top of page
EMDR brain.jpg


EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy which is a highly effective and extensively researched approach to help people heal from trauma and other distressing life experiences such as PTSD, panic disorders, anxiety, and depression.

Who can benefit from EMDR therapy?

EMDR therapy is appropriate for most adults and children of all ages and is helpful with a wide range of issues including: 

  • Anxiety, panic attacks, and phobias

  • PTSD and other trauma and stress-related issues

  • Chronic Illness and medical issues

  • Depression

  • Dissociative disorders

  • Eating disorders

  • Grief and loss

  • Pain

  • Performance anxiety

  • Sexual assault

  • Sleep disturbance

  • Substance abuse and addiction

  • Violence and abuse

What makes EMDR different from other therapies?

Talking excessively about distressing issues can be re-traumatizing in and of itself.  EMDR does not require you talk in detail about your distressing event.  Instead, EMDR therapy works on resolving unprocessed traumatic memories that are stuck in areas of the brain associated with short-term memory.  EMDR can often be completed in less time that traditional psychotherapies.  

EMDRIA, the official EMDR organization reports the following national and international organizations recognize EMDR therapy as an effective treatment:

  • The American Psychiatric Association

  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

  • The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

  • The International Society for Traumatic Stress

  • The Cochran Database of Systematic Reviews

  • The World Health Organization

How does EMDR work?

Your brain typically recovers from traumatic memories by communicating with different parts of itself.  These parts are the Amygdale (your stress alarm), the hippocampus (your learning center which also stores memories related to safety and danger) and your pre-frontal cortex (the area that analyzes and controls behaviors and emotions). Often these stressful experiences can be managed naturally and resolved by the normal learning process.  However, this learning process sometimes results in negative self-beliefs such as “I can’t keep myself safe”, “I’m not good enough”, or “I’m unlovable”.  These negative self-beliefs cause us to be stuck in a trauma response.

While stress responses are part of our natural fight, flight, or freeze instincts, negative self-beliefs can cause distress associated with disturbing events to remain.  Upsetting images, thoughts, and emotions may ‘trigger’ feelings of overwhelm, of being back in that moment, or of being “frozen in time.”  EMDR therapy helps the brain re-process these memories and correct the learning process by focusing on a true positive self-belief related to the traumatic memory.  While the original experience is still remembered, it no longer triggers the stressful fight, flight, or freeze response.

​Can I do EMDR online?

Yes.   Once you are enrolled as a patient of the Heart-Mind Center, EMDR can be conducted through the Heart-Mind Center’s online portal. 

bottom of page