Learning More about EMDR Therapy -by Jamie Edwards, LCSW

What is EMDR?
Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing, or EMDR, is a relatively new and groundbreaking therapy that has been proven effective for those who have experienced trauma and performance anxiety, as well as those experiencing other types of anxiety, panic, depression, and other emotional difficulties.  EMDR is appropriate for adults as well as adolescents and children.  People that can benefit from EMDR include athletes, students, the bereaved, and trauma survivors.
Theory Behind EMDR
EMDR is based on the theory that people have disturbing experiences in their life in which they retain negative beliefs about themselves.  It could be, “I’m not good enough,” or “I am in danger,” etc.  These negative beliefs affect how people look at their lives and how they interact with others.
How does EMDR work?
EMDR includes 8 phases of treatment, some of which are similar to other types of therapy.  Those that are different center around using bilateral stimulation.  Bilateral stimulation is where both the left and right side of the brain are stimulated while a therapist guides a client through recalling a disturbing experience.  This can happen by a client following a therapist’s fingers from left to right, listening to sounds from one ear to the other, or watching a light from one eye to the other.
What are the benefits of EMDR compared to other therapies?
EMDR can often take less time to show results than more traditional forms of therapy.  This is because bilateral stimulation helps clients to rapidly get unstuck and complete the processing of a memory or fear so healing and growth can take place.  Due to EMDR relying on processing happening in the brain, less talking is required than in other forms of therapy.
EMDR and Gurnee Counseling Center
Currently, two therapists are trained in EMDR at Gurnee Counseling Center: Jamie Edwards, LCSW and Phil Kirschbaum, LCSW.  Please call 847-336-5621 to learn more or to schedule an appointment.