*EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing

Emotional histories affect our brain circuitry.  Most of our daily activity is at levels below conscious awareness.  When we are presented with a situation, our brain searches for previous situations that mimic it and then projects the memory along with the emotions that accompanied it.

The amygdala stores patterns that get frozen in place by strong emotion.  These memories are not stored the same way that other less charged memories are stored and then forgotten, so this keeps us stuck in responses that sometimes surprise us.   On a conscious level we may feel we are “done” with something until a similar emotional trigger with a new face or a new set of circumstance elicits a familiar response.  In this way we can be controlled by our emotional history
 EMDR helps to resolve disorders resulting from exposure to a traumatic or distressing event such as sexual trauma or trauma resulting from military combat. It can be used in the treatment of (PTSD) or other less severe problems such as phobias, addictions and unwanted behaviors. EMDR aids in the transformation of the emotional, sensory, and cognitive components of a memory so that when it is rememberd again the individual is no longer distressed. Instead he/she recalls the incident with a new perspective free of emotional distress.

When the trauma or distressing event is a single incident, approximately three sessions are necessary for comprehensive treatment. When multiple traumatic events contribute to a health problem the time to heal may be longer. Complex, multiple trauma may require  more sessions for the complete integration.

For additional information on EMDR see: