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Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

Connect with our EMDR Counsellors

What is EMDR?

EMDR is an evidence-based therapy that helps people heal from difficult life experiences including PTSD, Anxiety, and Phobias.    

How does EMDR Work?

EMDR is most widely known for the phase involving processing trauma through the use of eye movements or another form of dual attention stimulus (tapping, sound).    

Processing using dual attention stimulus helps the past memories that were previously stored in a way that triggered trauma  to become stored in more adaptive ways that connects to both the mind and body. In doing this a person will no longer be re-experiencing the trauma in the present but feel as if the trauma is in the past. 

EMDR therapy decreases nightmares, flashbacks, and avoidance of trauma-related material and improves a person's general well-being and their sense of self.

There are number of theories emerging on why EMDR works so effectively to reduce PTSD symptoms.  One of these theories is memory taxation- that the eye movements tax (overload) the working memory so that it cannot continue to hold the disturbing content any longer while doing multiple tasks. Think of juggling many balls, eventually one of them will drop.

Another theory is memory reconsolidation theory- in a nutshell that when we bring a memory stored in into short term memory it becomes malleable again and allow for a new way of understanding.  When a mismatching experience occurs from previous experiences of the memory (for example feeling calm, while bringing up a difficult memory instead of panicked) the nervous system interprets this is a new adaptive way.

Most likely it is a combination of these theories that helps us understand the power and effectiveness of EMDR.

Does EMDR work for Complex PTSD?

YES!  There is significant evidence that EMDR is an effective therapy for helping with symptoms of complex PTSD. Our therapists are trained in working with Complex PTSD.  They may adapt standard protocol of EMDR and also spend time working with clients to develop and identify coping skills for emotional regulation. 

We place a significant emphasis on building trust between the therapist and client and ensure client choice and collaboration when doing trauma work together.

We provide online therapy and in-person EMDR therapy in our downtown Vancouver office.

To book a session with an EMDR therapist today please contact us.

EMDR: Welcome
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