Areas of practice:
- Anxiety, Stress & Perfectionism
- Depression & Low Mood
- EMDR Therapy
- Lifespan Integration
- Personal Growth & Self Development
- Relationship Challenges
- Couples Therapy
- Self-Esteem, Confidence & Self-Compassion
I draw from a variety of therapy styles including:
- Adlerian Therapy
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
- EMDR Therapy
- Lifespan Integration
- Mindfulness Approaches
- Gottman Method
- Nonviolent Communication
If you have ever said "I know it, I just don't feel it," EMDR can help with that.
EMDR is a specially trained technique to help the brain process emotional memories to a healthy state. EMDR therapy helps to process painful events and transform negative beliefs. Processing painful events and creating positive beliefs can help boost the change process, improve your mood and increase your quality of life.
In my practice, I use EMDR to treat:
- Negative beliefs
- Low self-esteem
- Distressing life events
- Body image
How does EMDR Therapy work?
EMDR uses the same process your brain automatically uses when you sleep. In REM sleep, your brain digests events and turns them into factual memories. In EMDR, eye movements help to jump-starting the self-healing process in your brain. This process naturally happens in the brain for most memories, but traumatic and emotional memories often can need assistance. When your working memory is occupied with the EMDR process, this turns off the laser grid and allows your memory to become factual.
EMDR is endorsed by the World Health Organization and American Psychological Association.
EMDR therapy is not like exposure therapy. You don't talk about all the details you can remember and feel all the feelings. In EMDR therapy, there is no vivid storytelling, yet processing happens, and rapidly.
EMDR therapy can:
- Make disturbing memories become factual memories
- Result in strong emotions and emotion processing between sessions
- Reduce the clarity of an emotional memory (like any regular memory!)
- Process negative thoughts (for example, "I am worthless," "I am unlovable," "I am powerless," "I am in danger," etc.)
EMDR therapy can not:
- Create unrealistic positive thoughts
- Create untrue, unrealistic or inappropriate thoughts or responses
- Eliminate healthy responses (like your survival instinct)
- Change accurate descriptions of events
- Recover “repressed memories” or initiate a PTSD response or post-traumatic symptoms
In EMDR therapy, you'll be coached on strategies to manage your mood. This will help you safely process experiences and any reactions that might arise.
We'll target key experiences, which you can think of as accessing information files stored in your brain. Before EMDR, these memories still have your original thoughts, feelings and sensations connected, and they feel active. After EMDR therapy, it will feel like any other memory you can recall. One client said, "it just feels like it was an event that happened."
During EMDR therapy, you might also remember other memories that are related. Maybe you felt the same emotion or had similar thoughts in both memories. This is how our brain stores memories naturally. In EMDR, your brain scans this information at a fast pace (4-5x faster than hypnosis), so you are able to resolve the trauma quickly.
The re-experiencing of images, sensations, thoughts, and emotions as you remember them is not expected with every set of eye movements, but it can occur. This is not like a PTSD flashback. It feels more like your brain moving from one moment to the next.
After an EMDR session, it's helpful to have time set aside before your next activity. Emotional processing might continue after we're done, and you can feel tired, or even energized! I've heard all of these from clients. Having a special object like a therapy notebook or a comforting ritual can help you feel calm and present during and after EMDR therapy sessions.
There is much more to EMDR than what is described on this page. You can learn more (and find scientific information) on the EMDRIA website at EMDRIA.org.
EMDR Frequently Asked Questions
EMDR Handout for Clients
Explanation of EMDR