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Traumatic experiences, both recent and remote, can leave you emotionally wounded and paralyzed. Flashbacks of past events, nightmares, ongoing anxiety, and powerful unconscious fears can keep you stuck in the same patterns and can prevent you from achieving your dreams. It is often difficult to resolve traumatic events so that they no longer have any power over you in the present.

EMDR is a highly effective, scientifically proven technique that is specifically designed to rapidly resolve deep seated traumatic issues. Rather than just simply focusing on changing your thoughts, it addresses the root cause of traumatic psychological injuries, often bringing a sense of empowerment and peace in a relatively short period of time. The traumatic event becomes a memory that no longer has any power over your life. Often, an understanding of how the traumatic events fit in with the larger picture of your life will become clear and a new way of seeing the world will emerge.

Brief description of EMDR

After an initial evaluation and discussion of treatment options, you will be prepared for an EMDR session by developing and strengthening your inner safety and emotional resilience. EMDR is not hypnosis: during an EMDR session you are fully conscious and may stop at any time.
When you are fully prepared for EMDR (including a complete psychosocial history) we will "set up" a session in which you target a disturbing situation. You will identify and explore feelings, thoughts, body signs, intensity level, and any visual aspects of the experience. Then we will use one of several options of your choice for moving your attention gently back and forth (for example, listening to simple sounds in headphones that alternate right and left, watching a light that goes back and forth, etc.).

This experience of attending to stressful memories while simultaneously moving your attention from one side to the other assists you in "processing" traumatic memories. The experience is different for each individual and it can be very mild, or very intense. In a completed EMDR experience (which will likely take multiple sessions) disturbing feelings and thoughts about a traumatic event decrease in intensity and are often completely eliminated, while a new, spontaneous, positive belief about yourself is strengthened.

When you have completed the EMDR process, your body will not be reactive when you think of the originally disturbing situation or how it has impacted the present, and you will be able to visualize future actions that will support this new positive shift.

I have been using EMDR in my practice for over 20 years and have found it to be a powerful and effective tool for healing many different types of trauma including childhood abuse, rape, sudden loss of a loved one, emotional abuse, major auto accidents, war trauma, and many other kinds of trauma.

For more information about EMDR or to schedule an appointment call Dr. Brian Winkler at (650) 306-8188 or send an email by clicking here.

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