Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy in Ambler, PA
After traumatic experiences, the mind actually has a wound that needs to be healed. This wound isn’t visible from the outside, but inside, you may be experiencing issues like cyclic thinking (having the same thoughts over and over), changes in mood or behavior, difficulty interacting with specific people, and other emotional, mental, and physical effects. When you visit us for EMDR therapy in our Ambler, PA practice, you can start healing the wounds left by trauma, so you can feel like yourself again. Our therapists provide this leading-edge service in our office for residents of Montgomery County, but if you live further out and still want to receive therapy using this advanced technique, we can provide EMDR counseling for all of Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Colorado, using our online telehealth platform. Learn more about EMDR therapy on this page, or you can contact us anytime to schedule a consultation.
What is EMDR Therapy?
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. That’s a lot of words! Basically, EMDR helps your brain get unstuck from spinning on the trauma memories. When we are threatened, the part of the brain that manages logical thought and memories, the hippocampus, goes offline. The brain’s alarm bell, the amygdala, goes into survival mode, sending us into the response pattern that is often called fight, flight or freeze.
With the logical part of the brain taking a backseat to the alarm bell, memories cannot be processed effectively. This is why trauma survivors often have intrusive flashbacks that come back over and over. The brain is trying to process the memories, but those memories are stuck in the alert part of the brain. These memories are overwhelming, frightening, and painful, so people try to manage them on their own possibly using drugs, alcohol, sex, panic attacks, nightmares, or isolation to cope.
What Does EMDR Do?
In short, EMDR creates safety for your brain to process memories. The traumatic memories are frozen in the alarm part of your brain, and you need to feel a sense of safety in order to allow the amygdala to relax enough to give the logical, processing area of your brain freedom to do its thing. EMDR therapy starts with a few sessions of your therapist getting to know you and your specific story, making sure EMDR is a good fit for you. Your therapist will help you learn skills to handle stress that comes along with PTSD counseling, as well as work to make sure you feel safe and comfortable in the therapy office.
After you and your therapist agree EMDR is appropriate for you, processing can begin. Those processing sessions involve stimulating both sides of your brain. This can be your therapist asking you to follow her fingers with your eyes, using “pulsers” small paddle like things you hold in your hand that vibrate slightly, or sometimes a light bar where you follow a light with your eyes. Whichever method is used, you are activating both sides of your brain while you keep the image of the trauma memories in your mind. It’s as if you are on a train watching the scenery go by – you’re not directly participating, more watching from a distance. The safety with your therapist and the emotional distance from the memories allows your brain to work through past events in a new way, bringing new perspectives.
In our office Katie Baily, LPC is trained and experienced in providing EMDR, and she uses EMDR, because it is a well-researched, effective treatment for PTSD. When you participate in EMDR, you may begin notice some relief of your PTSD symptoms in only a couple of weeks! EMDR involves less talking, and often, works more quickly than traditional talk therapy.
How Does EMDR Work?
In this video, Katies helps explain how EMDR works. Katie is trained in EMDR, and she uses it regularly with her trauma clients.
Further Reading on EMDR & Trauma
Read more about EMDR therapy and trauma in our blog posts:
Most often when people think of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, they think of public shootings, hurricanes, war veterans and rape victims. Absolutely, anyone who has experienced any of these situations could struggle with PTSD. However, more common events like...
We all know how hard life is sometimes. No one escapes struggles and heartaches. Sometimes those experiences are big “T” traumas, like sexual assaults, plane crashes, or public shootings. More often, people have to deal with little “t” traumas, such as divorce,...
Often people who’ve experienced sexual abuse as a child often believe the abuse was there own fault. This self-blaming inevitably creates a sense of shame and so survivors of childhood sexual abuse see themselves as broken, worthless. When we live life thinking we...
Additional Counseling Services at
Lime Tree Counseling
In addition to EMDR therapy for survivors of abuse and trauma, we also provide a range of therapy solutions, including:
Many people fight anxiety everyday. Often this looks like constant worry, regular physical tension, rapid heartbeat, and even panic attacks. We offer anxiety counseling to help you learn new skills to lower your stress and enjoy life more…Learn more
Relationships evolve as life changes. Sometimes partners need help learning new skills to help them communicate better and strengthen their connection. We help couples improve their marriages through couples therapy…Learn more
Life gets busy, and maybe coming into the office is not doable. Or perhaps you live in a remote area, and don’t have access to quality mental health care. We offer online counseling services to those residing in Pennsylvania…Learn more
Get Started With Therapy Today!
Please contact Lime Tree Counseling to schedule an appointment or a free consultation. We will get back to you as soon as possible and get you scheduled. In our Ambler, PA office, we serve all of Montgomery County, and our therapists are happy to offer online counseling sessions for residents of Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Colorado.