, anxiety, panic, disturbing memories, post traumatic stress and many other emotional problems. Until recently, these conditions were difficult and time-consuming to treat. EMDR is considered a breakthrough therapy because of its simplicity and the fact that it can bring quick and lasting relief for most types of emotional distress.

EMDR is the most effective and rapid method for healing PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) as shown by extensive scientific research studies.

The EMDR therapy uses bilateral stimulation, right/left eye movement, or tactile stimulation, which repeatly activates the opposite sides of the brain, releasing emotional experiences that are “trapped” in the nervous system. This assists the neurophysiological system, the basis of the mind/body connection, to free itself of blockages and reconnect itself.

As troubling images and feelings are processed by the brain via the eye-movement patterns of EMDR, resolution of the issues and a more peaceful state are achieved

About EMDR Therapy

Carol Greenberger Does EMDR Therapy

How Does It Work?

The therapist works gently with the client and asks him/her to revisit the traumatic moment or incident, recalling feelings surrounding the experience, as well as any negative thoughts, feelings and memories. The therapist then uses headphones with tones in alternating ears, which are coordinated with hand buzzers, which go back and forth in each hand, and then eye movements can also be used if the auditory or kinesthetic modalities are not sufficient to stimulate and process the memories. The client tracks the movements as if watching ping pong. The more intensely the client focuses on the memory, the easier it becomes for the memory to come to life. As quick and vibrant images arise during the therapy session, they are processed by the tones, buzzers, and/or eye movements, resulting in painful feelings being exchanged for more peaceful, loving and resolved feelings.

What problems are helped by EMDR?

The studies to date show a high degree of effectiveness with the following conditions:

  • break ups
  • affair recovery
  • loss of a loved one
  • injury of a loved one
  • car accident
  • fire
  • work accident
  • assault
  • robbery
  • rape
  • natural disaster
  • injury
  • illness
  • witness to violence
  • performance and test anxiety depression
  • anxiety or panic
  • phobias
  • fears
  • childhood trauma
  • physical abuse
  • sexual abuse
  • post traumatic stress
  • bad temper
  • overwhelming fears
  • low self-esteem
  • relationship problems
  • brooding or worrying
  • insomnia
  • headaches,sometimes pain can be reduced or completely relieved

The EMDR technique is most effective when used in conjunction with other traditional methods of therapy in treating these and many other emotional disorders. EMDR therapy can help clients replace their anxiety and fear with positive images, emotions and thoughts.

EMDR Can Also Be Used for Performance Enhancement and to Reach Other Positive Goals.

EMDR is a natural process, similar to dream sleep or REM (rapid eye movement). It builds new neural pathways and increases neuroplasticity, like a supercharged brain gym, making us think better and use more of our brain’s full capacity. Einstein said we only use 7% of our brain’s power. Because EMDR connects the two hemispheres it allows us to use brains more efficiently. It helps us connect disturbing information to the more adaptive information that we have stored, such as, “I’m not a child anymore.”, “I’m not in that relationship anymore.”, or “I’m strong and intelligent.”, and “I have choices and people in my life who can help me.” We call this AIP or Adaptive Information Processing.

It can help us with things like:

  • Work out and Sports Performance
  • Weight Loss
  • Creativity
  • Job Interviews or important meetings or conversations
  • Reaching Goals
  • Academic Performance

What are the Symptoms that can be helped by EMDR?

  • High anxiety and lack of motivation
  • Depression
  • Memories of a traumatic experience
  • Fear of being alone
  • Unrealistic feelings of guilt and shame
  • Fear of being alone
  • Difficulty in trusting others
  • Relationship problems

What is the History of EMDR?

Since the initial medical study in 1989 positive therapeutic results with EMDR have been reported with the following populations:

  • People who have witnessed or been a victim to a disaster (rape, accidents, earth quakes, fires, murder, gang related violence)
  • Clients suffering from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)
  • Suffers of panic disorders and anxiety attacks
  • Suffers of phobias
  • Chemically dependent clients
  • Persons exposed to excess loss ( loss by death, divorce, loss of a house by fire)
  • Crime victims and police officers who were once overcome with violent memories
  • Accident or burn victims

Although a fairly new therapeutic technique, EMDR is meeting with much success all across the county. The client and the therapist become partners on a journey to help move traumatic and blocked energy. Together they work to transcend and free up the energy, so the client can return to their natural grounded state of being. The goal of this work is to help the client heal, so they can return to their life in peace.

What is the History of EMDR
How do I know if EMDR is right for me

Is EMDR Right For You?

There are a number factors to consider when evaluating the appropriateness of EMDR therapy for a client’s particular situation and history. As an EMDR Certified Therapist, I will do a complete evaluation of your history and your present symptoms, to see whether EMDR is appropriate for you at this time.

Have you had upsetting experiences or relationships that cause you panic, anxiety, depression, sadness, or overwhelming negative thoughts and feelings? Trauma’s often defined as big stuff-combat, accidents, violence, abuse. But really, trauma results whenever we feel helpless. We can have symptoms of trauma after being criticized, shamed or having our feelings hurt. These subtle injuries aren’t as harmless as they seem and can leave you with a monster inner critic giving you no peace. I use EMDR to help clients heal from trauma and restore their full lives.

verified by Psychology Today