What is EMDR Therapy?
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is considered one of the most effective treatments for trauma, and is both evidence and research-based. It is often the treatment of choice for clearing the emotional charge of painful experiences and memories, and has been used successfully to treat depression, anxiety, fears and phobias as well. Other issues we can use EMDR with include:
How does EMDR Therapy work?
When something painful or traumatic happens, our brains can have difficulty processing or 'digesting' the experience, and so the painful memory can become stuck in our memory networks--along with the sensory information from when the experience happened. This is why certain smells, sights, textures and tastes may bring back the memory of that experience in a very clear, and often disturbing way. Even though something happened years ago, it can feel as if it happened yesterday.
EMDR helps to “unlock” those disturbing memories and experiences through Bilateral Stimulation. This supports the client in having one foot in the past and one foot in the present; they are always reminded they are safe and in control. Bilateral Stimulation can take many forms, including eye movements, tapping and tactile 'pulsers'. By alternating stimulation of both hemispheres of the brain, new insights often occur as the issues becomes unstuck, so that a client's brain can fully process them and make sense of them.
The memories themselves do not disappear, however your relationship to the memory will likely change--making the memory feel much less scary and painful, both in your mind and your body.
Clients who recieve EMDR Therapy often report feeling increased confidence, better self-image, more control over their emotions, and a sense of freedom from past experiences, phobias and fears. EMDR can also be a profoundly spiritual experience, helping you connect to, and feel more supported by your higher power, higher self, spirit guides, etc.
By externalizing your issues and making them concrete (literally holding them in your hand), you will be able to examine your struggles in a new way, from a different perspective. And as those painful experiences, triggers and emotions move through you, a more positive view of yourself emerges.
You will place figurines and other symbols and metaphors into a
therapeutic sandtray (a wooden tray painted blue inside and filled with soft sand) while sitting comfortably on the couch and engaging in EMDR processing and resourcing. In between EMDR processing sets, you will have the opportunity to move the objects around and add or take them away, as your internal experiences changes and insights emerge.
When our brains are in a relaxing light to medium trance, they can be even more open to the healing that EMDR can provide. You will feel safe and cozy in my reclining couch, with all the blankets and pillows you need to feel extra comfortable. I will then guide you in accessing a deeply meditative state before engaging in EMDR. Since your eyes will be closed and this experience is very deep and internal, the combination of EMDR and trance are not recommended for clients who struggle with managing dissociation.
How Long are Sessions?
Extended sessions of 1 1/2 hours are recommended (but not necessary) for EMDR to allow you to delve more deeply into the processing and therefore heal more quickly.
Sessions beyond 55 minutes are not covered by insurance. Depending on the severity of your experiences and your diagnosis, your symptoms may resolve in as few as 8 sessions, or as long as a year or more.
For more info about EMDR Therapy, please click Here.
Maggie Young (she, her)
5606 Olde Wadsworth Blvd, Suite 202, Arvada, CO 80002
Phone (call or text): (720) 316-1182
Hours for psychotherapy:
Hours for PLSR: Thursdays 10:00-3:30