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Eye Movement
Desensitisation & Reprocessing

What is EMDR?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an extensively researched, effective psychotherapy method of trauma treatment involving several structured clinical phases. EMDR is proven to help people recover from trauma and other distressing life experiences, including PTSD, anxiety, depression, and panic disorders.
➖About EMDR Therapy (2022) Retrieved from

How does EMDR work?

Our brains have a natural way to recover from traumatic memories and events. This process involves communication between the amygdala (the alarm signal for stressful events), the hippocampus (which assists with learning, including memories about safety and danger), and the prefrontal cortex (which analyzes and controls behavior and emotion). While many times traumatic experiences can be managed and resolved spontaneously, they may not be processed without help. Stress responses are part of our natural fight, flight, or freeze instincts. When distress from a disturbing event remains, the upsetting images, thoughts, and emotions may create an overwhelming feeling of being back in that moment, or of being “frozen in time.” EMDR therapy helps the brain process these memories, and allows normal healing to resume. The experience is still remembered, but the fight, flight, or freeze response from the original event is resolved.

How is EMDR different to other Psychotherapies?

EMDR therapy does not require talking in detail about the distressing issue or completing homework between sessions. Rather than focusing on changing the emotions, thoughts, or behaviours resulting from the distressing issue, this method is designed to resolve unprocessed traumatic memories by activating the brain to resume its natural healing process. For many clients, EMDR therapy can be completed in fewer sessions than other psychotherapies (ibid.).

Treatment Phase

An assessment will be carried out to determine if this model of treatment is suitable for your individual needs and goals and if it's a good fit, the client will work through the eight phases of EMDR therapy with their therapist. Attention will be given to a negative image, belief, emotion, and body sensation related to this event, and then to a positive belief that would indicate the issue was resolved. A typical EMDR therapy session lasts from 60-90 minutes and may be used within a standard talking therapy, as adjunctive therapy with a separate therapist, or as a treatment all by itself.
➖American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.).
➖Shapiro, F. (2001). Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, (2nd ed). N.Y.: The Guilford Press

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How do I choose the right
therapist for me?

Finding the right therapist can be tricky, and good therapeutic outcomes depend on the quality of the therapeutic relationship. That’s why we offer an initial 15-minute zoom consultation (subject to waitlist delays) to help you assess if we are potentially a good fit. After this consult, if we agree, we'll proceed to an assessment phase to explore the fit more closely.