What is EMDR?
Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (or EMDR), is a structured form of therapy used to address trauma. In EMDR therapy, the therapist guides the client to focus on a memory and then engage in bilateral stimulation, which is usually in the form of moving the eyes back and forth. EMDR is an extensively researched therapy shown to decrease the impact of traumatic events and the lasting traumatic symptoms.
Who can benefit from EMDR?
Both children and adults can benefit from EMDR therapy. In my practice, I use EMDR to treat people experiencing anxiety, panic attacks, grief, intrusive imagery, intrusive thoughts, stress-related issues, PTSD, relationship issues, family struggles, as well as feelings of guilt and shame.
How does EMDR therapy work?
EMDR encourages parts of the brain to communicate with each other while focusing on a memory from a difficult experience. EMDR helps the brain help itself by bringing up images, thoughts, sensations, or emotions through bilateral stimulation–often in the form of moving the eyes back and forth–which reignites the body and brain’s natural healing process.
When we are distressed, we have responses of fight, flight, freeze, and fawn to keep us safe. Our bodies and brains are built to heal and recover from difficult experiences. It is often the case that our brains recover from trauma all on their own. However, our brains and bodies can get stuck with thoughts, emotions, and body sensations related to the distressing event long after it is over.
EMDR assists the brain and body to complete the natural healing cycle, by encouraging parts of the brain to communicate with each other while focusing on the memory. These parts include the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex.
Engaging in EDMR will not cause memory loss but allows your stuck response to resolve. Your memory of the event will be less emotionally charged and less distressing. EMDR will clear the pathway for you to create new understanding and peace around the difficult event or events.
Please visit the EMDRIA website for more information.
How does Kimberly Schmidt Bevans, LMHC, BC-DMT use EMDR?
I have been trained in the use of EMDR through the EMDR Institute. If we use EMDR in your therapy session, we will identify how you feel stuck and what patterns you may be repeating or what is distressing that you just can’t seem to move through on your own. Once we identify the problem, I will guide you through the phases of preparing and then engaging in bilateral stimulation. The full EMDR process includes preparing for triggers as well as building tools to recenter and refocus after addressing disturbing images and feelings. It is not necessary in EMDR to talk about the event of trauma itself.
Are you ready to take back control of your life with the help of EMDR?
Book a free consultation to see how EMDR can help you process your trauma.