EMDR Therapy

Are you considering EMDR therapy? Do you feel like your past is affecting your current situation?

Since you are here, you probably realize that just talking about your past trauma is not enough and can even make things worse. Feeling anxious about the future and ruminating about the past makes it nearly impossible to enjoy the present moment fully. It makes total sense that most try to avoid this discomfort, or at least numb it temporarily, by drinking alcohol, using marijuana, staying super busy, or other futile attempts. Trying to numb or not feel the pain can help for a while until it doesn’t anymore and things get worse.

Even if you feel ready to get to the root of your distress with EMDR Therapy, the remembering, and reprocessing of old disturbing memories can be scary, and no one wants to relive a terrifying or embarrassing event. Our Baton Rouge therapists are highly trained in EMDR Therapy and know it is imperative to move slowly and carefully when reprocessing a traumatic memory while getting your continual consent at every step. For example, I often ask, “Is it okay if we use tapping now, or what part of that memory feels safe to focus on?” I firmly believe that what we resist will persist, so facing our fears can be liberating and help free up all that mental space to do what you love and finally feel fully alive.

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Our team of EMDR therapists is here to help.

You might be wondering if EMDR Therapy is right for you. Below are commonly asked questions.

What is EMDR Therapy?

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, a research-proven way to safely release trauma and pain stored in the body and mind. When a stressful event happens, the memory is stored maladaptively, causing the repetitive reliving of memories.

The eye movements involved in EMDR are similar to what happens during REM Sleep (rapid eye movement) and can be a natural healing process in the brain. Studies show that what can take years in talk therapy can happen much faster using EMDR Therapy. The mind can heal and recover from trauma just like the physical body can heal from an injury. Once a disturbing memory is unlocked and reprocessed, the brain’s processing system will naturally move toward emotional health. Simply put, EMDR helps your brain and body do what they naturally want: move toward healing.

How Did EMDR Originate?

Dr. Francine Shapiro created EMDR. “In 1987, Francine Shapiro was walking in the park when she realized that eye movements appeared to decrease the negative emotion associated with her own distressing memories.” This fortunate day in the park led Francine to begin extensive experimentation with eye movements and how this seemingly simple back-and-forth movement could change how someone experiences a troubling memory. Since Francine Shapiro’s initial discovery, EMDR has evolved as a well-known treatment used to safely release trauma and pain from the mind, body, and spirit.

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What is a session like?

First, we will work together to prepare, review your history, and begin to learn how to relate to one another. One of the main goals of the preparation phase is to build a trusting relationship between client and therapist. We will discuss the current issues, symptoms, and memories you wish to address. Then, choose the troubling memory to work on and the best bilateral technique that feels good to you. The bilateral movements may be eye movement, hand buzzers, self-tapping, or a combination.

As your therapist, I will briefly have you focus on the thoughts, feelings, images, and sensations surrounding the memory or problem. While you notice all this, we will use the chosen bilateral technique. This bilateral movement helps "unlock" the brain, allowing for new insight and fresh ideas. However, we will not erase the memory; instead, we will significantly reduce the charge and negative beliefs surrounding it.

Is EMDR similar to hypnosis?

Like hypnosis, EMDR does tend to bring up unconscious thoughts, feelings, emotions, and sensations. However, with EMDR, you will be fully awake, conscious, and present.

Can we use EMDR therapy for issues other than trauma?

Yes! EMDR is an effective and increasingly well-known treatment that can relieve your mind and body of distressing thoughts and emotions. EMDR therapy is proven to treat many issues, such as, but not limited to:

PTSD
Abuse (sexual, physical, emotional)
Phobias
Anxiety

Grief
Depression
Flashbacks
Nightmares

Addictions
Performance Anxiety
Eating Disorders

Is online EMDR a Possibility?

Yes, our highly trained Baton Rouge therapists do provide online EMDR Therapy. Some people prefer online therapy because they are comfortable in their environment and do not have to drive back and forth to our Baton Rouge office.

Can EMDR therapy be harmful?

EMDR therapy is considered to be safe, with minimal side effects. The main factor in safety is finding an experienced and highly trained EMDR therapist. Highly trained therapists know slower is faster when it comes to working through past traumatic memories and are skilled in helping clients regulate if emotions get intense quickly. At the end of each session, we use grounding and relaxation exercises to ensure you are ready to re-enter your daily life. We also recommend you plan your EMDR sessions when you have a light schedule and can reflect and relax after reprocessing any old trauma. Even adolescents and teens can benefit from EMDR and frequently process much more quickly than adults.

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Can I do EMDR on my own?

Our HHC Therapists will teach ways to use EMDR techniques on your own, as this can speed up the healing process. As for reprocessing of traumatic events, we believe it is best to have the guidance of a trained EMDR therapist. Their presence will give you the strength to gently face aspects you tend to avoid and help you navigate stuck places. Sharing and processing in a safe, accepting environment is a huge part of healing. As a result, you will have a fuller, more in-depth experience than you would have alone.

Will EMDR therapy work for me?

EMDR will most likely work for you. Many people get relief from disruptive thought loops, up-and-down emotions, discomfort in the body, or other stress responses. Although EMDR therapy is most likely helpful, different work, like parts work (IFS), is sometimes needed first to see what protective mechanisms are blocking you from resolving old, hurtful, or terrifying memories.
Our Baton Rouge therapists know how to incorporate other treatments to help you benefit from EMDR therapy. This holistic, customized approach lets you face your fears and feelings directly. Most people feel relief after six sessions, with clients experiencing lasting relief, new insights, and changed behavior patterns.

Take the next step...

Trauma and stress can rule your life and cause old, repetitive relationship cycles and stress responses, yet it does not have to any longer. No matter what has happened to you or what did not happen that you needed, like comfort and care, you deserve to feel fully alive and have peace. With EMDR therapy, you can have a new sense of clarity, peace, and a future where you feel like your authentic self.

Our Baton Rouge therapists are here to help you begin your journey with EMDR therapy. We offer in-person sessions in Baton Rouge and online therapy sessions throughout Louisiana.

Healing is possible!

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