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EMDR Therapy

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

Trauma & The Brain

Trauma can have a profound impact on the brain and how it functions. When a person experiences a traumatic event, the hippocampus, whose job it is to put a time stamp on the event, does not function properly. As a result, when something in our environment later activates the trauma, we can experience the same emotions, images, and body sensations that were present at the time the trauma occurred, which takes us out of the present moment and floods the body with stress hormones. Traumatic memories tend to be "split off" from the rest of the brain in a way that can be difficult to process and overcome. 


EMDR therapy has been found to be effective in treating a range of mental health issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and more. During the reprocessing phase of EMDR you may experience intense emotions, however many people report that following a completed course of EMDR, the memories that they once found overwhelming become only memories, and no longer overtake or "trigger" them. EMDR involves much less talking than regular therapy, and can speed up the processing of disturbing memories, but because of its intensity, is not recommended for clients who are in active suicidal ideation or addiction. It is also contraindicated for clients who are in the midst of a legal trial, as having a less disturbed response to a memory can affect the perception of legal testimony. Your therapist will put resources and supports in place during EMDR treatment, as processing can continue between sessions. 

Learn More

For more information about EMDR therapy, please visit

The following video also offers a good description:

EMDR Reprocessing

During an EMDR session, the therapist will guide the client through a series of eye movements, sounds, or taps while they recall the traumatic event. This process is believed to help the brain process the memory in a more adaptive way. The bilateral (on both sides of the body) stimulation used in EMDR connects the split-off traumatic memory to the rest of the brain, where it is able to "wire up" to our inherent adaptive capacities and be processed and integrated naturally. EMDR is not hypnosis—you are awake and in control of the experience the entire time. The eye movements used in EMDR replicate the rapid eye movement (REM) sleep stage, when we are processing psychological material. EMDR can be done in online or in-person sessions. I currently offer EMDR online, and have found it to be equally as effective as it is in person. 

Is EMDR a Good Fit for Me?

EMDR is a highly effective, evidence-based modality that can reduce trauma symptoms such as nightmares, anxiety, depression, intrusive thoughts, and hyper-vigilance. If you have felt "stuck" in relation to certain issues or situations in your life, or if you find it difficult to explore distressing memories by talking about them, EMDR may be a good fit. Some clients do a combination of EMDR and talk therapy, and you are welcome to explore this modality in a way that feels right for you. I would be happy to schedule a consultation to discuss whether EMDR would be appropriate for your particular situation. 

The number of EMDR therapy sessions required to reprocess a memory can vary, depending on the depth of trauma associated with the memory. While some memories can be reprocessed in 3-4 sessions, more complex traumas can take longer. 

Linda is trained and experienced in EMDR therapy, and is qualified by EMDRIA to offer EMDR services

Pink Leaves
"'Trauma is a fact of life. It does not, however, have to be a life sentence.'"
—Peter Levine
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