What is EMDR Therapy and How Does it Work?

At Brittani Persha Counseling, we have several therapists who provide Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a structured therapy approach designed to help individuals process distressing memories and resolve associated negative emotions, beliefs, and sensations by utilizing bilateral brain stimulation. It is known for its success in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), although its applications extend to a wide range of conditions, such as anxiety, depression, phobias, and more! Many of our expert therapists at Brittani Persha Counseling are trained in using EMDR with childrenteens, and adults.

A therapist doing bilateral stimulation with a client. Many of our expert therapists at Brittani Persha Counseling are trained in using EMDR with children, teens, and adults.

As mentioned above, the unique aspect of EMDR therapy lies in its integration of bilateral stimulation (activating both sides of the brain), which can include side-to-side eye movements, taps, or sounds. These bilateral stimulations are believed to activate the brain’s information processing mechanisms, enabling the mind to reprocess disturbing memories in a more adaptive way. This reprocessing allows the individual to integrate the traumatic memory within their broader life experiences, reducing its emotional impact and helping to alleviate associated symptoms.

Throughout the course of treatment, the therapist assists the client in managing any distress that may arise during the sessions, ensuring a safe and supportive environment for the healing process to take place. As sessions progress, the individual often experiences a reduction in the intensity of their symptoms and a noticeable improvement in their overall well-being.

What makes EMDR therapy stand out is its holistic approach towards treating a variety of presenting problems. It recognizes that traumatic experiences not only affect the mind but also impact the body and emotions. By addressing these various facets, EMDR aims to create a comprehensive and lasting healing process.

Stages of eMDR Therapy

1. History Taking and Treatment Planning:

The initial stage of EMDR therapy involves a thorough exploration of the client’s history, including their trauma, current challenges, and strengths. Brittani Persha Counseling’s compassionate EMDR therapists collaborate with clients to create a tailored treatment plan. This collaborative process ensures that the therapy aligns with the client’s unique needs and goals, laying the foundation for a safe and supportive therapeutic relationship.

2. Preparation:

Preparation is a crucial phase that focuses on establishing trust, providing education about EMDR, and teaching clients effective coping mechanisms. At Brittani Persha Counseling, our EMDR therapists guide clients in developing a toolbox of self-soothing techniques to manage potential emotional distress that may arise during EMDR sessions. This stage ensures that clients feel empowered and equipped to navigate through their healing journey!

3. Assessment:

During the assessment phase, specific target memories are identified for processing. These memories, often at the root of the client’s distress, are chosen collaboratively between the therapist and the client. Brittani Persha Counseling’s EMDR therapists skillfully guide individuals through a comprehensive assessment, ensuring that the selected memories align with the treatment goals and are processed effectively.

4. Desensitization:

The heart of EMDR therapy lies in the desensitization phase, where clients engage in bilateral stimulation, through guided eye movements, headphones, or tappers. Brittani Persha Counseling utilizes this therapeutic technique to help clients process distressing memories, reducing their emotional reactions to these memories. As the client’s brain processes these memories, they often experience a profound shift, transforming the way these memories are stored and felt.

5. Installation:

Following desensitization, the installation phase focuses on enhancing positive beliefs and emotions associated with the targeted memories. Therapists at Brittani Persha Counseling work collaboratively with clients to identify and reinforce adaptive beliefs, fostering a sense of empowerment and resilience. This stage solidifies the positive changes initiated during desensitization, promoting lasting healing.

6. Body Scan and Closure:

In the body scan phase, clients are guided to notice and address any physical tension or discomfort associated with the targeted memories. This promotes a holistic integration of the therapeutic process, acknowledging the mind-body connection. The session concludes with closure, ensuring that clients leave with a sense of stability and containment.

7. Reevaluation:

The final stage involves a reassessment of the client’s progress, ensuring that the positive effects of EMDR therapy are present. EMDR therapists at Brittani Persha Counseling work closely with clients to identify any remaining distress and address it collaboratively. This stage solidifies the transformative impact of EMDR, empowering clients to move forward with newfound resilience and a sense of self-efficacy.

EMDR Therapy at BPC

At BPC, we are committed to supporting you and your family in the best way that works for you! If you believe that EMDR therapy may be beneficial for you or your child, we would love to help. We have five therapists in our office currently that are trained in providing EMDR therapy to children, adolescents, and adults! Don’t let the weight of your trauma and anxiety keep you from living the life you deserve.

If you are interested in beginning EMDR Therapy at Brittani Persha Counseling, please give us a call at 713-364-8645 or schedule a FREE phone consultation using the link below. We look forward to hearing from you!

Featured EMDR Therapist

A therapist sitting in a chair speaking with a client and smiling.

Avery Benedict, LPC, is an EMDR therapist located within Brittani Persha Counseling in Houston, TX. Avery specializes in working with children (8+), teens, and adults. She has experience working in residential and partial hospitalization treatment settings for patients of all ages who have severe OCDanxiety disorders, and eating disorders. In addition, she has provided direct counseling services to a wide array of ages to those who have experienced extensive trauma within a domestic violence and sexual assault agency. 

If you’re interested in scheduling an appointment with Avery Benedict, please use the link below or give us a call at 713-364-8645.


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