We come to know the depths of our emotions, yet we are not controlled by them.
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, hundreds of research studies have studied EMDR for a wide range of issues from anxiety to tinnitus. It’s especially well studied in the treatment of distressing memories and trauma. EMDR is known for its rapid treatment effects. 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.
There is limited understanding as to why EMDR works, and almost no understanding as to why it sometimes works so quickly and miraculously. According to researcher Francine Shapiro, current dominant theory maintains that eye movements used in therapy stimulate the same biological connections and beneficial processes created in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. Learning takes place as thoughts and information are consolidated and integrated with more adaptive memory. That’s why you can go to bed worried about something and commonly wake up feeling better. Some research also supports theory that the brain’s amygdala (our flight or fight center) is deactivated.
During EMDR therapy, memories, issues and emotional content are not asked to be discussed in lengthy detail. 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 EMDR processing, internal connections can be made rapidly during a session as indicated by positive changes in emotions, insights, new memories, 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:
Clients must first quality for EMDR treatment
(some neurological disorders, such as epilepsy, or dissociative disorders are contraindicated for EMDR)
Sessions vary in length from 50 to 90 minutes
2 to 4 assessment, establishing and resourcing sessions, usually 50 minutes each.
6 to 12 bi-lateral stimulation treatment sessions, usually 75 to 90 minutes each.
2 to 3 in-between debriefing and treatment observation sessions, usually 50 minutes each.
A full course of EMDR for a longstanding issue commonly takes four months of weekly appointments to achieve reprocessing, but sometimes it can be accomplished in as little as four sessions. Initial sessions include verbal talk therapy discussion, understanding personal background and case formulation for the goals of treatment. EMDR with Julie includes bilateral stimulation using the Neurotek light bar, tactile pulsers or audio scan depending on personal needs. At times Julie will simply use her hand with a visual wand.
EMDR will be different than traditional talk therapy, as there is less back and forth talking and Julie will commonly be reading from an evidenced-based script. 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.
What will it cost:
Despite Julie’s extensive training and experience as an integrative psychotherapist, Julie is currently offering lower cost EMDR treatment while she is going through the full certification process in 2019. Please see current 50 minute rate here and don't hesitate to ask Julie about her sliding scale for EMDR-only clients.
Additionally, Julie is open to discussing a 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 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.