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Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) was developed by Francine Shapiro in 1987 when she discovered that eye movements could decrease the intensity of certain thoughts and/or images connected to past traumatic events. These eye movements are similar to what happens naturally during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) Sleep. EMDR has become a highly researched and effective therapy that is used to treat trauma, anxiety, panic, phobias, reoccurring disturbing thoughts/images, nightmares, feelings of low self worth, and depression.
When something traumatic happens, it can be difficult for the brain to process the event, which can leave someone feeling stuck in a particular memory. Then, when a reminder of that event occurs, such as a certain smell, image, sensation, or sound, the memory may come rushing back just as though it were happening again. This can affect an individual's sense of safety and security, as well as their ability to function in everyday life.
EMDR can help an individual reprocess difficult memories and experiences in such a way that he or she is enabled to break up negative messages and feelings in order to be able to see pastoccurrences from a different, less disturbing perspective.
Emily has received extensive training and consultation in the field of EMDR, and utilizes this therapy method with both children and adults. Typically, Emily meets with an adult client, obtains background information, assesses current functioning, and discusses how EMDR works before a mutual decision is made as to whether or not EMDR is an appropriate treatment option. With a child, Emily will initially meet with the child's parent(s) to gather background information and discuss the child's current symptoms/behaviors; then she will meet with the child to assess whether he or she may benefit from EMDR.
If you would like to learn more about EMDR, contact Emily or visit the EMDR International Association.
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