EMDR Therapy in Los Angeles + All California

What is EMDR Therapy? How Does it Help with Trauma?


Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), developed by psychologist Francine Shapiro, is a common therapeutic modality used in tandem with forms of psychotherapy to treat symptoms of trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).


EMDR can be helpful for trauma survivors who experience panic attacks, flashbacks, traumatic memories, nightmares, dissociation, and emotional intensity due to traumatic experiences. 


EMDR’s function is to relieve survivors from the symptoms of trauma that can impact their daily life, relationships, career, and more. The technique involves a survivor discussing what comes up for them when they think about the trauma with their therapist and then experiencing bilateral stimulation either visually on a screen or with vibrating items that are held in each hand.


Over time, the process of EMDR has been proven to reprocess the trauma the survivor faced so memories and triggers don’t feel so emotionally activating. 

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Is EMDR Therapy Only Helpful for Major Traumas?


EMDR can be a therapeutic tool for anyone who has experienced trauma, no matter if it’s a Big T or Little t trauma.

Big T trauma’s are major events such as car accidents, near death experiences, sexual violence, etc. Little t traumas can include situations and experiences that potentially didn’t feel traumatizing at the time, but over time, has impacted a person’s mental health. Some examples of little t traumas can include dysfunctional family dynamics, emotional neglect, and a low-conflict divorce. 

Trauma is less about the event that occurred and more about how a person’s nervous system responded to the traumatic event. This means that anything someone feels traumatized by can be traumatic to them. That means that EMDR can provide relief and healing, regardless of the type of traumatic event. 


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Can EMDR Therapy Help With Other Mental Health Conditions?


EMDR has shown success treating mental health conditions beyond trauma and PTSD. While it is used most commonly for treating trauma, EMDR has had some success treating addiction, eating disorders, phobias, anxiety, and more.

Reprocessing thoughts, beliefs, and memories can be beneficial for those struggling with mental health conditions and EMDR can be a tool for that. 

Is EMDR Therapy Dangerous?


EMDR is considered a safe form of therapy, though it can come with some uncomfortable side effects. Because EMDR requires a patient to think about and sit with traumatic events, after EMDR sessions, it’s possible for a client to experience nightmares, anxiety, dissociation, and intense emotions. 

Because of how EMDR functions, the symptoms associated with trauma should feel less intense after a few sessions. The number of EMDR sessions a client needs to get the results they are seeking can vary and can depend on the frequency. 

Clients also have full control over how many EMDR sessions they’d like to do, when they need breaks, and when they feel ready to stop. Modern Intimacy’s EMDR therapists work with clients to establish resources for coping with any uncomfortable side effects of EMDR Therapy before getting started. 

I Think EMDR Therapy Could Be Helpful. How Can I Get Started?


If you have questions or would like to work with one of our EMDR therapists, we recommend scheduling a complimentary 30-minute consultation with our Intake Specialist.

During the consultation, we can answer any questions you have and align you with an EMDR therapist, if it feels like a good next step for you at this time.