What Is EMDR Therapy?

EMDR or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing is a type of therapy which helps the brain process and heal from trauma. Although there is a lot of research supporting it and people have been practicing it for years, science still struggles to pinpoint specifically how and what makes EMDR so effective.


Before understanding how EMDR can help, you must understand how trauma affects our bodies both mentally and physically. When we experience any form of trauma, big or small, the traumatic event(s) get stored in your brain as fragments. As a protective mechanism, the brain jumbles up those events keeping our consciousness from being able to fully process what happened, preventing proper healing. Learn More About Trauma


EMDR uses eye movement and sensory stimulation to remove the mental block stopping you from processing trauma. This happens between the left and right sides of the brain. Your right side, which stores the emotions of trauma, gets stuck, paralyzed as if the traumatic event is still happening whenever it's sparked by a memory of the traumatic event. The left side of the brain can tell your body that you are safe, but your right side responds as if you're still in danger and will always win over the logical response.


In an EMDR session, you can break down the barriers between the left and right sides of the brain by recounting the event and focusing on the negative beliefs caused by the trauma. In my sessions, this is done with alternating left- and right-hand buzzers. The back-and-forth buzzing fires up both sides of the brains and starts to desensitize the event, and it allows the right and left to start communicating.


As desensitization of the trauma occurs, your brain starts to process everything that has happened to you through a new lens. This can be very painful as your brain tears out the negative emotions associated with trauma, but often causes a positive response to bubble up and allow further healing.

That's the beauty of EMDR. It's a powerful form of therapy that can help remove years of emotional distress due to trauma. It brings you peace as you process the past and prepares you for a healthy future ahead. If you're interested in learning more about EMDR and/or if this type of therapy is right for you, contact me today.