Trauma Informed Care/EMDR

What is EMDR Therapy?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a form of therapy that can help individuals who are “stuck,” or unable to move past a painful event. Originally used to help veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), it is now also utilized for a variety of conditions, helping to reduce the intensity of disturbing thoughts under certain conditions. EMDR can also be used to enhance emotional resources such as confidence and self-esteem.

How Was EMDR Therapy Developed?

EMDR was developed by Francine Shapiro, Ph.D. in 1990, and the first clinical research evaluating EMDR’s effectiveness in treating civilian trauma took place in 1995. Dr. Shapiro found the procedure reduced the frequency and intensity of symptoms in people suffering from PTSD, and the results held over time.

EMDR and Trauma

People naturally have the ability to process most of the events we encounter in our lives. In most cases, the brain processes a traumatic or difficult experience so that it can be stored in our “normal” memory. Ideally, we can then recall such memories without feeling highly stressed or retraumatized.

However, in some traumatic situations, the brain’s processing ability becomes “flooded” and we are unable to properly process what has happened to us. Such traumatic memories become “stuck” in our minds. Troubling images, feelings and thoughts linked to the trauma get trapped in our nervous system, and can become triggered by seemingly normal events in our day to day life. These “stuck” memories can cause emotional, relational and even physical symptoms.

EMDR helps the brain to process these “stuck” memories. EMDR is a systematic approach that uses bilateral sensory stimulation of the brain via eye movement, tapping or sounds, while you focus on different aspects of the traumatic experience. In addition to helping resolve impacts of trauma, you will develop personal resources to increase self-confidence and improve your ability to better face life’s challenges and stresses.

What Conditions Can EMDR Help With?

EMDR Therapy is used to treat troubling symptoms such as severe trauma and PTSD, anxiety, depression, guilt, problematic anger and grief. Post-traumatic stress reactions such as disturbing and intrusive thoughts, nightmares and flashbacks can be effectively overcome with the use of EMDR Therapy, and can be extremely helpful for victims of childhood abuse and various types of trauma.

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Berkeley, CA 94705

445 Bellevue Avenue
Oakland, CA 94610
(510) 394-2209

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