New England Counseling and Consulting

Serving Teens and Adults in CT and MA

EMDR: A Transformative Approach

EMDR targets negative core beliefs that form during a traumatic event, and it helps you reprocess the unpleasant images, emotions, and sensations associated with the event.


Liz Clarkin, LICSW

6/12/20242 min read

What is EMDR?

EMDR, short for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is an incredibly effective therapeutic technique designed to help individuals process and recover from distressing or traumatic experiences. Think of it as a guiding hand that assists your brain in effectively navigating intense emotions and healing emotional wounds.

How does it work?

Imagine your mind as a vast library, with each book representing a different memory or emotion. Within this library, there may be certain books that hold painful or troubling experiences. EMDR steps in as a powerful tool to help you revisit these books, understand them better, and rewrite their impact on your life's story. It's like picking up a pen and editing a chapter that used to evoke negative feelings, transforming it into a chapter that empowers and strengthens you.

During an EMDR session, a skilled therapist will guide you through the process. You'll focus on a specific memory, feeling, or belief while engaging in bilateral stimulation, which can involve eye movements, sounds, or taps. This bilateral stimulation activates both hemispheres of the brain, allowing it to integrate the distressing information with healthier thoughts, emotions, and beliefs. The result? Healing and resolution.

Who can benefit from EMDR?

The beauty of EMDR is that it offers profound benefits to individuals dealing with a wide range of emotional struggles. Whether you're seeking to overcome past traumas, manage anxiety or phobias, improve self-esteem, or address overwhelming stress, EMDR can be a transformative tool on your journey towards emotional well-being and personal growth.

Let's dive into a brief example to illustrate the power of EMDR.

Meet Alex, a college student who experienced a distressing incident of public humiliation during a class presentation. This incident deeply impacted Alex, triggering intense shame, social anxiety, and a fear of public speaking. These emotional burdens began to affect academic performance and overall confidence.

In search of a solution, Alex decided to embark on an EMDR journey. Throughout therapy sessions, Alex focused on the memory of the embarrassing presentation while engaging in eye movements guided by the therapist. Over time, a noticeable shift occurred. The shame began to lose its grip, making way for feelings of self-assurance and resilience.

Thanks to EMDR, Alex experienced remarkable progress. The social anxiety and fear of public speaking gradually diminished, allowing Alex to actively participate in classroom discussions and confidently deliver presentations.

EMDR serves as a catalyst for mental and emotional healing, providing relief and renewed strength to individuals facing a wide range of emotional struggles. No matter what challenges you may be navigating, EMDR offers a powerful therapeutic approach worth exploring.

So, if you or someone you know is seeking to overcome their emotional barriers you should consider EMDR therapy. Remember, your path to emotional well-being is filled with hope and support!

man wearing knit cap on grey background
man wearing knit cap on grey background