What is EMDR therapy?

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences.  Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal.  EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma.  When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound.  If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain.  Once the block is removed, healing resumes.  EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes.  The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health.  If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering.  Once the block is removed, healing resumes.  Using the detailed protocols and procedures learned in EMDR therapy training sessions, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes.

Does it actually work?

More than 30 positive controlled outcome studies have been done on EMDR therapy.  Some of the studies show that 84%-90% of single-trauma victims no longer have post-traumatic stress disorder after only three 90-minute sessions.  Another study, funded by the HMO Kaiser Permanente, found that 100% of the single-trauma victims and 77% of multiple trauma victims no longer were diagnosed with PTSD after only six 50-minute sessions. In another study, 77% of combat veterans were free of PTSD in 12 sessions. There has been so much research on EMDR therapy that it is now recognized as an effective form of treatment for trauma and other disturbing experiences by organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association, the World Health Organization and the Department of Defense. Given the worldwide recognition as an effective treatment of trauma, you can easily see how EMDR therapy would be effective in treating the “everyday” memories that are the reason people have low self-esteem, feelings of powerlessness, and all the myriad problems that bring them in for therapy. Over 100,000 clinicians throughout the world use the therapy.  Millions of people have been treated successfully over the past 33 years.

What can I address with EMDR?

I guess, as I relationship therapist and sexologist, I am biased to interpersonal types of issues. EMDR works. It’s ideal to address the following:

  • Sexual trauma
  • Affairs and/or other betrayals
  • Interpersonal difficulties
  • Childhood trauma
  • Self worth/Self esteem stemming from early schemas
  • Eating disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Substance issues
  • Sex addictions
  • Personality disorder
  • Grief (complex grief)
  • Phobias
  • Most mental health issues

How does it work?

In very short, in the first session or two, it is about discussing your memories until we have a good handle on what messages they brought into your life. Then it’s about targeting the memories we want to treat (address/reprogram).

A series of 8 stages make up the completed EMDR therapy process.

By the nature of what EMDR targets, that therapy is intense and emotional but not for the sake of it. It is designed to do it with the purpose of moving traumatic memories through the brain until the no longer cause pain and disturbances.

What are the costs?

I do not charge differently based on what therapy I offer or how many people attend (and that is to ensure costs are kept as low as I can)

Fees are $170 per hour (though sessions are cheaper when purchased in bulk), payable on the day. I do accept MHCP (that is when Medicare offers you a rebate of $78) (and it all adds up!)

Am I a good candidate?

Most people are however it is important to discuss your case with your therapist to make sure we both agree on this. If you think EMDR might be for you, why don’t you contact me so we can chat about it?


For a good overview of EMDR, check out this link

Couple counselling, couples therapy, sexology

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