Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

When a person is very upset, the brain moves into a fight/flight/freeze pattern of response. Sometimes, a moment or series of moments can become “frozen in time” for the person. In this case, the brain may not process the emotions and a person begins to feel stuck in the fight/flight/freeze pattern. These memories can have a lasting effect on how the person relates to other people and how they view the world. EMDR can help unlock this pattern.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is the name of this process because it was discovered that specific patterns of eye movements can help the brain reprocess memories in a way that helps people feel better. Over many years of use and research, clinicians have found that other forms of “cross-body” stimulation is just as effective as eye movement. The counselor may tap the backs of your hands in a rhythmic pattern or have you hold sensors that slightly buzz in each hand. This cross body stimulation occurs as you think about the traumatic event and you then process the memory and feelings into a different pattern, providing relief from the trauma.


Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) incorporates several psychotherapy ideologies. Extensive research has shown EMDR is an  effective treatment of trauma. Scientific research has established EMDR as effective for post-traumatic stress. Other conditions that clinicians have seen success with EMDR include:

  • Panic attacks

  • Complicated grief

  • Disturbing memories

  • Phobias

  • Pain disorders

  • Performance anxiety

  • Stress reduction

  • Sexual and/or physical abuse


How do I know if I can benefit from EMDR?

Do you experience:

  • nightmares?

  • flashbacks?

  • feeling withdrawn?

  • numb to emotions?

  • disinterest in your life?

  • feeling like you are living on the edge emotionally?

  • difficulty concentrating or sleeping?

  • avoiding situations that remind you of a sad event?

  • having great distress in similar situations?

  • a difficult event in your life that you re-experience?

If you experience these symptoms, I welcome you to make an appointment to discuss if EMDR might be the right course of therapy for you.



If you think EMDR is right for you:

We will schedule an initial appointment to discuss your concerns and history. Together, we will discuss how EMDR works, what can be expected and if it is a good fit for you. From there, we will mutually decide how sessions will be scheduled. I can be reached at 513-546-0342.