Are you looking for relief from trauma or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?  Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) can dramatically reduce the symptoms associated with emotional and physical trauma.

It is estimated that 51.2% of women and 60.7% of men will experience a traumatic event in their lifetime (Ditlevsen & Elklit, 2012).  A trauma can result from a myriad of scenarios, such as military combat, physical assaults, rape, or an automobile accident.  When our body’s nervous system is subjected to trauma, it suspends the memory of the incident in the right side of the brain, which is responsible for processing emotions, body memory as well as creative ideas.  The left hemisphere of our brain is different in that it is more analytical, linear and uses logic to interpret information.

PTSD is the condition that often occurs after a potentially life threatening event.  It causes patients to “relive” the events of the memory whenever they encounter sights, sounds or smells that remind them of the “frozen” memory that resides in the right brain.  This flashback, per se, occurs without the benefit of the left brain, and as a result, individuals cannot make sense of what is happening, leaving them feeling as if they are right in the middle of the traumatic event.  An example would be when a war veteran is walking on a side walk and he suddenly hears a car backfire, and immediately takes cover, thinking that there is gunfire and that his life is threatened.

EMDR is a treatment modality that literally uses the patient’s accelerated, rhythmic eye movements to diminish the intensity of emotionally charged memories.  It accomplishes this task by connecting the right side of the brain to the left one, allowing the patient’s brain to “make sense” of the traumatic event.  The patient is completely aware and awake, so it is not hypnosis, as hypnosis uses different brain waves (theta).

The Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense, the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence commonly acknowledge EMDR as an evidence-based treatment for PTSD.  In addition to PTSD, EMDR is utilized by trained clinicians to also treat anxiety-related symptoms, accident victims, obsessive-compulsive disorders, dissociative disorders, chronic pain, public speaking anxiety, somatoform disorders, as well as depression, panic disorder, severe grief and addictions.

EMDR FAQ’s