EYE MOVEMENT DESENSITIZATION REPROCESSING
EMDR is a powerful and effective therapeutic technique that can help you to process traumatic or emotional experiences thoroughly and quickly with use of eye movements, sounds, or tapping. While at first you may feel more intense, eventually, and sometimes quite quickly, you will feel relief, peaceful, and resolved about the event or upsetting emotion.
First, we do an assessment – I will ask you questions about what is bothering you, your childhood, adulthood, and your present situation. Doing a thorough assessment helps prepare both of us for what may emerge during the EMDR.
When we’re ready to begin the EMDR, I ask you to focus on one aspect of the traumatic or upsetting event (or, in the case of anxiety or phobias, a time that you felt anxious). I will ask you to recall how you felt, and what you thought, saw, and heard.
Then I will ask you to put on headphones and, as you remember the disturbing event or emotional state, to hear the alternating tones. Or you can look at a light bar (which sits on a tripod a few feet in front of you), and with your eyes follow the movement of the light that moves back-and-forth along a straight line, moving your eyes from left to right, back and forth.
After listening to the tones or doing eye movements for a short while (a minute or two), I will ask you to take a break and tell me what you are aware of (feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and body sensations). I listen empathically and then ask you to do it again (listen to the tones or move your eyes back and forth) focusing on what came up. We continue in this way – listening to the tones or moving your eyes, taking a break and sharing your experiences, back to the tones or eye movements and so on. Some people prefer to talk while listening to the tones or during the eye movements and that’s fine too; we’ll still take breaks. EMDR is a tool, and we will find the best way for it to benefit you.