What is EMDR?
Take less than 10 minutes out of your day to watch this helpful video!
Courtesy of EMDR International Association
But I haven’t experienced any trauma…
Really? I wish that were true, but I doubt it! You may not have experienced any “T”rauma (capital T trauma), but every single one of us have experienced some sort of “t”rauma (small t trauma). These seemingly small events can sneak up into our psyches, keeping us believing that we aren’t “good enough”, that we are “unlovable”, that we “should’ve done something”, or that it was “our fault”.
Often when I ask a client was her first memory of having that feeling of not being good enough, for example, she will start by saying, “Well, I haven’t thought about this in so long, and it really wasn’t a big deal, but…” and then go on to tell me of when a parent wasn’t listening/taking her seriously, or when a peer made fun of her weight or skin or clothes, or when she was singled out in a class and didn’t know the answer….We’ve all experienced something like this – maybe many things like this. Often, these experiences are processed appropriately by our brains and are put in their proper place, so to speak. Sometimes, however, they act as building blocks for other future experiences that reconfirm that we are not good enough, smart enough, thin enough, quiet enough, lovable enough, responsible enough…you get the idea.
How can EMDR help me?
EMDR helps people in many ways, but overall it is essentially a giant step towards being your “best self” in that YOU believe in YOURSELF more than you ever have, you actually FEEL you are worthy, that it wasn’t your fault, that you are safe…whatever has been holding you back is often cleared up in a way that you didn’t know was possible. Some specific examples include:
- Every time your significant other says a particular phrase, you used to immediately respond as if it was your ex (or your parent) saying it, causing frequent arguments/misunderstandings that you know could be avoided…but how? Using EMDR we would “reprocess” those experiences in your past that are triggering this reaction in you so that now, when you think of them, you just feel neutral (Yeah, that happened. It sucked. But it’s over now.) rather than sad/hurt/angry/embarrassed/etc in the present moment.
- You get such severe test anxiety that your grades are never what they could be and certainly don’t represent how much you actually know. You may even be focusing on college that don’t require an ACT or SAT score just to avoid having to go through the stress of taking them. Through EMDR, you may be able to alleviate that anxiety to the degree that it really isn’t a big deal to go take the test. You studied, you know the information, and how you just have to go in and answer the questions to the best of your ability. No biggie!
- You find yourself in yet another relationship in which your so called partner is not right for you, but you don’t know what to do about it. They may not be actually abusive (but they may be that as well), but they don’t put you first, try to understand you, encourage you, or make you feel “less than” more often then they contribute to your happiness. Through EMDR we could explore what is at the root of choosing these partners? What were some earlier times in your life that you felt the same way you do when your partner dismisses your feelings? In reprocessing those experiences, you can gain confidence in yourself in present to the degree that you can explain your needs in the relationship and either have your partner respond in a helpful way, or move towards ending the relationship, feeling confident that you are worthy of someone who treats you well.
EMDR focus of treatment (weekly)
Some people come for therapy specifically seeking EMDR to work through experiences that continue to negatively impact their daily lives, but due to cost, insurance regulations, scheduling availability, or other reasons they choose to keep a weekly appointment and process through a little bit at a time. This allows us to process one memory, then have one or several traditional talk sessions before starting work reprocessing another memory. This is the most common method, but it is not for everyone.
I am now offering the option to get a lot of work done in a short time span with EMDR Intensives. These are 3-6 hour meetings offered on select Fridays or Saturdays with advanced notice. Prior to scheduling an intensive, we would have 1-3 shorter meetings for history taking and deciding how we can best utilize an intensive day so that you get the best results. Due to insurance restrictions, this is only available for private pay clients.
EMDR mixed in
Many people prefer to generally utilize traditional talk therapy, but when something specific comes up that may be more easily resolved using EMDR, we decide together to work through that particular situation with EMDR for a few sessions before resuming talk therapy sessions.
No matter your specific life history and current struggles, I’d love to speak with you about whether or not EMDR could be right for you.
Contact me to schedule a free 15 minute phone consultation OR, if you know you’re ready to just get started with me, schedule an intake session!