Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a type of psychotherapy that taps in to our brain’s natural ability to move toward healing. EMDR can be used to build up coping strategies and personal resources, as well as work through upsetting experiences, thoughts and feelings.
EMDR is a “whole brain activity”. It engages our thoughts, emotions, body sensations, memories and experiences, using these as “entry points” to begin to work through challenges. By addressing how these things are stored in our brain, our distress is significantly reduced, supporting the development of a greater sense of safety, connection and calm.
The word “trauma” is frequently used today, but it’s definition is much broader than you might realize, and it’s impact is further reaching. Many of the experiences that we struggle with most, that have the greatest impact on our lives, are ones we may not even identify as being “traumatic”.
- Growing up with a care-giver who was physically or emotionally unavailable
- Rigid, harsh, unpredictable or critical parenting
- Lack of emotional support or access to a stable person while going though something difficult
- Bullying, shaming or social isolation
- Exposure to unhealthy relationship patterns
- Poverty and lack of access to needed resources
- Generational trauma
These experiences can change our beliefs about ourselves, our sense of connection to others and our overall sense of safety in the world, having a profound impact on our day-to-day functioning.
EMDR is extensively researched and is supported by the World Health Organization and the American Psychological Association. It was originally developed for the treatment of Veterans experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) over 30 years ago.
While best known for treating PTSD and trauma, EMDR can also be beneficial for a variety of other challenges. These include: Social and generalized anxiety, phobias and poor self-esteem/self-worth.
EMDR can be used with adults, as well as children as young as 4 years of age.
Please feel free to watch this video to learn more about EMDR: