Areas of practice:
- Anxiety, Stress & Perfectionism
- Depression & Low Mood
- EMDR Therapy
- Personal Growth & Self Development
- Relationship Challenges
- Couples Therapy
- Self-Esteem, Confidence & Self-Compassion
- ICBC Counselling
I draw from a variety of therapy styles including:
- Adlerian Therapy
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
- EMDR Therapy
- Mindfulness Approaches
- Gottman Method
- Nonviolent Communication
EMDR Therapy is a specially trained technique to help the brain metabolize/digest emotionally charged memories to a healthy state. Emotionally distressing parts of memories are processed so that mental balance of the memory is achieved. EMDR therapy helps to process impactful events and negative beliefs. This can help accelerate change and improve mood and quality of life.
Because EMDR targets distressing memories and negative beliefs, EMDR therapy can be used to treat:
- Recent and past traumas
- Anxiety & panic
- Low self-esteem
- Stress management
- Distressing life events
- Substance & alcohol misuse
- Complicated grief
- Body dysmorphic disorder, and more
How does EMDR Therapy work?
EMDR techniques help the client process experiences by jump-starting the client's self-healing process in the brain. This healing occurs spontaneously within and between sessions. This process naturally happens in the brain for most memories, and traumatic memories often need assistance.
EMDR is one of only two therapies designated by the World Health Organization and American Psychological Association for the treatment of past traumas/PTSD.
EMDR therapy is less disturbing to clients than exposure-based therapies like CBT. In EMDR Therapy, there is no vivid recalling of traumatic memories, yet processing happens rapidly.
EMDR therapy can:
- Shift disturbing memories to factual memories
- Result in strong emotions and emotion processing between sessions
- Reduce the clarity of an emotional memory
- Process negative thoughts (e.g., "I am worthless," "I am unlovable," "I am powerless," "I am in danger," etc.)
EMDR therapy can not:
- Create unrealistic positive thoughts or self-assessments
- Create untrue, unrealistic or situationally inappropriate thoughts or responses
- Eliminate healthy responses (such as a reason for present fear)
- Change accurate descriptions of events (such as having a sad experience) - negative thoughts are targeted instead
- Recover “repressed memories” and initiate a PTSD response or post-traumatic symptoms
How often should I do EMDR therapy?
The general recommendation is at least once per week and a marathon session may be arranged in advance. Time between sessions can also help to identify new targets for EMDR reprocessing.
The standard EMDR Therapy session length is 90 minutes, however 60 minute sessions are common. Keep in mind that shorter sessions (e.g., 60 minutes) might increase the amount of sessions needed to complete reprocessing.
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, do not hesitate to call 911. Crisis line and mental health resources are located on this page.
In EMDR Therapy, you will be coached on strategies to manage mood and change your emotional state. This will help you safely process experiences and any reactions that might arise.
EMDR Therapy will initiate your brain's self-healing process with guided eye movements (EM) & bilateral stimulation (BLS). Experiences targeted in EMDR Therapy are like information files stored in the brain with the original perceptions, feelings, and sensations intact.
The stimulation of targeted experiences can allow related emotions and sensations to arise. You might feel experiences from earlier events with the same intensity you felt during the original event. Because processing happens at an accelerated pace (4-5x faster than hypnosis) you will be able to resolve the trauma comparatively quickly.
The re-experiencing of images, sensations, thoughts, and emotions is not expected with every set of EMs, but it can occur from time to time. This is not experienced like a PTSD flashback. It is more like moving from one moment to the next.
After an EMDR session, it is helpful to have time set aside for any immediate emotional processing that might occur. Having a special object like a notebook or a comforting ritual can help bring a greater sense of calm and present safety both during and after EMDR Therapy sessions.
Note: I am currently completing Basic Training in EMDR Therapy. EMDR Therapy will be available to all new and existing clients when training is completed.
There is much more to EMDR than what is described on this page. You are encouraged to learn more on the EMDRIA website (emdria.org).