How does trauma affect the brain? When trauma occurs, one moment becomes “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 have a lasting negative effect that interferes with the way a person views the world, view themselves, and in relationships with other people.

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. EMDR is a brief integrative treatment which builds on the principles of many other psychological treatments. The primary focus of EMDR treatment is to allow the client, through unique brain stimulation, to reprocess traumatic events or other emotional roadblocks, and become desensitized to the memories or obstacles which may be at the root of many problems. EMDR seems to have a direct effect on the way that the brain processes information. Normal information processing is resumed, so following a successful EMDR session, a person no longer relives the images, sounds, and feelings when the event is brought to mind. You still remember what happened, but it is less upsetting. Many types of treatments have similar goals. However, EMDR appears to be similar to what occurs naturally during dreaming or REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Therefore, EMDR can be thought of as a physiologically based therapy that helps a person see disturbing material in a new and less distressing way. We must access the parts of the brain that process pictures and symbols, and connect with troubling emotions and body sensations, in order to effectively address and heal from trauma.

EMDR is also used to help alleviate performance anxiety and to enhance the functioning of people at work and play. It helps to remove the emotional obstacles to performing optimally and enhances confidence and self-efficacy. As Level III EMDR practitioners, we incorporate the many advantages of EMDR therapy into the course of treatment. It is an invaluable tool in assisting people with overcoming many of their personal or professional roadblocks. At Sunstone Center, we employ it extensively, in addition to many other treatments. EMDR has been extensively researched and proven as a highly effective form of treatment. Clients find new vitality in their lives after each EMDR session.

What kinds of problems can EMDR treat?

  • Pain Disorders Phobias
  • Eating Disorders
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorders
  • Stress Reduction
  • Complicated Grief
  • Panic Attacks
  • Performance Anxiety
  • Dissociative Disorders
  • Disturbing Memories
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Physical Abuse
  • General Anxiety