What is EMDR Therapy?
EMDR is the acronym for Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing Therapy. It is a highly-researched, strong evidence-based therapy which was initially found to be very effective in treating experiences of trauma. This includes severely traumatic incidents such as a motor vehicle accident or sexual assault, as well as childhood trauma, smaller cumulative traumas, and incidents which seem small but for which you might find yourself saying "I just can't get over it." EMDR has also shown itself to be effective in addressing PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and issues such substance use, nightmares, getting "triggered", chronic pain, depression, anxiety, and grief.
What can I expect?
EMDR is different from other forms of therapy. You can expect a systematic, thorough approach to examining your history, the traumatic event(s), and your symptoms. Clara will ensure that you are a good candidate before proceeding. Then a detailed treatment plan will be made and carefully followed. When EMDR is applied in this manner, you can expect your memories of the event(s) to becomes less bothersome and your symptoms to improve and even resolve altogether. Everyone processes at a different rate, but EMDR can help you process trauma effectively and relatively quickly, which may be surprising if you have been suffering for some time.
In an EMDR reprocessing session, you will focus gently on a memory while simultaneously engaging in “bilateral stimulation” (eye movements, or kinesthetic taps, or auditory stimulation on alternating sides of the body). This bilateral stimulation has the effect of enhancing the resolution of disturbing memories, and there are different theories on how it works. During the reprocessing you will find your memories becoming decreasingly vivid and intense, until they do not especially bother you anymore.
EMDR will engage your cognitive processes, your body sensations and body memories, and your emotions. This holistic approach serves to effectively target the memory from all angles.
What will I experience after I have EMDR?
Some people feel completely well immediately after the session and some people need a bit of time before the positive effects are felt. Clara will give you support and skills to help you in therapy, and close the session in a way that leaves you feeling safe and looking forward to the next one. Clara values open communication with her clients so she can provide support between sessions if necessary.
What are the benefits of working with Clara?
Clara has been trained in the original, researched procedures used by the pioneer of EMDR therapy, Francine Shapiro. In addition, she has extensive experience in mental health, and has helped people with a wide range of struggles using a variety of therapeutic approaches. This experience helps her determine the best method to be effective in resolving the needs of her clients, and has shown her that while many other therapies have limited outcomes in the face of trauma, EMDR can actually resolve symptoms. With a calm, gentle, and compassionate approach to working with clients, she believes in helping people use their own strength and capacity to heal. In addition to seeing the changes in her clients, Clara has experienced the benefits of EMDR first hand and can attest to its efficacy.