Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) has become an effective and reliable method by which to assist a person to reprocess trauma and other distressing life experiences, including PTSD, anxiety, depression, and panic disorders (EMDRIA). It is recognized by a plethora of world recognized organizations, such as the World health organization and the American Psychiatric Association.

“Traumatic memories can get compartmentalized in the right hemisphere of the brain. EMDR Therapy helps you to build bridges and access your resources. This occurs by re-activating the neural networks associated with a traumatic event and finding a reparative experience that can facilitate integration throughout the brain.”

Dr. Arielle Schwartz from “How Does EMDR Therapy Work?”

A growing number of people feel more content and at peace because of this modality. I certainly favour EMDR in my own practice because of its effectiveness and profound access to inner wisdom which allows people not only heal from trauma but to deepen their self-knowledge! I use EMDR, as a trauma reprocessing tool but also as a self-discovery process. This means that I can assist a person use EMDR to learn more about inner dynamics (ways you feel), behavioral patterns (ways you act), innermost desires (ways you want). Below you can find a video from EMDRIA (EMDR International Organization), it lasts about 9 minutes, for a 3 min video see at the end of this page:

One of the things I appreciate most about EMDR is that EMDR therapy does not require talking in detail about the distressing issue/memory, in fact you are invited to share with me (or not) when you are ready. EMDR therapy allows the brain to resume its natural healing process, which it is eager to do!

We start the process discussing your goals and making a trauma index (inventory) or the earliest, worst and most recent memories associated with a particular issue. During this process, it will become more apparent if you are ready to start trauma processing or perhaps you need to work on safer, lighter, more upbeat EMDR processes such as Resource Installation (deepening of talents and inner resources). Either way, you will be encouraged by me, to communicate your desires and comfort levels.

I hear from time to time, that people have used EMDR therapy before with lackluster results or they have heard that EMDR is a very fast, few sessions-needed psychotherapy. My experience has shown me that while in EMDR, your mind is the star of the show, that takes us into hidden paths, it is imperative that a properly trained therapist guide the process. It is the therapist that must, at times, provide “light” and maneuver into certain areas of those “hidden paths”. Therefore EMDR is simply NOT about Bilateral Stimulation (eye movement, auditory, touch) but it is a contemplative dyad process that requires education (protocol knowledge), patience, kindness, and much trust!

Many who experience traumatic events attempt to suppress their memories by shutting down “the brain areas that transmit the visceral feelings  and emotions that accompany and define terror” (Van Der Kolk, p. 94).  In an attempt to protect themselves from the hurtful past, trauma victims can unintentionally prevent themselves from feeling fully alive in the present.

G. Hassett from “The Effectiveness of EMDR”.

Moreover, while EMDR can provide an intense and rapid resolution to certain traumas, it does not mean that serious presentations such as Complex PTSD, will be swiftly resolved. We must think about healing, as not only trauma reprocessing but also as wisdom-compassion processes that connect us with self-love, ego-health and correct perspectives. So while EMDR can get results faster than traditional talk therapies for trauma, a prospective client should reflect on the commitment she/he is willing to give to the healing process.

EMDR consists of 8 phases and if you are interested in more information about Experiencing an EMDR Session, please click the link. Most of my EMDR inclusive sessions are done in 60 min sessions, although 90m min sessions can be arranged. It is important to clarify that I do not solely offer EMDR therapy but I tend to use the EMDR modality within a Feminist, attachment-based, contemplative and ancestral wisdom approach to healing of the heart and mind.

Should you decide that psychotherapy that includes EMDR, is right for you, please contact me, Ana Montero, BSW MSW RSW at wiseheartmedicine @ gmail.com or text at 647. 262.9085 to discuss further. I offer EMDR in-person as well as online sessions around the world, aided by a website that allows for bilateral stimulation to be guided remotely.

For further reading:

The Effectiveness of EMDR by Garrett Hassett.

How Does EMDR Therapy Work? by Dr. Arielle Schwartz