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"What do you want out of life, and what is holding you back from that?" 

This question, and your answers, is where we begin the journey. I look forward to hearing from you.

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May 22, 2018

EMDR: A path towards freedom

Where are you feeling stuck?

The person you can't forgive - you keep trying, but every time you see them you're furious again. "Self-sabotaging" in relationships - when your relationship calls for vulnerability or conflict resolution, it stops working.  (If you're feeling agitated at any point, hang in there with me, we'll get to the solution soon!  If you need to, skip straight to the next paragraph.) When others compliment or encourage you, you just can't quite believe them.  You take everything so personally and you don't know why.  Feeling overwhelmed no matter how much you plan, prepare, etc.  Wanting to feel more confident but you can't talk yourself into feeling that way.  Underlying anxiety that you'll do the wrong thing or say something stupid.  A disturbing image you just can't get out of your mind.  PTSD from a traumatic experience.

Imagine what your life would be like if instead of spending all of your energy trying to avoid, you were able to thrive.  If instead of spending all of your time trying to cope, you were able to grow. EMDR can help you get there.

EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing, is a treatment modality that helps you make sense of and overcome difficult life experiences. It generally occurs in a therapy office, although this video references doing a session via video, which is less common. EMDR basically unleashes your body's natural ability to heal. After EMDR, the experience will no longer carry the same emotional intensity.  Clients have expressed feeling a sense of freedom, hope, and relief even after one EMDR session.

The Personal Transformation Institute explains EMDR this way, "When something disturbing happens it gets stored in the brain in a way that our human system feels that event is either going to happen again at any moment, or is happening now.  When some event happens that may be similar or just has an element that reminds the system of that disturbing event, the brain reacts as if the original disturbing event is happening.

"EMDR helps to move the storage of that memory to a more functional part of the brain that can experience the event as actually being in the past. It is important to know that there is a real physical change happening with EMDR. The events that used to trigger the brain into over-reaction no longer have that effect. The person can now react to the present without the past interfering." (Personal Transformation Institute)

Research shows that EMDR is the gold-star treatment for trauma, and effective for other difficult life experiences that keep you stuck, even though they may not feel traumatic.   If you want to read more about EMDR, check out What is EMDR? or  Getting Past Your Past by Francine Shapiro, PhD, the creator of EMDR Therapy.

Now think of what you want more of in your life.

Self-confidence, hope, freedom...

This is your chance to get there.  Just like spring cleaning takes some work, but gives you space in your life and a fresh start to a new season, EMDR will take some work, but will give you a fresh outlook and a sense of relief.  You can let the old baggage go.

You can reach me at (850) 760-0109 or To find an EMDR therapist in your area, you can search on  An important note: Do not try self-EMDR because that can leave you feeling more agitated instead of more at peace.  Seek out a professional.

Additional treatment considerations:

What about antidepressants and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)? I've heard they're effective.  How do I decide what's right for me? A recent study comparing EMDR, CBT, and antidepressants showed the following results after treatment ended:

Antidepressant: Therapeutic benefit ceased when stopped taking medication

CBT: Maintained benefit after treatment ceased

EMDR: Continued growing even after treatment was over

With CBT, the focus would be on changing your thoughts, which would in turn affect your behavior and your beliefs.  And it does work.  But EMDR often works even better.  Disturbing or traumatic life events are usually stored in a non-verbal part of the brain, and EMDR targets that part of the brain, whereas CBT does not.  In addition, withCBT you change the script in your current thoughts and in the current moment.With EMDR, you change the script at the beginning - the place where the belief and pattern of behavior began.  You are then able to change the script during all the times in your life you were following that negative or untrue belief.