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Trauma and EMDR

Sometimes we have intense or disturbing experiences that we are unable to fully process at the time of the occurrence.  Unprocessed events can become stuck in our memories and cause unwanted physical sensations, emotions, and beliefs from the past to arise in present day situations.  EMDR therapy is a powerful method for providing relief and insight.

What is EMDR?

Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) is an evidence-based practice that often allows for healing to happen at a faster rate than talk therapy.  EMDR is understood from a neuroscience perspective to process memory networks in order to release the emotional charge. This emotional charge is often what creates the obstacle to emotional wellbeing, positive change, and healthy relationships.  EMDR is used to work with events that can result in trauma such as car accidents as well as events that leave some symptoms of trauma.  

EMDR can also be used for:

  • self-defeating patterns, poor self-esteem

  • anger, rage

  • attachment anxiety and barriers to intimacy

  • addiction triggers

  • performance anxiety

  • public speaking presentations

  • test anxiety

  • compulsions and habit control

  • feeling unloveable

  • life transitions

  • learning healthy boundaries

  • guilt and shame


I approach trauma work with a very close attention to each person's unique experience of trauma and what they find most supportive.  Some people do not resonate with the EMDR model of therapy.  It is important to listen closely to what feels aligned with your needs. 

People have different needs.  Some people need a safe space to explore their story without judgment.  Others benefit from attention to the relationship between mind and body. 

At times, re-telling one’s painful story or being asked to move towards the emotional pain can be too triggering or is simply not effective in creating change. 

For example, while mindfulness approaches can be extremely helpful to cope with the effects of individual and cultural trauma, mindfulness practices that ask individuals to simply stay with their experience can also be re-traumatizing or highly triggering. For more info, please see: Mindfulness Meditation and Trauma: Proceed With Caution

Other times, individuals may need to feel the grief, rage, and loss that can result from life challenges.  Together, we explore these feelings in ways that allow for you to re-claim your innate wisdom, creativity, and sense of purpose. 

Recovery from Trauma

Issues related to trauma can include:

  • Excessive anger or anxiety

  • Depression

  • Sense of disconnection from self or others

  • Addictions

  • Hopelessness

  • Unexplainable sadness

  • Difficulty focusing

  • Disrupted sleep

  • Isolation

  • Feeling disempowered


Trauma is often very personal. It can take time to build trust.  In your work with me, you can find a pace that works for you as we discover which therapeutic tools you like best.  Even in the midst of the darkest stories, I also try to keep the door open to lightness and humor if this supports your process.

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