EMDR Therapy Seattle
Anchor Light Therapy Collective specializes in EMDR therapy for anxiety, trauma, fears/phobias, and depression. Michelle Mooney, our EMDR Therapist, is experienced with using EMDR to successfully treat a variety of issues. Sessions are offered in-person at our private office in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood. Get started today by scheduling your initial consultation.
What is EMDR therapy and how does it work?
EMDR stands for “Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing” and is an approach to treating trauma and its symptoms that utilizes phasing. Through the 8 phases your therapist will help reconnect you to the images, self-thoughts, emotions, and body sensations associated with the trauma. The phases establish a safe and measured environment conducive to the difficulty of dealing with trauma. Our minds have the power to overcome, EMDR helps the brain know it’s safe while doing so.
What does EMDR help with?
EMDR helps treat conditions caused by trauma. This could be nightmares, PTSD, difficult personal interactions, difficulty in relationships, fears/phobias, and depression.
How do I prepare for EMDR?
- Use your support system. Knowing who you can reach out to when you need to talk is key.
- Engage in some kind of stress reducing body movement each day. Our bodies store our trauma physically as well as emotionally. Try to stretch, walk, hike or do yoga each day.
- Try to get into the habit of taking ten minutes each day to practice breathing exercises or meditation. We will teach you more of these skills in session, but to get ready, there are many videos and podcasts that can help guide you in this relaxing process.
- Try to start a gratitude journal. It is easy to keep track of our negative thoughts, but this process allows you to highlight what went well today. Record anything from a comforting hug from a friend to ordering pizza for dinner.
How long does EMDR take to work?
Why there is not a one size fits all timeline, progress in EMDR can be seen in as few as 4 sessions. Typically most people see a reduction in most of their symptoms in about 15 sessions. The severity and frequency of your traumatic events will dictate how many sessions that best fit your needs.
Can EMDR make you worse?
The reality is that EMDR can be a difficult process as you will be guided by your therapist in discussing painful memories. However, safeguards are also built into the EMDR process to ensure that the process does not become overwhelming and the patient can stop the process at any time. Your therapist will teach you multiple relaxation and visualization techniques you can assess any time during reprocessing. These techniques can also be used outside of session if you are feeling distressed.
When should you not use EMDR?
EMDR therapy will not be able to fully reduce the symptoms arising from physiologically based disorders, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. However, since trauma can inflame these disorders. People with such disorders can be treated successfully with EMDR therapy for distress related to traumatic events.
How does EMDR help with trauma, fear, depression, and relationships?
EMDR can help resolve any past distressing event. Anything from a public speaking phobia, bad breakup, grief to job stress. EMDR helps with a wide-spectrum of issues. Feelings of depression, fear, and anxiety can actually be rooted in trauma or past adverse life events, so healing the trauma will help reduce these feelings as well.
Does EMDR help ADD/ADHD?
EMDR therapy can assist individuals with misdiagnosed ADD/ADHD by directly addressing causal factors, and processing the memories of trauma and adversity that are at the core of the ADD/ADHD-like symptoms In the case of organically based ADD/ADHD therapy can be used in conjunction with A.D.H.D. treatments to address contributing psychological factors that exacerbate present symptoms.
The Effects Of EMDR Therapy
Through the EMDR journey, those responses to reminders, akatriggers, can become neutralized. This means you will always have your past, but when the uncomfortable reminders come up, they no longer have a strong mental or physical effect. Internal and mental responses will be softer and more manageable.
The Theory Behind How EMDR Helps With Trauma
Traumatic/distressing memories are considered impaired encoding in our brain’s neural networks. Because traumatic memories are not integrated (stored) with positive experiences, they cannot be coded in our brains in an adaptive, helpful way. These memories/experiences get “stuck” leaving us to carry these memories with us until – both emotionally and physically we find a safe and adaptive way to store these with a trauma-informed therapist.
With bilateral stimulation, information processing is now enhanced. The bi-laterals help us draw attention to new stimuli in a safe space while processing these memories. This allows the brain to determine there is no present threat when reminded of the trauma, and therefore “re-codes” the memory as less emotionally and physically distressing.
What If I Don’t Want To Remember My Traumatic Memories?
When painful memories are avoided, they keep their disturbing power. However, a flashback or nightmare can feel as upsetting and overwhelming as the original experience, yet not be helpful. In therapy, and with EMDR, you can face the memory in a safe setting, so that you do not feel overwhelmed. Then you can get through it and move on. The mind cannot heal from that which it does not ideal.
8 Phases of EMDR
- History Taking – The client and therapist build rapport and trust. The therapist and client review past events, current concerns, and future needs, and identify target events for processing.
- Preparation – To prepare for coping with any distress that may arise during the desensitization phase, the person in therapy selects a safe-place image that can provide stabilization and self-control as needed.
- Assessment – With the distressing event in mind, the client’s negative beliefs about himself or herself are recorded, evaluated, and measured. In contrast, a desirable positive belief is selected, and this belief is measured to determine how true it feels to the client. Physical symptoms are recorded as well.
- Desensitization – Bilateral stimulation, in the form of eye movements, tones, or taps are used to reprocess the distressing event. The therapist will break periodically to check in on the client’s level of disturbance.
- Installation – The selected positive cognition is the target of the bilateral stimulation in this phase. The therapist will check in periodically to see how true the desired belief feels to the client.
- Body Scan – Any residual physical tension or distress indicates that the event is not fully processed, and the bilateral stimulation continues, if necessary.
- Closure – This phase will occur at the end of a session, regardless of whether or not the memory is fully processed. A complete sequence of EMDR therapy can take several sessions, and it is important to reach stabilization before the session ends. Closure can include guided imagery or discussion of the session.
- Reevaluation – The next session begins here, to evaluate and measure the level of disturbance and the accuracy of the targeted positive belief. If the target remains unresolved, the session will resume with desensitization, phase 4.
Reaching Therapeutic Goals
The best practice for EMDR is to meet with your EMDR therapist for weekly sessions. While it is healing, trauma work can be difficult. We want to make sure you are as supported as possible. Meeting weekly also means we can move through the work faster and meet your therapeutic goals in a smaller time frame.
EMDR Therapy Pricing
Therapy creates a space for you to experience healing and progress in a way that can change your life. But of course, it’s also an investment of both time and finances. When you’re ready to commit to healing and transformation, here is what you can expect.
Standard individual session
(55 minutes) $175
We do not participate with any insurance panels. Anchor Light Therapy Collective is considered an out-of-network provider.
As a courtesy to any individual clients who wish to utilize their insurance benefits, We are happy to verify your out-of-network plan benefits to tell you what portion, if any, may be covered by your health insurance provider.