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EMDR Therapy and EMDR Intensives

EMDR Therapy

EMDR (eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing) therapy combines intervals of focusing on a traumatic event, upsetting memory, or physical sensation that causes distress, while at the same time engaging in some form of bilateral stimulation, typically moving eyes back and forth. This pairing of recalling the past within the safety of a therapeutic relationship and a stimuli that grounds the client in the present has been found to be effective in significantly reducing, and even eliminating, distressing symptoms of a variety of problems.

Therapists use EMDR to treat a wide variety of problems. At Arbor Cove Therapy, LLC, EMDR is used to treat:

  • posttraumatic stress / PTSD

  • anxiety disorders, including separation anxiety, generalized anxiety, social anxiety, performance anxiety, and phobias

  • acute stress disorder

  • compassion fatigue / secondary trauma / vicarious trauma / burnout

  • sleep disturbances

  • complicated grief in the aftermath of death and other losses

  • traumatic losses, including preverbal losses like adoption-related loss of parents in infancy or early childhood 

Depending on the age and need of the client, EMDR may also be integrated with other therapies, including exposure and response prevention (ERP), play therapy, sandtray therapy, Theraplay, parts work (e.g. IFS), and expressive therapies.

Trauma is so profoundly disruptive that our very physiology and neurochemistry is dramatically and negatively impacted, even into adulthood.

The pairing of bilateral stimulation with manageable recall of traumatic or distressing material (reprocessing) has powerful benefits, but EMDR is actually comprised of eight phases, of which reprocessing is roughly in the middle. The early phases of treatment are focused on the therapist getting to know the client and their primary concerns and the therapist and client working together to identify and develop strengths and resources within the client that will enable them to navigate the reprocessing of trauma in ways that are manageable and also teach life-long regulation skills. When the client feels ready, treatment moves into the reprocessing phase, and before treatment ends, time is also spent reinforcing and strengthening the positive beliefs, feelings, and embodied states the client wants to carry into their future. Clients often report changes that are simultaneously subtle and profound. 

At Arbor Cove Therapy, LLC, we have two EMDR therapists: L. Kathryn (Katie) Smith, LCSW, and Suzanne Clark, LPC. Katie and Suzanne both use EMDR therapy as part of weekly or biweekly therapy with individual adult clients, sometimes integrated with expressive therapies. Katie also frequently uses EMDR integrated with play and attachment-based work with children, and in an intensives format with adolescents and adults, providing EMDR therapy in more concentrated sessions of half-day (3 hrs) or full-day (6 hrs) work. Intensives are available for clients who are in regular therapy with another therapist who is not trained in EMDR but would like to refer the client out just for EMDR as part of a larger treatment plan under their care. The best way to determine whether, and which form, of EMDR therapy, is best suited to your needs is to schedule a 20-minute consultation.

Visit the website for EMDRIA (the EMDR International Association) for more details on EMDR and free resources. The video below from EMDRIA will also provide more details on the benefits EMDR therapy offers:

Contact Arbor Cove Therapy, LLC, to discuss scheduling trauma-focused therapy services for yourself or your child or adolescent. We serve the needs of Roswell, Alpharetta, Marietta, Cumming, Johns Creek, Sandy Springs, Canton, Woodstock, and the surrounding North Metro Atlanta area for counseling / psychotherapy, psychological testing, and telehealth / telemental health services. Telehealth / telemental health services are available to legal residents of Georgia (Kathryn Smith, LCSW, RPT; Lee Anne Dickerson, PsyD; Susan P. Richardson, MS, LPC, NCC; Suzanne Clark, MS, LPC), Virginia (Dr. Lee Anne Dickerson), and Florida (Kathryn Smith, LCSW, RPT). ​

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