Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an empirically supported treatment with standardized protocols integrating elements from many different treatment approaches. It has been developed over the past 30 years through therapists' and researchers' contributions worldwide.
How does it work?
When a person goes through a traumatic or upsetting experience, their brain cannot process information adaptively. One moment can become "frozen in time," and remembering a trauma may feel as bad as going through it the first time because the images, sounds, smells, and feelings haven't changed. Such memories can have a lasting negative effect that interferes with how a person sees the world and how they relate to other people and themselves.
EMDR seems to have a direct effect on the way that the brain processes information. Following a successful EMDR session, a person no longer relives the images, sounds, and feelings when the event is brought to mind. Individuals still remember what happened, but it is less upsetting. EMDR appears to be similar to what occurs naturally during dreaming or REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Therefore, EMDR is understood as a physiologically based therapy that helps a person experience disturbing material in a new and less distressing way.
What can I expect?
A typical EMDR therapy session lasts from 50-80 minutes. The type of problem, life circumstance, and previous trauma will determine how many treatment sessions are necessary.
The process involves the client calling to mind the disturbing issue or event and what thoughts and beliefs are currently held about that event. The therapist facilitates the directional movement of the eyes or other dual attention stimulation of the brain. At the same time, the client focuses on the disturbing material. The client notices whatever comes to mind without making any effort to control direction or content. Each person will reprocess information uniquely based on personal experiences and values.
Sets of eye movements are continued until the memory becomes less disturbing. Additionally, the memory shifts to adaptive thoughts and beliefs about one's self; for example, "I did the best I could." During EMDR therapy, the client may experience intense emotions. By the end of the session, most people report a significant reduction in the disturbance associated with the memory.
What does it help with?
- Depressive disorders
- Anxiety disorders
- Personality disorders
- Complex trauma and dissociation
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other trauma related disorders
- Abuse (Physical, Psychological/emotional, financial, sexual)
- Anger issues
- Emotional distress and dysregulation
- Interpersonal relationship difficulties
- Chronic Pain
- Sleep issues
- Eating and body dysmorphic disorders
- Grief and loss
We follow the recommended fees set forth by the Psychologists' Association of Alberta.
- $200/50 min session
Billing may also occur in 10 minute increments for services done outside the therapy hour such as phone calls, writing letters, etc., letters and will be charged based on the hourly rate of the therapist for the service rendered. Sessions are billed based on the actual time, not the estimated time.