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What is EMDR?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a widely researched treatment that helps people heal from problems such as PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), anxiety, panic attacks, depression, phobias, grief associated with break-ups/divorce, death, physical injury, physical, emotional or sexual abuse, addictions and more. When something painful, un-expected or out of our control happens in our lives we may experience trauma. Trauma comes in all shapes and sizes and sometimes we have difficulty moving forward. If you find yourself feeling emotionally charged and have a hard time managing these feelings, EMDR therapy may be beneficial. Coral Link specializes in EMDR for:

  • Anxiety
  • Childhood Pain
  • Sexual Assault/Rape
  • Childhood Sexual Abuse
  • Relationship Trauma (Divorce/break-ups, rejection, domestic violence)
  • Life Transitions
  • Grief

When something traumatic happens, your mind may continue to hold onto the troubling memories, sounds, feelings, sensations, or thoughts. It may feel like the trauma is locked or “stuck” inside and it can be triggered by different situations that you encounter that may or may not seem connected. At times you may feel helpless because you are not able to control what is happening in your mind or your body; this is because you are re-experiencing the emotions and sensations that are connected with the old experience. EMDR helps to reprocess the trauma so that the negative thoughts and feelings are reduced.

How Does EMDR Therapy Help?

We begin by learning some coping skills so that you learn how to contain disturbing thoughts and resource yourself so that you are not distressed after EMDR sessions. EMDR helps facilitate the activation of the brain’s inherent ability to process and integrate traumatic information that got “stuck.” This happens through bilateral stimulation, which similar to REM sleep, helps the right and left hemispheres of the brain to process and integrate the difficult experiences. Some examples of bilateral stimulation include facilitated tapping, eye movements, tactile or auditory stimulation. 

During EMDR, you will identify and process “stuck” memories so that distressing symptoms decrease and you can feel more alive now instead of re-living difficult past experiences. EMDR will not erase any memories; rather you will have more control over how often you think of the memories and be able to think about what happened to you without the emotional charge that was distressing before the treatment.

For more information and research on this, please visit the EMDR International Association (EMDRIA) website.