Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR can assist clients and their body being able to file the past behind them and live more fully into the present day.

Effective and Efficient Therapeutic Framework

This is a long and clumsy name for a very effective and efficient therapeutic framework, which allows people to process big and small trauma. Trauma can be defined as life events, which were experienced as "too much too fast" or "too much too long" and remain negatively impactful in one's present life.

Trauma is not determined by the event itself, but by what happens inside a person's mind and body during the event. For example, school bullying may be something that happens in many peoples' lives, so often clients will dismiss this as "normal" and not traumatic.

However, if there was singular significant moment or more often smaller acts of repeated alienation and exclusion, a child or teenager may feel emotional distress and powerless to change their environment. The inability to move to a safer experience of belonging and inclusion can produce a physical and psychological impact.

That kind of trauma can influence a person’s personality, self-narrative, social anxiety etc. EMDR can assist the client and their body being able to file the past behind them and live more fully into the present day.
The modality itself uses bi-lateral stimulation such as back and forth eye movement, similar to what our eyes do in REM sleep, while recalling difficult memories and events.

While allowing the emotion, physical sensation, sound and images of those moments to be recalled, spoken, and felt, clients can expect to feel less sensitized and able to process the event. The result of this being that a person is more free from their past and not living as if the feelings or sensations of the past are a current and active threat.

The result of this being that a person is more free from their past and not living as if the feelings or sensations of the past are a current and active threat.

Effective and Efficient Therapeutic Framework

This is a long and clumsy name for a very effective and efficient therapeutic framework, which allows people to process big and small trauma. Trauma can be defined as life events, which were experienced as "too much too fast" or "too much too long" and remain negatively impactful in one's present life. EMDR can assist the client and their body being able to file the past behind them and live more fully into the present day.

Trauma is not determined by the event itself, but by what happens inside a person's mind and body during the event. For example, school bullying may be something that happens in many peoples' lives, so often clients will dismiss this as "normal" and not traumatic.

However, if there was singular significant moment or more often smaller acts of repeated alienation and exclusion, a child or teenager may feel emotional distress and powerless to change their environment. The inability to move to a safer experience of belonging and inclusion can produce a physical and psychological impact.

That kind of trauma can influence a person’s personality, self-narrative, social anxiety etc. EMDR can assist the client and their body being able to file the past behind them and live more fully into the present day.
The modality itself uses bi-lateral stimulation such as back and forth eye movement, similar to what our eyes do in REM sleep, while recalling difficult memories and events.

While allowing the emotion, physical sensation, sound and images of those moments to be recalled, spoken, and felt, clients can expect to feel less sensitized and able to process the event. The result of this being that a person is more free from their past and not living as if the feelings or sensations of the past are a current and active threat.

The result of this being that a person is more free from their past and not living as if the feelings or sensations of the past are a current and active threat.

What does it mean to be less sensitized?

If you recall a memory and become quite disturbed or flooded with emotion, this could be considered sensitized. In other words, it is as if the event is still happening and lives presently and loudly in you.

With desensitization, you can expect to be able to look at a memory with a level of distance and separation. I have sometimes referred to it as being able to file the memory properly in the past where it lives and belongs.

What does it mean to reprocess something?

Why would we need to process and what does it refer to? I often liken it to the digesting food. If something we ate were to get stuck in our belly because it was too big or too rich for our system, we would experience great and lasting discomfort. It could even create dramatic blockages in our digestive system and the inability to move forward and eat new things.

When we are able to reprocess an event, or digest it, we can begin to excrete that which does not serve us and resource from the parts that do. For example, if a client experienced a severe panic attack or a medical emergency, maybe they do not need to continue being on high alert every time they experience tightness in the chest or shallow breathing.

But maybe they do want to resource from their resilience and strength that have developed as a result of broadening their life experience. Maybe they even want to keep the empathy for others who have had a similar experience, but they do not want to live in active fear. Reprocessing allows us to integrate our life experience and live with it.

A Psychotherapeutic Approach

EMDR is a complete therapy. It is best facilitated with one longer 90 min session at the initiation and then at least 2-3 subsequent 60 min sessions.

If there are multiple memories or in cases where someone may have many repeated and smaller reoccurring memories, it’s a good idea to allow for approximately 1-2 sessions per memory.

Clients often ask how many sessions they will need to do the work. It’s not an exact science because some memories have what I call greater density and complexity than we may realize. For example, maybe one memory is about feeling trapped in your life or in a confined quarantine space, but it links up to other memories from earlier in life that you did not realize. For this reason, it is difficult to estimate the amount of time it will take.

Other common questions:

Q: Will we dig up and discover something from my past that I would rather forget?

A: No. Any memory that your brain and body has determined best forgotten and you do not have any natural access to will not come to the surface. In other words, you will not remember something you did not know was there. EMDR is not hypnosis or regression. You are in complete control the whole time.

Q: What if I have large segments of my childhood that I do not remember. Will I still be able to do EMDR?

A: EMDR is event driven. That means, it relies on some event or recollection to target. That said, the memory does not need to be complete in detail. In fact, most memories are fragmented, and you may only see part of an image or hear some sound that is related. In the case where there is really zero memory, an emotional feeling may be the anchor. For example, a quality of feeling alone or not important in the case where parents or support were absent or in more extreme cases neglectful. It is still possible to consider EMDR as a tool as well as other trauma resolution methods.

You will look long and hard to find anyone on par with Sarah. She is uniquely gifted and wise and is someone who helps you discover your inner strength and learn from your own life to uncover your own standards of success.

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