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  • Kitty Ferguson-Mappus, LCSW

EMDR - What is it?

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

Unlock Healing with EMDR: Your Path to Mental Resilience and Clarity

Have you ever gone on a walk to clear your mind? This is exactly what happened in 1978 when the late Dr. Francine Shapiro found herself in Central Park, seeking mental clarity during a walk. This stroll led to a profound discovery – the very foundation of a novel trauma intervention.

Dr. Shapiro's musings during her walk in Central Park led her to unveil the hidden potency of walking as a natural form of bilateral stimulation, harmonizing with free association. Together, these elements underpin memory reprocessing, otherwise known as EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. Scientific validation in 1979 demonstrated EMDR's remarkable ability to heal Vietnam War veterans and survivors of sexual assault, effectively erasing PTSD symptoms. Over four decades, EMDR has evolved into a versatile tool addressing a spectrum of mental health conditions – from trauma resolution and anxiety to OCD, panic disorders, depression, substance use, and eating disorders. EMDR stands as a beacon of hope where proficient therapists guide patients through memory reprocessing while diminishing the emotional intensity tied to those memories.

What to expect in EMDR Therapy

EMDR encompasses eight distinct phases. Initial sessions mirror traditional talk therapy, delving into comprehensive discussions on symptoms and history. Collaboratively, you and your therapist find memories interlinked with the negative beliefs impacting your daily life leading to unhelpful behaviors you may wish to change like hypervigilance, anxiety, obsessions, substance use, body image issues, depression, addictions, and ruminating thoughts. Transitioning to the reprocessing phase, this is where things start to look a little different. Guided by your therapist, you home in on a memory, emotion, and negative thought, paving the way for Bilateral Stimulation.

Post-session, your brain will continue working in over time for around six hours and it is important to abstain from substances during this window. You might notice your brain sifting through past memories, spaciness, fatigue, or vivid dreams that night. Any exacerbation of symptoms warrants prompt communication with your therapist.

EMDR is not just for trauma; it is also used for performance enhancement to excel in areas such as athletics, business, and relationships.

Unveil Healing with EMDR: A Road to Mental Fortitude and Clarity

Email today to start your healing journey with EMDR.

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