EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing)
I specialize in EMDR, and have significant experience and training in both schools of EMDR practice. It is a relatively new therapy, only developed in the early 1990s, but it is becoming popular quickly, and with good reason. The American Psychological Association and the Veterans Association both agree that EMDR is very effective in treating trauma and PTSD.
EMDR is a brief therapy technique developed for the treatment of trauma, and useful in any circumstance where a client’s thoughts and feelings are inconsistent, or in conflict with each other. EMDR is also proven to be very effective in treating:
PTSD • Trauma • Panic attacks • Anxiety • Complicated grief • Dissociative disorders • Disturbing memories • Phobias • Pain disorders • Performance anxiety • Stress reduction • Addictions • Sexual and/or Physical abuse • Body dysmorphic disorders
EMDR is not a magical solution guaranteed to cure any ailment; like with any other psychotherapy, results will vary by person, and are largely dependent on the therapeutic relationship. That said, once trust has been developed, one of the major benefits of EMDR is that monumental shifts can happen very quickly with an immediate, complete and lasting cessation of symptoms. What might take years to achieve in traditional talk therapy can be accomplished in weeks of EMDR. This is due to how traumatic memories are stored and accessed by the brain and body.
I wholeheartedly believe in this method, and frequently use it in conjunction with other therapies to provide clients with the best care I can.
Some clients who might benefit from EMDR with me are:
- people who have suffered a trauma (this could be PTSD, accidents, abuse, neglect, disenfranchisement, poverty, war veterans, or dealing with racism in our current society). This also applies to secondary trauma, often experienced by first responders, teachers, people in the medical profession…,
- people struggling with anxiety, depression, OCD, or other disorders involving looping thoughts and narratives.
- people struggling with addiction (drugs, alcohol, food, gambling, Internet; often the result of trauma, and definitely a harbinger of it),
- people in transition (with jobs, relationships, genders, lifestyles, adolescents; EMDR is really great at helping people prioritize and figure out their own truth),
- people struggling with issues around identity (these might be adolescents, people in the LGBTQIAA community, people suffering from eating disorders, people dealing with racial identity issues)
If you would like more information about EMDR, a couple of good places to start are my blog, The Parnell Institute, or the EMDRIA website. My blog has several posts with information and insight about the experience of EMDR and ways to conceptualize it, The Parnell Institute offers great referrals all over the country, and the EMDRIA website has links to information and EMDR research.
A moving article on the use of EMDR with war veterans.