Bridges Family Counseling, Inc
2715 K St, Suite 200
Sacramento, CA 95816
Jason Briggs LMFT, MA, BSW, MHRS
Couple and Family Therapist, Lic. #104750
Supporting Individuals, Couples, Families, Groups
The Art and Science of EMDR Therapy: An Integrated Effective and Efficient Therapy Approach
Therapy has so many different models of therapy to support ourselves with and therapy is both an art and a science. Using EMDR Therapy, one may be asked to focus on the sensations and feelings held in the body, exploring related core beliefs, tied to unresloved issues, memories, experiences, that have been "frozen" or " stuck" within the psyche. When we find the underlying core beliefs, related to these sensations and feelings, we explore experiences in your past when you felt this way. Next we identify core negative beliefs attached to your experiences and preferred beliefs you may have buried. Before you reprocess the negative associated negative feelings and sensations, attached to your unprocessed memories, I will make sure you have the coping skills and inner resources needed, to confront these past memories, experiences or traumas. This is the art of therapy and this approach uses the dual awareness of focusing on the beliefs we hold about ourselves, while reprocessing our experiences with bilateral eye movements or other forms of bilateral stimulation (such as alternatively tapping the tops of your knees, etc.). The science shows, just like in REM sleep while dreaming, our eyes are zipping back and forth (bi-lateral stimulation) and this "lights up" both sides of our mid-brain to help us reprocess our daily or past life experiences and the associated thoughts, feelings and sensations connected to our memories of those past internalized perceptions. This process helps us to integrate healthy, present focused beliefs and brings their energy into awareness and more into our day to day lives. Included in the art of therapy is our shared process, which includes learning about you, in the here and now, in your roles and responsibilities, sharing ideas for support and doing the inner work necessary to activate that support. We will include exploring choices for healing you may want to use before, during and/or after addressing your treatments goals using EMDR Therapy. In life, we naturally think about what we want to do in the future and what we prefer to believe about ourselves, while seeking mastery in carrying forth our vision and this is in part what we activate with EMDR Therapy! We activate the dual awareness of remembering our wounds, while uncovering our strengths beyond our fears, that awakens us to wholeness.
EMDR Therapy is an integration of many other therapy models, which can be used in conjunction with talk therapy to create the emotional safety and support that allows you to feel understood and take the time you need to explore your conflicts or trauma(s). Issues, problems and conflicts must be actively worked through, otherwise they remain blocks to healing and growth. Some who use substances to feel better, may use EMDR Therapy to manage urges and other addiction related urges or compulsions. Coping skills and emotional connection to your present day triggers are usually signaled in your body, so EMDR Therapy builds on this fact, using it to help soothe and regulate, rather than cover over intense feelings and sensations. Some clients take more time in therapy than others, whether using EMDR Therapy or not, but all healing and growth takes a period of commitment, constancy of efforts and patience. Many reputable and rigorous clinical studies of EMDR show excellent effectiveness outcomes with persons living with complex trauma. Many show clients report feeling better using EMDR in as little as one to three sessions (very efficient), with PTSD symptoms being reduced significantly from a range of 75% to 100%, in 8-12 sessions!
EMDR Therapy is an ideal and integrative therapy for some and is highly effective for many who choose it and it also provides a depth of support for persons with performance, anxiety, depression, ADHD, stress, OCD and other sports and role enactment issues. Using EMDR Therapy in my therapy practice, means garnering many inner resources for emotional regulation. For children, youth and teens, it means integrating play (adults too if you prefer) in your sessions, depending on what works best for you. Whatever form of support you prefer, I will focus on balancing encouragement with a creative tension, with which to address your goals for therapy. We can always experience meaning from our life experiences, so memories of our life experiences can be healed, which means we don't try to change what happened to us, only our perception is expanded to included the resources we couldn't see in our past. In short, we no longer react to our past but instead we learn to respond to our present and our ideals, values and dreams. As we reprocess memories and the negative feelings begin to subside, we begin spontaneously accessing joyful feelings. Using EMDR Therapy, I will help you cultivate dual vision, both of the barriers you experience and the emergent strengths you have been temporarily unable to access, due to unprocessed internalized past perceptions, frozen inside sensations, feelings, thoughts and the underlying beliefs.
For those perennial learners, click here to read a excellent NY Times article and Q and A of Francine Shapiro. As the EMDR Therapy founder, Dr. Shapiro offers unbiased and reputable research that evaluates the effectiveness of EMDR Therapy.