Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a type of psychotherapy,
which has been proven to be effective in helping people recover from trauma and other
distressing life events. This therapy uses bilateral stimulation, such as eye movements
or alternating tapping to let your brain heal naturally from trauma that has not been
properly processed. This means that if you prefer, you don’t have to talk about these
distressing events. EMDR replicates REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which is the
stage of sleep when your brain heals itself. Sometimes our brain needs a little help with
the healing process, and that is where EMDR comes in. We focus on specific neural
networks in the brain and the negative beliefs that live in those networks. Do you ever
have negative self-talk? Those could be some of the negative believes that were
caused by trauma or other distressing events.
Sometimes when we experience a traumatic event, our brains will block out these
memories to protect us. This is why we often see clients who have “lost” their
memories from a certain time period. Though our brain attempts to protect us, trauma
can impact our daily lives in many ways. Whether or not we realize it, we often make
choices based on traumas we have experienced. EMDR can help us make more
healthy choices that aren’t influenced by trauma.
To learn more about EMDR, reach out to Lauren England in our Champaign office:
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 815-661-6054 Office Phone: 217-693- 4918
Frequently Asked Questions:
-Will I get emotional?
Yes, it is very likely that you will get emotional. Before beginning
EMDR, you will work with your therapist to learn some techniques that will help you
deal with distressing memories that could come up. Your therapist will ensure that you
feel safe and secure during and after your session. Once you've completed processing
with EMDR, it is rare that the distress associated with these memories will ever come
-How many sessions will I need?
As with any approach, the time you spend in therapy
will depend on many variables including the complexity of your trauma(s) and how
frequently you would like to see your therapist. It is usually di cult to anticipate what
might come up while processing, so there is no way to estimate how many sessions it
-Do you use talk therapy along with EMDR?
Yes! As therapists, we still use talk
therapy as a way to help you deal with your struggles. The bene t of EMDR is not only
that it can help you heal faster, but you don’t necessarily have to talk about certain
things if they are uncomfortable. Most of the time clients like to use both EMDR and
talk therapy to work through their problems.
-Does EMDR help with any issue other than trauma?
Often we don’t realize that
trauma has caused other mental health issues in our lives, which means that trauma
could actually be the underlying reason for many disorders. EMDR has been most
extensively studied with clients who have been diagnosed with PTSD, but clinicians
have also reported that it can be e ective for other issues as well. Provided is a list of
some of the other issues that EMDR has been used to help treat successfully:
Abuse Panic Attacks Eating disorders Depression Violence
Anxiety Phobias Bipolar Disorders Sleep disturbances
Addictions Sexual assault Disturbing Memories
Chronic illness and other medical issues
-Is there an additional cost associated with EMDR?
No, EMDR is recognized as an effective psychotherapy by insurance companies, so there is no additional cost to you.
For more information and research on EMDR, visit these websites:
Great EMDR books:
• Getting Past Your Past: Take Control of Your Life with Self-Help Techniques from
EMDR Therapy by Francine Shapiro, PhD
• The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel Van der Kolk, M.D.