EMDR Therapy in Austin

about EMDR Therapy

Curious about EMDR therapy in Austin and what it does? EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) helps people heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences and it can make improvements very quickly. Think of it like a physical wound, once the object that has made the wound is removed, the healing process can begin. EMDR can help clients move through difficult events which can often take much longer in individual therapy to fully process.

When starting EMDR therapy, after history is taken, a treatment plan is created with your EMDR therapist to specify the scope and targets of sessions. Clients are instructed to focus internally on a traumatic memory or trigger while receiving bilateral stimulation during EMDR therapy. This creates a condition of “dual attention” – simultaneously on an external activity and an internal memory or experience – this process seems to jump-start and support the processing of memory.

EMDR has more than 30 years of research behind it and is one of two methods of treatment allows by the government for treatment of PTSD in veterans due to its efficacy. 

What are the benefits of EMDR therapy?

EMDR is a powerful method for helping a client gain a sense of control and empowerment over themselves and their lives. Unresolved traumas can cause you to feel out of control of your own emotional reactions, but EMDR gives you back the control. You no longer live feeling like you are waiting for something else.

  • 100% of single-trauma incidents and 77% of multiple-trauma survivors no longer met the diagnostic criteria for PTSD after 6 fifty-minute EMDR sessions.
  • A meta-analysis found that EMDR was not only clinically effective but it was also the most cost-effective of the eleven trauma therapies evaluated in the treatment of adults with PTSD.
  • The National Institute of Mental Health evaluated EMDR vs Prozac for PTSD symptoms and depression. EMDR was found to be much more effective and the six month follow up showed that 100% of adults lost their PTSD diagnosis and 89% of childhood abuse survivors had lost their diagnosis. For those taking Prozac, only one in ten experienced significant reduction in symptoms. 

why choose emdr?

EMDR has been extensively researched and a proven therapy approach which is effective for the treatment of trauma. EMDR is a set of standardized protocols utilizing an integrative psychotherapy approach combined with bilateral stimulation to help people move through trauma and negative psychological arousal. “Neurobiological studies have indicated significant effects, including changes in cortical, and limbic activation patterns, and increase in hippocampal volume.” Lansing, K., Amen, D.G., Hanks, C. & Rudy, L. (2005) (more info about EMDR)

EMDR Can treat:

emdr therapy reviews

common questions

EMDR Counseling

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an interactive psychotherapy technique used to relieve psychological stress. During EMDR therapy sessions, you relive traumatic or triggering experiences in brief doses while the therapist directs your eye movements. EMDR is thought to be effective because recalling distressing events is often less emotionally upsetting when your attention is diverted. This allows you to be exposed to the memories or thoughts without having a strong psychological response. Over time, this technique is believed to lessen the impact that the memories or thoughts have on you.

EMDR is primarily indicated for trauma but it can be used for a variety of things including but not limited to: panic attacks, complicated grief, terrorist attacks, natural disasters, divorce, miscarriage, bullying, violent incidents, firing or job loss, dissociative disorders, disturbing memories, phobias pain disorders, performance anxiety, stress reduction, addictions, sexual and/or physical abuse, body dysmorphic disorders, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

EMDR has been extensively researched and a proven therapy approach which is effective for the treatment of trauma. EMDR is a set of standardized protocols utilizing an integrative psychotherapy approach combined with bilateral stimulation to help people move through trauma and negative psychological arousal.

EMDR was discovered by Francine Shapiro, Ph.D. in 1987. She was walking through a park noticing the trees on either side of the path she was on. She realized that the eye movements seemed to decrease the negative emotion associated with her own distressing memories she was thinking about. She began to experiment with the eye movements to see if they did, in fact, decrease negative feelings. She found that others had the same response but later added other components to the treatment to make it a more comprehensive treatment. She also found that other forms of bilateral stimulation can produce the same beneficial results.

The way memory is stored in the brain is seen as the underlying basis of mental health problems because it is the basis of perception, attitude, and behavior. If unpleasant memories get stuck in the nervous system, they can cause distress. We all experience traumatic events in our lives and many times they resolve naturally so the memory is no longer troubling. However, sometimes, the trauma does not resolve itself. EMDR processes this disturbance to an adaptive resolution. The process approaches all material in the past (memory), the present (its effects on you today), and the future.

There have been hundreds of studies done on the effectiveness of EMDR showing how effective it is in treating: Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, childhood trauma, substance abuse and phobias (to name a few).

The therapist will guide you through the EMDR process, which includes information gathering, resource installation, defining the issues to be worked on, bilateral stimulation and feedback.

The bilateral stimulation is either bilateral movement of the eyes from side to side, physical movement from one hand to the other, or audio from one ear to the other, to activate neurological processing. In a session, this happens when the client follows the therapist’s fingers back and forth, holds tappers that vibrate from one hand to the other or wears a headset that beeps in one ear and then the other. Although the traditional way to work with EMDR is using eye movements, it has been shown that the different methods of bilateral stimulation are equally valid. You and your therapist will find the most effective method for you.

As you use bilateral stimulation to work through problematic information and digest the old events: pictures, sensations, or emotions may arise. Your job is to notice them and just let them happen. Imagine that you are on a train and the scenery is passing by. Notice the landscape without trying to grab hold of it or make it significant.

One of the first steps in the EMDR process is learning tools that can help when unpleasant or upsetting feelings come up between sessions. These are part of the preparation phase. It is very important that you have the tools to deal with any unpleasant memories or feelings that might come up so these are an important part of the preparation process before getting into any upsetting memories.

EMDR has proven to be an extremely efficient method of processing traumas, big and small. However, each person is unique and therefore the length of time will vary greatly. Most reports find EMDR to be faster than other methods of “trauma” resolution. 

EMDR is a therapy that helps children, adolescents, and adults who have experienced any type of trauma, big or small, including but not limited to anxiety, depression, fears and phobias, OCD, dissociative disorders and substance abuse. It can help performance enhancement.

In my training when I experienced EMDR, I found that it helped my thoughts and the connections of those thoughts happen much faster. It also surprised me how well it works to improve the processing of memories and experiences. It’s as if it cleans out the old negative thoughts to make way for more positive memories and feelings to emerge.


Watch the video below if you would like to see a session where EMDR is utilized.

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Below are some posts on EMDR that may be helpful to you in your quest to learn more for yourself or those you love.

How EMDR Works

How EMDR Works

In 2013, I was certified in EMDR therapy. I found that using conventional talk therapies were helpful, but some clients found that while they understood

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