EMDR and Trauma – What is it and how does it work?

EMDR and TraumaEMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a therapy used to help people who have experienced trauma.  Individuals may or may not have the diagnosis of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).  Recognized by the World Health Organization, American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association, EMDR has been scientifically evaluated, and found to be effective in treating trauma.

Traumatic memories not fully processed can get stuck in the brain along with the associated emotions and physical sensations.  Developed by Francine Shapiro in the eighties, EMDR utilizes  bilateral stimulation of the brain to accelerate the processing of these memories.  Bilateral stimulation includes tracking the counsellor’s hand, tapping, or listening to alternating beeps, as you think about something that bothers you.     Examples include, but are not limited to assault, natural disasters, accidents and abuse.  If you are simply feeling stuck, EMDR  helps you to process the feelings.

Processing a stuck memory allows you to make peace with the situation, and gives you the ability to say that was bad, but I am OK.  During an EMDR session as upsetting feelings and memories come up,  the therapist will encourage you to notice them like scenery outside a train and remind you that you are in the office.  Upsetting feelings may also come up between sessions and it is important that you take care of yourself.

EMDR is a journey of self-discovery and growth.  If you would like more information contact Annette Poechman to discuss how you might benefit from EMDR.  Listening. Guiding. Caring.