Dr. Barbara Harris, MSW, RSW
EMDRIA Certified EMDR Therapist, and EMDR Consultant
Specialist in Trauma, Anxiety and Depression
EMDR Therapy Since 2000
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) involves the use of bi-lateral stimulation (using visual, tactile or auditory processes) and provides the opportunity to gain resolution at the physical, emotional and cognitive levels of awareness. This therapy can assist clients who are ‘stuck’ in traumatic symptoms, through the use of focusing on situations that trigger feelings, or sensations associated with prior traumatic experiences.
Named after the initial process developed by Francine Shapiro, which involves rapid eye movements, EMDR now involves bi-lateral stimulation through visual (light boards), auditory (alternating sounds in earphones) and tactile methods (alternating vibrations in hand held sensors).
EMDR therapy involves multiple phases which take place in sessions of 55 or 75 minutes. The therapist assists the client in determining a triggering event or situation to work on, and conducts a number of steps designed to process/release the thoughts, feelings, blocking beliefs, etc, which I like to refer to as traumatic residue, and, which affects their functioning in everyday life. Painful feelings and negative self perceptions associated with the event are targeted, and clients have an opportunity to resolve symptoms through release of the traumatic residue.
In phase 1, the clinician will take a full history of the client, identify the clients’ readiness for EMDR treatment, and work collaboratively with the client to develop a treatment plan.
In phase 2, the clinician will work with the client to develop a wellness plan and strategies for symptom management between sessions. The clinician will also provide psycho-education on PTSD, and other symptoms for which EMDR is successful.
In phase 3, the clinician will conduct EMDR treatments through collaboration with the client on the targets and events that still cause distress.
In phase 4, the clinician will assess the progress related to client’s treatment goals, and areas for further EMDR treatment.These remaining issues are then targeted in further sessions.
The number of sessions required varies with each individual, and with their treatment goals.
To get a better understanding of EMDR, please watch these videos with Francine Shapiro.
- I look forward to hearing from you.
- Dr Barbara Harris, PhD, MSW, RSW