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Abuse, Trauma and EMDR

What is EMDR and how does it work?

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy method used to treat a wide range of upsetting symptoms and disorders including:

  • Grief

  • Stress

  • Worry

  • Feeling stuck

  • Anxiety

  • Phobias

  • Guilt

  • Anger

  • Depression

  • Panic

  • Addictions

  • Performance anxiety

  • Chronic pain

  • Eating disorders

  • Sleep disturbance

  • Traumatic flashbacks

EMDR therapy is effective in children, adolescents, and adults. It has been proven effective in reducing the chronic symptoms that follow trauma. Perhaps most importantly, the therapy benefits appear to be permanent.

During EMDR therapy, patients “reprocess” the memory in a way that leads to an effective resolution. This often results in increased insight regarding both previously disturbing events and long held negative thoughts about one's self. For example, the feelings of shame and fear expressed by a rape victim at the beginning of an EMDR session may be replaced by the feeling that she is a strong and resilient woman.

EMDR therapy identifies and addresses experiences that have overpowered the brain’s inherent resilience or coping capability resulting in traumatic symptoms and/or harmful coping strategies. Through EMDR therapy, patients are able to reprocess traumatic experiences and beliefs until they are no longer psychologically disturbing.

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