EMDR Therapy

What is EMDR?

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.  It is a therapy method that uses your brain’s natural healing ability to address past emotional wounds. It focuses on processing traumatic memories to reduce their distressing impact. By doing this, EMDR can help remove obstacles that may affect your well-being.

EMDR therapy facilitates the reprocessing of traumatic or adverse life events, promoting new information processing, learning, alleviation of emotional distress, and the development of cognitive insights. This approach involves the use of an external bilateral stimulus, such as eye movements or hand tapping, as an individual fully processes the trauma, upsetting experience, or chronic stress.

Who Is It Good For?

Have you endured a history of trauma, like bullying, abuse, or neglect during childhood, and its impact is now surfacing in adulthood? Or perhaps you have experienced a major car accident, personal attack, or natural disaster and find memories from that event sometimes intrude upon your life in ways you find difficult.  If you’re a creative professional, your optimal performance might be hindered by traumatic experiences related to parents, teachers, or industry professionals. On the other hand, your performances might be fueled by intense emotions, but you struggle to turn them off after the spotlight fades.

Trauma comes in various forms and intensities, from a single violent incident to cumulative smaller events. Where do you fall on this spectrum? Are you functioning well but facing challenges in one area of life? Do you feel constantly on edge, uneasy, or watchful, making it difficult to relax? Are you experiencing difficulties in your relationships, beset by shame, sadness, anger, or guilt? Maybe you’ve lost interest in once-enjoyed activities or developed symptoms preventing you from fully engaging in life. Perhaps you find yourself reliving the events through nightmares or lifelike flashbacks.

Surviving a traumatic event already makes you stronger than you think. Even if you feel broken, I want you to know that you can be whole and at peace, and I’m here to help you achieve that.

Millions of individuals experience trauma and PTSD. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that about half of the US adult population will face some form of trauma in their lifetimes. In any given year, 3.6 percent of US adults develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Contrary to common belief, trauma isn’t always the result of a singular, violent incident. Unexpected life transitions, abusive relationships, or exposure to adverse conditions can have profound impacts. Trauma doesn’t have to happen directly to you; vicarious trauma can affect healthcare professionals, first responders, and witnesses of catastrophic events, sometimes taking years to resurface.

Many fear confronting the past will unleash untold horrors upon themselves, making it safer to deny the pain and keep it contained. EMDR therapy doesn’t force you to relive the worst pain; it offers relief by reprocessing traumatic memories, breaking the cycle of fear.

I provide a safe space for you to share your pain. As a licensed social worker, I use EMDR to deepen your understanding of yourself, your history, and the traumatic event. Through EMDR, I help you overcome trauma symptoms, empowering you to make choices in your best interest.

Research shows that our brains can positively change over time, and EMDR capitalizes on this malleable nature. The therapy can unlock traumatic memories, rewiring your brain to process and let go of the trauma, freeing your thoughts and emotions.

Trauma affects individuals differently, so we’ll assess your readiness for EMDR. You can start by talking about your experience, and we can switch between talk therapy and EMDR as needed. EMDR is a powerful tool that I’ve seen transform lives, providing an opportunity for positive changes and regaining control of your life.

How Does It Work?

EMDR therapy is a comprehensive approach that utilizes Adaptive Information Processing to assist individuals in fully processing distressing life events or traumas. Beyond the initial history taking and preparation, a significant focus is placed on teaching clients to cultivate positive resources for managing anxiety, promoting relaxation, and enhancing emotional regulation.

When the client feels prepared to proceed, we collaboratively select a target memory or chronic life experience for processing. Bilateral stimulation is then applied as the therapist guides the client through recalling thoughts, visual images, emotions, and body sensations associated with the memory or trauma. This supportive process aids in the complete processing of distress, helping to diminish emotional reactivity. EMDR therapy is believed to enhance information processing by accessing the traumatic memory network, creating new associations with more adaptive memories or information.

In essence, healing occurs through a neural integration of various mental processes.

Throughout EMDR therapy, maintaining a safe emotional pace for the client is a priority. Positive resources are consistently utilized to reinforce the client’s ability to self-regulate and self-calm throughout the healing process.

EMDR Therapy May Help With:

  • PTSD
  • Anxiety
  • Fear
  • Chronic relationship struggles
  • Sexual abuse
  • Childhood abuse and neglect
  • Feelings/thoughts of low self worth
  • Chronic shame
  • Depression
  • Isolated traumatic experiences
  • Performance enhancement

What else should I know that could help me decide if this is for me?

EMDR might seem a bit unconventional at first glance. However, it’s a thoroughly researched and highly effective method for treating trauma and PTSD, setting it apart from traditional approaches. Instead of just offering coping strategies, EMDR provides an opportunity to physically alter the way your mind functions, with measurable effects on the brain. If you don’t observe noticeable changes or feel it’s not the right fit, we can always explore alternative approaches.

How long does trauma therapy with EMDR take? While EMDR is often perceived as offering a quick fix due to bypassing talk therapy, its effectiveness depends on how well you process the memories that arise in our sessions. Deeper, more ingrained traumas may require additional time. EMDR isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, but as you witness positive changes, it becomes a motivating force for your ongoing healing journey, regardless of the timeframe.

But what if I don’t have PTSD? Will I still benefit from EMDR therapy? Absolutely! Beyond its success in treating PTSD, EMDR has proven effective for various mental health concerns like grief, phobias, and performance anxiety. Even if you don’t have PTSD, EMDR may reveal that your underlying experiences were more impactful than you initially thought.

Getting Started is Easy

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15 Minute Initial Consultation

First, if you’re shopping around for a new therapist (and you should shop to find a good fit) you may schedule an initial phone or video consultation with me to see if you’d like to book an appointment.

To schedule a consultation, please call me at 415-873-9828

Book Appointment

Next, once you and I decide that we’ll be working together you can book your therapy appointments online.

To schedule an appointment, please call me at 415-873-9828

1st Session!

Then next thing you know there you are at your first session online! You don’t even have to leave your apartment or house.

Contact Me

I'll be happy to help with any questions you may have.

You can reach me using this form, by phone, email or via my social media channels.  

For the quickest reponse, please call or text:

415-873-9828