I am watching lives change like never before with EMDR. I am so excited to share this with my clients!
— Mackenzi Kingdon, MA, LMHC

WHO CAN EMDR HELP?

EMDR can help all people struggling with a wide range of issues. From getting mentally untuck, to physical pain, to deep trauma - an EMDR therapist can help!

  • Trauma and PTSD

  • Anxiety

  • Phobias (i.e. airplanes, animals, tight spaces)

  • Performance anxiety

  • Social anxiety

  • Panic attacks

  • Disturbing memories

  • Childhood trauma

  • 'Imposter syndrome'

  • Sexual, physical, and emotional abuse recovery

  • Low self-esteem

  • Negative self-talk

  • Obsessive thoughts

  • Stress

  • Addictions

  • Eating disorders

  • Complicated grief

  • Perfectionism

  • Pain disorders

  • Phantom limb pain

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Migraines

  • Adjusting to chronic illness

  • PMS symptoms and PMDD

  • And more!

 emdr: the brain wants to heal itself
 
 

WHAT IS EMDR? 

A SIMPLE EXPLANATION

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a type of therapy that enables you to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. Many assume that they are stuck with this, or that it will take a very long time to heal. When you cut your hand, your body knows how to heal the wound. If a foreign object constantly irritates that wound, your body will continue to struggle to heal that until the object is removed. In a similar way, our brains need assistance in removing blocks that are not allowing the brain to heal itself. EMDR will help you remove mental blocks to engage your natural healing process.

Our brain works hard to protect us and grow us. When disturbing things happen to us, our brain tries to organize the event and understand it. Sometimes, things get stored in a way that feels "stuck" - much like a foreign object in a wound. This can cause us to feel that we are not functioning the way we would like. 

TRY THIS ANALOGY...

 (AND SOMETIMES WE JUST NEED A PUPPY PICTURE)

(AND SOMETIMES WE JUST NEED A PUPPY PICTURE)

Let's say you are packing up your house for a big move. You label your boxes... "Dishes. Books. Towels." You turn some music on and get to packing up the towels for the towel box, the dishes for the dishes box, and so on. This is how your brain likes to process information.

Now let's say your house is on fire and you have to try and pack up these boxes. My guess is that you will not have as much time to put your towels in the towel box. You're probably going to be putting the most important things in any box you find, and try to get out of there! This is how your brain can store information under stress or during trauma.

EMDR helps our brain reorganize and repack what happens, so it no longer feels cluttered and scary. 

YOUR BRAIN WANTS YOU TO HEAL

With the help of EMDR, you can move painful memories that feel stuck into the part of the brain that will help you move on and heal. Your therapist will help you identify memories and beliefs that are impacting your life in a negative way today. Your therapist will then guide you through the session, inviting your brain to heal itself. By focusing on trauma of the past, troubles in the present, or anxiety about the future, your therapist will help you activate your brain's information processes. 

 EMDR-SEattle
Changing the memories that form the way we see ourselves also changes the way we view others. Therefore, our relationships, job performance, what we are willing to do or are able to resist, all move in a positive direction.
— Francine Shapiro

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM A SESSION

You and your therapist will choose a treatment plan together. After some information gathering, you will be asked to think of a disturbing memory and simply notice what happens without judgment. Meanwhile, your therapist will guide you in "BLS" or bilateral stimulation. This is a fancy phrase that basically means simultaneous left and right brain stimulation. The most common way this is done is through eye movements, where the therapist will ask you to follow their fingers left and right. This sounds a little strange, but it actually mimics REM sleep! We know that in REM, we are reprocessing information from the day or days before. In a similar way, you will be reprocessing old memories. Your therapist may also use tapping back and forth from the left to right hand, or headphones that sound a quiet beep between your left and right ears. These are all types of "BLS". Every 30 seconds, or so, your therapist will pause to ask you what you are noticing. Some clients notice emotions, body sensations, memories, or even intense relaxation. There is no limit to what can happen, as your brain is really doing the work for you! During the session, you are in control the whole time. Your therapist will never force you to continue if you feel tired or overwhelmed.

EMDR THERAPY ONLINE

Yep - you read that right! I love learning how we can better combine therapy and technology, and conducting EMDR sessions online is on the cutting edge of this. Through a video platform (that is HIPPA compliant AKA ultra secure), you can partake in EMDR therapy right from the comfort of your own home. Some say they prefer online therapy because they’re able to avoid traffic/parking, but mostly because they feel at ease being able to participate in therapy without having to leave. If you want to learn more about online therapy, click here!

STUDIES SHOW IT REALLY WORKS

Hundreds of studies have been done proving that EMDR really works, and it works fast. For a list of studies, take a look here. Because of this, it is known as an EBP (Evidence Based Practice). Take a look at an article written in the New York Times by the founder of EMDR here. EMDR has become one of the top treatment options for posttraumatic stress disorder and several other mental health challenges.