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EMDR Therapy

Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy

The impact of Trauma.

Trauma impacts us in ways we can't always identify. In the moment, a traumatic event scrambles the event in the brain - leaving it in raw form - so that we survive the experience. These experiences may overwhelm our processing system so we end up holding onto old parts and become triggered - through thoughts, feelings, images and sensory information - in present day.


Trauma also comes in lots of shapes and forms - including adverse childhood experiences, surviving abuse or neglect, surviving large scale events such as an active shooter, and even surviving attachment trauma to a caregiver. Any encounter that is shocking, threatening, or dangerous could result in trauma.

Trauma is more common than you think.

Vivid flashbacks of the trauma, intrusive thoughts and images, anxiety, hyper-vigilance, anger problems, nightmares, intense distress at reality or symbolic reminders of the trauma, physical pain, sweating, nausea, or trembling are all symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Avoidance of thoughts and anything that can trigger a reminder of the trauma is also common. Additionally emotional trauma can leave you with symptoms of exhaustion, confusion, sadness, agitation, anxiety, numbness, dissociation, physical arousal, and blunted affect. If any of these symptoms apply to you, you could be suffering from trauma or old wounds you may be unaware of. EMDR Therapy for trauma and EMDR for PTSD can help.

EMDR can help.

Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR therapy) is an evidence-based - 8 stage - structured therapy that allows an individual to process a memory of the trauma to reformat it in your brain through bilateral stimulation (typically through right-left eye movements). In EMDR, you will notice thoughts, feelings, and body sensations without judgement and briefly report them to your therapist to assist with reprocessing the event. This reorganizes the event in your brain so it's no longer stored in its raw form. EMDR trauma therapy is proven to be effective for people to recover from trauma and symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress. EMDR Therapy for anxiety and EMDR therapy for depression have also had proven success.

How do I know if I have experienced trauma?

You don't necessarily know how and what has effected you throughout your life. Every experience can impact each individual differently. An event that was not traumatic to someone experiencing the exact same event or even your sibling could have been impactful and traumatic in a completely different way for you. Impressions and understanding of events and experiences are so personal. Therapy can assist in helping you become more self aware of the many impacts of your life and differentiate the various aspects of their impacts. EMDR therapy, can assist with the reduction of the vivid and emotional aspects associated with traumatic memories. 

What happened to you?

Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D. and Oprah Winfrey wrote a New York Times Bestseller, What Happened to You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing. In this book, instead of focusing on what is wrong with you they ask what happened to you? Symptoms of traumatic experiences are caused by trauma and traumatic events. They don't just appear in us. Something happened to you. It's not your fault. And there is a path to healing.

Trauma & Old Wounds

People pleasers, disruptors, self-sabotaging, people who are bad at relationships or argumentative - are all likely those who have suffered from trauma and hold onto old wounds. 

You have learned to mold to your surroundings. To survive. Even when you "get out" from situations, you tend to seek out situations that arguably feel similar to your old situation because there is comfort in the known - even if its painful - even if it continues to hurt you.

Your suffering is real, and even though it's sometimes hard to identify, your trauma feels like it is affecting you in the present day. EMDR Therapy can help.

“Being traumatized is not just an issue of being stuck in the past; it is just as much a problem of not being fully alive in the present."

Bessel van der Kolk

Psychiatrist, Best Selling Trauma Research Author

Adverse Childhood Experiences

Adverse Childhood Experiences are one of the ways to identify trauma experienced in a lifetime, and specifically helps to identify the impact of the negative experiences in your childhood.

Adverse Childhood Experiences include being sweared at or humiliated by parents; being pushed grabbed or slapped by parents; experiencing sexual assault; feeling unloved; not feeling protected or wearing dirty clothes or not having enough to eat; having parents who were divorced or separated; feeling threatened by a maternal figure; living with a substance abuser; living with a depressed or mentally ill individual; or someone in your household going to prison. If you have experienced any of these circumstances, you may have felt the affects of trauma in your life. 

EMDR therapy can help.

Adverse Childhood Experiences are Common Across all Populations

In a study from 1995 to 1997, the Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC) and Kaiser Permanente surveyed over 17,000 individuals regarding their adverse childhood experiences. Approximately two-thirds of the participants have experienced one adverse childhood experience and 1 in 5 scored a 3 or higher on the survey out of 10. Research in this realm is ongoing.

Research has also indicated a link between exposure to adverse childhood experiences and negative health and behavioral outcomes later in life such as, but not limited to, heart disease, diabetes, and substance abuse. Poor academic performance may also be linked to adverse childhood experiences. 

Your Body Remembers

Trauma is unbearable and intolerable, and your brain may not be able to handle the event, so it does what it can to survive the experience. Even if your brain does not recall traumatic experiences,

your body remembers.


This leads to anxiety and depression along with post-traumatic stress symptoms.

Is it hard to be present in your life? EMDR therapy is probably right for you.

Do you avoid situations? Or numb out other situations? Is staying present in your day to day life challenging? Do you have wakeful nights without rest?

EMDR Therapy is right for you. Negative thoughts and cognitions are replaced with positive views about ourselves. Life becomes livable, your triggers are suppressed because they are no longer formatted in your brain in the same manner.

EMDR Therapy

EMDR Therapy can be helpful for so many mental health challenges you are experiencing. 

emdr for trauma, emdr for ptsd

EMDR Therapy for Trauma
EMDR Therapy for PTSD

You are one person, who has versed an array of life experiences. Many times, experiences don't sit well in your brain, so you are unknowingly triggered in present day through the reminder of situations that happened in the past. Modern day situations feel to your brain as if it was a previous, challenging experience. EMDR for trauma can help reformat these memories and experiences in your brain and make it easier to cope in modern day.

emdr for anxiety

EMDR Therapy for Anxiety

Processing your triggers through EMDR therapy can assist in lowering levels of anxiety. Thorough the EMDR therapy protocol, we can search in your memory network together and find the root of your anxiety, which will assist in decreased worrying and symptoms of anxiety. EMDR for anxiety has incredible potential to curb your current symptoms and ease your day to day life in the longrun.

emdr for depression

EMDR Therapy for Depression

Feeling down, or low and struggling with feeling blue? EMDR for depression can assist with assessing and help with the processing of these challenging memories that contribute to your daily functioning. EMDR for depression is a proven method to help identify what is contributing to the symptoms you are experiencing and support you as you make progress in the therapeutic space. 

postpartum depression.HEIC

EMDR Therapy for Perinatal Period & Maternal Mental Health

Do your "baby blues" feel never ending? EMDR for the perinatal period (pregnancy through 12 months postpartum) can assist with your success as a mother. Your mental health matters. EMDR for maternal mental health is a cutting-edge approach to assist you in healing from your past and growing as a mother. 

I'm nervous. What is EMDR like?

We will work together in session so I learn your history and the memories that you are consciously and unconsciously aware of in your present day life that have a negative impact on you. Then we work together to prioritize the memories and work through past, present, and even future prongs in order to flush out the memory network through the EMDR Therapy reprocessing protocol to reorganize the memory in your brain through the rapid eye movement therapy.


That's the beauty of the brain. The neuroplasticity of the brain enables the brain to change - its truly remarkable.

Sometimes clients will report side affects during session such as light-headedness or distressing thoughts, feelings, or physical sensations during and sometimes after the session - but it is part of the process. We activate the memory network and then let the brain reorganize the details - and even unlock new thoughts - while using bilateral stimulation. You are conscious, unlike in hypnosis, and we can always stop at any time. The goal of each session is defined so that you are not experiencing disturbance at the end of session. We also end session with grounding and relaxation tools.

EMDR Window of Tolerance

Your window of tolerance is your ability to life's stressors, feeling unbothered by what life is throwing at you means that you are within your window of tolerance. It is very common for trauma and stress to shrink your window of tolerance. 

Feelings outside of your window of tolerance include feeling either hyperarousal or hypoarousal. Hyperarousal includes feelings of anger, anxiety, feeling out of control, the feeling of flight or fight. These reactions are automatic from your stress response, they are not a choice. Hypoarousal means that you may be numb or frozen, or even spaced out. Your body wants to shut down. This is the freeze in your stress response, this is not a choice. 

Working with an EMDR therapist is a way to help increase your window of tolerance so you can better manage life's stressors, and not become hijacked by your emotions. 

EMDR Therapy for Emotional Regulation

EMDR Therapy can help.

Emotional regulation is a tool developed in childhood. It comes out of the ability to have "big feelings." When a caregiver stays regulated and a safe place, a child has the ability to feel all of their feelings including but not limited to anger, frustration, sadness, stress, and more.


After many repetitive experiences of a caretaker remaining calm and creating space for a child to feel all of their feelings, emotional regulation becomes attainable in the brain. The outcome will yield an emotionally regulated and well-adjusted adult.

Shaina is an EMDR Certified Therapist

This evidence-based, extensively researched EMDR therapy can make a tremendous difference in your symptoms and in your life. Reach out today to Shaina or another EMDR practitioner to begin your EMDR journey.

shaina williams emdr therapist
Shaina - light_edited.png

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