Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

Relationships have the power to both harm and heal.

Have you experienced relational trauma? Chances are your answer is yes. Roughly 60% of adults report they have experienced abuse, neglect, maltreatment or abandonment within a relationship. The effects of relational trauma can lead to insecure attachment, anxiety, depression, PTSD, substance use, disordered eating, self-harm and even unhealthy patterns being passed down to future generations. Trauma that is not transformed will likely be transferred.

Let’s create resilience together by treating your relational trauma through EMDR.

Helping Partners Navigate Their Relationship Challenges and Fostering Stronger, Healthier Bonds.

What is EMDR?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an evidence-based approach to treating trauma. It is also extremely effective for treating chronic depression, anxiety, panic disorder, OCD, chronic pain, and substance use. EMDR therapy is designed to resolve unprocessed traumatic memories in the brain and help regulate your body’s nervous system. Trauma often activates the body’s stress response (fight, flight, or freeze) even years after the event has occurred. The bilateral (or back-and-forth) stimulation used in EMDR helps to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories, enabling you to reprocess these events. It also rebuilds optimal communication between the major parts of your brain that are involved with trauma (amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex). Following EMDR treatment, the traumatic event is remembered, but the stress response will no longer be activated. EMDR allows for your brain and body’s natural healing process to be restored. If you want to read more about EMDR, visit the International Association of EMDR’s website here.


What do EMDR sessions look like?

We will start by building a safe environment for you to navigate through your healing journey. This is accomplished by building therapeutic rapport, establishing healthy coping skills and focusing on grounding your body. We will then outline some of the distressing events, beliefs you may have about yourself and others, and any accompanying emotions or body sensations. Next, we will engage bilateral stimulation to desensitize your body’s trauma response and reprocess distressing beliefs or emotions. It’s just like talk therapy while simultaneously regulating your nervous system.

Is EMDR effective?

Yes. EMDR is an empirically validated and widely recommended treatment for trauma and other adverse life experiences. For many clients, EMDR therapy can even be completed in fewer sessions than traditional psychotherapy. If you’re interested in learning more about the efficacy of EMDR, click here.

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Carly Harris, LMFT