Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. EMDR is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from many different treatment approaches. EMDR therapy has helped people of all ages relieve many types of psychological stress. EMDR progresses through 8 phases treatment. In the early stages, the client’s  history is taken and treatment planning is completed.  During the assessment phase, the client’s target trauma is examined including the client’s beliefs about himself or herself, emotions, and sensations.  With the information gained in this phase the therapist is able to assist the client in processing the target until it can be experienced differently in the present. During desensitization, the therapist provides bilateral stimulation (Auditory and tactile) with appropriate shifts and changes of focus until the client’s SUD-scale levels are reduced to zero (or 1 or 2 if this is more appropriate).  The next phase of treatment will focus on assisting clients to replace negative beliefs with positive ones and then strengthening the positive beliefs. In phase 6, any residual tension experienced in the body when the client recalls the original trauma is targeted for reprocessing.  Phase 7 ends each session so that the client leaves feeling in balance.  This can include self-soothing techniques to help the client calm himself or herself.  Each session thereafter begins with Phase 8 in which the therapist checks to see what changes have occurred for the client and identifies areas that need to be further addressed.

Before using EMDR with client’s it is important that I ensure that they have a strong foundation of coping skills in place to deal with any negative emotions/feelings/thoughts that might arise.  EMDR may produce results more rapidly than other forms of therapy, but this can vary from client to client.  It is important to remember that everyone’s needs are different and therapist needs to meet the client wherever they are in treatment.  For instance, one client may take weeks to establish rapport and trust (Phase Two), while another may proceed quickly through the initial phase of treatment only to reveal, something even more important that needs treatment. EMDR therapy is complete when it has focused on the past memories that are contributing to the problem, the present situations that are disturbing, and what skills the client may need for the future.

You are ready to start building positive relationships.  You are ready to start loving youagain.  You are ready to get out of that negative cycle and change your perspective.  You are ready to meet with a counselor and begin your first counseling session. Contact me to schedule your first session.

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