EMDR Therapy in Gastonia, NC

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitzation Reprocessing) was discovered in 1987 by Francine Shapiro, and since then, research has shown that it's extremely effective in the treatment of trauma and PTSD.

In order to explain how EMDR works, let's look at a simple example. Let's say you get a serious wound on your arm. Your body has a wonderful capabliity to heal itself. However, in order for that wound to heal, you need to make sure you've cleared the dirt, debis, bacteria, etc. Then, and only then, will your arm heal properly.

Let's apply this to our trauma example. A client has been sexually assaulted at age 16. With that trauma, the sights, sounds, smells, and images have become locked into the nervous system, keeping the client in a state of constant hypervigilance, feeling unsafe, and unable to trust the people around her. How can EMDR help?

In short, it helps by allowing the client to "clean out the wound," so to speak. By tapping into those memories stored in the nervous system and allowing the client to clear out those channels, she is able to see and experience the memories as less distressing (desensitization) and to reprocess the event in a healthier way. Those thoughts, for example, of "I can't trust people," "I'm not safe," "It's my faut," "I should have done something different," quickly begin to shift to more adaptive beliefs like, "I'm safe now," "I can choose who to trust," "It's not my fault," "I did everything I could do."

This is accomplished through the integrative approach of EMDR (mind, body, and emotions), using something we call bilateral stimulation (either through eye movements, tapping, or tones). 

While it sounds complicated, EMDR often works quickly, providing relief for simple trauma in 1-2 sessions and for complex trauma in 4-5 sessions. 

In addition to trauma, therapists are now using EMDR effectively for the following conditions: anxiety, panic attacks, grief, depression, phobia, OCD, and personality disorders. 

For more information on EMDR, click here.