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Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a unique therapy initially developed in 1987 by researcher Francine Shapiro. She noticed that bilateral visual stimulation could reduce distress following triggering thoughts. Since then, extensive research has studied EMDR for a wide range of issues from performance anxiety to addiction. It’s especially well studied in the treatment of distressing memories and trauma. EMDR is highly regarded for its rapid treatment effects, as opposed to long term talk therapy. Brain imaging research has shown that EMDR changes the brain and facilitates healthy hippocampus growth. Neuroscience research is better understanding that the brain is an organism of healing, neural plasticity and can physically change in response to treatment. EMDR has become an important part of this research in brain plasticity and memory reconsolidation.

Julie received level I and Level II training in EMDR from The EMDR International Association (EMDRIA). She has also received advanced trainings in EMDR for peak performance, creative blocks, addiction and attachment from Deany Laliotis, Sara Gilman and Laurel Parnell.

During EMDR therapy, sessions are not conducted in an open-ended meandering way, rather, a structured eight phase approach is used, sometimes following a scripted protocol. Unlike traditional talk-therapy where more talk is commonly better, in EMDR you will naturally be inclined to share or withhold information at your own comfort level. Julie will help you access the specific target memory which will jump start the brain’s information processing system. As a result of the EMDR approach, internal connections can be made rapidly during a session as indicated by positive changes in emotions, insights, changes to memory perception, greater understanding and adaptive modifications in how the memory is stored. This neurobiological process is called reconsolidation and is the core component of effective EMDR.   


What will my EMDR treatment with Julie include?


Through careful assessment, Julie will assess if you are a *candidate for EMDR treatment.

*Some neurological disorders, such as epilepsy, or dissociative disorders are contraindicated for EMDR.  Persons in current court cases needing to testify should also wait to begin EMDR treatment.

Sessions vary in length from 50 to 90 minutes.


The first 2 to 4 sessions focus on assessment, establishing and resourcing-- usually 50 minutes each.


Initial sessions are followed with bi-lateral stimulation treatment sessions usually 75 to 90 minutes each.


In-between processing sessions, Julie uses debriefing and treatment observation sessions, usually 50 minutes each.

EMDR will be different than traditional talk therapy, as there is less back and forth talking and Julie will sometimes be reading from an evidenced-based protocol. Don’t let the simplicity of this procedure fool you; the research that has gone into this treatment is complex and based on a variety of therapeutic modalities. It is designed to be adhered to in a very specific way. Additionally, Julie is a long-term integrative psychodynamic therapist and fully able to help navigate any deeper issues that arise and need to be attended to through talk therapy processing.

But I have a talk therapist that I still want to work with! Can I get EMDR with Julie?


Despite Julie’s extensive training and experience as a comprehensively-trained generalist psychotherapist, Julie currently offers sliding scale EMDR treatment for persons working with their full time therapist. If you are a therapist looking for EMDR for your client,  please inquire for sliding scale rates. Please see current 50 minute rate here and don't hesitate to ask Julie about her sliding scale for short-term EMDR-only clients.


If you are a client, Julie is open to discussing a collaborative process and short-term reduced rate for people seeking treatment adjunctive to their ongoing talk therapy with their current therapist. If you’d like to stay with your current therapist, but you’ve reached an impasse on a specific issue, it can’t hurt to try EMDR.  Julie believes in the therapeutic relationship as primary to healing (this is also supported by research) and is opposed to a fragmented treatment approach. Under these circumstances, Julie requires that you stay with your current therapist and see her/him/them concurrently. This means you will be in two sessions of therapy per week. Your therapist will get a “consent to release information” and Julie will provide full consultation with your therapist. A small consultation fee may be applied depending on the complexity of your case.

Here's a look at a simple EMDR technique that is called The Butterfly Hug. It was developed to bring the immediate tool of bilateral stimulation to field settings in regions effected by war and other community crisis. It has now become a standard and uniquely effective tool in the EMDR clinician's toolbox: 

Here's notable Stanford neuroscientist, Andrew Huberman, discussing EMDR:

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