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Trauma can be incredibly difficult to carry. EMDR therapy can help.

As various experiences occur in our lives they leave an impact on our inner state.  Some experiences get translated into happy memories, making us smile years later when we think of them. Some memories bring up sadness, fear, and anger; and some just pass through you and you forget about them. When disturbing events happen, you resist them, and therefore, don’t allow them to pass through you. Traumatic memories get frozen in time. Processing these memories and experiencing healing is possible, even if it’s many years later. An excellent, researched-based treatment for processing trauma is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy.



What is EMDR and Attachment Focused EMDR?

EMDR is an evidence-based therapy used for the treatment of trauma. According to the Parnell Institute, EMDR therapy incorporates eye movement or other bilateral stimulation into a comprehensive approach that processes and releases information trapped in the mind and body, freeing people from disturbing images and body sensations, debilitating emotions, and restrictive beliefs. EMDR has been shown successful in treating PTSD from a variety of traumatic experiences; such as war, natural disaster, childhood abuse, etc. EMDR is not limited to the treatment of large scale traumas, it is also a successful tool in treating small scale traumas that manifest into depression, anxiety, phobias, etc. EMDR therapy is capable of treating any type of trauma that you have faced (let me remind you that trauma can be ANYTHING that was hurtful to your heart and left an impact).  The process of EMDR focuses on the past, present and the future. It targets your thoughts, body sensations and feelings; images and insights, beliefs and nonverbal memories. EMDR will take you down memory lane, have you witness your own pain, glance at the part of you that’s scared about the future, give your body voice so it can share what it’s been holding all these years, and then when it’s done- you will come out of it feeling lighter. Attachment-Focused Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (AF-EMDR) therapy extends the use of EMDR by having a focus on attachment. AF-EMDR is for those with acute or chronic relational trauma and attachment deficits, as those with relational trauma and attachment deficits are typically less responsive to traditional EMDR. For more information on AF-EMDR, check out Dr. Laurel Parnell’s book Attachment Focused-EMDR, Healing Relational Trauma.

Benefits of EMDR

Many people who experience EMDR therapy also get to experience the amazing benefits that come along with finally processing the trauma that has been trapped in your mind and body. Some of the benefits you may be able to experience from EMDR therapy are: 

  • Trauma memories are processed, therefore changing from dysfunctional memories to functional memories.
  • The perspective on the pain you experienced changes from personal to objective.
  • Decrease in the emotional charge of the memory.
  • Integration of the fragmented parts of you, making you whole once again.
  • Removal of the blockages caused by negative experiences/memories, body sensations, negative beliefs, etc; allowing your natural state of wellness and emotional balance to come through. 

For Information and Support Carrying the weight of trauma and negative experiences can be incredibly difficult. Please know that you are not alone and that healing is possible. EMDR and AF-EMDR are evidence-based treatments for PTSD and all types of trauma, no matter how big or how small. Reach out to an EMDR or AF-EMDR therapist in your area today.


Parnell Institute:

Book: Attachment-Focused EMDR, Healing Relational Trauma by Dr. Laurel Parnell