• EMDR Therapy was discovered by Dr. Francine Shapiro in 1989.  It is also known as Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing Therapy.  EMDR Therapy is a Neuro-biologically grounded Psychotherapy approach to help people resolve psychological, emotional, and relational problems.
  • Often when a disturbing event occurs that overwhelms one’s mind-body, it gets locked in the nervous system frozen in time and space, with the original pictures, feelings, thoughts, sounds, and smells.  These locked memories can get triggered whenever one is reminded of that past.  Most times they stay unconscious yet causing a lot of upset, affecting how one thinks, feels, or acts.  
  • Such undigested memories of disturbing life experiences are the cause of most distressing symptoms that one may be experiencing now.  
  • EMDR seems to unlock these memories, and jump-start the brain’s ability to process, digest, and assimilate these disturbing experiences as it does normally with most experiences.  Once it is done, one is able to ‘remember’ those experiences without ‘reliving’ them, having learned what was needed to be learned, and freed from its effects in the present.
  • In our approach to EMDR Therapy, we believe that the relational context is critical to healing, especially in complex clinical presentations.
  • The first step in our approach is to gain an in-depth understanding of the Client’s “Lived Experience” of their symptoms and difficulties.  This is accomplished through interviewing the client with the aid of a set of psycho-social and self-assessment instruments over 2-3 visits.
  • The second step involves getting to know the client as a “PERSON” and not merely as a package of symptoms.  The emphasis is on fostering an “I-Thou” relationship as opposed to an “I-It” relationship.  This is best accomplished by inviting the client to tell the story of their life- the entire story and not merely their trauma stories!  
  • In this process, the therapist gains a true understanding of the client as a “person” while validating the client’s pain and suffering.  The client may be for the first time, gets the opportunity to tell the story of their life to an empathic and caring audience without being judged or lectured upon.  
  • In this process, the therapist also will be able to identify ALL the experiential contributors to current symptoms/difficulties.  Often, clients who are severely dysregulated and chronically stressed will become more regulated and stabilized through this process.  
  • This phase of therapy can extend beyond 8-10 visits and is worth every minute spent.  Without this kind of preparation, the next step of therapy involving Desensitization & Reprocessing of memories of past life events often is unsuccessful, if not incomplete.
  • In the third step, the therapist will focus on the memories of the disturbing life events- one at a time, and have the client process it using EMDR procedures and protocols until it is not disturbing anymore.  According to the current research, a target memory may require on an average 3-6 sessions to process it to an adaptive resolution.
  • Once all the stuff from the past has been processed, the therapist will focus on the situations in the present (current triggers) that have been difficult to deal with and help the clients figure out how to deal with such situations in an adaptive way in the future.
  • Often, upon successful processing of all the stuff from the past including the current triggers, clients may experience significant positive changes in their self-identity, self-esteem, and self-worth triggering major changes in their lives and relationships.  
  • EMDR Therapy is not complete until the client has successfully integrated all the changes at a systemic level and will require ongoing support and validation by the therapist.
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