Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR)

Therapy in Washington and Idaho

EMDR therapy uses bilateral stimulation, which is done by activating the right and left hemispheres of the brain, to reconsolidate traumatic memories. Bilateral stimulation can include different therapeutic elements such as eye movements, taps, or tones to maximize treatment effects. EMDR therapy involves attention to the past, present, and future. Focus is given to past disturbing memories and related events. Also, an emphasis is placed on current situations that cause distress, and there is a focus on developing the skills and attitudes needed for positive future actions. With EMDR therapy, these items are addressed using an eight-phase treatment approach.

Initial EMDR processing may be directed to childhood events rather than to adult onset stressors or the identified critical incident if the client had a problematic childhood.  Clients generally gain insight on their situations, the emotional distress resolves and they start to change their behaviors.  The length of treatment depends upon the number of traumas and the age of PTSD onset.  Generally, those with single event adult onset trauma can be successfully treated in under 5 hours.  Multiple trauma victims may require a longer treatment time.

 A goal of EMDR therapy is to produce rapid and effective change while the client maintains equilibrium during and between sessions. EMDR therapy focuses on the vivid visual image related to the memory, the negative belief about the self, related emotions and body sensations and lastly a positive cognition to help reconsolidate and process the memory successfully. 

EMDR therapy can be an intensive therapy for some clients, depending on their trauma. Common effects clients may experience after EMDR sessions may include vivid dreams, emotional exhaustion and strong thoughts and emotions surrounding the trauma. 

If you are interested in getting started with EMDR, please give us a call at (425) 242-6267.