How EMDR works
The theory that drives EMDR explains that sometimes past memories get stuck in our head causing us to react more intensely to present situations.
I like to use an analogy of the toddler toy where the circle goes into the circle hole and the square goes into the square hole. If you took a walk in the park today each of your senses would be a specific shape. The circle would go into the circle hole the square would go into the square hole, etc. Once all of the shapes go into their prospective holes the memory is stored into your memory bank. This will allow you to remember it but not be impacted by it in the same way you were when you were on your walk.
During highly stressful times, sometimes the circle tries to go into the square hole etc. leaving the senses floating around our bodies and keeping the memory active for long periods of time. With these senses floating around, the next time you smell the same smell or feel the same feeling the memory becomes active again. You do not have to know why the past memory comes up and you are still reacting to both that past memory and your current one.
EMDR allows you to reprocesses this memory so that all the shapes go into their prospective holes and become a memory you no longer react to as intensely.
How does it look?
During the first few sessions you will learn tangible take away skills you can use in everyday life.
We will then set up a plan for how we will target specific memories. Don't worry I will help you with this process.
Then we will start the processing. This takes about 3-6 months ( when we are meeting once a month), but for some it will take less time and some more. I also offer intensives where a large portion of the work can be done in a larger chunk of time. Which every way you chose we will make sure your present triggers are no longer effecting you before moving on.
Lastly, we will practice some future situations to make sure the process will maintain long term benefits.
What EMDR is Not
Hypnosis: you are completely present in the room the entire time you are in therapy
A way to remember something you have forgotten: Sometimes specifics of memories come up that you may not have remembers, however sometimes our brain processes without remembering the memory at all .
Crazy Voodoo: I will be the first to tell you, this is a weird therapy. It is different than any of therapy I know, but it works and there is over 30 years of research backing it.
Retreat style EMDR
Some people prefer to do EMDR in one big chunk instead of spread out over many weeks.