EMDR for Anxiety, Panic and Trauma

If you suffer from panic attacks, trauma or severe anxiety, EMDR may be for you. What is it? It’s all in the eye movements.

EMDR incorporates elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy with bilateral eye movements or other forms of rhythmic, left- right stimulation. One of the key elements of EMDR is “dual stimulation.” During treatment, you are asked to think or talk about memories, triggers, and painful emotions while simultaneously focusing on your therapist’s moving finger or another form of bilateral stimuli. EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. EMDR involves recalling a stressful past event and “reprogramming” the memory in the light of a positive, self-chosen belief, while using rapid eye movements to facilitate the process. In a typical EMDR therapy session, you focus on traumatic memories and associated negative emotions and beliefs while tracking your therapist’s moving finger with your eyes as it moves back and forth across your field of vision. 

This enables you to access positive ways of reframing the original trauma (reprocessing) and to release the body’s stored negative emotional charges around it. (desensitization)

The memory is still there, but it is less upsetting. Experts are still unsure how it works, but anecdotally, the reports are very favorable.

EMDR therapy appears to directly affect the brain, “unfreezing” the traumatic memories, allowing you to resolve them. Over time the disturbing memory and associated beliefs, feelings, sensations become “digested” or worked through until you are able to think about the event without reliving it. The process is somewhat similar to Rapid Eye Movements (REM) activity by reactivating the brain via cognitive reorganizing allowing the painful, negative emotions to give way to more resolve, empowering feelings.

Recent Blogs

Dr. Mike Klaybor

Dr. Mike Klaybor

Dr. Mike Klaybor brings thirty years of experience in practicing counseling psychology with individuals and couples. His approach is cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT. Specific specialties include; anxiety and stress management, chronic pain & chronic illness management, depression, substance abuse evaluations, employee assistance and executive coaching for workplace performance and leadership.