Most of the time your body routinely manages new information and experiences without you being aware of it. However, when something out of the ordinary occurs and you are traumatised by an overwhelming event (e.g. a car accident) or by being repeatedly subjected to distress (e.g. childhood neglect), your natural coping mechanism can become overloaded. This overloading can result in disturbing experiences remaining frozen in your brain or being "unprocessed". EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing, helps create the connections between your brain’s memory networks, enabling your brain to process the traumatic memory in a very natural way.
After a thorough assessment, you will be asked specific questions about a particular disturbing memory. Eye movements, similar to those during REM sleep, will be recreated simply by asking you to watch the therapist's finger moving backwards and forwards across your visual field. Sometimes, a bar of moving lights or headphones is used instead. The eye movements will last for a short while and then stop. You will then be asked to report back on the experiences you have had during each of these sets of eye movements. Experiences during a session may include changes in thoughts, images and feelings. With repeated sets of eye movements, the memory tends to change in such a way that it loses its painful intensity and simply becomes a neutral memory of an event in the past. Other associated memories may also heal at the same time. This linking of related memories can lead to a dramatic and rapid improvement in many aspects of your life.
EMDR is an innovative clinical treatment which has successfully helped over a million individuals. The validity and reliability of EMDR has been established by rigorous research. There are now nineteen controlled studies into EMDR making it the most thoroughly researched method used in the treatment of trauma.
At the Newmarket Therapy Centre we provide individual EMDR sessions tailored to your needs. EMDR can work faster than traditional psychotherapies, and often 6 to 12 sessions are required to significantly reduce or eliminate symptoms associated with trauma or PTSD.
Jason Koenigbaur, MTS, C.Hyp, RP,
Brigitte Neufeld, M.Ed., RP,
Clare Fuller, MPS, RP
Ita Tobis MSW, RSW