EMDR Therapy

“Trauma is hell on earth.
Trauma resolved is a gift from the gods.”
-Peter A. Levine

What Is EMDR Therapy?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a research-based therapy method used to help you to process and heal traumatic life experiences and memories.

Since its development in the late 80s by Francine Shapiro, EMDR has gained recognition as an effective treatment for PTSD and anxiety. Esteemed organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association, endorse its efficacy. 

Benefits of EMDR Therapy

EMDR therapy helps with a wide variety of emotional and psychological problems, which include trauma/PTSD, anxiety, depression, attachment disorders, and negative self-beliefs that contribute to low self-esteem. This practice is especially beneficial for processing intense traumatic life events, such as:


  • Childhood physical abuse and/or neglect
  • Sexual assault, abuse or rape
  • Death of a loved one or a pet
  • Military combat experience
  • Serious health issues or near-death experiences
  • Vehicle accidents
  • Witnessing or experiencing domestic abuse
  • Experiencing an unexpected incident where there was harm/fear of harm to self or loved one

EMDR can also be used to improve emotional resources and build greater confidence and self-esteem.

Preparing for a future event? EMDR is effective, helping you experience a positive result and “live into” the sense of success.

EMDR, Trauma & The Brain

Many emotional challenges and disturbing experiences result from unprocessed trauma memories that are stored in the brain. EMDR therapy helps your brain to access and reprocess these traumatic memories, which sets in motion your natural healing processes.

Experiencing trauma prompts your brain to protect you by storing information and sending warning signals when reminders of the event arise. These signals aim to prevent re-experiencing the disturbing event, creating a defense mechanism for future encounters with related stimuli.

This can get exhausting!

You may find you are always feeling tense or on edge, feeling unsafe in apparently safe situations. You may find yourself feeling irritable or forgetful.  Or you may be reliving painful memories through nightmares and/or flashbacks.

Over time, these symptoms appear as “normal” to the brain, which sets these responses as a pattern in your mind-body system.

EMDR therapy helps your brain to reconnect with the original event in order to better understand, process, and repair the original trauma.

Once you properly process the memories, your brain can then turn off the danger signals and move forward from being stuck in the past.

Liberated from the brain’s danger alarm, you find relief, no longer haunted by the past, paving the way for self-determined living.

What to Expect from EMDR Therapy

After confirming EMDR’s suitability, we delve into its eight phases, collaboratively addressing the specific issue you aim to work on effectively.

Before beginning, we will ensure that you have access to positive, affirming resources and prepare you for the session ahead of time so that you feel resourced and ready. 

We will then dedicate a full session or multiple EMDR sessions to address the memory or issue that we identified as the focus. A session typically lasts between 50-90 minutes.  I will guide you along the way as we navigate the memory, utilizing “bilateral stimulation” in the form of either eye movements, sounds, or taps.

I will also guide you to notice what comes up as you experience the memory, images, feelings, or beliefs regarding the event. The sets of eye movements, sounds, or taps are repeated until the event becomes less disturbing.

You always have a voice in the process and can stop at any point if you feel the need. Prior to ending session, we will do a body scan or other self check-in to ensure you feel centered and ready to step into the world.

You can also check out the resources below to learn more about EMDR. 

To learn more about EMDR, you can read my blog on EMDR vs Brainspotting and/or book a free consult now. You can also check out the resources below. 

“Luna is one of those people who brings with her a sense of calm, understanding, confidence, and professionalism that is rare to see all in one person. It takes only moments to recognize these qualities and appreciate how that translates to her care for all aspects of the work that she does.”

– CL, Oakland, California