Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Our group provides Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) psychotherapy in both our Edwardsville and Maryville offices.  EMDR is a form of psychotherapy that enables clients to heal from emotional distress that is a result of disturbing life experiences. EMDR therapy focuses on traumatic memories, and is intended to change the way that the memory is stored in the brain, in an attempt to reduce and eliminate the problematic symptoms.

EMDR therapy is an eight-phase treatment.  Eye movements are used during part of the session in which the clinician asks the client to hold different details of the traumatic event in mind while tracking the therapist’s hand with his/her eyes. As the client tracks the therapist’s hand internal associations arise and the client begins to process the memory and associated feelings. The insights clients gain in EMDR arise from the client’s own intellectual and emotional processes vs traditional therapy that relies on clinical interpretation. A full description of EMDR, including a treatment outline, can be found in F. Shapiro (2001) Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing:  Basic principles, protocols and procedures (2nd edition) New York: Guilford Press.

EMDR is recognized as an effective form of treatment for PTSD by The American Psychiatric Association, The World Health Organization, and The Department of Defense. A 2014 meta analysis of randomized controlled trials confirmed that EMDR therapy significantly reduces the symptoms of PTSD, depression, anxiety, and subjective distress in PTSD patients. Additionally, a systematic review of the literature concluded that EMDR therapy could be a useful psychotherapy to treat trauma-associated symptoms in patients with comorbid psychiatric disorders.

Click for information about scheduling an appointment. For any other inquiries, contact the practice.

Our counselors are located in Edwardsville and Maryville and provide therapy to the surrounding areas including O'Fallon, Shiloh, and Fairview Heights, IL.  

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