- Ray St-Amour
MARAY COUNSELLING IS NOW ACCEPTING CLIENTS FOR EMDR: how EMDR can help you process trauma
I am happy to announce that I have now completed my EMDR training and that I am now accepting clients who want to experience EMDR to process their trauma. I had always been interested in EMDR as a therapist working with many clients who have experienced trauma.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) has been around since 1987 when it was discovered by Francine Shapiro. Many people have heard the acronym but are unsure of what it is. Technically it is a bilateral movement going back and forth from the right to the left of the brain that helps people reprocess traumatic events while thinking of those said events. What is bilateral movements you may ask. It is done either by following a prompt with your eyes, looking right and left, by having headphones that have a humming sound going from one ear to the other back and forth or by holding sensors that vibrate from one hand to the other back and forth. Clients can use one or two of those modalities at the same time to help them with the reprocessing of their traumatic memory. There are strict protocols that are used during the EMDR session that the trained clinician uses to help the client process the traumatic memories.
I explain it this way; imagine that your brain has a large room full of filling cabinets. One of those has your trauma memories. When you experience a trauma, you open the trauma drawer and all the traumas tumble out as all traumas are together, linked by the big T of trauma. When you experience EMDR, we are reprocessing the traumas from that trauma drawer and moving it very neatly in one of the other memory drawers. No longer will it jump out at you at importune times after being triggered. It will simply be a memory.
I call it “magic”. I am humbled every time I help a client reprocess a trauma. During my 7 day training I got a chance to be a client with one of my colleagues. Ten years ago our house burned down. That trauma was an 8/10 level of distress for me, remembering walking into our charred home the next day, smelling that awful burnt smell, seeing my daughter’s pajamas that were drying on the banister still there. Thanks to the EMDR protocols my colleague walked me through it and I am happy to report that my level of distress is now 0/10. I still have some mild sadness about it but no longer have the distress. The memory has gone from the trauma drawer where it was thrown in haphazardly at the time to the regular memory drawer.
EMDR can also be used to work through mental health issues such as anxiety. But that will be for another blog to come. If you are interested in knowing more or booking an appt, please connect with me. And be kind to yourself during this holiday season.