Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) to Help with Trauma


Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

Our brains are hardwired with a mechanism – an information processing system – for healing. This information processing system is designed to move any sort of emotional turmoil to a level of mental health – or adaptive resolution.

After a disturbing experience, you think about it, talk about it, feel about it and mull it over, trying to make sense of what happened. This is the brain’s information processing system taking a disturbing experience and allowing learning to take place. Much of it goes on during REM sleep.

Sadly, disturbing experiences, whether major traumas or other kinds of upsetting events, can overwhelm the system. When that happens, the intense emotional and physical disturbance caused by the situation prevents the information processing system from making the internal connections needed to take it to a resolution. Instead, the memory of the experience becomes stored in the brain as you experienced it. What you saw and felt, the image, the emotions, the physical sensations and the thoughts become encoded in memory in their original, unprocessed form. So, there can be a lack of resolution.

That’s why time doesn’t heal all wounds, and you may still feel anger, resentment, pain, sorrow, or a number of other emotions about events that took place years ago. They are frozen in time, and the unprocessed memories can become the foundation for emotional, and sometimes physical, problems. EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from anxiety, depression and/or the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences.

EMDR provides a way to forge adaptive associations between the networks of stored information in the brain and allows new connections to be made, resulting in peace and well being.


Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR): This therapy is based on the idea that negative thoughts, feelings and behaviors are the result of unprocessed memories. The treatment involves standardized procedures that include focusing simultaneously on (a) spontaneous associations of traumatic images, thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations and (b) bilateral stimulation that is most commonly in the form of repeated eye movements.

Like many forms of talk therapy with a trauma focus, EMDR aims to reduce subjective distress and strengthen adaptive beliefs related to the traumatic event. Unlike many forms of talk therapy with a trauma focus, EMDR does not involve (a) detailed descriptions of the event, (b) direct challenging of beliefs, (c) extended exposure, or (d) homework.


EMDR is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. Repeated studies show that by using EMDR people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal.

EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma. When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound. If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain. Once the block is removed, healing resumes.

EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes. The brain's information processing system naturally moves toward mental health. If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. Using the detailed protocols and procedures learned in EMDR training sessions, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes.


• Abuse - Physical / Sexual

• Addictions Combined with PTSD

• Anger Dyscontrol

• Anxiety Disorders

• Attachment Disorder

• Body Dysmorphic Disorder

• Body Image Disturbance

• Depression

• Dissociative Disorders

• Distress Related to Infertility

• Eating Disorders

• Existential Angst

• Generalized Anxiety Disorder

• Insomnia

• Marital Discord

• Pain Disorder

• Panic Disorders

• Performance Anxiety

• Personality Disorders

• Phobias

• Pornography


• Social Phobia

• Trauma – Neglect / Violence


Everyday Process Counseling Center offers EMDR therapy treatments to residents in and around Troy, MI. If you need to overcome and addiction, trauma, or phobia we can help you. Our offices are conveniently located just off of i75 at the big beaver exit.

Reach out to us today to schedule an appointment for your first session.

EMDR Content on this page provided by accesscm.org and by emdr-utah.com