EMDR

Are you plagued by something that happened in the past?

EMDR offers effective, efficient relief from trauma.

Is this what it’s like to be you?

Your body has been on high alert for so long that you don’t even remember what it’s like to relax. Bone-tired from dealing with PTSD triggers that come out of the blue and throw you off, you’re frustrated when an otherwise fine day turns into an anxiety-fest. 

You don’t feel comfortable telling anyone, even those closest to you, about the trauma you experienced. You don’t want them to know how much of the time you are preoccupied reliving it and feeling anxious and on edge. But, you know they sense something is up.

Scared they won’t understand, you keep it to yourself, but that’s not working for you, either.  Something has to change.

EMDR can help when traditional talk therapy doesn’t fully meet your needs.

CBT is a powerful therapeutic tool that can be used to uncover and examine negative thoughts you have about yourself. It teaches you the tools and techniques to replace the negative thoughts with ones that are more useful. Ultimately, CBT allows you to have better command over your brain so you don’t just accept your thoughts and feelings as absolute truths. Our therapists have seen it make a significant difference in our clients’ ability to deal with anxiety and depression.

Traditional counseling, like CBT, has its limitations, though.

Woman who has experienced trauma and has PTSD symptoms looks sad. She gets help from EMDR therapy in Burke, VA with Nova Terra Therapy 22015

Of course, CBT is not always fully effective in helping certain people, especially when it comes to clients who have experienced trauma. Every once in a while, we work with a client using CBT and the client makes progress and begins to feel better. Then, over time, they revert back to thinking poorly about themselves. For example, they may say things like, “I’m not good enough. I’m broken. I always mess things up.” So, we once again work together to help them understand how these thoughts are not true and learn tools to replace them with healthy thoughts.
As therapists, we held onto hope that they are better days ahead for our clients who experienced hard times. Because we couldn’t shake the feeling that they deserve more healing than what CBT offers them. Why? Because we knew we hadn’t gotten to the core of what was causing them to think so poorly about themselves and experience such distress. They couldn’t just talk their hurt away, even though they were insightful and well-educated.

Sometimes, our clients can’t explain their hurt because the original trauma happened at an early age. Or, they were so traumatized that their response to fear has become normal for them. When we experience a traumatic event or series of events, our whole body reacts. And this flood of fear leaves an imprint that stays with us, lodged somewhere deep in our minds.

This is why our clients can make decent improvements with CBT, but not get the life-changing relief that we were holding out for.  It wasn’t a matter of the brain, it was a matter of the body.  This is where EMDR has something really special to offer for people who have experienced trauma.

Just like chocolate and peanut butter, EMDR Therapy and CBT are a great pair. 

It’s not that CBT is a bad or wrong approach. In fact, CBT and EMDR Therapy are a great pairing. As good as chocolate and peanut butter, which is saying a lot! EMDR can take over where CBT leaves off. It can build off of the tools you learned in talk therapy and CBT and enhance them.

We believe that using CBT and EMDR together offers you the best possible relief from the hurt you are experiencing. It will help you overcome PTSD and trauma symptoms, such as racing thoughts, sleeplessness, extreme vigilance, and anxiety.

What happens in EMDR therapy? 

If you call us looking for EMDR therapy, it’s important to know that your first few sessions won’t look any different from “regular” therapy. The reason?  Your counselor needs time to get to know you and your background. And, both you and your counselor need time to establish a relationship with each other. It’s important that before treatment begins, your counselor has earned your trust. You need to feel safe, comfortable and protected. We will respect your needs and do our very best to treat you with the utmost professional and compassionate care.
 

Once the direct EMDR therapy begins, your therapist will introduce you to the tools of EMDR. These tools can include a light bar that you follow with your eyes (don’t worry, you will get the hang of it), things called “tappers” that you can hold in your hands and that lightly vibrate, and an audio option with a headset. You’ll have a chance to try them out to figure out what you prefer. Then, your counselor will give you suggestions on what to use based on what they observe.

Using these types of tools can feel like a big departure if you have had a lot of experience with talk therapy. So, it’s normal to feel reluctant about giving up an opportunity to talk in favor of something new and maybe a little anxiety-producing. That’s why it’s wonderful that you don’t have to choose one over the other. Ultimately, you can do both in a way that will benefit you and help you heal faster.

Will I still be able to talk through issues with my counselor?  

Just because you are doing EMDR therapy, does not mean that you won’t ever have a chance to talk again with your counselor in a deep and meaningful way. You might do EMDR for a while, then once you find relief from trauma symptoms, you may return to doing traditional talk therapy. Or, if a situation comes up that you really want to talk about with your counselor, you can always have a talk session instead of doing EMDR. Your counselor will serve as your advisor, guide, and supporter but you are always in the driver’s seat of your own treatment.  Most importantly, trauma treatment and EMDR needs to work for you. 

We know EMDR works. 

Male soldier experiences PTSD flashbacks after trauma. He gets therapy with EMDR in Burke, VA at Nova Terra Therapy 22015

We don’t expect you to take our word for it. So, we have included a lot of the factual information below to help you decide if this is right for you. But, the bottom line is, EMDR is the treatment that we have found the most revolutionary, with CBT as a close runner up.

We strive to find ways to make therapy more effective and efficient for our clients. We don’t want anyone to be in pain a minute more than they have to. The point is to work smarter so you can finish therapy and move on with life. Good therapists will tell you that our job is to do ourselves out of a job. This means, we try to help you find healing so you no longer need our services.  EMDR is a great tool to accomplish this goal. It helps clients to get noticeable relief from PTSD symptoms in a relatively short time. No couch, no multiple sessions per week for years, and no tricks.

Want to give it a try? Book your first EMDR session today.

The Evidence: More Information About EMDR

 

EMDR, which is short for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is a relatively new form of therapy that is used for resolving traumatic memories and offering clients psychological relief. American psychologist, Francine Shapiro developed EMDR in the 1990s. EMDR uses eye movements along with stimulation to both sides of the body. This helps the client access memories that are associated with psychological distress. Then, it can help resolve the power of the memories of the trauma that cause negative emotions and physiological symptoms. Bilateral stimulation is typically accomplished by a light bar that clients track with their eyes, with “buzzers” that are held in the hands, or with the therapist guiding the client’s side-to-side eye movements. Also, a therapist and client talk throughout the process. This ensures that traumatic memories are getting accessed and resolved.

EMDR is revolutionary and successful

If EMDR sounds odd to you, that’s perfectly understandable! EMDR is a newcomer in the therapy world, unlike psychoanalysis, which is old, intensive, and time-consuming. In today’s world, there are very few people who could spend that kind of time and money on psychoanalysis. Even if it was the most effective form of therapy! Luckily, it’s not. New advances show the effectiveness of modern therapies that target the mind in deliberate ways, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, neurofeedback, and EMDR.

As therapists, we tend to favor evidence-based treatments that are supported by research. Repeated studies show that EMDR has the power to provide clients relief from traumatic thoughts and feelings of distress in a much shorter time than traditional psychotherapy.

EMDR has been so successful that it has been endorsed by:

In the short time since its creation twenty-five years ago, millions of clients have been treated successfully with EMDR. Many of whom are combat veterans or active service members.  But, many other issues are successfully treated with EMDR too, including abuse and neglect, fears and phobias, and sexual trauma.

 

EMDR FAQs

What would my first session look like with EMDR?

For most clients, the first few sessions would look very much like the first session in traditional counseling. You and your counselor need time to get acclimated. Also, this allows your counselor to find out more about your background, current state of mind, and what brings you to counseling. Beyond that first session, your counselor will determine the appropriate time to begin EMDR based treatment. Then, they will discuss this with you.

If you ever have any questions about the course of treatment, please ask your counselor. It is important that you feel informed throughout your counseling experience.

What equipment is used during EMDR?

This varies by therapist. Some EMDR practitioners use hand tappers like these from NeuroTek or light bars. Others use hand movements that clients follow with their eyes. These decisions are dictated by clinician preference, as well as what works best for you.

 

Where can I read more?

You can find out a lot more information about EMDR at the following sites:

Begin EMDR therapy in the Washington DC Area:

Content woman drinks coffee on her couch after finding relief from PTDS symptoms with EMDR therapy in Burke, VA at Nova Terra Therapy 22015

If you are ready to find lasting healing from the trauma you have experienced, our counselors can help. We want you to regain control of your life and your thoughts again.

To begin EMDR therapy in Burke, VA, please follow these three steps: 

  1. Contact our counseling clinic to set up a free 15-minute phone consultation to determine if EMDR is right for you,
  2. Meet with a trauma counselor who practices EMDR,
  3. Begin your healing journey and find peace in your life.

Other services offered by Nova Terra Therapy:

In addition to providing EMDR therapy, Our Burke, VA counseling clinic offers a variety of comprehensive mental health services to adults in the Washington DC area. Ultimately, we hope you will make time to care for you and your mental health in therapy. We specialize in providing individual therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, anxiety treatment, depression treatment, relationship counseling, counseling for women’s issues, trauma treatment and PTSD treatment. We offer online counseling to people living in the state of Virginia. Also, we encourage you to visit our blog for more mental health tips and information. Please contact our therapy office to learn more about the many ways we can support you or your loved one with counseling.

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