Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Counseling Services

EYE MOVEMENT DESENSITIZATION AND REPROCESSING (EMDR) CAN HELP FREE YOU FROM PAINFUL MEMORIES, THOUGHTS, AND FEELINGS.

EMDR is a therapeutic approach backed by decades of research.

Everyone goes through distressing experiences in life, some being more traumatic than others. EMDR is a fast-acting alternative to talk therapy that is used to treat a variety of concerns related to trauma. While EMDR has historically been used to treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in war veterans, research in recent years has determined that it can effectively treat anxiety, depression, and other trauma-related difficulties.*

EMDR works by tapping into your nervous system in ways that language cannot, which allows you to fully reprocess traumatic memories differently than traditional talk therapy. With guidance from Jordan Meehan, LCSW, you will “retrain” how your brain and body respond to traumatic memories so you no longer experience the distress that was once associated with those experiences.

EMDR can provide a way to overcome your most difficult challenges.

Whether or not you are the person who is new to therapy or has tried other talk therapies, EMDR can be effective for many different people:

A person overcoming past trauma

A woman was in a bad car accident and almost died. As a result, she started having flashbacks and panic attacks anytime she would get into a car. Through EMDR, the woman was able to overcome the lingering effects of this traumatic event. She no longer experienced the flashbacks or panic attacks. While she still remembers what happened to her, she no longer continues to relive the accident.

Someone looking to feel and act more trusting in their relationship

An individual in a new relationship could not seem to open up to and trust their partner. They felt anxious whenever they were not with their partner, and they would often accuse them of betraying them. EMDR helped the individual heal the part of themself that struggled to trust others. They were able to connect their present anxiety to past hurts from other relationships. Now, the individual feels trusting of their new partner and makes behavior choices in the relationship that are consistent with their values.

The person who reacts angrily towards others

A person got in trouble at work for speaking aggressively towards coworkers and reacting in anger to small issues. They couldn’t understand why they would get angry so quickly. EMDR helped this person uncover how their experiences with their father led them to always feel the need to be defensive to protect their feelings. As a result, they were able to unlearn the reactions that once acted as a defense against experiencing deeper hurt. These behaviors may have served a necessary purpose in their life, but they retrained their brain and body to understand that the anger is no longer needed.

Working to overcome grief and/or depression

A man lost his wife to cancer 3 years ago. Since that time, he has been unable to move past his grief and has felt depressed. Once he decided to seek out EMDR therapy, he was finally able to work through how to integrate the loss of his wife into his life moving forward. EMDR provided a path to emotional freedom where the man was able to feel interested in life again, his motivation returned, and he no longer experienced guilt for moving forward in life.

Why is EMDR the best treatment option?

EMDR can help you become “unstuck” from distressing experiences from your past and those in the present. You will learn how to work through feelings, thoughts, physical sensations, and behaviors.

Using the EMDR therapeutic approach, you can gain the relief you have been seeking from the pain caused by your traumatic experiences. EMDR can help you transform your beliefs about yourself and the world around you in an efficient way.

The 8 phases in EMDR

Phases 3-8 will be repeated multiple times throughout the EMDR process if you have multiple traumatic memories that need addressed.

1. Client History

Information is collected about your symptoms, experiences, and triggers to help determine if you would benefit from EMDR. “Targets” — specific memories — that are related to your difficulties will be identified during this phase.

2. Preparation

EMDR therapy will be explained in detail: how it works, what you can expect during the EMDR process, the purpose of shoulder tapping, and several coping and grounding exercises you will use throughout the EMDR process.

3. Assessment

During this phase, a specific target memory and any related beliefs will be identified. Your current level of distress related to the memory will be assessed.

4. Desensitization

Using alternating shoulder taps, you will reprocess your target memory to reduce your distress related to it. Your level of distress will be assessed at multiple points throughout the process.

5. Installation

You will focus on the target memory while thinking about a new, more functional belief. You will then complete additional shoulder tapping to increase how true the new belief feels to you.

6. Body Scan

Here, you will be guided through a Body Scan exercise to help identify any lingering tension or tightness in your body.

7. Closure

Following the completion of the previous steps, you will be informed of what you can expect following an EMDR session. You will be encouraged to continue using your grounding strategies, and to write down the things you notice in the days following a session.

8. Re-evaluation

At the start of your next session, your distress level related to the target memory from last session will be assessed. You may need to spend additional time reprocessing the target memory or additional target memories may be identified that you want to work through.

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What to expect from EMDR therapy

We create a unique counseling process that is tailored to each person’s strengths and experiences.

Counseling is meant to be a time of self-exploration and growth. Your clinician will tailor treatment to your specific needs based on your goals and what you would like to achieve. This may include only EMDR therapy or a combination of EMDR therapy and other therapeutic approaches. Counseling has the potential to be short-term or long-term based on your individual needs.

You will attend weekly sessions, as this allows you to establish a close working relationship with your clinician and to make progress more quickly. Our hope is for you to reach your goals sooner rather than later so that you can live the life you desire.

Both before and during your first session, you will be asked to provide information about yourself and your reasons for seeking counseling. During the first session, your clinician will briefly review Restorative Counseling’s policies so that you are aware of your rights as a client and can ask any questions you may have. The primary focus of the intake process is to discuss your personal, social, family, and educational history to help give your clinician an overall picture of who you are.

Additionally, your clinician will determine if EMDR is right for you and your needs. Phase 1 and parts of phase 2 of EMDR will be addressed. Goals for treatment will be discussed and your clinician will provide insight into how they conduct counseling sessions.

In addition to learning about you, the Intake process is a time for you to learn about your clinician. It is important that you feel they are the right fit for your style and needs. We encourage you to ask questions so you can be clear on what to expect from your clinician.

The intake session(s) typically lasts 55-60 minutes.

Your clinician will work with you as you move through phases 2-7 of EMDR therapy. There is no set length of time for EMDR to be effective, but most experience some symptom relief after just a few desensitization sessions (phase 4). Sustained progress from EMDR can be made in as few as 12 weekly sessions, but each person will be unique in their needs.

Ongoing sessions are 45-53 minutes in length, depending on your insurance plan.

As you move through the EMDR process, you and your clinician will discuss your progress. You will have the chance to reflect on whether you still feel distress related to the experiences that made you seek out EMDR therapy. Once it has been decided that you have achieved your EMDR goals, you and your clinician will discuss terminating services or establishing new goals if you wish to continue with counseling. These final few sessions will focus on reviewing the progress you have made and how you can continue forward in life incorporating what you learned during the EMDR process.

Meet our dedicated clinician offering EMDR Counseling

Jordan Meehan, LCSW

I provide a safe environment where you can develop insight into your experiences, behaviors, and relationships, as well as build healthy coping habits, self-care skills, and positive self-regard.

We will help you identify and build upon your strengths to make meaningful change.

*Reference:

Shapiro, F. (2001). Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, 2nd edition, N.Y.: The Guilford Press.