EMDR Treatment: How It Works

EMDR Therapy

EMDR Treatment (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences.

EMDR shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma. Once the psychological block is removed, healing resumes.

EMDR uses directional eye movements to assist patients in processing distressing memories and ideas. The therapy has the patient recall distressing images and memories while receiving one of several types of sensory inputs like eye movement direction and hand taps.

EMDR Treatment Activates Natural Healing Processes

EMDR works based on the theory that 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, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes.

EMDR is a highly regulated therapy and, therefore, should only be practised by trained and certified practitioners. To qualify for EMDR training, clinicians must hold a Masters-level (or higher) education in a counselling field. They must also be a member in a professional association with a Code of Ethics with the ability to sanction.

Aurora Recovery Centre’s EMDR Testimonials

“EMDR Treatment really helped me to deal with something very traumatic that happened in my life. I felt so peaceful, calm and relaxed when EMDR was completed. Before, I had such stress and felt emotionally overwhelmed with the traumatic situation that took place where I lived. My home seemed to have a cloud over it. After EMDR Treatment, that grief and sorrow and overwhelming feelings lifted, like the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders. Now I envision and remember only the good moments in my home, the laughter, the warmth, my garden, happy times. I am no longer engulfed with sad and negative thoughts over the situation. I would highly recommend EMDR to anyone who has experienced a traumatic event in their lives.”

– Anonymous

“Before I did EMDR, I was in a very dark place. I was contemplating whether life was worth living or not due to the guilt, shame and images I saw and felt every time I closed my eyes from past trauma. But after the quick and simple process, it had disassociated all the negative emotions and feelings I had about my trauma that had consumed my life. I came out of the session unable to control my smiling and felt a feeling of freedom I hadn’t felt in years. Simply put, it was life-changing.”

– Evan M.

“I was diagnosed with complex PTSD a few years back. I relived my trauma daily and used alcohol to suppress my memories and coped with my physical symptoms of anxiety and depression. The thoughts were so severe and intrusive that I was unable to live my life freely until I was referred to EMDR by my counsellor. I went to the first session with an open mind. When the eye movement was conducted I let my intrusive thoughts and memories loose.”

– Robert G.

“Well (EMDR) is worth the cost of treatment in itself. My experiences from EMDR are amazing. I used to have terrible thoughts and guilt over my brother’s accident and anger toward his friends that talked negatively about him. When he started doing the movements with his hand for each emotion, it melted away my negative thoughts. I got a feeling in my arms and legs like they were in a sauna, then tingling sensations and my smile broke through. I felt like the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders. After I would try and think back to the accident but my brain was like, ‘hell no you don’t,’ and would switch back to positive thoughts about growing up with my brother. It even did the same with my dad. It’s incredible, to say the least. I recommend it to anyone and everyone. I have to say I owe my life to Mike and EMDR.”

– Aaron Kinley

“Before EMDR, I was angry, volatile and quick with verbal and physical outbursts. After Michael worked with me, my anxiety level decreased to almost nil. The angry outbursts were almost dropped to none, which I am so thankful for. With continued therapy and my new positive outlook, my future is wide open.”

– Rob M.