If you are interested in receiving EMDR Therapy in Winnipeg, you’ve come to the right place. I have been providing EMDR Therapy since 2015 and have since helped many clients achieve relief from symptoms associated with trauma and other issues that cause distress.
In addition to completing the required EMDR Basic Training, I have attended several advanced trainings and have received specialized instruction in the topics of complex trauma as well as early intervention soon after a traumatic experience. I am currently in the midst of working towards Certification status with EMDRIA, an optional, extra series of steps that require additional training and consultation to ensure exceptional standards. I also participate in ongoing EMDR-specific, professional peer consultation meetings.
So, what is EMDR Therapy?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is, in a nutshell, a type of therapy that helps the brain make sense of a memory in a new way. I often use a hypothetical example when explaining it to clients:
Suppose a person gets hit by a red car. They get quite injured and spend some time in the hospital, but ultimately their physical injuries heal and they get back to their lives. However, each time they see a red car after the accident, they become very anxious. They know red cars aren’t scary, but yet they are feeling very scared. Sometimes we can know something to be true, yet feel something completely different. EMDR Therapy helps the brain shift things so that the client can feel calm when they think about the traumatic memory of the red car incident, and also when they encounter red cars in their daily life.
So there it is. EMDR does not change the fact that an incident is distressing, but changes how a person feels about the memory.
What is an EMDR Therapy session like?
People often think of EMDR session as the back-and-forth eye movements or other bi-lateral stimulation that associated with this method. That is for sure a part of it! It might be surprising to know that this part is only one part (phase 4) of an 8-phase process. In other words, there is more to EMDR than just the stuff with the lightbar and/or tappers. The process of EMDR is definitely not a one-session deal but it is usually much quicker to resolve trauma-related distress than regular talk therapy.
You can read more about the phases here.
The first few phases are basically a conversation where you and I would discuss your experience, history, and ensure that you have adequate coping skills to deal with any uncomfortable feelings that might arise between sessions. Depending on your unique experience, we might spend more time in any one of these phases before moving to phase 4.
When we do get to phase 4, we use an LED lightbar and/or tappers to make the back-and-forth movements. If we use the lightbar, you would watch the lights go back-and-forth. The hand-held tappers vibrate in one hand and then the other. See pics at the bottom of this page 🙂
After phase 4, we do some more work with the memory to make sure that there is no more distress attached to it.
How Long Does EMDR Therapy Take?
Basically, we will know more information after the assessment process. The length of therapy is different for everyone. Factors that that affect this include the amount of time that has passed since the traumatic event, the nature of the issue at hand (i.e. developmental trauma versus single-incident trauma), and an individual’s coping strategies.
If we are working on a single incident trauma, an average ballpark number of sessions is usually anywhere from 5 to 20.
As mentioned above, depending on your unique experience, we might spend more time working on coping skills so we can be confident that you can use those strategies to feel calm outside of session if you experience distress.
Another factor that is important to know is that EMDR Therapy is based on the understanding that our brain connects our earlier experiences and context to our present difficulties. This is another way of saying that unless a traumatic experience is very recent (usually this means in the last 3 months), we will have to use EMDR to address earlier experiences that are connected to the trauma before we can work on the stuff that is more recent. For more information about this, check out EMDR Europe’s resource on the AIP perspective (scroll down to the section labeled “Pathology According to the AIP Model”).
What issues can EMDR Therapy help with?
EMDR Therapy is most well-known for its ability to help with symptoms of trauma and PTSD-related concerns. While this remains true, other issues can be addressed through EMDR Therapy as well, including phobias, anxiety, and complicated grief. For a more complete list, check out EMDRIA’s page here.
Feel free to CONTACT ME if you have any other questions.