Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing

EMDR is a tool used to neutralize triggers.

Stafford Community Counseling now offers Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR).

This video clip provides specific examples of how EMDR works and the tremendous results that clients experience.

Check out some EMDR Testimonials.

Who is a candidate for EMDR?

EMDR is for anyone suffering from trauma or disturbing memories. Disturbing incidents, whether they are real or perceived dangers, can traumatize an individual and cause a neurological chemical imbalance in the central nervous system. Memories of these incidents are trapped in a kind of time capsule and include all the emotions, feelings, physical sensations, sights and smells which were present at the time of the incident. Distressing and unresolved memories are often stuck in the wrong part of the brain and continue to fester for weeks, months or years later. When an event similar to the original trauma is presented or similar feelings are encountered, the unresolved trauma is reactivated and can cause the person to re-experience the original trauma over and over again.

Trauma can include:

  • Abuse and neglect experienced in childhood that continues to plague adult survivors.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress suffered by combat veterans who have been exposed to prolonged & repeated intense combat.
  • Bullying
  • Divorce
  • Infidelity
  • Grief and loss
  • Rape
  • Natural Disasters
  • Violent crime experienced by either victims and/or witnesses
  • Criticism
  • Automobile accidents
What is EMDR?

EMDR is a powerfully effective "cutting edge" treatment modality used to resolve & eliminate disturbing & traumatic memories. Only specially trained psychotherapists are certified to use EMDR in therapy. EMDR has been approved by the American Psychiatric Association. EMDR has been extensively researched approach is well-documented with successful outcomes. The Department of Defense/Department of Veterans Affairs Practice Guidelines have placed EMDR in the highest category, recommended for all trauma populations. EMDR has been used worldwide since it inception in 1987.

Where is EMDR performed?

EMDR is performed by a specially trained psychotherapist in his/her office.

When is EMDR performed?

EMDR is performed on a schedule & frequency that the psychotherapist and the client agree upon. The schedule & frequency is tailored to optimize the efficacy for the client.

Why is EMDR performed?

EMDR is performed in order to resolve the clientís trauma as quickly and effectively as is possible.

How is EMDR performed?

EMDR is a process that includes 8 phases.

Phase 1 is laying the groundwork for processing. In this phase, I will be learning about your past history and events in your past which may be causing distress or dysfunction in the present.

Phase 2 is the preparation phase where you will learn coping skills designed to help you feel more emotionally balanced and calm.

Phase 3 is the assessment phase. Together we will identify target memories which you would like to work on. You will be asked to identify the image, emotions, beliefs and body sensations that are part of that disturbing memory.

Phase 4 is the desensitization phase where the actual processing of the disturbing memory takes place. We will use bilateral stimulation to activate your brain in order to begin to reprocess the traumatic or disturbing memory. Bilateral stimulation may be tactile using hand pulsar which feels like a cell phone or pager when itís on vibrate or earphone in which you will hear an alternating tone in one ear, then the other. A light bar in which you watch a bead of light move back and forth from right to left may also be used. You will be asked to rate your feelings of disturbance on a scale of 0-10 in order to help determine how much of the trauma has been processed.

Phase 5 is the installation phase during which you will have processed the disturbing memory and a more positive belief will remain. The objective here is to reinforce the positive or new belief using bilateral stimulation.

Phase 6 is the body scan. I will ask you to bring to mind the old image of the traumatic memory, close your eyes and scan your body for any leftover feeling of tension, distress or discomfort.

Phase 7 is closure. We will talk about your session and make sure that you are grounded and feel no disturbance when you leave the session. Between sessions, processing often continues. New thoughts, insights and connections are often made. I will ask you to keep a log so we can track you process.

Phase 8 is the re-evaluation phase. Re-evaluation take place at the beginning of each session so we can assess what has been accomplished and what still needs more work.

Contact Us to schedule a consultation to learn how EMDR can help you.

Stafford Community Counseling

My name is Laurie Barton, and I offer counseling services in Stafford, Virginia. If I am unable to answer, leave a message and I will return your call as quickly as possible. There is no charge for a phone consultation. I look forward to talking with you!