EMDR Therapy Seattle

EMDR - Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a trauma resolution technique developed by Francine Shapiro, PhD. She published her first study on using EMDR to treat trauma in 1989. Since then, multiple studies have been published finding EMDR effective in the treatment of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). It is recommended by the American Psychiatric Association and the Veteran's Affairs Department as an effective treatment for PTSD.

EMDR uses a combination of brief visualizations of traumatic memories by the client while using sets of bilateral stimulation to rapidly resolve trauma. Bilateral stimulation involves triggering back and forth activity in each side of the brain. This can happen by having the therapist ask the client to follow his or her fingers as they are moved back and forth from one side to the other. It can also happen by having the client listen to tones on earphones that go back and forth from one ear to the other. Having a client tap shoulders or knees one after another is also a method of triggering bilateral stimulation.

After each of these brief sets of visualization combined with bilateral stimulation, the client is asked to just notice what comes up, whether it be thoughts, images, feelings or body sensations. The therapist will then help choose which of these things to have the client focus on next, and the visualization and bilateral stimulation is started again. Eventually, the client will get to a place where thinking of the target memory no longer causes distress. After this, the client typically has resolution to the trauma that was targeted in the session. This can lead to resolution of PTSD symptoms and changes in behavior patterns that were related to the unresolved trauma.

Please contact me at 206-228-6829 or Sara@SaraHiatt.com with any questions or to schedule an appointment. I look forward to hearing from you. My therapy office is in North Seattle, conveniently located near I-5.

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