Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an empirically validated, structured therapy that is primarily utilized to treat trauma-related conditions. It was first developed in 1987 by Dr. Francine Shapiro and has since grown to a widely accepted post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment. In addition to PTSD, EMDR has been shown to help reduce anxiety, panic, stress, grief, and symptoms surrounding addictions, distressing memories, dissociation, abuse, personality disorders, pain, eating disorders, and body dysmorphic disorder.
With 6-12 sessions lasting 60-90 minutes each, EMDR is completed in eight phases including preparation work, education about EMDR, and identifying traumatic memories to process. By using dual attention to your past and present at the same time, while tracking visual stimuli with your eyes, or with therapeutic tapping using “tappers” that vibrate or touch, you work closely with your EMDR therapist to help change the way traumatic memories are stored in your brain. The process focuses more on the painful emotions surrounding the memories and less on the traumatic event itself in order to neutralize the vividness and painful emotions, alter your thinking about the memories, alleviate tension in the body, and assist you in feeling more positive about yourself.
EMDR is a treatment that can help you regain control of your life, feel stronger about your past, and help you feel more confident as you move into your future.
(Your insurance company may require pre-authorization for the longer 60 to 90 minute sessions recommended to conduct EMDR. We encourage you to collaborate with your therapist and insurance company for any pre-authorizations that may be required).
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