• Amy Hertle Counseling EMDR
  • Amy Hertle Counseling EMDR
  • Amy Hertle Counseling EMDR
  • Amy Hertle Counseling EMDR

EMDR Therapy

EMDR Therapy

EMDR therapy may be an option when traditional talk therapy is unable to foster significant change. Traditional therapy can be beneficial yet sometimes it is just not enough to resolve chronic symptoms created by traumatic experiences. Any traumatic event can adversely affect a person’s mental health and quality of life. The brain, when overwhelmed, will often not properly process or “store” traumatic memories.  These traumatic events may be big “T” traumas or small “t” traumas that were unable to fully process in the brain due to the intensity of the experience. When this happens the event or experience becomes stored as a “maladaptive memory.” In a sense it is “frozen in time” in the brain and body and can impact daily functioning, interfering with how we relate to self, others and the world. Sometimes these experiences are too distressing and disturbing for processing without support.

EMDR Therapy

EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a process that can allow the brain to “unfreeze” the memory and reprocess the experience to allow it to become stored as an adaptive memory.

First developed for treatment of trauma and PTSD, EMDR is now found to be beneficial for a wide range of symptoms and diagnoses:

  • Getting mentally unstuck
  • Physical pain management
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Phobias
  • Some addictive behaviors
  • Performance anxiety
  • Disturbing memories
  • Imposter syndrome
  • Sexual, physical and emotional abuse recovery
  • Self-esteem
  • Obsessive thoughts
  • Stress
  • Eating disorders
  • Complicated grief

This process activates both hemispheres of the brain at the same time through bilateral stimulation. Incorporating eye movement or other bilateral stimulation into a comprehensive approach, the process allows the release of information trapped in the mind and body, freeing the disturbing images, body sensations, debilitating emotions and restrictive beliefs. This activation allows the brain to reprocess and clear out what is “stuck,” shifting a maladaptive memory into an adaptive memory.

Reprocessing a memory will not cause one to forget a traumatic event or see it in a positive light, but rather store it as an adaptive memory that no longer feels like it is alive in the present day. It is no longer intrusive in healthy daily living.

“EMDR Therapy changes maladaptive neural networks by connecting the traumatic memory with new information. The distressing thoughts and emotions are blended with new positive thoughts and emotions; embodied awareness allows frozen sensations in the body to resolve through healing movements.” – Arielle Schwartz

Just as the body is able to heal injuries and illnesses, so too can the brain heal traumatic memories and disturbing thoughts and feelings.

Interested in learning more about EMDR? Let’s talk!