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EMDR Therapy

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy is a powerful tool that supports your brain and body to move through places of stuckness back into the flow and rhythm of Life.


Traditional psychotherapy is a potent tool for change, healing, and growth.  The power of putting our experience into words, feeling deeply held within the therapeutic relationship, exploring emotions and body sensations, and finding new ways of navigating the inner world cannot be overstated.


What about the times that talk therapy hits a wall or feels like it’s looping? 

What about those vague fears that are always lurking but are hard to put into words? 

What about the trauma or shame that feels too scary to even talk about?  


Disturbing or traumatic experiences sometimes get stored in our brains and bodies in ways that keep us from moving forward; instead, we find ourselves returning again and again to the same kinds of patterns or inner experiences.  You might say these experiences or patterns get “stuck”.  

This is where EMDR comes in.

In EMDR, we go together into those stuck places and, slowly and gently, support your brain and body to take in new information and possibilities in situations that previously seemed helpless, bleak, or unworkable.  It is an evidence-based way of working that provides structure to what can otherwise be a very overwhelming experience of working with trauma.  Through the use of bilateral stimulation (eye movement, bilateral audio, or tapping), EMDR can provide the support you need to go to places inside that otherwise would feel unsafe to visit, and to shift what needs to be shifted.  


Initially developed by Francine Shapiro in 1987 to support the healing of PTSD in the veteran population, EMDR now has research support for working through a variety of issues, including: 

  • Trauma

  • Depression

  • Disordered Eating

  • Shame & Self-Worth

  • Intrusive Thoughts

  • Relationship Challenges

  • Substance Use

  • Grief

  • Anxiety

  • Intense Emotions

EMDR therapy can open doorways to more creative and adaptive ways of being. Many folks experience fresh and alive insights and ideas, and find that EMDR helps them embody more of their values and what they want to stand for in their lives.  

The Process of EMDR


EMDR has eight phases that are carefully to designed to slowly call up the undigested trauma hanging out in your brain and body, then metabolize those experiences so that they move out and through you.  If you’re curious to know where we’re going, below is an overview of the process.  There is a lot of structure here, and there is also a lot of autonomy and choice that I bring to my approach so that we make sure it really works for how your brain and body are specifically designed.

Phase 1: Intake

  • Building trust between therapist and client

  • Identifying broad areas or issues in your life to bring to EMDR

Phase 2: Preparation

  • Assessing your readiness for EMDR

  • Establishing resources and skills to self-soothe

  • Building your capacity to be aware of your body and emotions 

Phase 3: Opening a Reprocessing Session (Assessment)

  • Exploring specific memories, experiences, or events to process

  • Connecting to where those experiences are stored in your brain & body

Phase 4: Desensitization and Reprocessing

  • Adding bilateral stimulation (tapping, eye movement, or audio) to reprocess stuck experiences

  • Checking in periodically with how your brain and body are doing

Phase 5: Installation

  • Developing worthiness-based narratives about yourself, others, and Life

  • Supporting your body to deeply take in those new stories through bilateral stimulation

Phase 6: Body Scan

  • Checking what distress or stuckness is still present in your brain & body

  • Continuing to strengthen new narratives through bilateral stimulation

Phase 7: Closing a Reprocessing Session

  • Supporting your brain/body to end session in a state of relative okayness

  • Calling in your resources and regulation skills as needed

Phase 8: Re-Evaluation

  • Checking in at the beginning of next session to see what shifts you have been noticing

  • Completing any unfinished processing from previous session

  • Identifying new memories for reprocessing

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The Importance of the Therapeutic Relationship

Throughout the process, you will have your therapist there to hold you, support you, track how you’re doing, and to help you move toward okayness or grounding if your experience gets too intense.  Even with a modality as structured as EMDR, the biggest key to healing is your relationship of trust with your therapist.  This trust is the most important factor in being able to access the deepest layers of healing available to you, and it is precisely what enables EMDR to be such a powerful modality.

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