EMDR is an integrative approach that has been proven effective for the treatment of trauma. Whether your “if only” is your relationship, finances, career, kids, health or past hurts, EMDR undoes the frozen negative beliefs in a powerful way that is different than talk therapy and often expedites your results.

You don’t have to live this way! You truly can put your “past in the past.” Your nightmares can cease, you can eliminate panic attacks, you can reclaim your life.

What is EMDR?

EMDR is a unique, nontraditional form of psychotherapy designed to diminish negative feelings associated with memories of traumatic events. Unlike most forms of talk therapy, EMDR focuses less on the traumatic event itself and more on the disturbing emotions and symptoms that result from the event. Treatment includes a hand motion technique used by the therapist to guide the client’s eye movements from side to side, similar to watching a pendulum swing.

During trauma our brain processes and stores memories incorrectly. This incorrect storage can lead to past memories feeling very present. Related or unrelated stimuli in the present can lead to clients reacting as they did at the time of trauma. The brain feels if the past disturbing event is happening currently.

The goal of EMDR is to fully process past experiences and sort out the emotions attached to those experiences. Negative thoughts and feelings that are no longer useful are replaced with positive thoughts and feelings that will encourage healthier behavior and social interactions.

What to expect?

In the early stages of therapy, will will discuss your problems and symptoms but you won’t necessarily have to reveal all the details of your traumatic experience(s). Instead, I will help you focus on related negative thoughts and feelings that you are still experiencing, and decide which of these beliefs are still relevant and which ones you would like to replace with positive thoughts and beliefs. You will learn techniques to help you deal with disturbing feelings. Then I will guide you through a process known as desensitization. While keeping the memory of a painful or traumatic event in mind, you will follow my back-and-forth finger movements with your eyes. The purpose of this technique is to help you fully process your negative feelings and begin to recognize that you no longer need to hold on to some of them. Future sessions are devoted to reinforcing and strengthening positive feelings and beliefs until you get to a point where you can bring up memories of the traumatic event without experiencing the negativity that brought you to therapy in the first place.

short video about EMDR:


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4531 SE Belmont St, Suite 319
Portland, OR 97215

(503) 688-0935

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