EMDR Therapy & Counselling in Vancouver
Interested in EMDR Therapy? You may have heard about it in the news when Prince Harry discussed the helpfulness of this approach and engaged in an EMDR session live on-camera (check it out: https://youtu.be/XCImFkFOlSQ). EMDR therapy processes experiences that were imprinted into unconscious body, emotional, and procedural memory – this is called “implicit memory” – as well as conscious, explicit memory.
EMDR therapy involves attending to the emotionally disturbing experience while orienting your attention to what is called “bi-lateral stimulation,” which is eye movements (or tapping, audio sounds, etc.) that stimulate both sides of your body to activate both hemispheres of your brain.
What this does is it helps to access the memories, create new connections between what happened in the past and what the current reality is, and what is more helpful to believe about yourself. Much of this work ultimately culminates in making a profound shift in the underlying beliefs about yourself that are continuing the patterns of your challenge. There are numerous steps and a host of other factors involved, but this is a brief description of it.
Alistair is a professional member of EMDR Canada, as well as an affiliate member of the EMDR International Association:
What is EMDR?
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and is a psychotherapy approach developed by Francine Shapiro, PhD in 1989. This powerful therapy helps to heal emotional and psychological issues, reduce symptoms of trauma, anxiety, depression and more. EMDR has been recognized as an evidence-based practice by the American Psychological Association (APA) and endorsed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). It can also be used to help individuals manage stress, improve interpersonal relationships and develop self-compassion.
The Eight Phases of EMDR Therapy
- History Taking: In this phase, the therapist and client establish a therapeutic relationship and discuss the current challenge. This includes gathering information to help determine if EMDR therapy is right for the individual.
- Preparation: Here, the therapist educates the client on the process of EMDR therapy and develops a treatment plan to ensure safety and comfort throughout the process.
- Assessment: Using various techniques, the therapist helps the client to identify which memories or experiences are causing current issues and challenges.
- Desensitization: In this phase, the therapist uses bi-lateral stimulation to help desensitize the client’s negative emotions associated with these experiences or memories.
- Installation: In this stage, the therapist helps the client to install positive and empowering beliefs about themselves and their experiences.
- Body Scan: Here, the therapist helps the client to identify any physical sensations associated with memories or experiences that may still be causing distress.
- Closure: This is used to ensure that the client is in a safe place both mentally and emotionally before ending the session.
- Re-evaluation: This final phase of EMDR therapy involves assessing the progress made after each session, discussing goals for future sessions, and how to help support integration of the therapeutic work into everyday life.
How does EMDR work?
The goal of EMDR therapy is to process the memories and experiences that are causing distress. To do this, the therapist uses bi-lateral stimulation such as eye movements or tapping on both sides of the body while the client focuses on an image, feeling or memory associated with a traumatic event. This helps to break through any blocks in the brain’s natural healing process and allows the client to move forward. It can also help to create new connections between past events and current experiences, allowing the individual to make sense of their trauma in a more positive way. Through this process, individuals often find relief from symptoms such as anxiety, depression, anger and other negative emotions that may have been caused by unresolved trauma.
Does EMDR actually work?
Yes, EMDR has been shown to be an effective treatment for many conditions. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends it as a first-line treatment for trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Furthermore, numerous studies have found that EMDR can reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. In addition, EMDR has been found to be a fast-acting therapy that can provide rapid relief from symptoms without the need for medication.
Ultimately, EMDR is a powerful and effective therapy which can provide lasting relief from trauma, anxiety, depression and many other mental health issues.
Who can benefit from EMDR?
EMDR can be beneficial for anyone struggling with unresolved trauma, anxiety, depression or other mental health issues. It is also helpful for those looking to improve interpersonal relationships or develop self-compassion. EMDR has been used successfully in both individual and group settings, making it an ideal therapy for many different types of individuals.
Our Certified EMDR therapists in Vancouver can help
If you live in or around Vancouver and you’re looking for EMDR therapy, Wellspring Counselling can help. Our team of certified EMDR therapists is here to provide compassionate, understanding support and a safe space to explore issues affecting your mental health. We understand that everyone’s experience with trauma or stress is unique, so we tailor our approach to meet your individual needs.