Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
Information and Frequently Asked Questions:
EMDR is a technique that utilizes the biological mechanisms involved in REM sleep (the stage of sleep that restores your brain and is good for memory and learning) to process painful events and/or negative core beliefs.
How does it work?
In EMDR we use bilateral stimulation (the mechanism that is what is working during REM sleep) to activate the brain’s processing, while directed at a particular memory. EMDR allows the meaning of painful events to be transformed on an emotional level - without requiring extensive discussion on the client’s part. There is little to no talking involved during an EMDR session. The most important work for the client is to allow the thoughts to happen. This allows EMDR to work at the speed of thought, rather than the speed of logic and language.
So what happens in an EMDR session?
The first session is geared towards information gathering, and ensuring EMDR is the right treatment for your presenting concern. The EMDR process will be explained in more detail, and any questions you have can get addressed.
After that, sessions focus on processing distressing memories or events. You begin with a certain focused memory, the bilateral stimulation (tactile and/or audio) begins and you allow thoughts, memories and emotions will arise. Your part is to allow the thoughts and emotions to come up; to 'get out of the way' of healing.
Our minds, just like our bodies, are designed for healing. If you cut your hand, your body will begin healing with little effort from you. This is the same concept for your mind; when we allow the mind to process it moves us towards healing.
Throughout the bilateral stimulation portion, the therapist will check in with you, to ensure it is proceeding smoothly. Strong emotions will not be interrupted, as they are necessary to healing. Once a shift in emotions is confirmed, the bilateral-stimulation portion of the session is concluded.
The session closes with some time to decompress, check for any tension in the body, etc.
What if memories come up that are too much for me to deal with?
You can stop the bi-lateral stimulation portion at any time; you are conscious and in control throughout entire session. Afterwards, we will process those feelings (fear, anger, etc.) that made you want to stop the session.
How do I get started?
First you'll need to book an initial intake session (click book appointment at the top of this page). Follow up sessions should be booked at one-week intervals. The number of sessions necessary will depend on your presenting concerns. Typically, you should plan on having at least 3-4 sessions of EMDR after your initial appointment, but this is not required.
Is EMDR covered by insurance?
Yes, EMDR is a proven mental-health treatment modality and is covered by insurance, provided your plan includes mental health benefits. Deductibles and co-pays apply per your specific plan. For more information on which insurance plans are accepted, click on the Rates/Insurance tab at the top of the page.
You can also click on the buttons below to learn more about EMDR