Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is the most effective and rapid method for healing PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) as shown by extensive scientific research studies.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) was discovered in 1987 by Dr. Francine Shapiro. EMDR is a remarkable treatment method used to process and resolve traumatic events and other unresolved issues. EMDR uses bilateral Stimulation either left/right eye movement, sound or tactile stimulation, which repeatedly activates the opposite sides of the brain. This helps the Neuro-Physiological System, the basis of the mind body connection to free itself of blockages. EMDR was given the highest level of recommendation in the treatment of trauma by the American Psychiatric Association (2004). The current treatment guidelines of the American Psychiatric Association and the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies designate EMDR as an effective treatment for post traumatic stress.

EMDR can be used to treat:

  • Sexual, Physical and Emotional abuse
  • Medical Trauma
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Performance Enhancement (Test Taking, Public Speaking, Sports)
  • Grief
  • Childhood Trauma

Research has also shown that EMDR can be an efficient and rapid treatment. For further references, a bibliography of research may be found through EMDR International Association’s website: www.emdria.org.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma.

Relief of PTSD symptoms is achieved through the processing of these disturbing events, as well as the emotions, body sensations, images, and negative beliefs associated with them. The technique involves a combination of free association and some form of bilateral stimulation, which may unlock the mind’s own capacity to heal.

With over 17 years of EMDR experience the majority of Dr. Vera’s clients are referred to her for this treatment. EMDR can quickly and effectively assist with PTSD, Accidents, Abuse, Anxiety, Panic, Phobia, Relationships, Grief, spiritual crisis, and many other conditions. Many of her referrals are EMDR therapist wanting to experience and understand EMDR Therapy as clients. Dr. Vera also consults with therapists to become EMDR certified therapists and consultants.

What is EMDR?

Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing, or EMDR is a psychotherapy approach that demonstrates we can heal efficiently from emotional wounds, blocks, and limitations.

EMDR research has shown hundreds of therapists across the USA have used EMDR with successful results in patients with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, panic attacks and other conditions.

EMDR has been approved as an effective treatment for PTSD by the respected American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, The Department of Defense, and the Veteran’s Administration.

How does EMDR work?

No one knows how any form of psychotherapy works neurobiologically or in the brain. However, we do know that when a person is emotionally and cognitively overwhelmed, their brain cannot process information as it does ordinarily. One moment becomes “frozen in time,” and remembering a trauma may feel as bad as going through it the first time because the images, sounds, smells and feelings have not changed.

Such feelings have a negative effect that interferes with the way a person sees the World and the way they relate to other people. EMDR seems to have a direct effect on the way the brain process information. Normal information processing is resumed so following a successful EMDR session, a person no longer relives the images, sounds and feelings when the memory is recalled. You still remember what happened, but it is less upsetting and triggering.

What is the actual EMDR session like?

During EMDR I collaborate with the client to identify a specific problem as the focus of the treatment session. The client calls to mind the disturbing issue or event, what was the worst part of the issue or event, emotions that are arising and felt body sense, etc., and what thoughts and beliefs are currently held about that event.

I facilitate the directional movement of the eyes or other dual attention stimulation of the brain, while the client just notices whatever comes to mind without making any effort to control the direction or content.

Each person will process information uniquely, based on individual experiences and values. Sets of eye movements are continued until the memory becomes less disturbing and is associated with positive thoughts and beliefs about oneself; for example, “I did the best I could.” During EMDR the client may experience intense emotions, but by the end of the session, most people report a great reduction of the level of disturbance.

How long does EMDR take?

One or more sessions are required for me to understand the nature of the problem and to decide whether EMDR is an appropriate treatment. I will also discuss EMDR more fully and provide an opportunity to answer questions about the method. Once we have agreed that EMDR is appropriate for a specific problem, the actual EMDR therapy may begin. A typical EMDR session lasts from 60 to 90 minutes.

The type of problem, life circumstances and the amount of previous trauma will determine how many treatment sessions are necessary. EMDR may be used within a standard “talk” therapy, as an adjunctive therapy with a separate therapist or as a treatment all by itself.

How Effective is EMDR Therapy for PTSD?

  • The current treatment guidelines of the American Psychiatric Association and the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies designate EMDR as an effective treatment for post-traumatic stress.
  • EMDR was also found effective by the U.S. Department of Defense, the United Kingdom Department of Health and the Israeli National Council for Mental Health, and many other international health and governmental agencies.
  • The World Health Organization has sanctioned EMDR as one of the only psychotherapies recommended for children, adolescents, and adults with PTSD.
  • Studies have consistently found that EMDR effectively decreases/eliminates the symptoms of PTSD for most clients. Clients often report improvement in other associated symptoms such as anxiety and depression.
  • EMDR therapy facilitates a process in which the mind/brain can access helpful content that successfully integrates trauma.
  • EMDR helps people to tap into their inner resources and resilience.
  • EMDR therapy can enable clients to process content without having to talk about the details of the event.

Olga M. Vera, PhD, LP

Dr. Vera is a licensed Clinical Psychologist with over 24 years of experience in the mental health field.

Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy combines traditional talk therapy with the use of ketamine in a safe and supportive setting.  Ketamine is presently the only legally available psychedelic medicine (other than cannabis) for clinical use.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) can help reduce impulsive or destructive behaviors, regain control of your emotions, become more effective with others and handle crisis and distress better.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is the most effective and rapid method for healing PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) as shown by extensive scientific research studies.

Hakomi uses mindfulness and the innate wisdom of your body to safely recall and reexamine past experiences; uncover hidden core beliefs that shape your life; and open new life possibilities and choices.

Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy—Relationships can be difficult to navigate, even under the best of circumstances! Despite any challenges, we are wired for connection. It is in a secure, loving relationship with another person that we experience the best version of ourselves.