Counseling for teens, adults & families - Newport Beach, CA
Trauma Therapy / EMDR
When something traumatic happens to you, your mind can hold onto the memory with amazing clarity. Those moments may be locked deep inside your brain, but they can be triggered by certain people or events. When that happens you may re-experience the original feelings or sensations of the traumatic experience. This causes little more than a vague discomfort in some people, but others experience significant emotional pain.
EMDR can help you cope with this emotional pain. EMDR is a technique that utilizes bilateral stimulation--or the activation of the right and left hemispheres of the brain.
EMDR has a direct effect on the way the brain processes information. Following a successful, EMDR session, a person no longer relives the images, sounds, and feelings when the trauma is brought to mind. You still remember what happened, but it is less upsetting.
EMDR is short for "Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing", or Bilateral Stimulation (BLS) as it is sometimes called because of the use of other techniques that have evolved such as tapping, butterfly hugs, light bars and auditory stimulation.
EMDR and BLS seem to provide the same type of processing that occurs in the brain during REM sleep, when the eyes move rapidly as the brain processes the day's events to an appropriate resolution.
Sometimes, when intense events occur, or adequate information is not available, the sensations, thoughts and emotions accompanying the event become stuck in memory and do not automatically resolve.
The results of this can create unwanted responses such as anxiety, anger, phobias, problems sleeping and even physical pain. In extreme cases when one's physical integrity or life is somehow threatened, PTSD can develop.
EMDR or BLS provide a treatment that enhances the brain's ability to process and resolve these events and the resulting unpleasant symptoms.
It is important to note that with EMDR/BLS, you the client are in control, and it is your brain that does the healing. The therapist's role is to assist with that process. It generally resolves issues in a much shorter period of time than traditional talk therapy and other traditional types of therapy. EMDR is NOT hypnosis and does NOT involve SUGGESTION. The brain does its own work under the guidance of a trained EMDR professional.
Scientific research has established EMDR as effective for post traumatic stress. However, clinicians also have reported success using EMDR in treatment of the following conditions:
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Sexual, Physical and/or Verbal abuse
- Eating Disorders
- Complicated grief
- Disturbing memories
- Pain disorders
- Performance anxiety
- Stress reduction
- Panic attacks
- Body dysmorphic disorders
- Personality Disorders
- Dissociative disorders
Read Getting Past Your Past by Francine Shapiro, PhD
Whether we’ve experienced small setbacks or major traumas, we are all influenced by our memories and by experiences we may not remember or fully understand. Getting Past Your Past offers practical techniques that demystify the human condition and empower readers looking to take charge of their lives. Shapiro, the creator of EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing), explains the brain science in layman’s terms and provides simple exercises that readers can do at home to understand their automatic responses and achieve real change.
The New York Times featured a Q&A session with the originator of EMDR, Dr. Francine Shapiro. Click here to see the article.
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Treatment specialization includes: Eating Disorders; Trauma in Teens as well as Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual, Physical, Emotional/Verbal Abuse; Depression and Anxiety; EMDR Therapy; PTSD; Adoption Related Issues; Phobias; Self Injury; Teen Issues; Grief & Loss; Attachment issues; Domestic Violence; Stress Management; Drug/Alcohol Addiction