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Eye Movement Desensitatization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

At our practice we have several clinicians with advanced training and certification in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy.  Joslyn is also an EMDRIA approved Consultant and provides consultation to other clinicians learning EMDR.  EMDR is an amazingly effective tool to promote healing and reduce emotional distress that comes from negative beliefs about yourself, disturbing life events and trauma.  We provide EMDR therapy for anyone who believe it might be helpful to them, not just those seeking therapy related to parenthood.  We also provide EMDR intensives.  This allows us to work with you more intensely and quickly through your trauma (see more info below).

What is EMDR and how can it help?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an extensively researched, effective psychotherapy method proven to help people recover from trauma and other distressing life experiences, including PTSD, anxiety, depression, and panic disorders. Organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association, International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs/Department of Defense and The World Health Organization recognize EMDR therapy as an effective treatment.

Our brains have a natural way to recover from traumatic memories and events. This process involves communication between the amygdala (the alarm signal for stressful events), the hippocampus (which assists with learning, including memories about safety and danger), and the prefrontal cortex (which analyzes and controls behavior and emotion). While many times traumatic and hard experiences can be managed and resolved spontaneously, others may not be processed without help.  These "stuck" memories or somatic experiences can feel like a foreign object in a wound or a guitar string that is out of tune.  


Stress responses are our natural fight, flight, or freeze instincts. When distress from a disturbing event remains, the upsetting images, thoughts, and emotions may create feelings of overwhelm, of being back in that moment, or of being “frozen in time.” EMDR therapy helps the brain process these memories and allows normal healing to resume. The experience is still remembered, but the fight, flight, or freeze response from the original event is resolved.




What can EMDR be used for?

 EMDR can help people struggling with a range of issues which can include (but isn’t limited to):

  • Trauma and PTSD/CPTSD

  • Negative experiences (especially those that impact self-compassion)

  • Anxiety, panic attacks and phobias

  • Depression

  • Body image concerns and disordered eating

  • Disturbing memories

  • Childhood trauma

  • Sexual, physical, and emotional  violence and abuse

  • Low self-esteem and negative self-talk

  • Grief and loss

  •  Sleep disturbance 

What to expect from a session?

EMDR is able to help remove blocks that are stuck by bilateral stimulation.  This is a fancy phrase that basically means simultaneous left and right brain stimulation. A common way this is done is through eye movements, which will look like you following my fingers from left to right.  This sounds weird, right?  Maybe it will feel less weird if you recognize this is what your eyes are doing when you are in REM sleep?  We know that in REM, we are reprocessing information from the day or days before. In a similar way, you will be reprocessing old memories when we use bilateral simulation.  Every 30 seconds, or so, I will pause to ask you what you are noticing.  This allows your left brain to be engaged and process and reorganize.  Some clients notice emotions, body sensations, memories, or even intense relaxation. There is no limit to the positive effect, as your brain is really doing the work for you!  Through EMDR your brain can heal itself from these negative experiences and beliefs During the session, you are in control the whole time.

What are EMDR intensives?

Intensives are one amazing option for structuring EMDR therapy.  At our practice, intensive sessions last 2-4 hours each and are a good option when scheduling and time feel to work on healing feels scarce (or when the next birth is coming soon!).  With an in-depth and more focused approach we avoid the interruptions that come from meeting more sporadically.  Instead of scheduling 4 one hour sessions (and all the driving, scheduling, shifts at home, etc.) in a month we can do one intensive.  Progress can happen more quickly and results can feel deeper, especially with trauma reprocessing.  You are not living with the trauma or stress for as long.  We do charge our regular hourly rate per session.  While this can be a higher upfront cost, often less hours of overall therapy are needed when doing intensives as we've done the work in a more streamlined and time effective way.  For EMDR intensives, in recognition of that higher up front cost, we are willing to discuss a payment schedule instead of payment at time of service.

More About EMDR...

What is EMDR Therapy?


Personal Stories about Healing with EMDR:


EMDR Research:

Notice That Podcast (a podcast about EMDR):

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