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EMDR Therapy in Scottsdale, AZ

Finding Resolution for Trauma with EMDR Therapy

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy technique primarily used to treat individuals with PTSD and Trauma.

EMDR can also be an effective treatment for other issues:

* Anxiety & Panic attacks – severe anxiety and panic attacks can be treated using EMDR.

* Depression – sometimes depressions is masked with past traumatic or distressing events. EMDR can be used by your therapist as part of the process.

* Phobias – Specific fears, like fear of flying or heights can be addressed with EMDR

* Past Trauma – It’s used to treat the long-term effects of trauma. It could be what was experienced during childhood, like neglect or abuse or it might be something that happened that had an impact (like PTSD, a serious accident or illness).

The goal of EMDR is to help clients reprocess and distance themselves from past or current traumas, issues, or adverse events that continue to weigh on their daily lives.

By activating brain regions that handle stress and trauma, EMDR helps clients address the negative aspects and problems they want to overcome. This process removes mental barriers, allowing for emotional healing and improvement

EMDR is an Effective Therapy for Children and Teens

EMDR is used successfully for treating children and teens who are experiencing various issues. They include:

* Traumatic Events – If a child or teen has experienced something very scary or traumatic, EMDR can help process the events..

* Anxiety or Fears – EMDR can be used for dealing with lots of worries or fears, even if they are not related to one big event.

* Loss & Grief – For a young person dealing with the loss of a family member or friend, EMDR can help them cope with their feelings of sadness and loss.

* Behavioral Problems – Sometimes, when kids act out or have trouble controlling their behavior, it’s because of an underlying stress or trauma. EMDR can help understand and manage the feelings.

* Bullying & Self-Esteem Issues – if your child or teen has been bullied, they may benefit from EMDR to deal with the feelings of fear or anger. It can also help with the negative beliefs about themselves and who they are.

It’s important to remember each child or teen is unique, and EMDR is tailored to meet their specific needs and experiences. The goal is to help them feel better and more in control of their emotions and reactions.

How Does EMDR Treatment Work?

As the name suggests, EMDR is a highly unique therapy method that uses eye movement to administer treatment.

EMDR therapy takes place in a safe and comfortable office environment. Licensed EMDR therapists use various techniques to help clients stay focused as they process traumatic and negative thoughts and feelings internally. These techniques may include back-and-forth hand motions, moving lights, sounds, or rhythmic cues. All of these techniques provide bi-lateral stimulation of the brain.

What is Bi-Lateral Stimulation?

Bilateral stimulation is a therapeutic technique that involves rhythmic back-and-forth movements or sensations on both sides of the body. It’s effective in healing trauma because this back-and-forth stimulation helps the brain process traumatic memories. This bilateral approach aids in desensitizing traumatic memories, making them less distressing and assisting in the healing process.

EMDR research indicates that concentrating on the therapist’s hands and a specific traumatic event helps a client’s brain to form new adaptive connections. These connections aid in unblocking the ability to process and move beyond the trauma.

It’s crucial to understand that revisiting trauma can be highly emotional and painful. EMDR therapists are cautious and won’t push clients too hard. They regularly check in to assess any distress or discomfort during each session.

As therapy continues, we evaluate and adapt the approach to provide the best and safest experience for the client.

Why Clients Choose EMDR Therapy

Many therapies exist for mental well-being, and EMDR is one of them. So, why would someone choose EMDR? In order to answer this question, let’s review what it is and how it benefits the client.

Understanding EMDR

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It sounds fancy, however, its purpose is simple: help people heal.

EMDR is an integrative psychotherapy approach, extensively researched and proven effective for treating trauma.

Many different life events can be traumatic. These can include divorce, illness, accidents, and losing someone near to you. Additionally, there are more extreme experiences such as war, torture, and PTSD.

It’s thought that EMDR helps access and process traumatic memories, leading to resolution both emotionally and cognitively.

There is more to EMDR as you will see listed below.

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Reasons Clients Select EMDR for Therapy:

Dealing with Trauma

  • Some memories hurt
  • Trauma can trap memories in the mind
  • These memories replay and cause pain
  • EMDR helps untangle and soften these memories

Research Supports EMDR’s Effectiveness

Beyond Talking with a Mind-Body Connection

  • Talking helps, but it’s not always enough
  • EMDR offers a different approach
  • It works with physical sensations tied to memories
  • This holistic approach can lead to deeper healing
  • EMDR is action-based and experiential
  • It activates the brain’s healing capacity to metabolize and integrate traumatic memories that have become “stuck”

Pathways Counseling has been great! Stephanie and the EMDR therapy have helped me tremendously!

* Mike (client)


Addresses Root Causes with Privacy and Minimal Disclosure

  • Symptoms have underlying causes
  • Full disclosure isn’t always needed
  • Clients can process trauma without detailing it out loud
  • It respects privacy while still fostering healing
  • Instead of just managing symptoms, EMDR targets the root cause
  • Sometimes clients hit emotional roadblocks
  • EMDR can help navigate around or through them
  • It’s about long term solutions, not just quick fixes

Filling the Gaps

  • Sometimes talk therapy hits a wall
  • EMDR can be a bridge
  • Originally used for PTSD, the reach of EMDR has grown.
  • It can also address anxiety, depression, OCD and phobias
  • It can access places words can’t reach
  • It can bridge and create a positive impact on other parts of a person’s life and triggers

Past, Present, Future

  • EMDR looks back, but also looks ahead
  • Clients explore past traumas, current disruptions and future challenges
  • It’s about healing history to move forward
  • It’s also about building resilience for ongoing challenges in life

Safety & Control While Reducing Intensity

  • The counselor guides, however the client has control
  • Client can stop any time
  • It ensures a safe place for healing
  • Memories can be like videos in the client’s mind
  • EMDR can help to reduce the volume of the memories in the mind

Not Only Eye Movements

  • Eyes are involved, however, it’s not the only sense involved
  • EMDR utilizes tapping and audio also
  • It involves stimulating both sides of the brain

Customized Approach and Treatment Time

  • Traditional therapy can be lengthy
  • There is no “one size fits all” with EMDR
  • EMDR is tailored to individual needs
  • EMDR often shows quicker results
  • Each client’s journey is unique
  • Finding and dealing with the core issue
  • For some, it can mean fewer treatments

Building Coping Skills & Self-Awareness Boost

  • EMDR isn’t just reactive
  • It’s also reflective
  • Clients often gain deeper insights about themselves
  • Apart from processing memories, skills are imparted
  • Clients learn to self-soothe and manage stress

Personal Empowerment & Lifelong Tools

  • Post-EMDR, clients feel empowered
  • Clients reclaim control from distressing memories
  • Skills learned through EMDR last
  • Clients can use them throughout life
  • It can boost the benefits from other therapeutic methods

EMDR Therapy in Scottsdale At Pathways

Pathways Counseling Services, a Scottsdale counseling practice works with clients to make it a journey from pain to empowerment. For many, it’s the key to unlocking deep, lasting healing.

Choosing therapy is personal. It’s about finding out what resonates with you as a client. If you are one of those haunted by unsettling memories, or feeling stuck, this can be a therapy for you.

If you’re looking for a holistic option, EMDR can be a valuable selection. EMDR incorporates bilateral stimulation, guided techniques, and delves into the mind-body connection.

With this approach, clients can find relief, clarity and a renewed sense of self.

Additional EMDR resources:

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Our EMDR Counselors